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NAD C658 Streaming DAC Review

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BRILLIANT! Thank you SO MUCH! It did not occur to me to try BluOS. I did have to reboot the 658 but eventually DIRAC detected the change. Thanks again!
Except that now I have a different problem. If I select 1 SUBWOOFER in BluOS the sub volume is way too low to be useful (I saw this complaint in multiple online posts), and DIRAC detects the sub but returns an error message that the signal is not loud enough. If I select NO SUBWOOFER the sub receives enough volume and then I can use the Low Pass Filter built into the sub for room adjustment and other tweaks, but then DIRAC will not detect a sub. Can anyone see a solution (short of NAD fixing the obvious bug in their unit)? Thanks.
 

Reed

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I didn't have any issues in sub volume using my single REL sub. I followed the instructions for manually setting the sub level prior to running calibrations (in that link that I posted). That's adjusting the sub volume at the sub to the level Dirac asks for after you adjust the levels for the speakers. Then I ran the sweeps. Mine came out fine first try. I think(?) what's happening is Dirac wants to build in some headroom at the sub. Dirac does this automatically with the other speakers since the C658 controls the headroom of the amp. That's why you lose some overall gain using Dirac. If I turn Dirac off, the level from the sub is too high. So I think the key is getting everything sorted in that level screen in Dirac. Once you get it rolling, load some of the Harman curves. I use the 4db bass boost.
 
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I didn't have any issues in sub volume using my single REL sub. I followed the instructions for manually setting the sub level prior to running calibrations (in that link that I posted). That's adjusting the sub volume at the sub to the level Dirac asks for after you adjust the levels for the speakers. Then I ran the sweeps. Mine came out fine first try. I think(?) what's happening is Dirac wants to build in some headroom at the sub. Dirac does this automatically with the other speakers since the C658 controls the headroom of the amp. That's why you lose some overall gain using Dirac. If I turn Dirac off, the level from the sub is too high. So I think the key is getting everything sorted in that level screen in Dirac. Once you get it rolling, load some of the Harman curves. I use the 4db bass boost.
Thank you for sharing your experience. Is your sub connected to the sub output on the C 658? And did you change the setting in BluOS to 1 sub? The problem I am having starts even before I try to use DIRAC: if I connect the sub to the C 658 sub connection and I set up the C 658 in BluOS as having 1 sub, the sub volume is incredibly low, even after cranking the volume all the way up on the sub unit. It is a problem that has been reported by others in many posts, apparently related to a software bug that does not send a strong enough signal to the sub output.

Right now I set the C 658 as no sub and connected the sub to the C658 using the preamp out connection (dual RCA), then use the crossover filter and adjustments on the sub. DIRAC is set with the same curve I had when I did the calibration before I added the sub (stereo mode). It sort of works, but of course I would prefer to have a solid signal using the C 658 sub output. Then I could worry about DIRAC.

My sub is SVS 2000 Pro, if that matters.

Thanks!
 

Reed

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Use the subwoofer out connection. There are two of them next to the pre outs. I have my sub plugged into the top RCA output labeled 1 (on my C658). You can also change the sub setup using the remote control and the menu on the C658. The screen shot from the NAD site doesn't show the sub out as labeled 1 and 2 but mine is.
 

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Use the subwoofer out connection. There are two of them next to the pre outs. I have my sub plugged into the top RCA output labeled 1 (on my C658). You can also change the sub setup using the remote control and the menu on the C658. The screen shot from the NAD site doesn't show the sub out as labeled 1 and 2 but mine is.
Same here, and my volume seems fine with BluOS set to one sub.

Gianfri, is it possible that you have the cable to the sub plugged into output 2 (the lower one) rather than 1 (the upper one)? I haven't tried this, but perhaps when BluOS knows that there is one sub, it attenuates output 2?
 
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Same here, and my volume seems fine with BluOS set to one sub.

Gianfri, is it possible that you have the cable to the sub plugged into output 2 (the lower one) rather than 1 (the upper one)? I haven't tried this, but perhaps when BluOS knows that there is one sub, it attenuates output 2?
No, my connection is correct. This is a well described issue. See for example https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/e...0374-Subwoofer-level-from-Bluos-app-NAD-C658-. It does not affect all units, possibly depending on the type/brand of subwoofer. The only way to use the subwoofer successfully for me is to connect it to the preamp out rather than the sub and select the option No Subwoofer in the setup. But that does not allow using DIRAC for the sub, just for the main speakers. Others have recommended adding a MiniDSP 2x4 to the chain, between the sub out of the C 658 and the input of the sub, in order to increase the volume of the sub, but that is one more box (not to mention $200). Unfortunately the C 658 does not have a volume adjustment for the sub and the default (and only option) is way too low on many units. This is possibly a software issue that could be fixed through firmware updates but it has been over a year since the issue was first reported and nothing has changed.

Thank you all for your input!
 

Reed

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Try doing a complete reset of the unit. You can update firmware from the menu but there’s a button combination on the unit that will do the hard reset. If that fails get with NAD. Good luck.
 

RVCollura

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Hi,

I’m new to ASR and happy to have found such an informative site. I purchased an NAD C658 in January of this year but might not have if I’d read this thread before I decided to buy, lol. As it is, I am happy with my unit. My main reason for selecting the C658 is the ability to do the Dirac room correction (I got the full freq upgrade). I had heard this on a friend’s NAD and was impressed with the results. After reading all the posts here I believe I am using the C658 in a way that is likely unique.

I have a Yamaha RX-A3080 receiver and an Outlaw 7000x amplifier which is set up as a home theater system. I have 9 channels connected plus two subs. I mainly use the NAD to play music on a USB thumb drive but I also stream sometimes through the NAD. The NAD is connected to the Yamaha RX-A3080 using the balanced outputs as a “straight through” connection. This way I can then easily switch between two channel operation for music decoded by the NAD or multi channel output directly from the Yamaha. I use both the Yamaha and the Outlaw for amplification. The BluOS app connection was the most buggy aspect of this unit but has improved since I have wired the NAD using an ethernet cable rather than using WiFi. Prior to that change, it would disconnect from the WiFi network all the time and I would have to restart it sometimes to get the connection back. I don’t use the sub out on the NAD but use the Yamaha to handle this part of the processing.

I’m curious what others might think of this setup. Specifically, I was wondering if the issues that were mentioned in the review would impact the playback of FLAC, or Apple lossless files from the USB. I think it sounds great and the Dirac correction improved the imaging markedly. I did a careful comparison with the Yamaha by matching the output levels and switching sources (the Yamaha also plays files from a USB). The NAD with Dirac does sound better, IMHO. BTW, I do sometimes use the coaxial digital input on the NAD when playing SACDs and this seems to work as it’s supposed to.
 

Porter

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Thank you for sharing your experience. Is your sub connected to the sub output on the C 658? And did you change the setting in BluOS to 1 sub? The problem I am having starts even before I try to use DIRAC: if I connect the sub to the C 658 sub connection and I set up the C 658 in BluOS as having 1 sub, the sub volume is incredibly low, even after cranking the volume all the way up on the sub unit. It is a problem that has been reported by others in many posts, apparently related to a software bug that does not send a strong enough signal to the sub output.

Right now I set the C 658 as no sub and connected the sub to the C658 using the preamp out connection (dual RCA), then use the crossover filter and adjustments on the sub. DIRAC is set with the same curve I had when I did the calibration before I added the sub (stereo mode). It sort of works, but of course I would prefer to have a solid signal using the C 658 sub output. Then I could worry about DIRAC.

My sub is SVS 2000 Pro, if that matters.

Thanks!
I had exactly the same experience with my NAD M10. I have a Rythmik F12G sub. Using the sub-out on the M10 the volume was vanishingly low on the sub, even with Y connection to the sub inputs and the sub turned all the way up. I figured this might be a result of my mains being high sensitivity (Klipsch Heresy IV) but really I think it's just a weird implementation problem in the NAD linux audio stack.

I was able to solve this using DIRAC. Before you even get to the room sampling steps in the DIRAC process, the software presents you with a set of channel gain controls. By lowering the output of the mains by 12dB and leaving the sub at 0.... even without the "room correction" this effectively solved my balance issues between the mains and the sub. Now I have to turn the unit up higher to get the same volume, but the balance and integration with the sub is perfect.

Hope this helps!
-Porter
 
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It's good to see these positive user reviews, as the device is still definitely on my list. Does anyone know what the two spare upgrade slots might be used for, apart from the HDMI module?
No one knows. That’s the whole idea. MDC is a hedge against future technological developments and NAD are notoriously tight lipped about all future product development and releases.

Right now the only MDC modules for the C658 are the HDM-2 and the USB DSD.
 
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hi all, i would like to add 2 x subs into my 2.0 setup and limit full range signal going to my front towers. would this nad c658 work well for me? is anyone still experiencing the low sub output issue that i was reading about or is that pretty much resolved now?
my source would be sending a signal full range via digital coax into the 658.
 
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Thank you for the measurements!

Two months ago, after a rather lengthy consideration, I bought this device used for just shy of 1200€. Accepting the modest reported specs from the start I'm satisfied with the unit delivering the advertised performance. I would've liked to see the headphone and phono preamp measurements as I'd presume that those would be the low points of the device. My personal reason for choosing the C658 was really the set of features it combines. It's a true one-box solution for my living room as I dislike fiddling around with multiple dedicated devices and remotes. I have connected my TV, CD-player, turntable and an old radio receiver to this single device. I use it daily for streaming music (mainly Spotify) and occasionally to stream from a network source. The room correction was a must have feature for me. I'm using it with a pair of active monitors (Genelec G Fives) and I haven't encountered any major problems with the operation. While I'm content with the purchase I'm still keeping my eyes open for comparable devices.
Hi @Sorwis,
it has been a year since your post and with the NAD unit. Are you still satisfied with it?
Curious to read your perspective,
Thanks!
 

Sorwis

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Hi @Sorwis,
it has been a year since your post and with the NAD unit. Are you still satisfied with it?
Curious to read your perspective,
Thanks!
Hi!

Sorry for the delay as I haven't visited this site in a while. I still have it and yes I'm still satisfied with it. The operation is smooth and combines the features I wanted. There are no problems related to the sound quality in my use. I remember reading from other forums that some people have had an issue with subwoofer output (some unwanted noise and leveling issues, I think) on some firmware. I don't know details of these problems or what's the situation of them on newer firmwares. I've been wanting to use a subwoofer with it but turns out my Dali Mentor sub has died on me and I have no clue how to fix it. Some have mentioned a delay when using the Dirac to but there's no discernible delay for me while watching something or even playing video games. Might be a solved problem at this point.

There's one issue which is mildly annoying: the unit doesn't want to update the firmware over Wi-Fi but it does so fine when I'm using wired connection to the same router. This could be a problem with my router as well but I haven't looked into it more. Basically to download firmware and update it I need plug it in wired for the while it takes to download and update the device.

One nitpicky part which my girlfriend mentions is that the device takes a few seconds (too many?) to to boot. I have it set up to automatically turn on and choose the input which is playing something (mainly Spotify over internet and TV through optical). I just measured it and there's about six second delay from pressing play on Spotify on my phone and once the sound is coming out of the speakers. The speakers turn on almost instantly but the C658 takes these few precious seconds. It's not much but you do miss the very beginning of the song if you just press play on the an app. Of course you could just turn the device on first (also with a mobile app). I'd say this is a very minor thing and the ability to turn on automatically is convenient: it works well and it also turns itself off after a while. Same goes for my speakers: they turn on when noticing a signal and off in the absence of it. Basically I don't need to fiddle around with anything when I want to listen to something.

Was there anything specific you were interested in? The device is set up so that it's out of the way as much as possible and for the most part it fills that duty.
 
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Hi!

Sorry for the delay as I haven't visited this site in a while. I still have it and yes I'm still satisfied with it. The operation is smooth and combines the features I wanted. There are no problems related to the sound quality in my use. I remember reading from other forums that some people have had an issue with subwoofer output (some unwanted noise and leveling issues, I think) on some firmware. I don't know details of these problems or what's the situation of them on newer firmwares. I've been wanting to use a subwoofer with it but turns out my Dali Mentor sub has died on me and I have no clue how to fix it. Some have mentioned a delay when using the Dirac to but there's no discernible delay for me while watching something or even playing video games. Might be a solved problem at this point.

There's one issue which is mildly annoying: the unit doesn't want to update the firmware over Wi-Fi but it does so fine when I'm using wired connection to the same router. This could be a problem with my router as well but I haven't looked into it more. Basically to download firmware and update it I need plug it in wired for the while it takes to download and update the device.

One nitpicky part which my girlfriend mentions is that the device takes a few seconds (too many?) to to boot. I have it set up to automatically turn on and choose the input which is playing something (mainly Spotify over internet and TV through optical). I just measured it and there's about six second delay from pressing play on Spotify on my phone and once the sound is coming out of the speakers. The speakers turn on almost instantly but the C658 takes these few precious seconds. It's not much but you do miss the very beginning of the song if you just press play on the an app. Of course you could just turn the device on first (also with a mobile app). I'd say this is a very minor thing and the ability to turn on automatically is convenient: it works well and it also turns itself off after a while. Same goes for my speakers: they turn on when noticing a signal and off in the absence of it. Basically I don't need to fiddle around with anything when I want to listen to something.

Was there anything specific you were interested in? The device is set up so that it's out of the way as much as possible and for the most part it fills that duty.
Thanks a lot @Sorwis, thats a very nice summary! Seems that many of the items mentioned earlier had to do with firmware updates. The turning on in 6s is not ideal, but I would say it is not a show-stopper either. Happy to read that the sound quality is good, that is key for me.
Best wishes.-
 
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I've been happy with my C658 so far.

My major gripe is lack of a volume limiter. I've nearly blown up my speakers/sub a couple of times now! Once due to the girlfriend swiping to max volume in the the Spotify app (easily done) and other time when the remote slipped down the side of the sofa and the volume up button got pressed down.

It got so loud I thought the world was ending.:eek:
 
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I've been happy with my C658 so far.

My major gripe is lack of a volume limiter. I've nearly blown up my speakers/sub a couple of times now! Once due to the girlfriend swiping to max volume in the the Spotify app (easily done) and other time when the remote slipped down the side of the sofa and the volume up button got pressed down.

It got so loud I thought the world was ending.:eek:
Your poor neighbours :)
 
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What's the consensus on the state of the low level sub out issue? Are people still using the pre-outs for the sub as a workaround? I haven't seen anywhere that NAD have solved this issue.
 
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