This is a worthy question and I don't think anyone should be offended. I commented on this subject on another Gustard thread where I was doing some mods/tweaks myself ---
I'm definitely a tweak-a-holic. Everything I own gets fiddled with - cars, bikes, phones, the works. I find it to be particularly gratifying with audio gear. I think we're all frustrated musicians and we want to be part of the musical process in some way. By altering the sound, whether it be by cables, tube rolling, or any other hands on tweaks, we connect with the music on a much deeper level. We might not be the musician or conductor, but in a real, tangible way, we are like the studio engineer sitting at the mixing board getting the sound "just right." My late friend Harvey "Gizmo" Rosenburg used to speak of this as a deep, primitive connection that is hardwired into all of us. Harvey called it "tuning your bow." His take was focused on the gear itself, rather than the music, speaking of being connected to it with the hands on tweaking and transforming the gear into a totem. Either way you look at it, the experience is elevated when you mix the sound, or tune your bow.
Very well put, and I can absolutely understand what you mean by trying to engage and shape what it is you hear, Cheers.