Review: NAD T585 CD Player

Category: Digital

My biggest problem is I remember being happy with a system I owned 15 years ago. I had a CJ PV10, Ampzilla's, ProAc Response 1s and a Velodyne sub. This system just amazed me how well it disappeared. I could turn off the lights and be sucked into the music so easily. I traded my speakers for a homemade kit consisting of Dynaudio drivers. I paid for this for 15 years. The magic was lost.

I've gone through Merlin VSM-M speakers, Melos amps and preamps, Curcio preamps, Karan integrated amp, and many cd players, transport/dac combos. I've gone the route of the famous TDA1541A dac chip and have a kit I am assembling with a $200.00 TDA1541A/S2 dac chip (very rare). I recently purchased the Onix player based on some good reviews. I felt I would eventually use it as a transport for my dac project. I have another DAC that uses Toslink and decided to purchase another cd plyer/ transport. In comes the T585.

The NAD T585 I purchased used for it's ability to output a toslink and RCA SPDIF signal. It was not important that it played DVD-A or SACD, but nice that I had options. It is very hard to find any review of this player anywhere. So I purchased it because of the price and options I would have.

When I received the NAD I opened the player to see what made it tick. I read that the upper level NAD M55 had the same guts. The video and audio boards both have M55 silk screened on them. I was more excited thinking I may have purchased a $1800.00 retail player for under $500.00. I installed it in my system and popped in a cd for a listen.

The NAD T585 played music like I haven't heard in 15 years. The music was mesmerizing. The first CD was Jonie Mitchel's greats hits. Her voice was so lifelike and clear, the guitar came through so naturally, I had to listen to the whole cd. Thinking I was just over eager, I went down a few days later for a more in depth listen. I went through 6 cd's comparing them to two other dacs I have and always went back to the T585 with amazement. The T585 sounded better then any player I have ever heard.

The NAD may have a slight warmth (I like a warm player), the detail of the music is clear and lifelike, I hear things I never heard before. Depth is fantastic. The T585 does a wonderful job of placing instruments front to back. The width of the sound stage is spooky. With the lights off the speakers disappear. Bass is really great with this player. It is deep and fast. Bass guitar and kick drum are very clearly portrayed. Some may think there is a slight roll-off to the highs, I think is is dependent on the speakers you use. I am partial to soft dome tweeters. Metal tweeters may eliminate this feeling.

The great thing about this player is it's price. I've been in this audio thing for over 20 years and no piece of equipment in the last 15 years has changed my system so much as the T585 and it costs under $900.00 new. It makes great music. I haven't even tried SACD or DVD-A yet. The T585 is worth a listen. I found musical nirvana for under $500.00. I am a digital music man and have gone through allot of players, this is the best I have ever heard.

Associated gear
Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Sig. one piece, EVS custom mono digital amps (UCD700), modified Audio Mirror PP1 (nos tubes), Reality cables speaker wire, Disteck Platinum interconnects.

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Thanks for the great review. I'm thinking about one of these to match with a c315BEE integrated (one-remote laziness system). Are there any downsides to this player and how have you found it to be with HDCD?