I shall respectively disagree in part.
A thought experiment: In one corner armed with my ultimate gear list above, is someone at the top of their game, for me, I’m thinking of folks such as David Schomer and Scott Rao, but imagine whomever you chose. In the opposite corner, armed with the most expensive gear I’m aware of, say a Titus / Manument combo, (or chose whatever you prefer) is me ;-) Same beans. I am not unduly modest however I’d readily bet $5 on the other fellow producing a better cup.
I know what you are thinking so a second thought experiment. Same layout as above but DS or SR or whomever make both cups. You, I think may believe unequivocally that one will be noticeably better than the other. I believe they will be different, not day-night different, and that both will be very good indeed.
I’ve never heard of anyone doing a really well-controlled double-blind taste and measurement grinder test. However, i did note that David Schomer, with ready access to John Bicht / Versalab,, Synesso, etc uses and recommends Niche. John B at Decent was quite vocal in praising Niche and saying there was no point to spending more, and other coffee pros, James Hoffmann, for example, own them.
Please note – i am not say Niche is the best, but rather that it establishes a point of rapidly diminishing returns.
This is all several years ago and the SOTA grinders I mentioned in my original post are very likely to be better in some measure. I sincerely doubt that they are day and night different. I even doubt that experienced tasters would consistently prefer one over the other in a double-blind setting.
However, we each have our opinions but no facts. If proper experimental design methods are ever applied to a meaningful grinder test, then we’ll know.
Meanwhile, as a practical matter, i will not purchase any hugely expensive gear, when i could just be buying better beans, and working to improve my skills.