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Suggestions for preamp/DAC for AHB2-looking to upgrade from NAD C658

JDRCapeCod

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#1
Good afternoon everyone,

I have been slowly upgrading my system. Currently I am using an NAD C658, a Benchmark AHM2 and a pair of Monitor Audio Platinum PL-100II speakers with matching stands. The speakers and the newest part of the system and they really work well in my room and I have been running them without Dirac. I bought the NAD C658 since it had integrated Dirac (I purchased the full bandwidth option) since my last speakers (Def Tech Mythos ST-L) were really a struggle to set up in my room and were unlistenable without correction (very forward). I also use the built-in BluOS streamer as a source along with my turntable and SACD player. I'm not sure, but at this point I feel the weak link in the system is the NAD C658. Now that I am not using Dirac it opens another world of products for me. Just interested in getting input from the group. Although I love the sound of the system as it stands I think that it could be improved based on the review of the NAD (which has given me NO problems).

Here are my system needs:
-Remote control with dedicated input buttons instead of "up and down"
-Analog inputs (preferably a phono input, but I could use an outboard phono stage if needed)
-Digital inputs (at least one coax and one optical)

Nice but not necessary:
-IR control input on the back to avoid an IR emitter on the front (I am using a control system)
-IP control
-Tone controls and possibly EQ

Thoughts? Thank you for any input!
 

Slayer

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#3
Good afternoon everyone,

I have been slowly upgrading my system. Currently I am using an NAD C658, a Benchmark AHM2 and a pair of Monitor Audio Platinum PL-100II speakers with matching stands. The speakers and the newest part of the system and they really work well in my room and I have been running them without Dirac. I bought the NAD C658 since it had integrated Dirac (I purchased the full bandwidth option) since my last speakers (Def Tech Mythos ST-L) were really a struggle to set up in my room and were unlistenable without correction (very forward). I also use the built-in BluOS streamer as a source along with my turntable and SACD player. I'm not sure, but at this point I feel the weak link in the system is the NAD C658. Now that I am not using Dirac it opens another world of products for me. Just interested in getting input from the group. Although I love the sound of the system as it stands I think that it could be improved based on the review of the NAD (which has given me NO problems).

Here are my system needs:
-Remote control with dedicated input buttons instead of "up and down"
-Analog inputs (preferably a phono input, but I could use an outboard phono stage if needed)
-Digital inputs (at least one coax and one optical)

Nice but not necessary:
-IR control input on the back to avoid an IR emitter on the front (I am using a control system)
-IP control
-Tone controls and possibly EQ

Thoughts? Thank you for any input!
Parasound Halo P6, or a used P5
 

Willem

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#4
I doubt you could improve the sound quality by changing the preamp/DAC. I would suggest investing time to use the DIrac option after all.
 

MarkS

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#7
I read that review as saying that some inputs didn't work (at all? this part is confusing to me), and that on the ones that did work, there were no audible problems.

I understand that many people here seem to like their electronics to overperform, but if you, like me, only care about audible differences, then you should be happy with the NAD (assuming all the inputs you need work on your sample).

And I would also think that smoothing out room-caused uneven bass (a universal issue) with Dirac would be far more important to sound quality than anything a new preamp without room correction could do for you.
 
OP
JDRCapeCod

JDRCapeCod

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Thread Starter #8
I read that review as saying that some inputs didn't work (at all? this part is confusing to me), and that on the ones that did work, there were no audible problems.

I understand that many people here seem to like their electronics to overperform, but if you, like me, only care about audible differences, then you should be happy with the NAD (assuming all the inputs you need work on your sample).

And I would also think that smoothing out room-caused uneven bass (a universal issue) with Dirac would be far more important to sound quality than anything a new preamp without room correction could do for you.
Thanks Mark,
My NAD has been working perfectly since I bought it. All inputs are great. Thank you for your insight.
 

MarcT

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#9
OP
JDRCapeCod

JDRCapeCod

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Thread Starter #10

Tks

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#11
RME ADI 2 ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition? (mouthful I know).

No Coaxial Input (kinda odd seeing as how their DAC version of this device has this).
No Phono Input
No IP Control (at least I think there isn't any, because I don't even know what IP control is).
No rear IR Control (never heard of this sort of config either).

Idk, maybe this is a bad suggestion now that I think about it.
 
OP
JDRCapeCod

JDRCapeCod

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Thread Starter #12
RME ADI 2 ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition? (mouthful I know).

No Coaxial Input (kinda odd seeing as how their DAC version of this device has this).
No Phono Input
No IP Control (at least I think there isn't any, because I don't even know what IP control is).
No rear IR Control (never heard of this sort of config either).

Idk, maybe this is a bad suggestion now that I think about it.
I do like that unit, but it doesn't have all of the functionality I need. Thanks for the input!
 
OP
JDRCapeCod

JDRCapeCod

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Thread Starter #13
I spent quite a bit of time yesterday using Dirac and fine tuning the system. I have a strange room where the ceiling is very low (6'2") and the room is shoebox shaped. I had large floor standing speakers before (Def Tech Mythos ST-L) and they were trapped and needed to be out from the back wall to really sound good. Since I couldn't get them away from the wall Dirac addressed the issue but it never really sounded right to me. Now that I moved to a speaker that is more appropriate for the room (Monitor Audio PL-100II) the sound was much better, even without Dirac. Having a smaller stand mounted speaker really worked quite well in the room...maybe a bit more controlled dispersion when compared to the Mythos also helped with ceiling reflections. I am very happy with the results. With my last speakers Dirac worked more as a band aid trying to fix something. Now it just seems to fine tune the experience. My system has never sounded better. Maybe the NAD is a keeper after all.
 
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#14
I went old school - got lucky and found a denon pra 2000rg...in incredible condition.

I go roon > an old musical fidelity dac > denon rg > ahb2 > revel F208's

Forgot to mention - this preamp has no remote - it's old school. Not sure it's even an option. But man it's quickly becoming one my favorite pieces of equipment.
 
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