Dusting down Rickie Lee Jones’ first album, and playing ‘On Saturday Afternoon in 1963’, the Fog3 was absolutely on the money. Tunefulness and timing, touchstones for musical communication, were both elegantly portrayed in this delightful vignette; ‘Last Chance Texaco’ was full of crystalline guitars but not short of richness either. Patricia Barber’s ‘Mourning Grace’ from Café Blue (Blue Note 7243 5 21810 2 5) was compelling: the tight, fast ostinato accompaniment had just the right degree of relentlessness and if the tonality was just a shade dry compared to the Rega well, to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve not yet heard a better account of Dave Brubeck’s ‘Unsquare Dance’ from Time Further Out, the rhythmic complexities leaving the Fog3 quite spectacularly unfazed. My experience of CD players in this price range suggests that you can either get timing and dynamics, or dimensionality and colour. To get both, you need to significantly increase your budget. The Cairn certainly leans towards the former camp, but as the latter are attributes I value greatly it is significant, I think, that I found myself drawn to this player regardless, and I will definitely miss it when it goes back. Messing with the filters will give more colour, but at too high a cost for me. The Fog3 has helped me discover my inner Flat-Earther. Make no mistake, it does have depth and space in abundance, but what it also has is an unshakeable sense of musical flow, an unbreakable steel thread which pulls you through the music. Mellow? Hardly. Fruitful? Abundantly; but piquant and definitely not too sweet. I’ve developed quite a taste for it.