TH vs SMT for audio

I’m thinking about cloning an old mic pre that is “Class A discrete”. All transistor, all through hole components hand mounted, transformer in and out. bar graph LED display. With most of these high end boutique hand made pre’s they always boast hand made, point to point wiring as part of the “magic”. In this case it hands down one of the best mic pre’s comparing to classic Neve etc.

One of the problems for these small company is they would not try to cut costs on the single rack space quad channel or dual channel product. I’m wanting to find out I can concert much of the resistors, diodes, transistors, small non signal caps, non signal inductors to SMT that I can pick and place to make a board take just a minute to populate vs a ton of hand wiring. Then use TH for the large expensive signal caps so they can be replaced as needed or swapped for sound. Can the sound be just as good with 0603 resistors? I notice they claim they were “hand matching” transistors and sorting them into matched sets for assembly. Not sure what that really accomplishes or if it’s worth it, but SMT transistors would be not as easy to do that to.

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