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How to get started building your Stereo or Home Theater system

Vol. 10, No. 1 Spring/Summer, 2007



NEW PRODUCTS

NAD

NAD has been very busy improving state-of-the-art performance in affordable components with two new DVD players, two new multi-channel, home theater power amplifiers, and three new stereo components.

NAD T585 universal DVD playerThe T585 is now the flagship DVD player of the standard NAD lineup. It offers most of the performance of their widely-acclaimed Master Series DVD player in a package that cosmetically matches the other components of the standard line. This unit, at $1199, is a universal player that will greatly simplify your life by playing all music formats in addition to playing standard DVDs. It plays DVD-Audio, SACD, Redbook CD, MP3, WMA, and other compressed audio formats. However, unlike many "universal" players, the T585 does not convert the SACD's SD format into PCM format, a conversion which defeats the sonic advantages of SACD. The T585's HDMI output will send digital video to your TV in its purest form, and the built-in Faroujda chip can upsample your standard DVDs to either 720p or 1080i. As always, NAD uses the best possible parts and circuit designs (including 24-bit/192 kHz audio DACs and a 12-bit video DAC from Analog Devices) to bring you unequalled performance at the price.

If you need a less costly solution for high quality DVD playback and don't need SACD capability, you might find the T515 quite compelling at $399. This very slimline model offers most of the performance of the T585, including 24-bit/96 kHz audio DACs, high quality video DACs, and video upsampling to 720p or 1080i. It will also play back multiple audio formats, just like its big brother. Video performance of this quality is absolutely mandatory for anyone using a large screen TV where every minute imperfection is obvious.

NAD T975 7-channel power amplifierThe two new multi-channel power amplifiers are the 7-channel, 140 watts/channel T975 at $2499 and the 5-channel, 100 watts/channel T955 at $1499. Consumers are often confused about power ratings, with many 'mass market' brands claiming power output levels that seem too good to be true. These inflated claims quickly fall short at the first listen. NAD's Full Disclosure Power ratings are the most conservative in the industry and allow the NAD amplifiers to keep on trucking when many, more powerfully-rated, units cry uncle. The T975, for example, will put out the full 140 watts for each channel at or below rated distortion with every channel driven simultaneously, and it will do this into very difficult loudspeaker loads. If you don't need more than 5 channels and want to save money, the T955 offers all the same performance factors and benefits of the T975. Both units are true modular, mono-block construction. This effectively eliminates unwanted channel cross-talk and other distortions harmful to sound reproduction. As always with NAD, circuit design and parts quality are the best that can be had at the price. Sound definitely comes first.

NAD C525BEE CD playerThe C521BEE was one of the best selling CD Players in NAD's history with several 5 star reviews and awards highlighting its unbeatable performance for $299. The engineers at NAD, however, are always looking to add that last little bit of performance. Thus, welcome the C525BEE with better sound and no increase in price. Improvements come in two areas. First, NAD's engineers have fine tuned the circuit that reads and tracks the CD to improve performance with the latest copy-protected and hybrid CDs. Second, they improved the audio performance with an Op Amp that lowers distortion and improves musicality and detail. We're confident that the C521BEE was the best CD player available at the price, and the best just got better.

Similar to the C521BEE/C525BEE situation, the C541i has been improved with the release of the C542. Making performance improvements for the C542 proved to be a major challenge since the 541i was already so good. Ultimately, several minor changes and upgrades were made in the overall circuitry and digital to analog processing. The combined effects of these refinements resulted in a dramatic difference in the final sound. Now a depth and clarity is evident during every passage of music. With superb timbre and timing, as well as improved low frequency extension, the entire experience is more emotional and lucid. Once again, all this comes to you at no increase in the $499 price.

NAD C325BEE integrated amplifierNAD's latest integrated amplifier, the $399 C325BEE, is a significant upgrade over its predecessor, the C320BEE. The C325BEE is a time proven design tracing its lineage back some 30 years to the highly-acclaimed 3020 that, in part, poured the foundation on which the NAD name was built. Major improvements in distortion, channel interaction, and sound quality have been achieved by layout changes and improvements to the circuit design. For example, the large toroidal transformer was moved to the back of the power board, very close to the output stages. This reduced resistance and magnetic fields, the latter being one of the most important contributors to high frequency distortion at lower impedance loads. Other changes include an improved feedback network, addition of distortion-reducing error "feed forward" to the output stage, improved power supply stability with DC servos, and several improvements to build quality. Finally, and perhaps most important from a convenience aspect, is the addition of a front panel jack to allow easy connection of portable music devices such as MP3 players. The C325BEE is a big step forward in performance at no price increase over its predecessor.


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