hey m24p, I agree there is a difference, mainly in build quality, sound can be subjective.
re-mentioning that "removing mystical inferiority". thats something real but not always discussed much, i think because we are told we arent supposed to think in those terms.
Truth is theres a confidence vibe when you reach for a tool you have confidence in.
Thats on the person though.
I find two main groups of people, one group get really attached to thier gear, maybe have the guitar 50yrs ..its part of them, familiarity. The other looks at gear like spoons to eat with and dont care. They swap and chop and randomly use the tools. Neither way is right or wrong but its interesting because it removes the "hindering factor", or in short makes it more enjoyable and interesting.
Quality- yes, there is a difference.
Seems to me the guys who do real engineering build great gear, tank tough and all that over-the top stuff engineers do known that does cost extra money in parts and homework. The quality is often on the inside unseen.
This stuff is QC'd, dropped kicked screamed at, left outside and inside and still works.
It costs money. I did QC and saw the Military Grade QC vs Consumer Testers.... different markets. But it is real, stuff built to military specs are for the harsh environments and not always anything to do with military gear. Its cold to hot maximums, vibration testing etc..and its real. Engineers go back to the drawing board and make it better and that usually costs more in labor or materials.
Quality vs Price....getting the Bullet Proof stuff and not the Fancy...
I like the comment "refusal to settle for less", it makes me think of the good stuff for a working man salary and no need to go into collecting relic old gear for mega bucks of collectors who can smell the magic dust.
Getting a ISA or a Grace a person doesnt even need to keep looking, if theres a confidence needed ? go get a damn SM7 or RE20...you have $350, ...Metallica,LosLobos, SherlyCrow,Jackson,Stevie Wonder, McCartney all did fine with those priced mics.
Just get out of the Hello Kitty section of Wal Mart, and no need for the $1200 bottle of wine either.
mystical inferiority.....haha thats a great term...