Switching back to my rig didn't spoil the album but knowing that it could be better still bothered me. Yes the differences were subtle—refinement usually is—but convincing enough to consider Silent Angel's best switch. Obviously that mostly makes sense for owners of already well-curated systems to make them a bit more refined still. Don't count on Bonn NX to turn things upside down. That's not its job! Replacing a lower-quality device is. And that's what most audiophiles chase constantly: means to push the limits of their systems upward. That's the Silent Angel Bonn NX. And I haven't yet mentioned the Forester 2 linear power supply. When that inserted, I learnt that one needn't even unplug the standard AC cord. As soon as the DC umbilical from the Forester 2 meets the NX, a tiny green LED on the back panel shows that its built-in power supply is bypassed. I still disconnected the AC cable though to avoid potential power-line noise. The first impression of the F2 was a bit curious as the presentation seemed to have calmed down. It took me a while to realize that it really meant more relaxed or unforced. It also created an impression of a slight overall tonal balance shift, down not up. What really changed were richness and clarity from an even lower noise floor. The still darker background increased subjective timbre saturation and overall intensity. The wonderful sax on the earlier Miles album sounded deeper. So did the guitar. The presentation had even better flow or coherence, superior separation and differentiation of tone modulations and microdynamics. Cymbals on the other hand stayed crisp and vibrant but had a little more weight.

Another aspect that I thought improved with the Bonn NX then even more with the F2 were the spatial relations between images and recorded reverb. These qualities seemed enhanced with superior resolution which improved my perception of music being still more natural particularly on live recordings. It seemed that my system conveyed the ambiance of recorded events more convincingly. To confirm this I played a few albums that are particularly spacious such as Michel Godard's Trace of Grace, Arne Domnerus' Antiphone Blues or Haydn's The Last 7 Words of Christ on the Cross.

All of them were recorded in huge spaces which many good systems can depict quite persuasively. The question is always one of degrees. Just how grand is the soundstage, how precise the placement of each image, how obvious are recorded reflections? Could the Bonn NX + F2 enhance these aspects? Affirmative. I felt even smaller now facing musical spectacles in huge venues which far exceeded the confines of my own room. It wasn't really about space expanding but sorting and layering getting more specific to make it easier to intuit the shape of the hall in which the music was recorded. This wasn't spectacular but highly enjoyable and satisfying.

Summary. Let's be honest. Today's kit isn't about best bang for the buck. You can spend a lot less on an N8 Pro and in many systems will get similar results. Most likely only systems of already excellent resolution will fully benefit from the incremental improvements the Bonn NX can add even over the more affordable solutions from Silent Angel. If you're still finalizing amplifiers, DACs and speakers, do that first. Only after you're satisfied but still feel the need for some finishing touches on your streaming pipeline, try the Bonn NX preferably with the Forester 2. Just take into consideration that you may not fully realize their contributions when first inserting them. Wait with your conclusions until you've subtracted them again. Now this little nagging inner voice will keep reminding you that however good the sound of your setup is already, it still could get more natural, immersive and satisfying with Silent Angel's top switch. Once you have that, you can try pairing it with the Genesis GX clock for even finer results. But that's a story for another day.