Aside from the BBC dip in old British speakers I would not attempt to draw any conclusion these days about American vs. European listeners. I am a European living in Canada for example
I guess my main point was the NAD was far from analytical and much to my surprise actually sounded warmer than the McIntosh. When you think about it that makes sense at their respective price points, hence my comment (perhaps too subtle) about the NAD being "compatible sounding". I would recommend it to you but the transport was making weird groaning noises and the cheap tray doesn't eject far enough past the thick faceplate (afterthought?) to easily remove the disc. It has all the features and the sound quality but usage is horrible. The McIntosh is the exact opposite with very slick tray. I guess one thing is still true that British designed gear is very particular or finnicky!
I like the Sony but you may find it too forward, especially with regular CDs. If you have full-range speakers the bass will be world class, but you really need to have the rest of your system issues including room reflections tamed. The good thing about it (for me) is it concentrates on audio, there is no video, BD software, fans, etc.
My experience with modding is it often makes the sound more forward, upsetting the original design goals / voicing, since big-package modders tend to go for the "fastest" parts with most agressive specs. If the result is too analytical or strident you are screwed. It is also harder to get your money back on the used market. It is better to do it yourself or choose a-la-carte style, say nice capacitors and a few minor things, and see how it sounds. Unfortunately some companies like Modwright don't offer this, and only start with a full outboard power supply / digital / analog / tube output stage kit for $2k. Last time I checked the $500 solid-state kit was removed from their web site and they won't answer my simple emails. I guess they are too busy for small fish
I also get skeptical when they start claiming you need a $300 umbilical to take full advantage of their DC power supply