Originally Posted by Joe Haze
(pop) "can of worms".... Most will probably say it's the person, not the gear. For the most part that is true, but if I gave you a pair of Pultecs, Neves and a Fairchild, the sounds would improve!
Using certain pieces of "well maintained" hardware feels like cheating... things sound good without much effort.
I disagree. Throwing those pieces of equipment to someone who doesn't know what he/she's doing can even be worse. I knew of someone who was getting decent vocal recordings with the 003 pre's alone, but when he rented a Neve eq and some high end compressor (forgot which one) he ended up with the thinnest recordings I've ever heard. Apparently he got so exited he had this gear he ended up boosting the highs more than 10dB and over compressing.