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NAD C658 Streaming DAC Review

Re-lar-Kvothe

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I searched this thread and did not find any reference to my problem with the C658 and the MDC-HDM-2 Card. I am playing an Eric Clapton Crossroads festival bluray disc and while watching/listening I notice the audio lags the video by a second or less, just enough to be bothersome to watch. Both pieces are new within the last 2 weeks. If I connect the BR player (Panasonic DP-UB9000) directly to the TV there is no lag. When I connect3 the player to the C658 with the MDC-HDM-2 the lag is obvious. Anyone notice this and have a solution? I cannot watch like this. Otherwise this C-658 is an outstanding addition to my system.
 

bluefuzz

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I notice the audio lags the video by a second or less
Have you configured the AV mode settings?

BluOS Controller > Settings > Player > Customize sources > <source> > AV Mode

According to the help text: "A/V mode helps with real time audio (such as TV synchronisation) and is important when players are grouped. Disabling A/V mode prefers quality over speed and is best for audio-only sources (such as vinyl record players)."

Not very helpful, and I don't find it makes much of a difference, but it's worth a try. There is always going to be a minimum (~50 ms?) delay especially if using Dirac.
 

Re-lar-Kvothe

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Have you configured the AV mode settings?

BluOS Controller > Settings > Player > Customize sources > <source> > AV Mode

According to the help text: "A/V mode helps with real time audio (such as TV synchronisation) and is important when players are grouped. Disabling A/V mode prefers quality over speed and is best for audio-only sources (such as vinyl record players)."

Not very helpful, and I don't find it makes much of a difference, but it's worth a try. There is always going to be a minimum (~50 ms?) delay especially if using Dirac.
Thanks very much for your response. I will investigate that next. I did find a fix and it resides within the Panasonic BR player. There is an audio delay setting and if I increase it to 50ms the audio now syncs with the video. However, I have a concern if I ever take the C658 out of the loop the out of sync condition will return but in reverse. I will try your fix and see if that method is more of a "permanent" solution.
 

bluefuzz

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I will try your fix and see if that method is more of a "permanent" solution.
No, I think your fix is better. It is the video that needs to be delayed (to sync with the already delayed audio in the C658) and the only place to do that is in the player. And according to NAD turning on AV mode reduces sound quality - although I can't say I can hear any difference. But yes, if you take the C658 out of the signal path you will have the opposite problem, but at least now you know how to fix it ...
 

whitfc

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Does the C658 have a separate DAC for the sub out? If so, is it the same as for the main speakers?
 

TonyB

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Is the headphone output quality good, especially for high impedance headphones? Also, I saw a post from last year that implied that the signal through the headphone socket has Dirac applied. I find that ludicrous and I hope it's not true. Please could someone confirm either way?
 

Dathzo

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Is the headphone output quality good, especially for high impedance headphones? Also, I saw a post from last year that implied that the signal through the headphone socket has Dirac applied. I find that ludicrous and I hope it's not true. Please could someone confirm either way?
I confirm that when Dirac is on, correction is applied to the headphone out (which I agree is ridiculous). Regarding quality, cannot judge.
 

JDRCapeCod

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Is the headphone output quality good, especially for high impedance headphones? Also, I saw a post from last year that implied that the signal through the headphone socket has Dirac applied. I find that ludicrous and I hope it's not true. Please could someone confirm either way?
I find the headphone output to be quite good. I use it with a pair of Sen HD-800 and a pair of Audeze LCD-X. The Dirac is applied to the headphone output but you can turn it off when listening to headphones. I am torn if this is good or bad. I like it since it does allow you to custom tailor the sound, but it's kind of silly since you are not really measuring a room. Overall I like the C658. I am using it with a Benchmark AHB2 and a pair of KEF LS-50 Metas.
 

TonyB

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Thanks both for the replies. As Dirac is for equalising the room it's strange that it's also applied to the headphone output, which I would expect to be fed with an unmodified signal. Ah well, just another quirk! As long as Dirac can be easily turned off it should be ok. If the C658 can drive the SEN HD-800 phones that's fine. I'm glad you like the device, it's certainly ideal for my needs.
 

bluefuzz

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with a 250USD extra hardware
It's cheaper than Amir's GRAS 45C ...

The point is that it is perhaps not as silly to have Dirac active on the headphone output as some people may think.
 

mig

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Hello Amir,

I have owned a nad c658 for two years now.
And I saw that the rating you gave it is not up to what it deserves. I bought last week a SMSL SU9 DAC that I connected to my accuphase amp on one channel. And I left the C658 on another channel. I am subscribed to two music services TIDAL and AMAZON HD and it allowed me to make a comparative listening.
This allowed me to do a comparative listening between the two products. To have the same input gain, you have to set the SU9 to 85 and the C658 to -10 decibels.
After many hours of listening by switching from one channel to another I don't perceive any difference. Can you tell me at what level of listening you had done on the c658 ? 90 sinadv is very low
 

mig

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Concerning the DIRAC to all owners of a NAD c658 it does not work it makes lose details to the sound.
I bought a full version with an umik microphone and I downloaded its last calibration and I did 5 times the parameterization but each time I find that the DIRAC makes lose a lot of details.
I tested with my musical fidelity and my apli accuphase e480 and the result is the same. where the dirac can be interesting is in the bass curve from 20 to 35 HZ
 

TonyB

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Concerning the DIRAC to all owners of a NAD c658 it does not work it makes lose details to the sound.
I bought a full version with an umik microphone and I downloaded its last calibration and I did 5 times the parameterization but each time I find that the DIRAC makes lose a lot of details.
I tested with my musical fidelity and my apli accuphase e480 and the result is the same. where the dirac can be interesting is in the bass curve from 20 to 35 HZ
Thanks for your comment. I'm still researching Dirac and other room correction systems, and a recurring piece of advice is that it works best on the lower frequencies, from 80hz and below. The Linn Space Optimisation system only works below this frequency. Trying to EQ high frequencies doesn't seem to be advisable and can remove detail or take off the 'sparkle', as I've read many times.
 

Rufus T. Firefly

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So what alternatives do we have in 2022 for this?

Streamer, DAC, Dirac, well integrated in single package. And good assortment of inputs and features such as phono, optical, analogue, trigger etc?
Indeed, enquiring minds would like to know.

It looks to me like these things may be in short supply. I I'm curious to know if this is due to supply chain issues or are they taking this time to work some of the kinks out. I suspect the former but as a guy who's been looking to pick one of these up I'd be pleased with the latter.
 

JDRCapeCod

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Indeed, enquiring minds would like to know.

It looks to me like these things may be in short supply. I I'm curious to know if this is due to supply chain issues or are they taking this time to work some of the kinks out. I suspect the former but as a guy who's been looking to pick one of these up I'd be pleased with the latter.
I have been using this device, without issue, for a while now and have not experienced any issues with it. I would be surprised if lack of supply is based on issues with the device. Just my 2 cents.
 

Jaxjax

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I have 2 years on c658 into many different active monitors & now Dynaudio core 59's. I haven't had any of the issues that were early on in this thread. I do appreciate the fact that volume defaults to -20 or lowest setting after sleep mode or turn off. That feature has never failed me. Iam to try & use my AES inputs for streaming & the C658 for everthing else via the analog XLR outs & XLR in of the 59's. I'll probably just go RME, but really its just for the pass thru & volume set on monitors as I have internal conversion in them. I use the C658 alot & a ton of hours on it without fail so far. It is harsh in the sense it won't hide anything just like most pro monitors. Great is great & crap is horrible. I do like the MM phono stage in it. I tried it one day from 10' cables from my TT thinking it would be real bad.. it wasnt & after a day or 2 took my 2 other outboard units to music storage room. I do smile on mentioned volume safety.....I do miss the days when I had to get up & actually turn a large knob for that & warn everybody to never touch it..EVER..lol I do run full DIRAC live filters sometimes, but upper mid/top detail is hard to resolve with em engaged so far, but that could be a host of a whole bunch of other things as my room truly sucks.
I got mine for 1300 or 50 I think new. Ive spent worse for sure. Ill let ya know if bypassing c658 completely is a improvement when I run AES direct in.
Just thought of one thing that pisses me off about it,..sometime its hard to get it to turn on with remote with new batteries. Might have to hit power button a few times sometimes, then others its 1st try.
 
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