To me it would be more interesting to study why some prefer filter a) over filter b). I have always preferred minimum linear phase because it has a more immediacy to the initial sound. The drum hits, plucks, etc. It only takes a few milliseconds for our brains to decide, based on the ADSR, of what an instrument is and it's localization. This is why synthesizers, like the Yamaha MOTIF, uses real samples for the first initial hit, then blend in the synthesized sound behind it, even if it has a bit of pre ringing. Granted, minimum phase just pushes all the wackyness to behind it and makes things sound mushy, but it is a trade-off to the initial realism and spacial cues. There is no free lunch. Everytime I go to linear minimum phase it sounds more glaring, sharp, and the soundstage flattens out. It is also more fatiguing. Minimum linear phase and NOS DACs w/o filters sound better to me, but this is just personal preference.