Hi there guys, I have finally been blessed with the opportunity to upgrade my studio. With the $15k I would like to improve all elements of my equipment (mics, preamps, converters, monitors, and plugins). I feel like I am going in circles though. It is not so much a question of which preamps or which converters, so much as a question of my workflow and what is necessary. How much money should go towards what elements in the chain? These are some of the issues I am mulling over: 1. Ninety percent of the time I am either tracking no more than two channels (or using virtual instruments), so I am looking at getting at least two good quality channels of preamp and two channels of AD/DA. That being said, I occasionally track four channels. I would also like to avoid having to send my monitor signal through my Mackie board (***anyone want to buy one***) simply to have a mute button and volume control. 2. I am very interested in the idea of having two pairs of high-end preamps that will complement each other well, though I don't know if this is essential. The idea being that some mixes are very dense and require pristine tracks, though I would like to be able to also track warm/softer signals as well. I predominantly track acoustic instruments and voice. 3. I am also questioning whether a stereo channel of EQ and/or compression would be a good investment, or would I be better off putting that money into something else. Since I use virtual instruments, am I better off investing in plugins? 4. In terms of mics, should I invest in one outstanding mic, buy a couple of ribbon mics, replace my small diaphragm mics...? How much of my budget should go towards this issue? Presently my equiment includes: - Neumann U87 from 1968 (pair) - AKG C414EB with the CK12 capsule - Audio Technica AT4047 - Shure SM81 (pair) ***anyone want to buy a pair?*** - Shure SM57 (pair) - Sennheiser MD421 - AKG D112 - Presonus MP20 - Presonus ACP-22 - RNC Compressor - Lang Electronics PEQ-2 - mindblowingly hot - Mackie 1642-VLZPro - MOTU 1224 (2) ***anyone want to buy a pair*** - Mac G5 2.0GHz dual core - Mackie HR824 ***anyone want to buy a pair?*** - Logic Pro 7.2 - Waves SSL4000 - Audio Ease Altiverb - Sony Inflator - Native Instruments Komplete - Native Instruments Kore ***anyone want to buy one?*** - East/West Symphonic Orchestra Platinum Bundle - Yellow Tools Majestic and Culture - MOTU Symphonic I am considering: - Microtech Gefell UM92.1S (great price right now. really warm.) - Royer R-121 or AEA ribbon mics - Neumann KM184 (2) - Electro Voice RE-20 - Shure SM7B - API 512 (2) with A Design 500HR - AMS Neve 1073 DPA - Rosetta 200 with Fireface 400 - Rosetta 800 - Big Ben? - Get the preamps with their own converters along with a Benchmark DAC or something similar. - Dynaudio BM6A II - Dynaudio BM5A Any thoughts on any of these issues would be greatly appreciated.