Originally Posted by msl
Agreed. Its also pointless finishing a mix and then mastering it with the same pair of ears!
That's exactly the point...a skilled, impartial set of ears is absolutely essential. This entirely aside from the fact that an ME's tool set (whether that's analog or digital) is usually very different from a mix engineer's. The ME's I use have spent their time and money acquiring high-end, audiophile amplifiers and full-range speakers, top-shelf EQ's, compression, limiting and so on. Often those are mastering versions with more head room, detended knobs, etc. There's no substitute for an experienced mastering guy with the right equipment.