Studios and their engineers really can make the difference.
I had a client a month back ask me "So if I just have my guy track their parts at any studio, it really doesn't matter, right? I don't need to bring him in here to your studio..." I answered as straight forward as possible, but decided to post a few examples and let our ears do the judging.
Over the last month, I had a client track a cello at another great studio here in Austin (Version B), and at the same time I tracked a cello here at Eclectica Studios (Version A). Of course this example is 2 different players and instruments, but I ask you to simply listen to the over all sound, the depth, room...
The vocal example is slightly more scientific. This example uses the same singer, tracked here at Eclectica Studios (Version A), and then tracked at one of the top studios in Texas the following day (Version B).
In all cases, the best mics were used, no one knew this comparison was going to be done and therefore we all simply did what we do as engineers. Its amazing how different is all sounds.
78meg download, Both 96K 32bit float and 44.1k 16bit versions are included. Sample rate conversion was done using Saracon by Weiss (the best!).