Again, the interface is Lindemann's iOs or Android app in smartphone portrait or tablet landscape mode. If you think about it, not having net-independent access isn't an issue. Streaming decks only work when they surf the local area network. Should the router croak or the network stumble, forget streaming. Now a standard remote won't make any difference. The app includes a multi-room function which can independently control multiple Network units with different music streams or distribute the same music in parallel. Nor are you limited to NAS, hard drives or sticks for music data. Tidal, Qobuz, HighResAudio, Spotify and Deezer are all accessible right from within the app. Under 'airable' there are numerous podcasts and global Internet radio stations. Finally there's Roon-ready to talk to Roon core and software.

WPS worked without a hitch. It didn't take me three minutes past frisking the professionally designed packaging—its quality, seriously, is a wakeup call to the industry—before I had first sounds. The app worked quite intuitively even if with my Synology DS-Audio server, I did encounter a snafu. I couldn't rope complete albums into a play list. Lindemann then sent me a Twonky Server prompted NAS stuffed with good tunes which allowed me to enjoy album-oriented programming as intended. Let's start at the beginning now with my quite new system of €4'400 LinnenberG Telemann DAC/pre and matching Liszt stereo amp plus Swedish QLN Prestige Three two-way loudspeakers. This rig is dialed for resolution, impulse response and exceptionally deep soundstaging where the Limetree Network managed to moderate certain traits significantly.

What changed was the fundamental approach to the musical action. In one corner I had the sober, calm, musically fluid somewhat 'bespoke' reading of a clearly dearer combo of AURAliC Aries Femto + LinnenberG Telemann (~€6'100 combined). In the other corner was the potent, direct, energetic, quick and macro-dynamically explosive Limetree Network challenger. In a minimalist hookup into Elac's active compacts of Navis ARB51 (ca. €2'100/pr), this netted a quite incendiary mix likely due to like-meets-like gains.

Such personality clashes aren't yet about better or worse per se. That comes later with individual disciplines. Fundamentally, the buyer first decides between an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio or a Mercedes S class. Should you be truly interested in one of these cars, you won't pursue the other. And price will only be a secondary consideration. A buyer parses top performance in aspects he/she finds personally most important. Will it be the adrenaline-drenched dynamics of the Italian corner-cleaving master or mature German engineering perfection of the automotive Zen experience?