NAD Makes C 510 Direct Digital DAC Affordable

The company's latest combines a digital preamplifier with a reference-quality DAC.

NAD Electronics is adding another DAC into the digital mix. The company just announced that the new C 510 Direct Digital Preamp/DAC will start shipping next month.

The latest addition meshes together a digital preamplifier with a reference-quality DAC. Designed for users looking to boost the sounds from a computer or music streamer, the C 510 can pump up the volume (and quality) with the same digital processing used in NAD’s M2 Direct Digital Amplifier and Masters M51.

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Promising low noise, low distortion, wide dynamic range, superb linearity and extremely low digital jitter, the C 510 also accepts PCM data rates up to 24-bit/192kHz. Also worth noting is that this model has NAD’s Direct Digital technology, which promises state-of-the-art sound, without any noise or distortion.

Also, even though NAD says that the C 510 can easily interface with analog components, it doesn’t actually have any analog inputs. Instead, it has a USB Type B port, two HDMI inputs, and three SPDIF inputs, which are all 24/192-capable in optical, coaxial and AES/EBU formats. It does have an analog output, though — which operates in a true balanced mode driven by a Class A-biased operational amplifier. It even has balanced XLR and single-ended outputs, a 12-volt trigger, and an RS-232 port.

“Like our legacy NAD digital products, we wanted to create a bridge product between the new world of high-definition 24/96 digital and the existing world of analog amplifiers,” said Greg Stidsen, NAD’s director of technology and product planning. “The C 510 allows audiophiles to conveniently add digital audio to their high-end system while enjoying the superb performance of NAD Direct Digital technology. It is truly the best of both worlds.”

NAD will start shipping the C 510 in August, with an MSRP of $1,299.

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