Preamplifier-dac NAD C510

At first glance NAD 510 gives the impression of really simple device completely dedicated to its core tasks. The front panel also found only a potentiometer for setting the volume, two buttons which we choose active input and quite simple and easy to read vacuum fluorescent display with the possibility of reducing and complete shutdowns. Indeed austere and minimalist, but quite in line with the basic visual identity devices from homeowners who are otherwise known for their clean lines and the absence of unnecessary decoration. Black metal housing with standard dimensions are also logically and seamlessly fits into the story. But beyond these somewhat modest scenery hides a device that has a very interesting, specialties, but also an excellent gene transfers from very popular model M51 by consumers and reviewers alike praise and recommend. The very basic idea was that many of the technologies from the popular higher priced duplicate them in tested and offers the "C" series whose base lies in an excellent balance between price and quality. Because of the technology used NAD is tested model conceived exclusively as a digital preamplifier, with no possibility of connecting analog audio sources. How much time is ripe to completely leave the analog domain one can only speculate, but certainly to the upcoming generation of audiophiles have less need and desire to use analog inputs. So the company decided to throw all the power of the digital inputs, but also displace the volume control in the digital domain, which is for the most part laid down in the base of the ideas underlying architecture of the C510. The rest of the technical structure is more or less expected. To isolate the asynchronous DAC which completely takes control of data flow from the computer and thus significantly increases the accuracy of conversion and reduce jitter and other digital inaccuracies that significantly affect the final result. The inverter receives the PCM signals to 24-bit/192 kHz, and does not offer the possibility of working with the DSD file formats. The decision was about what you can write a few pages of text, but it is clear that the NAD and some other prominent companies DSD implementation is not considered crucial for the function of the product should have, but I thought that this functionality is further rounded out a beautiful story about the universal center visokorezolutnog audio that represents the base of the entire audio system. Of course there are ways that the digital signal is converted into the desired format, but reasoning about the advantages and disadvantages of various conversion and differences between software that copies of them took to the show away from its original theme. I prefer another mention digital volume control, which avoids the mechanical and electronic inaccuracies and acts completely mathematical allowing integrity of the signal regardless of the volume. For such a structure is certainly necessary and assumptions that in this case include a powerful processor, high-resolution architecture (35-bit) and finally "Digital Direct" system for which the company believe that the devices and lower price limits snail superior sonic possibilities. All together it is responsible to input PCM signal resamplira and converted into a PWM (Pulse Wide Modulation Signal) to the sampling frequency of 844kHz. This allows excellent specifications especially in the dynamic domain, while DSP digital volume control does not reduce the resolution and keeps the signal, and allows the shortest possible route to a balanced output operational amplifiers in the "A" class that it amplified and lead to the analog outputs. Here we can choose between a balanced and RCA connectors. NAD is a special effort to stabilize and filter the power supply unit and added a very nice "Trigger" function that significantly raises the comfort of the device. Mention the amazing amount of digital inputs, which includes a balanced AES/EBU, optical and coaxial SPDIF, two HDMI ports and of course asynchronous USB port. In addition to the above skills C510 also has an HDMI output, an RS-232 port, "Upgrade" and IR ports. Lots and to list, but certainly functional enough for almost every possible application. In the end I must commend the excellent illuminated remote control with which it is not necessary to target device or search button. One of the more pleasant control that I had occasion to use recently.

Listening test

After connecting your computer via the USB port, and all software actions that are repeated for each device on the test I had the opportunity to start a warm-up, followed by a critical part of the hearing. At this point, the C510 proves that it produced experts who have their job skills and baked long and slow. Because NAD is not presented the perfect and sinless condition, but balance quality gives it true potential and provide an opportunity to accompany the sonic and the role that it is designed in a modern audio system. So enjoy the variety of orchestral music comes to the fore a wide space that ends with a quiet though and digital

not completely dark background. The space in depth is clearly visible, but slightly shallower and less fine margins that are at the edges seem a bit unclear in those moments I tried to signal to directly connect the output amplifier without the use of a standard pre-amplifiers in the system. It has been shown that in this case less is more. The sound in this configuration further refined and got some more points in the field definitions, and solo instruments have gained a clearer three-dimensional relief. By the end of testing the C510 is a balanced relationship was coupled directly to the tube power amplifier. So I had a chance to take advantage of the built-in volume control that has previously been turned off, or the "Bypass" mode Key sound piano can be called very natural with a clear separation, but the dynamic peaks tends to low hardness, although it does not lose volume and timbre. Solo instruments are a strong side of the device due to the fine projections and a real volume which is clearly demonstrated in the well-measured stages. Microdynamics is also characteristic that the C510 makes a very desirable device. Its persistence through the total spectrum and fine delicate network details give the whole sound and additional seal formed by the party appealing, but also informative and very drinkable sound. It can do that on the occasion of loud and shares her veil is not smooth enough, but compared to the price of the device can be concluded that this segment without any major complaints. Bas area can be defined rhythmic and slightly warmer than the remains of the spectrum, but also very well controlled and without the tendency to disturb the instruments in the midrange area. It is necessary to boast of its definition, but in really demanding sections may lose some of the otherwise excellent focus. Dissecting this imaging attracts attention especially midrange portion of the spectrum that rope detail, color, timbralnim qualities and has only a little bit extraordinary incorporated euphony that templates converted into a clear, natural and inspired performance. C510 thus has something of the character that make it distinctive, but to an extent that does not violate the general natural, fluid and steady nature that lies at the heart of its quality. Excellent tested the device hard time with recordings of vocals that were very present to the suggestive, but very naturally defined. Capture higher-resolution brought into the system a little more finesse, and somewhat liberated device that is easier to breathe in the moments in which he offered a more complex and dynamic demanding material. At first glance, it seemed as if the entire digital machine has a little more strength and breath, but in complex devices that can equally rely on the processing power, but also to the skill with which it processes the digital signal, the reasons for this effect can only guess.


NAD C510 is not only a little more favorable and modernized version of the M51 than a device that is admittedly relies on the technology of its highly successful predecessor of the "Masters" series, but still rightly pleads on their status within the "Classic" series that completely deserves. Its sound justifies the price, but it should be noted that throughout the time of testing the device worked quickly, safely, and that the only management and user interaction at a high level. At the end of testing I have played with and HDMI inputs that are in this place and in the audio function of trying to listen to what little DVD-A titles and some SACD but that part of the test because of really scarce number of titles I have not included in the auditory test. No mention of that possibility, which admittedly is not brought significant sonic improvements as another potential interest. At the end of the test as always remains the feeling that something important missing in view of features and sound, but it basic message that the C510 is able to be the center of structured digital audio system certainly is sent. Some decisions that actually determine the condition and its place in the market can not be changed, but the argument that NAD and today known to produce excellent rattling component states. This clearly and unequivocally proves the model C510.

NAD C510 Preamplifier-dac photo