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>>Since audio signals are essentially balanced AC in content, changing the
>>direction of the wire does not affect the sound.  Changing the quality of
>>the wire (let's not get into that!) or connections (especially!) can change
>>the sound.  A tiny little bit.

Two clarifications here:

(1) most audio signals are NOT balanced - they are unbalanced.  Certainly any 
is unbalanced.  A 2-wires plus shield is still two signal wires, not 3.  
Furthermore, the
2nd "signal" is the ground or return (or "earth").

(2) Training all the shields on the head unit does not create a traditional 
star ground.
It only grounds the faraday shields in a common location.  I can't get into the 
theories of
a star ground, but suffice it to say you must look at a constant impedance from 
component to a reference (star) point to make that system work.