Full boat in a small boat. The same tuning held in the last system; naturally. Unlike humans, hardware isn't moody. Here the Swiss was shaded by Pasithea's extreme resolution; if that's what one pays attention to. Likewise for Pasithea's more specific limning of image outlines, the extra energy on top. All of that Madison did slightly softer, mellower, darker and warmer. The big question was, would it impede anyone's listening pleasure? For most I'd say not. In systems less carefully curated because ops for endless comparisons are more limited than longtime reviewers enjoy, I in fact suspect that Madison's tuning would cover more ground precisely for stepping down the intense magnification power of Cees Ruijtenberg's best. If settling with Madison was my future, I'd skip very few beats before accepting my new status quo. It's that kind of crafty alternative.

The bigger questions would-be buyers must answer is whether Wattson's deliberate pruning of USB, AES/EBU and replacing a linear power supply with a poor Bob's switching wall wart hits the right notes for three-plus G. The obvious answer is Madison's focus on networked app-based digital. If that's what you do, you really don't need any extra digital inputs even though you actually get two. If that's what you do, an IR/RF remote wand is an endangered-species anachronism you'd not want to pay extra for.

Team Wattson's strategic design brief defines their target audience very clearly. It's not the aged high-end contingent even though our lot will find much to admire. It's the €1K+ smartphone crowd who streams 'round the clock for their daily human contact, news and entertainment. They enjoy investing in shiny designs if it's the latest in high tech and très chic. Or did I just invert the real sequence? Either way, it's why Madison's build quality aims high, size goes half-mast and RJ45 is the entry portal with the most effort behind it. Leedh volume control adds a hi-zoot solution that will never develop scratching or imbalance at low levels.

Much like Enleum's AMP-23R which celebrates a form of Zen reductionism to attain high-class simplicity, Wattson Audio's Madison is intelligent bonsai audio kit just waiting to meet like-minded ancillaries and listeners. Being Swiss it's not cheap. It's when we consider the latest-gen Anagram DNA baked into it and what full-size kit with it currently demands that more relevant context firms up. Now Madison becomes a greater value proposition than perpetual cynics will want to acknowledge. Though their Engineer did rest on the seventh day for a swim in Lake Neuchâtel followed by a spa massage then scrumptious brunch before returning to his Alpine chalet in a shiny Audi TT, soon the eighth day will kick off a new cycle of creativity and inspiration. Time in heaven simply moves far slower than down here where Swiss time additionally runs far more glacial than turning models over each year. Good thing then that Madison is here now, destined to be around and quite the charmer to boot!