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Upsamplers, DACs, jitter, shakes and analogue withdrawals, this is it.

Laid back [ depress your friends with softness and veil ? ]

I think you're right in that in-your-face and laid-back describe two extremes but I see laid-back in more reviews than in-your-face probably because the former phrase doesn't seem so bad.

To me laid-back is code phrase for being polite, dynamically challenged, and possibly veiled. Similarly when a reviewer describes digital gear as being analog-like that raises enough suspicion for me to hang on to my wallet.

In my experience these were either laid back or analog-like: CJ gear, Pass Aleph 3, Wavelength DAC, Luxman DA-06 DAC. I didn't care for any of these. The ML 383 integrated amp was so laid-back that it did injustice to even sleepy time background elevator music. But it was a pretty piece of audio jewelry ;-)

Edits: 12/17/23 12/17/23 12/17/23

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