Does mfg's name/model affect your opinion of sound

Many years ago a local audio store (RIP) demoed several tube amps & pre-amps. Some were McIntosh, some were Audio Research, etc. all high end and expensive.

I couldn't help but think that the McIntosh to be "better" sounding than the others since it had the highest price tag and the sexiest front panel design (compare them with their original front panel: ugly!).

I naively assumed the reason they are so expensive is because they must sound better.

Having over 40 years of tube experience, I now judge them purely on the merits of sound as I perceive it.

Does the brand name and price of equipment influences your hearing judgement and buying decision?

Eg: more expensive, therefore must be better.

How many of us have the luxury of listening to a blind test and just hear the music without knowing who made the equipment?
Personally, there are certain "gold standard" brands for good sound (or at least the companies behind the brand) that carry special weight with me based on personal experience over the years and the general knowledge base out there that I have read. I expect nothing bad sounding from these. It's more about which to like best and sometimes cost/value.

1) ARC
2) Bel Canto
3) OHM
4) Dynaudio
5) Linn

Maybe my views towards certain brands is just my inner chimp chasing after its favorite bananas, but I like to think there is more to it than just that.
Post removed