"The reality is that with the same performance and skills from a mixing engineering will almost invariably translate to a better final product on better equipment. It never ceases to amaze me how many people do not want to accept reality"
I think this is likely true when you are taking about poorly made equipment or faulty equipment but your comments don't match my experience across the broader range of quality gear.
You need to define "better equipment". Some equipment is better in terms of authenticity but might be poorly chosen for a project. Some equipment might be extremely transparent with no audible distortion as measured by an oscilloscope. Technically it is better but can you hear the difference? If you can't, it doesn't matter. IF you can hear a difference is it "better"? Is a $4000 Neumann always better than a MXL V69 ME. No it isn't. Sometimes that Shure Sm7B with inferior specifications is a better choice than an expensive alternative.
People spend a fortune on some hardware which has superior specifications which often doesn't add up to a hill of beans. If you spend $4000 on a Mic Pre channel there is a very good chance that you or anyone else couldn't hear the difference between that and a mic pre that is 1/10th the cost. This holds true even when the track is fully exposed. This has been shown in double blind listening tests. SOS did a double blind shoot-out and the affordable ART Channel Strip was preferred over options that were "superior" and much more expensive.
I've got some of the good stuff here (6176, Avalon 737s , 2022s. Neve Clones, LA2-610s, DCS - 4-710D, etc) and never once have these high end unit made the difference that is the difference on a track. I like this stuff but I am under no delusions that my mixes are invariably improved by them. Respectfully, I think this is nonsense.
Similarly, can you honestly say you can hear the difference between an EQ curve that has been applied between the various digital plugin clones when volume matched? The price difference between plugins would suggest that there should be clear winners with noteworthy audible differences.
Once applied most people can't tell the difference between two matched EQ curves derived from different equipment...the sound doesn't care how you got there and your ears won't know either if the signals have been volume matched. If the EQs saturate such as with Pultecs then obviously the plugins would need to account for non linearities which many of them do. Even if there are differences most people would struggle mightily to consistently identify a winner or even pick a favourite.
Do you assume that spending $150 on a compression plugin is superior in results than say using a Mjuc? I have the some of the "best" plugins here often I am reaching for cheaper alternatives. Expensive gear does not always equal superior results.
Similarly I often bypass the the compressor on my 6176 and Avalon 7373s because the flexibility of using a plugin alternative in a mix gives me more options and better results as I shape the mix. Superior workflow can yield improved results which can be far more important than an extremely insignificant difference in frequency response achieved by "superior" equipment.
There is also a lot of nonsense made about clock and jitter. Sending word clock though adat cables was thought to be inferior to dedicated and expensive word clock generators over BNC. Audio quality differences are not detectable by most living mortals even when using expensive word clock generators if the clock source is stable. In fact, in some cases external clock generators can actually degrade audio quality.
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... ster-clock
Quoted from the conclusions:
"Overall, it should be clear from these tests that employing an external master clock cannot and will not improve the sound quality of a digital audio system. It might change it, and subjectively that change might be preferred, but it won't change things for the better in any technical sense. A‑D conversion performance will not improve: the best that can be hoped for is that the A‑D conversion won't become significantly degraded. In most cases, the technical performance will actually become worse, albeit only marginally so."
What your comment fails to address is the endless chasing of specifications and gear lust to which many of us including myself fall prey. There are psychological factors that greatly impact our perception of gear and sound quality.
There is no harm done in pursuing superior quality gear. Go for it if it makes you happy. I've got some of the "good" stuff. But don't for second believe your mixes are better because you used an Avalon vs an Art PRO II because one has better specifications. That would be fool-hearty and delusional.