I'm in two minds on this one. On one hand, I'm always endeavouring to technically
improve my work and getting good gear is a pre-requisite for this. However, there
comes a point where sonic differences become so subtle and the cost differences so
large that things start to enter some kind of rarified audiophile realm.
I very much take exception to being told that 'A' sounds better than B, if I can't
hear any difference, then for me there isn't a difference. I read on one forum
that you should use product 'X' even if you can't hear a difference, because your
customers/audience may be able to !
Experience is critical as well as having quality gear. I remember reading copies
of 'Home and Studio Recording' in the Eighties when big studios were the order of
the day and thinking how unattainable this recording lark was and how expensive it
was. Now listening back to a lot of Eighties material recorded on those 48 track
SSL desks, it sounds pretty awful.
Back onto the subject of preamps. I bought this library recently for Nebula:http://www.alessandroboschi.eu/html/en/preamp_color_suite.htm
I was a little sceptical initially, but found that some of them were pretty coloured (especially the valve emulations).