I also own this exact Steve Dobbins Garrard 301 so can offer some insight. You basically heard why this idler drive is considered at the top of the idler food chain. That PRaT and textural detail is the hallmark of this design. Now, the somewhat forward presentation you heard from the analog playback can VERY LIKELY be in due to the clear, neutral and somewhat forward sound of the Ortofon A90 cartridge. I've owned this cartridge before and it is notorious for having a short life, especially due to the unique stylus profile. The cartridge was the very first one made using the Selective Laser Melting (SLM) process. The whole cartridge is really advanced in design (now there is the A95 and MC Anna based on the same principles). That cartridge coupled with the very neutral Reed 2A tonearm would be the combination to catapult the turntable presentation the way you heard it. Too many good things working together in a somewhat non-synergistic way in context of the rest of the system. All about balance in the end and synergy... I love the Steve Dobbins Garrard 301. A very very fine turntable.