There is something inherently magical about the hard rock albums of the 60's and 70's. A raw sort of purity. I've been thinking about it for awhile...with my own band's recordings and with my favorites Sabbath, Cream, Hendrix etc.... I think there are two things at play here. 1) keep it simple stupid. I notice that they often don't have a ton of layers on the recordings...this more space to each instrument...toms especially sound better in this era 2) the guitar and bass are often panned hard left and right and kept seperate from each other. I remember my first car...the speakers would sometimes cut out and I'd only hear the bass or the guitar. Gear of course plays a role but my band recorded on to 2" tape and used all high quality analog gear (much of it vintage)...but the big key is the spacing in the instruments. They're all clear and they all blend together perfectly. I think having too many layers and too much in both the left and right channels clouded things up a bit and I think this is very common in modern recordings. For some stuff this works great in others it doesn't. I ran guitars left and right but in the end instead of sounding more stereo it sounded more mono because I'm just everywhere in the mix. I think before we release our album I'm going to try to have it mixed with everything a bit more spread out and see how it sounds.