IMHO, recording quality will be determined by the audience... they'll either buy your music or they won't. whether it's downloading your songs off your website for a dollar each, or buying your cd at a performance. If you include the presenters as part of the music buying audience, they'll either book you or not, (and invite you back OR NOT) based on the quality of your recordings and the quality of your sound (and maybe the professionalism of your conduct). so what do we do on this unrelenting quest for tone? we do what we CAN do. we only tune our guitars as well as we can hear, even with electronic tuners. we play as best we can, using the best gear we can afford. Will it help you get the gig if your SG says Gibson on the headstock? maybe... if you do your part. will it help you get the girl? prolly not. Girls look at your buns, or your car, or if your hair is stringy or your nails are clean. (I used to have hair... ;D) but if your sound sucks... it's only the lonely. so we try to make the best music we can. we practice, we record it, we listen and mix, we do it again. recordings can reveal all your strengths and all your flaws. Buy a Gibson if you can afford it, everyone knows this. But I maintain that it's your soul, and your fingers and your Amp (& signal chain)... and when the lights go down and the place gets smokey, an Epiphone SG can rock as well as a much more expensive Gibbie, if you've got the chops. Is it a Gibson? no. is it an SG? yes. But you have to prove it onstage. and that will get the girl.