I think that Al should start making his exceptional listening and analytical talent available as part of a consulting service for a commensurate fee - it would be worth every penny. Time for a career pivot Al?
Thanks for the too kind comments, Vlad (thanks Phil as well), and I am not sure if I should give a serious answer. I'll try. Unfortunately, I make mistakes or omissions in my listening as well. For example, I would not have paid attention to the micro-dynamics if Ack would not have mentioned this area of reproduction in his report, which to his credit he did. The other thing is that we both share more or less similar tastes and perceptions, which makes communication easy. That would not always be the case with others.
More importantly, one thing is to listen and analyze the sound, another is to know what to do about it. I have some experience, but not nearly enough. To start with, an important distinction is to know what comes from the components themselves that cannot be changed without significant expense, and what comes from setup and room/speaker interaction that can actually be changed and thus improved with the same gear in place. That can be really tricky. Going from there, the question becomes how to change it. Or, if a component should be changed, which one and why, and to what? (This is an area of decision often riddled with uncertainties and mistakes.) And so on.
Regardless, I am in the fortunate position that I have an often exciting day job that I love, as a biochemist. I'll keep that until I retire, if I am able to do so in good health.