An exemplary demo thereof repeated with Marc Lanegan & Duke Garwood’s Black Pudding disc, a kind of gloomy Indy Blues albeit blessed by high production standards. "Pentacostal" sports an acoustic guitar, Lanegan’s nearly shot vocals and one subdued rattle. In short, sparse action but still an intense number. Relative to pure data mining, it was irrelevant whether I leashed up the Tube DacII Mk2 or the previously reviewed BMC UltraDAC. The latter retrieved more in the treble, today’s tester more in the mids. The Accustic Arts managed the more complete in-room projection of the guitar. In fact, I thought that I could better hear how the instrument sounded different at different junctures. Usually that quality gets obscured by spatial homogenity; by less three-dimensional cues; by more total point-source sound. I thus tend to listen more to music’s progression over time than its spatial layout.

Perhaps some of you wonder by now just what I’m smoking. But I can't find better descriptors. To me it was very strong tobacco indeed how this machine managed to draw voices in believably embodied concreteness. Dynamically the Accustic Arts left nothing to be desired. Some converters emphasize the leading edge more to tease out Garwood’s guitar picking in sharper relief – Moon’s Neo 380D comes to mind. Others play it softer than the German, say NAD’s M12. This reiterated how the Schwabians prioritize the gestalt of wholeness over extremes in any one possible direction. You could call the result tonally balanced but veering toward the sunny; or dynamically charged without sacrificing flow. Nobody who shops these leagues is purely concerned by cost/performance ratios. It takes advanced HighEnd passion, a few rolls of real cashish and, let’s be honest, a desire for luxury. And the Accustic Arts delivers in full measure. Such a massive and beautifully finished converter I’ve not hosted before. Its gleaming bank vault casing cashes in heavily on the Made in Germany cliché - and in the best meaning.