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Aural impressions
With its seriously dramatic strings, subterranean brass and percussion and intense chorus but also relaxing and introspective interludes, I really enjoy Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's 2009 In Principo for its atmospheric extremes. What's more, this album stresses the entire audible bandwidth, another reason why it's no beginner's fare for listener and system alike. Right off, Trigon's Recall II convinced with acoustic accuracy and maintained both macro opulence and potency as well as micro transparency and nuance. Subtle traits of individual instruments weren't drowned out by orchestral might but immaculately rendered to sidestep any danger of gelatinizing the music and in turn rob it of its inner complexity.

Ditto for soundstaging, something I often regard as a weakness with digital players. Trigon's Recall II stayed perfectly clear of a diffusive, nervous, torn or compacted manner which particularly with this music would truly disturb. Defined by wind instruments, strings, kettle drums and chorus, the stage was impressively large, deep and perfectly separated from the loudspeakers in the macro domain while on the micro scale, there was clear order and structure. Individual performers remained exceptionally stable and sharply localized yet integrated with the whole to not separate out unnaturally as though with a scalpel.

Something less audiophile but still a true benchmark for hifi chops is Cans' groundbreaking 1971 release Tago Mago (Remastered, 2004). Besides real space ambience, the 20-minute long "Halleluhwah" (that's how it does spell) demands rhythmical qualities. Unduly analytical machines, to default into soccer lingo, quickly inject excessive force into the game – and the recording quality does suffer a bit of, er, rough charms.

No fear of excessive force - but neither did the Trigon act as prettifier. The bluntness, presence and directness whereby the mastering engineer has the percussion dominate came across without editorializing but, nicely, as quite a turn-on. Things proceeded with verve, dryness and drive, transparent from head to toe if you will. I somehow sensed that with this player, I heard the music a tad more naked or decloaked than usual. Regardless, this clearly is no airbrushing romantico. Without becoming amusical analysis or headless bravado, the Recall II is more devoted to a precise, attack-driven, non-sluggish presentation.

Perfectly in line then was the intro bass run of "Nickel Eyes Song Intro" [The Time Of The Assassins, 2009] coming across wirier than with certain other sources. And while it's a matter of nuances, down low out tester focused on intelligibility, textures and pitch definition over saturated body. The same track also proved how this trait continues seamlessly into the higher registers. The later Western guitar was comparatively tight, grippy and clear but also less silky to suggest that even in the midrange, this machine practices no rounding over. It's all informative and pronounced. When in doubt, I would call the Trigon treble more crisp than soft shimmer. It's not about gilding cymbals or hi hats with soft gleam. What's special about this factuality and refusal to deeply color also in the upper ranges is that the Trigon allows no dirt. This cleanliness of operation avoids artificial sharpness and edges.

Conclusion - recalling the Recall II
Trigon's Recall II is no charmer and prefers unembellished information, first-class timing and immaculate soundstaging. This machine is thus tailor-made to disabuse a resident system of 'smooth Jazz' tendencies towards comfort sound. If on the other hand you want accentuated precision and drive, Trigon's Recall II -- also because its cleanliness makes for long-term suitability -- is clearly a machine that should be listened to.

Trigon's Recall II is characterized by...
A very transparent, open and unembellished mien
Flawless timing or rhythmic fidelity
A soundstage that's at once accurate and realistic
A perfectly well defined bass that's more about intelligibility than mass
A midband and treble dialed for grippiness and speed rather than softness
Laudable fit & finish in this price class

Weight: 8.1kg
Dimensions: 440x88x350mm (W x H x D)
Trim: black or silver anodized
Power consumption at idle: ca. 8 watts
Socketry: XLR/RCA analog, BNC digital
Other: Quality power cord, defeatable display, shorting plugs for digital output, optional metal remote
Warranty: 3 years
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