mate, there is a thread over on AVS that sheds a few icicles of understanding regarding this bit 'o kithttps://www.avsforum.com/forum/39-networking-media-servers-content-streaming/3046068-teac-nt-505-usb...
general consensus of those that actually have the DAC is that it is excellent. Built to a high standard, the DSD upsampling is actually something useful and you can use it as a ROON endpoint. I am an AK chip guy but have been considering the go NAD C658 for the Dirac vapor ware... wontcha buy an NT-505 and if you don't like it sell it to me...
I've enjoyed mine since mid-November.
It's too cheap and it's a mid-fi brand. Can't possibly be any good, can it?
Just read a review of the previous version and it was not a very positiv review.
Maybe Teac learnt from that?
reviews I have read of the NT-503 have all been very positive and the 505 is technically better with more functionality.
After quite a bit of consideration and evaluation of options I decided to order an NT-505. After 2 weeks of solid use all I can say is wow!
now I will admit to not having the most "esoteric" kit in the world... : I run a Yamaha AVR strictly as pre-amp (when not in HT mode) with a trio of Denon POA-4400A's for front LCR stage, with LS50's. The KEFs are hungry things and the Denon's whilst vintage are imo an excellent monoblock which with 160W into 8Ohm strike a good balance. I had been leveraging the ESS Sabre 32 in the 3060 for convenience and it sounded more than adequate with Tidal. Spotify however was another matter. Somehow but for a few exceptions I was left wanting "more" - it simply sounded dull. admittedly, that is not helped by the Denon/KEF combo, which is extremely neutral. Anyhow, after a lot of research I kept going back to the Teac. I have no issues with this brand. I know it well from the 80's and in professional audio its been long established via Tascam as well as offering its very high end Esoteric brand. Tech from Esoteric is supposed to be strongly leveraged in the NT-505 and its peer range products. Build quality is excellent. The dual mono AK 4497 DAC implementation is imo outstanding and as per posts above, the upscaling is noticeable in its effect as are the various filter modes on offer. Tidal, MQA and Spotify are all natively supported, though the app (at least the Android version) is pretty much "just north of crap"... its main benefit is to check and control firmware upgrade, which it did flawlessly upon initial boot up for me... that said I simply use the native app to stream and the Teac is immediately there as a connect device. Sound quality is excellent. The soundstage, imaging and detail have all been noticeably positively impacted. Its really brought a new dimension of liveness to my KEFs through the 4400's which as I said, are very neutral. Some might describe it as a slight touch of warmth. In any case for my setup it has been absolutely the right add-on. Very easy to set up, great manual and super remote for initial set up. A +6dB volume option really drives the input signal up. After some playing around I decided to revert back to flat output. Display is basic but clear. Whilst the NT-505 is not Harmony remote available yet, the NT-503 is and, settings from that choice work without any problems (for those like me who like to have all their kit off one remote). All in all, I am so happy with it that I am strongly considering to buy another one to put in my work office to drive my Kappa's through my Proton D-1200 power amp.
@igc67great review mate. you know you can use the Lumin app to control the NT-505? i really want this kit as i think it will pair well with my AirPulse Model 1 (A200) powered monitors with ribbon tweeters.
Agree on the Lumin app as the Teac, Lumin and Esoteric apps were all written by the same software team and Esoteric/Teac license them from Lumin but the Lumin app is updated more frequently.
I started this discussion, and would just like to share what I ended up with (:
I bought the Allo DigiOne Signature and the Orchid DAC. I also jumped the roon wagon with a NUC ROCK and a lifetime membership.
I am waiting for the DAC so all of this beautiful equipment has never been used.
@canibefrank yes, I downloaded the Lumin app but to be honest was still not great. As I am using the Teac as Spotify streamer 99% of time, I dont really need to use the app for control. Once the settings are set, it's simply a matter for me of setting it up under a harmony activity and then let that remote do the work. Honestly, for me it's been a great buy. Its added warmth to my setup and smoothness in addition to presence and improved soundstage. Here I Germany it set me back €1300 which when compared to else on the market (that at least I was exposed to) I feel though not cheap, is value for money in my case. So if anyone is looking to buy from my experience, you can do so with confidence.
I would like to see a comparison of the Teac vs Lumin D2.
I owned the D1 and the NT-505 and the D1 and D2 have the same internals and sound the same. I think the D1 with the Sbooster was the better option so that was what I bought. The Teac and the Lumin both operate as a streamer identically as they both use the same app. The Lumin is warmer while the AKM4497 based Teac has a bit more detail but is still a smoother sounding DAC. Advantages of the Teac is that it can operate as a DAC for other components and has a headphone amp if that matters. It is also a couple of hundred dollars cheaper. Both are well built and solid feeling.
Thanks for info. Doc you use the 505 with Roon? If so any issues?
No don’t use Roon I just use the Lumin app but since it operates just like the Lumin it shouldn’t have any problems. Same software team does the Roon integration for Lumin, Teac and Esoteric streamers. A lot of D2 owners are going to the Sbooster connection kit and LPS to eliminate the internal SMPS that Lumin switched to with the D2 and T2. That’s why I just bought a D1 and Sbooster instead of a D2.The [email protected]
and the Teac have the same list price but the Teac is discounted in the US where the D2 is not.
I’ve had my NT-505 for about 2 months and really enjoy it.
Build quality is excellent. Has some definite heft to the box - feels very solid. The “handles” aren’t really necessary like they are on the ARC DSI200 integrated amp that it feeds, but no matter it kind of completes the aesthetic match anyway.
Lots of features. I am only using it to stream Tidal but it is excellent for that task.
The upconvert feature seems seems to work for non-MQA tracks. I am still working on which of the filters I prefer.
Lumin app works well. When upgrading firmware be sure to use the tiny and unlabeled micro USB port on back and not the port labeled usb. That stumped me for awhile.
Ethernet cable made difference for me. Started with 10 ft cat 5 or 6 (not sure) but was getting random drops every four hours or so. Upgraded to 3 ft cat7 (cheap amazonbasics cable, $7) and no drops since with 50 hrs or more of play.
Really good spatial separation of instruments, great tone, super smooth.
Speakers are Spendor D7 with Signal Magic power cords and MIT matrix interconnects (XLR balanced) and speaker cables.
When end I can I listen for hours at a time and I don’t want to get up.
Other steamers I own are marantz one Integra avrs- both cost half or less than Teac $2k price but Teac much better to my ears.
Dealer suggested bc Teac has much trickledown tech from Esoteric DACs which they said were best of best.
Anyway, super happy with nt-505 so far
The Teac nt505 uses dual monoural mode AKM 4497 dacs, while my marantz uses AKM 4458 and Integra uses AKM 4438. All are 32 bit dacs, but s/n ratio on the Teac dac 128 dB, while 115 and 112 on marantz and Integra, respectively.
Of course lots of other factors come into play but those are relevant.
I can can definitely hear the superior sound quality of Tidal Masters tracks with my Teac dac. Not so much with Integra and marantz doesn’t decode mqa
right on mate !¡ NT-505 is first on my list when i gets the dosh
I think you’ll like it. When I compared its dac chip spec wise to others 2k or below I couldn’t find anything else that beat it. That plus the great user reviews and esoteric lineage convinced me to pull trigger.
Downside for some might might be lack of WiFi. In my main system I’m good with router nearby but if I ever wanted to move it to my second (br) system I’d be out of luck
As I was mowing lawn today I was thinking about how I’d describe difference heard between Tidal Masters tracks and regular Tidal cd quality tracks 16/44.
Best way way I can describe it is I can just “hear” the added resolution, not unlike seeing the picture difference in a 1080p content vs 720p, to use a slightly dated video analogy. Just wish Tidal had more Masters content!
Really for $2000. the TEAC looks to be a fine component. Plus, places like Crutchfield, who carry Teac, has generous return policies.