I'd have to agree with tobylou8 in that it is more you (us) than it is the horn.
The whole concept of "perception" (the intergration of stimuli hitting our receptors and how we interpret) is in large part a personal thing. It can be shaped by predisposition, current state of mind (is the person happy or angry at the time when they experience the act) or what's going on around the person at that given time. Yes, machines can tell us definitively what is and isn't, but it is up to us with our "human" characteristics to determine how we "feel" about a sound, smell, taste, or sight.
Take the Martin Committee for example. Most people on this site know that Miles Davis in the 1950's early 60's(who from my perception had a beautiful dark introspective sound) made the Martin Committee famous. Now, let's leave the 1950-60's and go forward about 50 years. Today, thousands of people have either purchased or are looking for this horn knowing how it can sound and the sound most are looking for is a Miles Davis sound. However, surprise, surprise, Maynard Ferguson played the Martin Committee too! Miles actually gave Maynard one of his Committees but later took it back (but that's another story for another time). The point being, just think if Maynard made the Martin famous instead of Miles. Then all the high note wannabe's would be clammering to get their hands on a vintage Committee to sound like, you guessed it, Maynard Ferguson. I guess many people buy a particular horn to sound like someone they admire. Maybe how we preceive is a blessing and a curse. Interestingly, I've never cursed about having too much imagination but I do occasionally curse because of a lack it.