Okay let's admit it. Stand up and say my name is <blank> and I have G.A.S.! I don't mean the burrito kind I mean Gear Aquisition Syndrome. You own a,b,c (i.e. Mackie, Shure 57s, AT 4050, ADAT etc. ) and feel you really need x,y,z (API, Nuemann, Neve etc) for your stuff to sound good. Before you refinance your house, max your Visa or lose your significant other think.... Can I afford this at all? What am I trying to do with this gear? (make tapes of yourself, pre production for your own tunes, basic demos for local bands, cut Celine Dion's next CD) Am I a professional (getting paid), if so are my clients asking for this and will the return be worth the investment? Am I getting everything I can out of the gear I own now? A good engineer can make a decent recording with a bunch of 57s and a Peavey mixer, given a Neve 9098 and some Neumanns and it just gets better. It's too easy to think that a Neve pre will make all the difference. Good tracking and mixing chops will go farther. If you hit the ceiling with what you currently own then look to the gear answers before you're in deep debt and selling your new gear for half the original price to pay the rent. Just a couple of my pennies Your thoughts?