So many replies I couldn't read all, sorry if repeating. The medium makes a big difference. In the days of literally "cutting" the record, the mastering engineer had to make sure the bass wouldn't cause the needle to jump out of the track. Second, tube based equipment could differ a lot between American studios and England. Digital has made it possible to squeeze all the life out, but even if not the sound of the mix can be affected, requiring EQing and or remixing. I used to do mastering in a small studio--very small--and it wasn't always easy to make the customer happy even if I thought it was great.
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