TEAC NT-505 - How good is it?


On paper the TEAC NT-505 looks very promising. But first hands experience beats everything.
So I want to ask if any of you has had the opportunity to listen to it?

Right now I am auditioning the CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 851N NETWORK PLAYER it's good but the scene it set is kind of flat. tonal its very good
martin-andersen
mate, there is a thread over on AVS that sheds a few icicles of understanding regarding this bit 'o kit
https://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. 
@jackd 
tell us more mate
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. 
@aberyclark 

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 D@ 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 
@kren0006

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. 
To owners of the NT-505...now that Amazon Music is going HD and even Hi-Rez, does anyone have any ideas on how to use this streamer to benefit from that source?  Do you need to wait for the Teac/Lumin app developer to add it?  
The only option currently would be to add the Amazon Music app to your tablet and use Airplay which would limit you to 16/44.  
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.

Congrats on the purchase? How do you like the Digione Sig and Orchid DAC?
Me to keen to hear how you rate the Digione Sig and Orchid against the Teac, as I am currently sitting on the wall trying to make my mind up?
I may be upgrading my NT 505 to Aurender’s new Flagship....the A30....will post thoughts once it arrives....

Cheers...
I just purchased the Teac NT505 from Crutchfield. Teac needs to work on its online marketing a bit more. There are little English professional reviews.

@musicmann1 , let us know how it goes. The Aurender has the same pair of DACs as the Teach. It would be interesting to hear their implementation of the Veritas.


I love this device as Roon Ready / Tested. The idea of upgrading a DAC is technically a bit tricky. DSD never succeeded by any measurable level. Newer formats like MQA will suffer the same fate as streaming is the market today. Many white papers and blind testing have it as nonsense.

I was into vinyl for some time and intentionally kept away from trendy components, and cult like recommendations. I did succeed mostly and did not get into an upgrade cycle at all. I have Denon 103R, PL XA-25, PL XA-15, and full range drivers were my thing. I like things built like a tank or refined by serial production.

Changing gears completely, I wanted Roon nucleus with a Roon ready DAC. I only have direct comparison with a Qutest, Anthem AVM60, and Panasonic UB-820. Qutest is great but I don not want to be a DJ pressing buttons. No switched power supply for price seemed trendy. They simply know better too.. To dismay of its followers I did not find it better than Brown Burr on the Panasonic UB820 (OPPO replacement) multi player in HD with tube or ultraclear. Chord had the edge slightly on electronica like 30303EO Stakker Humanoid but my collection is mostly rock. I would in no way get a Hugo 2 over this stereo solution.

This device is really no-nonsense and reminded me of listen to vintage gear at a local library with crumbling Grado headphones as a kid thinking I could never afford these. For system, oddly Roon Nucleus / Teac UD-505 is much less harsh. I can not describe it completely but full range speakers have a bit of harshness as a few frequencies. It is gone with this set up. When going back to a Playfi-spotify stream it comes back but comparison is not fair.






My dealer told me the addition of the Teac CG-10 clock brings this streamer very close to the Esoteric streamers for a lot less money.  I’m debating going this route now.
The clock looks interesting.   I would get a lifetime account with Room before the clock. 

I found a test on web comparing wav mp3 and 320 files.  I could tell 4 of 6 tracks which is good. 

@musicmann1 , did you ever upgrade from the Teac?  If so, to what and how did it compare to the nt-505?
@goodfellas272 and anyone else here,

have you found any professional reviews for TEAC nt-505 written in the English language?? If yes, can you share the links with me? I am astounded to say that I have found none, only in German, Swedish, Dutch.

I have purchased the device yesterday, I can post my listening impressions in the following days.
Congrats! Post up your impressions after you get it broken in.

There are lots of filter and upsampling options.

FWIW, I stream Tidal exclusively and personally prefer the upsample to DSD512 setting, with the "wide" filter setting. I use XLR cables.

Interested to hear what settings other NT-505 users prefer ....
I have experimented with the upsampling options and prefer leaving things in their native format.
Dear all,

I will post my impressions soon, but for now I am still undecided whether to use my new TEAC nt-505 as a preamp as well, replacing my Meridian G02 preamp and feeding Meridiam G57 power amp directly.

I would very much like to do so for simplifying the setup and for a lack of space, but the G02/G57 work well together as a combo and provide extra weight to the sound and a creaminess overall, although midrange and treble are less pronounced compared to the TEAC nt-505/G57 combo. Of course, TEAC's sound as a preamp is not bad at all in any case, and could further evolve/improve after breaking in..

Has TEAC nt-505 replaced your preamp in your setup? Had you done any comparisons before?

I will have to decide by Monday because I have found a buyer for the Meridian G02 preamp.. :)
Not for me, but I don’t have separates so moot point for me I guess. I use an audio research integrated amp where the preamp portion of it is not bypass able. 
As for DAC/Preamps...I hear the Myteks have excellent preamp capabilities
I bought my Teac NT-505 in May 2019, sound and features are higher than what I expected. Network streaming is not as what I expected, it is always cutout, two days ago the network card is not responding, replacing cables, reset to factory settings, reloaded the newest firmware V1.22 still not fixed the problem. Waiting for authorized dealer’s response for next step. What a shame!!!
I ordered the NT-505 in August and received it two weeks ago, after an extra corona wait I was told. No problems so far. Ethernet playback of my high res files, usb playback (flash drive, also from a hard disk, usb-conneced), and streaming from Tidal - it all works fine. Lumin app also, after getting to know it. I had an Ipad laying around, and controlling the Teac from the Ipad is an unexpected bonus. Sound quality: it is certainly a big step up from my former Squeezebox solution, as it should be. Does it rival my analog rig? No. Or at least, not yet (it may need more burn-in). Today, I noted that it does sound better bypassing the volume control ("fixed 0db", rather than "variable"). More assertive, direct, less ’polite’. My vinyl rips (DSD files) sound closer to the original LPs.
Just in case any of you are having issues connecting to “net” using your NT505, there is an issue with one of the boards in the unit.  My 505 developed this issue within 3 months of buying it.  Really had a hard time getting approval to have it repaired, but finally did.  Now it’s great.  For a while I thought this might be a door stop, but since the factory service center did the repair, it’s excellent,
IMHO, use Adams Electronics in California if you have issues with your unit.
I"m on the fence between an NT-505 and a Cambridge CXN v2. I'll use it for 1-Roon, 2- coax in from CD Transport, 3- Toslink input from TV/DVD player. Can't quite decide. I have a Chord 2Qute in my other system, I tend to like NOS sounding R2R stuff, but also need convenient package (so many boxes!).... Cheers.
Well I can say I own NT-505 and Cambridge Azur 851n (the step above CXN) and the Teac destroys 851n sonically - no contest. Only thing better about the 851nbis the display with artwork (which is damn cool for the 851n price)
I had the Cambridge Azur 851D DAC, which I believe is the same DAC in the 851N. If that is indeed the case, there are better options out there. I owned the 851D for 4 years but never warmed up to it. If your choice is between 851n and NT-505, I say go for the latter.
The price for the NT-505 has dropped.  I saw an ad from Walmart for $1200. The seller is Onkyo. Guessing they are clearing them out for a new model. I hate Walmart but that's a great deal.
Thanks for the advice folks. Appreciate it.
I picked up a new NT-505 for $1200 on eBay from the official Onkyo/Teac store, 30-day return policy. I'm demoing it now... 
I just bought another one to replace my bluesound node 2.