I have, on occasion, riffed on the importance of mixing and the equipment it is performed on.
After a recording's been made the next step is to mix that recording. Because most recordings these days are multitracks—regardless of whether they are live or studio produced—getting the levels and panning on each of those tracks right is critical to sound quality.
In fact, in all but a few cases, your assessment of whether or not the recording is good, bad, or ugly, is based almost entirely on the quality of the mix and the equipment used to make that mix: naturally mixed or was there added compression? How heavy handed was the mix engineer? Over or under cooked with EQ? Voice and instrument blend just right?
And perhaps equally important are the loudspeakers used to make that mix. After all, mixing is entirely by ear. If the mix sounds good on a highly colored pair of speakers it is unlikely to sound good on a more neutral pair.
What you hear in the mix room is what you get.
Now that we're firmly established in Octave Record's new state-of-the-art DSD studio, all releases, starting with Audiophile Masters VII, are mixed at 352.8kHz using a pair of aspen FR30 loudspeakers and an all BHK/PerfectWave, AQ Dragon, setup.
Doesn't get a lot better.
I am guessing it'll put a smile on your face.