Chris, I've answered this before but for you and those of you who did not see it, here goes.
As with any testing or in this case tasting, there are standards set. If a recording is made with the same microphones at the same distance for each instrument with the same artist using the same pick playing the same song and the goal is to measure the tone and other attributes of the instrument, the last componenet of the test is the similiarity of the strings. This factors the resistence to the player in being able to try and create the same pick thrust/resistance for comparison.
I certainly understand that if a person does not like D'Addario strings or those gauges then he or she can choose not to particpate in the tasting. Those are my standards and it does come with some complications. If the player was not used to Thomastic strings and tried to play an instrument strung with them and fought the string, is that a fair test of the instrument? I would next year be interested in having a tasting where everyone who owned the instrument played the same short test piece on their own instrument with their own strings. Then I think the results would be most interesting. Kenc
Cartwright's Music & Repair Shop
"I repair what others sell"