Widget, Ian, Robb... Certainly we are indeed all on the same page. My personal central concern with audio sound/quality/whatever lies with the elements in the flowchart where something can be brought closer to "what the musician created" in a live space. So I gravitate to recordists who are better at this than others and musicians who insist on/encourage/employ/collaborate with individuals and organizations who seriously share that goal. Who care about it more than others do, who feel its importance is paramount. Two names I have mentioned, Todd Garfinkle (Japan, Europe, and California) and Jim Anderson (Chicago) are the two best at it that I am aware of personally. And whatever Colin Towns was doing in the UK was certainly working for him.

I recall that when the Eagles were lining up the recording of their (Second? Third?) album they were paired with - I think it was - Glyn Johns, who insisted on not changing his ironclad use of very heavy reverb on the drums. He literally said my way or the highway, so they fired him. Johns was a much more accomplished/respected person in the industry at that point than the band was, so that took integrity and guts. They earned my respect that day. Sounding like themselves was very, very important to them at that point, and I am sure the pressure on them to do what was working for everyone else was extreme.