NAD C658 competition/alternatives - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-27-2020, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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NAD C658 competition/alternatives

I did a search and didn't find any applicable threads, sorry if this is a common topic. I've been fighting my NADS C658 for 6+ months as it is plagued by numerous bugs and tends to be a bit analytical while I prefer a more rich/luscious sound.

Assuming a budget of ~$2k USD or less, what are some good options for a pre-amp/streamer/DAC combo aside from the C658?

Options I've found so far:
- TEAC NT-505 - sounds like a unit focused on build and sound quality rather than extras like DIRAC or multiple analog/digital inputs
- Cambridge Azure 851N - this seems like a perfectly capable unit, but for some reason just doesn't jump out at me

Listening room is:
- 2-channel audio only
- Music only either streamed from Tidal or network share
- Towers - Monitor Audio Gold 300 5G
- Amp - Emotiva XPA3 DR2 (via XLR)
- Sub - Golden Ear Super Sub-X (via RCA with crossover set on the sub)

Hard requirements:
- Pre-amp / DAC / streamer combo
- Both balanced and unbalanced outputs
- Android app enabled for playback and volume control

All thoughts and feedback are welcome.

Last edited by jb357; 01-27-2020 at 09:06 PM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-27-2020, 09:01 PM
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NAD C658 competition/alternatives

If Dirac Live room correction is important, then consider the MiniDSP SHD. It is Roon compatible. I have no experience with the built in streamer (Volumio and it’s app), but you could get Bluesound Node 2i and still be well under 2K

Last edited by thebrieze01; 01-27-2020 at 09:07 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-27-2020, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebrieze01 View Post
If Dirac Live room correction is important, then consider the MiniDSP SHD. It is Roon compatible. The inbuilt streamer is Volumio, which I have no experience with, or you could get Bluesound Node 2i
sorry, missed in my original post that it needs to be a pre-amp also - so the Node 2i is out of the running.

I forgot about the miniDSP SHD - will have to take a closer look at that one.
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-28-2020, 06:01 AM
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NT-505 by TEAC is well reviewed and 1st on my list
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-01-2020, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebrieze01 View Post
If Dirac Live room correction is important, then consider the MiniDSP SHD. It is Roon compatible. I have no experience with the built in streamer (Volumio and it’s app), but you could get Bluesound Node 2i and still be well under 2K
The MiniDSP SHD Studio is compelling but doesn’t appear to have a built-in DAC, so you’d need to add one between the SHD and your amp.
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-01-2020, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by AGLeS View Post
The MiniDSP SHD Studio is compelling but doesn’t appear to have a built-in DAC, so you’d need to add one between the SHD and your amp.


The SHD does have a Dac, and a pretty good one judging by the ASR review. The SHD Studio is digital only version, which doesn’t have a Dac.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-21-2020, 02:41 PM
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I'm also looking for an alternative, but I doubt such a device exists. This is what I need

1. Preamp
2. Good Streamer/DAC with MQA/DSD support
3. HT Bypass or similar (fixed vol + analog bypass)
4. 2.2 room correction (2 independent subwoofer outputs)

The minidsp SHD is close, but it's lacking option #3


Right now I'll hang on to the terrible C658, hoping that the next FW update will resolve most of the subwoofer related bugs. I'm also curious about the upcoming NAD M33 amp. According to NAD support, it doesn't look very promising. No subwoofer level adjustment like with the C658, the buggy fixed volume is going to be removed, at least on the early firmware release, and no details regarding Dirac bass management support at this time...
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