Really when you get into high end amps Pass, Gryphon, Luxman, Simaudio, T+A, Hegel, and other similarly priced components it's really about what your ears like. It's preference, not necessarily fact. I mean some like chocolate ice cream, some like vanilla, some like the color blue, some like the color red.
One man's thin sounding component is another man's open, air-ey sounding component, one man's smooth top end is another's unexciting, dull top end, one man's strong bass is another's boomy bass, one man's warm mids is another's too dark toned, one man's smooth top end is another's rolled off top end. If we didn't hear things differently we'd all be buying the same exact components.
We (myself included) seem to have great difficulty putting sound into words with any kind of accuracy. And then we'll have comments like Brand A will "blow the doors off Brand B", or "Brand A blows Brand B out of the water"...whatever the heck that means. I personally find these kinds of descriptions useless. It tells me nothing about the components.
We need to get used to the idea that we very often don't hear things the same. From a strictly physiological standpoint I don't know why we should think otherwise. Our hearing apparatus and biology/physiology is completely different from one day to the next.
Here's a news flash...it's OK to have a preference and for other people to have theirs. It's OK to be absolutely convinced your set up sounds "better" than anyone else's or for me to feel my system is the best sounding out there.
And there are an infinity of variables that are obvious and some not so obvious to consider when auditioning, comparing, and evaluating components...the room and how a specific brand and model interacts with it is one major factor regarding how you hear things. I mentioned both physiology and biology above as factors governing how we hear and process sound. Have you ever listened to a system one day, come back in a day or two and something about your system sounds different? This sometimes happens to me with my guitars and amp.
Aural memory can also be a factor...you listen to your system and it goes into your memory and a week later you listen again and it sounds different. I traveled to Suncoast Audio about a year ago to audition several top notch amps for my new system. But my aural memory of that experience is starting to fade to the point where I can't remember the fine details of how each amp sounded. I just remember which ones my ears liked most.
There are just so many factors to weigh when it comes to making value judgments about audio components. But we sometimes have a tendency to form snap, knee jerk, opinions without being honest and objective with ourselves. Anyway, just my 2 cents.