While I foresaw the results, I still added Madonna's "Die Another Day" from her American Life album only to have it confirmed that instantly damped impulses aren't the AAdac's favorite diet. Reach and pressure were fully compatible but the jackhammer stoppage whereby synth bass can cut off instantly wasn't as well tracked. The gentler endings of acoustic instruments are more its thing. A LinnenberG Teleman for example will apply more rigorous control over a low hit's ending. I promised more on the earlier alto sax. That finally gets us into the midband. Here the Audio Analogue indulges a color palette as only few can. Why saxophones are called woodwinds when being made from metal is due to the vibrating wood reed at the end. That's audible and this DAC insisted on clarifying it. That was incisive, authoritative and unbelievable fun. For that I had to give it a 10 out of 10.

The AAdac reached equally deep down into throats. Powerful soul vocals like Cassandra Wilson's from her Coming forth by the day album truly went under my skin. That lady has soul in her voice and the Italian converter knew it. With "Strange Fruit" this climate changes. A fixed if sobering part of Mrs. Wilson's repertoire, it's about lynchings of colored people in America's deep south. Here the black songstress gets spry and cracked. This so doesn't want to be liked. Yet the DAC still did whilst also trying to be honest. High resolution laid bare nuances meant to disturb but still came across more harmonious than shocking. Perhaps this perception grounded in personal expectations? With this song I associate a particular mood which the slimmer more filigreed Audiomat Tempo C would come closer to.

I now switched to piano where I recently rediscovered J.S.Bach's Goldberg Variations with of course Glenn Gould. Here the AAdac was an ideal candidate for his later recording which Gould cut shortly before his death. He articulates less sharply than he did on the earlier reading that made him famous. Though the Italian converter's resolution and microdynamics were excellent to dig properly into this player's subtleties, it directed my attention primarily at the melodic lines. I found it difficult to step outside the musical flow and inspect his articulation. Was that worrisome? Not. This machine isn't a technical juror but musician. And that comes off loud and clear.

The treble follows suit. Present, nicely teased out and free, it doesn't trigger spare attention but remain pleasingly silken and pretty. How the designers managed to capture the cymbal hits on Eva Cassidy's Live at Blues Alley simultaneously brilliant/intense and cuddly soft is a riddle. I don't understand it any more than why, when a friend cooks pasta with tomato sauce, it becomes a gastronomic discovery while using the very same ingredients from the very same grocery counter, my version is boring. I can't explain it but certainly notice it with absolute certainty.