#1
if i put my guitar input through a direct box(also known as a DI box) into a PA will it sound similar to just a clean channel on a regular amp?

Also if i put a distortion pedal in between my guitar and direct box would it sound like it would through an amp?
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#2
Why bother with a DI box? You can just plug straight into a PA. If the PA is equalized correctly, it can sound like a decent clean-channel amp. Works the same with a distortion pedal. It's an acceptable substitute until you can afford a solid guitar amp.
#3
It will sound similar, but not the same. With the distortion, it will sound pretty bad I think, unless you use some sort of cabinet emulation.
#4
Even with cabinet emulation, a solid state pedal will usually sound like crap. Your best best is to mic an amp and send that through the PA.

A good DI should not color your sound, but they all do to some extent. All you can really do is try it and see if you can get a sound that you like. I've been playing through a pedal, through a DI into a PA for about a year and have yet to get exactly the sound that I want. The distortion always turns out sounding dry, thin and buzzy. I have only ever been able to get what I want through a mic'd amp.
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