Do I really come across that egotistical. I'm so sorry because that's not what I'm trying to put across. I think that what must have come across that way was my inner grumpy old man feeling that what used to be an art has become more of a science, often pseudo-science. Don't forget, I was taught in the era of Joe Meek. He certainly didn't have the best equipment, but some of the sounds he got were amazing. We never really cared about phase. And guess what, every note sung on most of the greatest records ever made weren't completely in tune. It didn't matter. If it felt right, it was right. It was all about performance. Performance from everyone connected with the recording. Oh boy, he escaped for a bit there but I've managed to put him back in his cage. Phew.
There is no piece of gear that I've worked with that I couldn't live without. I love the sound of a Trident A Range. The effect of an Altec 436B or a Fairchild 660. All things I've used on some projects, but nowhere near all. One works with what one has to work with and hopefully gets something good out of it.