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Old 1st November 2019
Gear Nut

The end user is what that matters as he/she is the customer which buys and consumes the product (the music).
Basing on the fact that the highest percentage of the composition of the music market ranges from 14 to 25 y.o. people and the listening medium of that market is an average in ear headphones, the point of paying 3 to 15k$ for a difference that the main customer will never appreciate nor discern is an absolute nonsense.
Even here in GS with its mixing engineers users almost 50% of them (myself included) weren’t able to distinguish the difference in a blind test.
The best product is the good product which fulfills the customers needs. This is a time where good music can be made with 1% of the money that was required 40/30 years ago. What really makes the difference is:
a good song & a good producer/engineer

Conversion got to a point where is indistinguishable for 99% of people including mixing and mastering engineers. Channels strip emulations: same discourse as for the microphones. I own 2 neve 1073 and 2 Api 512c which I’m about to sell and going to UAD x8p.
Instead of spending 10k for 3/4 high end mics I’d suggest to buy a virtual mic (you choose what you prefer) and invest the rest of the money in the most important instrument in the studio: the acoustic of the room (and a good pair of monitors)
My 2 cents