To improve imaging systems and image processing techniques, objective image quality assessment is essential. Model observers adopting a task-based quality assessment strategy by estimating signal detectability measures, have shown to be quite successful to this end. At the same time, costly and time-consuming human observer experiments can be avoided. However, optimizing images in terms of signal detectability alone, still allows a lot of freedom in terms of the imaging parameters. More specifically, fixing the signal detectability defines a manifold in the imaging parameter space on which different “possible” solutions reside. In this article, we present measures that can be used to distinguish these possible solutions from each other, in terms of image quality factors such as signal blur, noise and signal contrast. Our approach is based on an extended channelized joint observer (CJO) that simultaneously estimates the signal amplitude, scale and detectability. As an application, we use this technique to design k-space trajectories for MRI acquisition. Our technique allows to compare the different spiral trajectories in terms of blur, noise and contrast, even when the signal detectability is estimated to be equal.