Carl,Lets keep it Simple.First thing I would do is Focus on the Mixdown.Listen carefully for balances,Keep your ears open for distortion especially lows and mids.nice and easy with compression and limiters,Make a few mixdowns,Take your time, tired ears can fool.when your 100% then Burn a few with different Mixdowns,then compare the sound quality.Whats your Instrumentation?
For a nice hot signal my recommendation is once you have completed your final mix download a copy of Winamp and play your mix in there, make sure your mix is pushing into the red meters without distortion (I have actually found Winamp to be better than the meters in CEP...as they are less sensitive).
To test get one of your favorite CD's and play through Winamp looking at the levels.
Use CEP (Transform -> Amplitude -> Amplify) to try to match that level and EQ. Adjust the wave, save and test again, till its real close to the professional CD. Then burn.
I have my car absolutely pounding with my mixes (with no distortion).
[This message has been edited by LP (edited 01-03-2003).]