NAD C 658 DAC


Anyone have any experience with the new  NAD C 658 DAC / Streamer ? It has a ESS Sabre Chipset but not sure exactly which one.

Contemplating this unit new or a used Mytek Brooklyn or PS Audio PerfectWave. 

Any input greatly appreciated.

Thx
zipiv
Yes I own it, and you can read some stuff in this thread I started

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/does-this-exist-preamp-streamer-dac-with-mqa-roon-and-more

In general I was not originally pleased with the performance of the C658. But after 200+ hours of burn in, it definitely is sounding better than it started. I used to own the PS Audio DirectStream Jr (recently discontinued) and it sounded far better than the NAD. It's not a proper preamp, however, whereas the NAD is, so it's not an apples to apples comparison. It also costs a lot more. I don't have any experience with Mytek to compare them. 

Dirac still hasn't been implemented in the C658 yet, so that may be the killer app that makes it sound a lot better. I wish they would hurry up with the Dirac firmware update. At this point I'm still planning to return mine but I am hoping to give it a fair shake by trying Dirac first. In my particular case, I'd rather up my budget and get more performance. The NAD has a killer feature set, but with Dirac 2 months late already and the sound quality not super impressive, it's been fairly underwhelming. Over on AVSForum there are a few people that have said they are happy with it and a few who were not and already returned it.

As far as which chip it uses, I'm not sure but I believe someone on AVS Forum posted something about that after inquiring with NAD. I don't pay too much attention to that since the chip is only one part (and not even the greatest part, IMO) in dictating the overall sound quality.

jnehma1....Thanks for your input. I could have sworn the I saw the PS Audio DirectStream JR last week on their website so that seems very recent they discontinued that model. I really don’t need a preamp as I have tube preamp I’m very happy with. It was all the functions that intrigued me as well as the BluOS service available. I’m getting into Roon and will have that on a separate Mac Mini but liked that fact that if I wanted to loose the Roon part I could run my Tidal "locally" on the C658. The Phono input is a plus for me too as I’m trying to consolidate and my vinyl setup is not my priority at the moment. The Dirac feature I will take as Christmas coming early...not getting my hopes up. Do you feel it’s the preamp that is the weak link in the unit ?
@zipiv I kind of feel like it's the DAC but it's hard to say for sure. When I had the DSJr I ran it through a Marantz receiver as a preamp and that combo sounded way better than the NAD. Obviously a Marantz receiver isn't going to be the greatest preamp either but it was still no contest.

The DSJr was just discontinued recently. You can still get to it on the PS Audio website but there is no button to buy one. There is also a forum post saying they will be redesigning it and re-releasing a new DSJr in the future, but that will be after the cost-no-object super DAC they are working on so I wouldn't hold your breath.

I use Roon but you can run Tidal to the DSJr using the free MConnect app from a phone/tablet so you don't really need BluOS for that.

If you are happy with your tube preamp and going to hold onto it, I would look at something else other than the C658. I don't know what your budget is but the PS Audio was far superior as a streamer/DAC (far more expensive too). I've seen some people post that the NAD doesn't really sound any better than a Node 2i if using both as just streamer/DACs. You can get one of those for 1/3rd the price and pair it with your nice preamp. Again, the caveat being Dirac could change everything...
Zipiv if you are looking at just a streaming dac the Lumin T2 is an excellent choice,

The T2 is pretty extraordinary sounding and it comes with an excellent streaming app that is far better than Mconnect.

The Lumin T2 is getting rave reviews and is one of the best sounding products at that price point. It is eaasy to use, Roon and MQA capable and is easy to use.

It will all come down to what you are looking for, Personally we have never been impressed with the build quality of the PS gear and having to be forced into listening to DSD is not always the best sounding solution as certain files sound better as PCM and others via DSD with the Lumin T2 you can do either one at your dicreation.

We also sell the NAD C 658 and we are very impressed by its peformance, it is way better than the Blue sound Node we have both, in fact a little setup we did of the NAD C 658 coupled with a very inexpensive Nuprime STA 9 power amp bested a $3,500.00 Hegel H190.

We would agree that a much more expensive streamer/dac would be better it just depends on what features and or inputs you need for many people the C 658 with a good amplifier will be a fantastic foray into getting good sound at a reasonable price with a very impressive feature set of a preamp, dac, streamer, with Room correction.

As per Jhenas findings not sure on that one, we easily heard the difference between cabling with this setup so perhaps he wasn’t using a great set of cords don’t really know, we just found that a Wireworld Gold was really better than a Silver the cable in question cost as much as the C658 but the differnece in sound was bonkers.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ NAD, Lumin, Nuprime dealers


Hey

The Lumin looks like a sweet unit but it's beyond my budget unfortunately. I'm glad to hear you guys like the C658. My current set up is this : Bluesound N100 -- Music Hall 25.3 DAC -- Cary SLP 98 preamp -- PS Audio M700 mono's to Vienna Acoustic Strauss'

Looking to add a Mac Mini running Roon and from what I gather it seems to be the better option to network the Mac to the DAC and rely on Roon's RAAT protocol rather than a USB cable. At this point I think I will leave it to fate and get which ever piece of gear comes up for a good deal first. 

Thx

friendly *bump*

The NAD C 658 is on my radar and I'm just waiting for Dirac to be released (due June 2019) before embarking on some demos.

This post has been prompted by a couple of points touched on in earlier comments and I'd really appreciate more info if anyone can offer it.

Dave & Troy mentioned the Nuprime STA-9 as a possible amp for the NAD but Nuprime apparently doesn't have a UK dealer.  Notwithstanding the observations about the build quality of PS Audio, I wondered if anyone has experience of their Stellar S300 amp with the C 658?  Other power amps on my radar include the Parasound NewClassic 275 v.2 and the 2125 v.2.  The Parasound A23 is just too much.  Nord amps have also been noted but I don't need that much power.

The other point relates to cables and the reference to "Wireworld Gold" - was that the Eclipse 7 or the Eclipse 8 (or something else)?

If anyone can help, great.  If not, thanks for reading.
I bought the NAD C 658 a month ago and having a hoot. Enjoying MQA for the first time. The blu app is rock solid, works perfectly. Good all around.
@rockaddict I don't have experience with those amps but since it's clear you are considering using Class D amps, why not consider the NAD M10? It does everything the C 658 does and has built in Hypex amplification for $1k more (plus other features like a color touchscreen display, etc). Dirac is already available for the M10.
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@jnehma1:  thanks for the NAD M10 suggestion but, sadly, it's beyond my budget (GBP £2,500 to £3,250 to include both power & pre-amp).  A lottery ticket shall be purchased later today :) .

@audiotroy:  many thanks for responding.  Hopefully, I will find a way of sourcing a NuPrime STA-9 in the UK to include in the demos over the coming weeks.  The option of making monoblocks of 2 bridgeable stereo amps has already been noted and absolutely not discarded.

Happy listening all.