We might feel pretty righteous that no decisions were made to balance sound with equipment and cable choices: warm cables to offset cold electronics.
No, ours is selected pure. Each piece chosen for its own merits and without regard to enhancing one at the expense of another.
But is that true?
I would argue you are always making decisions in the same way. Not out of purity, but out of synergy. No equipment is judged alone. Speakers play in systems, and systems do not play without speakers or headphones to listen.
Every decision you’ve ever made was never decided in a vacuum. That preamp you love? It has never been neutral, none are. And that speaker? Accurate to the ‘nth degree and ruler flat? Hardly. And that room you’re playing in, or those headphones you’re auditioning with?
Like it or not, choices you make are always based on synergy with other components.