i think any time you change little or big things one has to be skeptical.......that change might only be (1) different.....not better necessarily.......or (2) a placebo.....in your mind. how do you know you have actually moved forward? or even actually moved somewhere from where you were?Can't help wondering:
Change gear = change underwear
Detailed fine-tuning of set-up = shifting positions of the anatomy?
sometimes that change is not something you can easily remove and try the alternative without. for instance if you only have one amplifier. or one set of speakers. one turntable or one digital player. it's why i sometimes go to great lengths and effort to bring in alternatives for head to head. or own multiple tt's, arms, cartridges, phono's, tape decks, etc, etc. it's a lot of effort to 'know' stuff.....for your own self. then there is 'proving' to others' which is a not a real world thing to do. you can try to prove things FOR others to give others info a degree, but never to prove it TO others. the others you NEED to prove it to, are mostly not interested in your proving.
other times you can throw a switch, unplug something, or try the alternative, and easily check your earlier perceptions. or even have familiar visitors give you feedback. so you have choices. specifically these Nordost QRT products are absolutely in this category. and i plan on this approach for these.
and not all systems are equally transparent or sensitive to a particular piece of gear, nor all listeners equal, nor all references equally as solid. or track record of identifying real progress equally credible.
and......with changes you need to sometimes step back and check your degree of enjoyment and satisfaction......was......it.....worth.....it? or did you just stir it around a little and bleed money? we can only do our own thing on that subject. is it more fun to listen? am i more excited and involved? did i get my ROI? that's personal.
i try to be 'self-aware' of the context of things i do. with my level of commitment it's big for me.
so i respect a degree of denial and skepticism. part of the hobby. normal stuff. many think it and some post about it. and as i'm always pushing new things it comes with the territory. and why i mostly point out no absolutes, YMMV, and "to my ears in my system".