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But it was no bore as a reach into the sunny-mood music drawer showed. Mando Diao's "Song for Aberdeen" is nothing if not a bona-fide party hit. The NAD shredded through it with aplomb particularly on rhythm. Bass was quick like gun shot but even tambourine and hi-hat had positive crack to express PraT, kick and fun factor. Tonally speaking I only noticed that I didn't notice anything - amiss that is. Bass was fully present but not exaggerated, the treble had detail but no hyper presence and the mids were complete. The party vibe arose predominantly from excellent timing, not any built-in tonal balance voicing. This diverged from the C316BEE which had arrived with some extra poundage across its midriff.

One of my favorite discoveries of the last 12 months was next – the German band Yesterday Shop originally from our South. Its sound suggests a mix of Foals and early German Slut without being derivative. They're melancholy, elegiac to energetic, offering an interesting interplay between guitars and synths always served up with clever very original production values. "Paris Syndrome" is especially interesting with a rhythmic dovetailing of variously mixed guitar tracks, left-field synth sounds, a tight driven bass and a slightly whining vocal delivery. Again the NAD's rhythmic talents came first. It simply played it terrifically fast which created a heightened atmosphere. Bass figures were compact accelerants, guitar finger picks accurate and direct. All of it was embedded in a pleasingly broad, deep well-layered soundstage particularly impressive on the keyboard effects.

Tonally this session suggested a somewhat laid-back perspective which clarified with the number "Fat Man & Little Boy". If I had to visualize the often whipped crash cymbal, with the C390DD I'd see fluffy gold dust, not aluminum shavings. In short, tonal mildness met ultra-quick attacks. You might give me grief with the next two selections but this audition had shifted me into an 80s mood and as such to two embarrassing favorites. Spandau Ballet's "Through the barricades" remains a sizzler no matter your persuasion. It's a perfectly conceived and executed Pop song which given its date sounds quite fat if one disregards the vocal sibilants and overly metallic guitar of the opener.

And disregarding is exactly what the NAD C390DD did. A very thin silk cover descended on the scene without obscuring any vital detail. Really? Truly! Take embarrassing fave N°.2 – Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't it be good". During the second verse the voice gets augmented in the left channel with a slightly hoarse synth melody. The NAD didn't emphasize its relative weight yet clearly elucidated its hoarse texture. Connecting both songs was the solid bass work, Spandau Ballet's of the acoustic sort, Nik Kershaw's going synthie. Once again the NAD built up overall momentum from the bottom up with exceptionally crisp crackling bass and perfect timing.