Well, by the time it comes to the third set, you're drunk and your ears are blown, so it's not going to sound the same.
I'm currently jamming with a really loud and not particularly good rock band. I end up cranking my amp and wearing earplugs: the Doc's Proplugs with the tiny hole that lets a little sound through. At the last rehearsal, I think we were all wearing plugs! If we ever get a gig, we should hand them out to the audience too. For me at least, the Doc's plugs stop any ringing and temporary hearing loss, but they change the frequency response of your ears, so your setup sounds different yet again.
I once went to a metal gig where the sound guy was wearing those big ear defenders, as used by chainsaw operators and the like, and I was a little worried. Was he going to mix so that it sounded good inside industrial-grade ear muffs? Luckily I remembered to bring earplugs too.
Daz said he thought I was being negative to him in the past, and I probably was, but I'm not sure exactly why. I spent some time thinking about it, and I don't think it's anything personal. I'm just tired of the whole "ultimate tone" trip, and it seems to me that's all it is, a head trip. I wonder how many of the mods and tweaks we discuss endlessly here would actually be detectable in a properly conducted ABX trial. I also wonder if any of the amps we build would fail to sound awesome with a Wes Montgomery or Joe Satriani plugged into them.