In our experience, once the signals are leaving the microphones, 90-95% or more of the recording's ultimate quality ceiling has already been determined.
Everything after the microphones (i.e., mic cables, AC mains power, AC mains cables, mic preamps, recording format, recording device, mix, if any, mastering, playback format, playback device, interconnecting cables, amplification, speaker cables, speakers, speaker positioning, vibration isolation, room acoustics, etc., etc.) merely determines how much of what was captured the listener gets to hear.
"The recording of the album is a very complete exposition of the Soundkeeper philosophy. It is so well recorded that the tangible feeling of being in the room with the musicians carries across different systems. I listened to the album in two different rooms, on both speakers and headphones and the live quality shone through on each of them."
"Kay Sa is filled with music of verve, spirit and flow. At its core is the creative Schwartz, playing in a percussive landscape that is as varied and spirited as the music. He fills the airy soundstage with resonant cascades of drums; the crackle of wood sticks; the bleat from a bamboo horn; the shimmer of his (endless delaying) ride cymbal and his twinkling chimes. Schwartz is joined by the inventive saxophonist, the young Godwin Louis, who fills Kay Sa with his sax verve and passion at every opportunity. For instance, on Thelonious Monk’s 'Bye-Ya (Bolero)' (with two variations presented here), Louis lifts to the sky with blossoming surges on his sax, always ready for the next creative tumble or breathy run. On the softy swinging 'Wongol' (with lead vocalist and guitarist Monvelyno Alexis singing with dignified light banter), Louis’ alto is potent and poignant, filling the air with hot swing, bracing fluid runs and brawny honks. Rounding out this stellar band is bassist Bobby Raymond, whose contrabass is pungent and resonant. His solos on both versions of 'Bye-Ya' are warm pools of isolated notes, rubbery plucks and elastic holds. Guitarist and lead vocalist Alexis is another virtuoso: his electric guitar delicately sprite as he fires off fast rhythm guitar chords (such as on the flying title cut, racing on Schwartz’s wood rims) or brims with soft, fleshy colors. Diament’s production lets all this soulful music breathe: the music projects without any artificial hindrances to dynamics and flowing textures, making for a genre-busting feast of delights."