NAD C556

Manual belt-drive turntable with dust cover

  • NAD C556

    Front (pictured without included dustcover)

  • NAD C556

    Closeup detail of headshell and cartridge

  • NAD C556

    Closeup detail of tonearm counterweight, arm lift lever, and anti-skate bias systems

  • NAD C556

    Direct front view

  • NAD C556

    Front view with dust cover closed

  • NAD C556

    Pictured with dust cover closed

  • NAD C556

    Tonearm detail


Our take on the NAD C556

by Dave Bar

Vinyl is for music lovers

You can always count on NAD to deliver the goods when it comes to no-nonsense audio gear for music enthusiasts. Their C 556 turntable is no exception. This 'table makes an excellent choice for vinyl newcomers and seasoned audiophiles alike who want outstanding sound quality without spending a fortune. NAD's minimalist design philosophy focuses strictly on the features that benefit sonic performance, without any unnecessary bells and whistles. Why not discover for yourself why audiophiles remain so enthusiastic about warm, detailed analog sound?

NAD C556 tonearm detail

A handmade tonearm and precision bearings help bring out the best in your records.

Why does it sound so good?

The C 556's sturdy chassis rests on shock-absorbing rubber feet that provide a solid, vibration-resistant foundation. Its pressure-cast resin platter is both inert and massive, ideal for suppressing non-musical resonances and acting as a flywheel to reduce speed variations. The platter spins on a special bronze and stainless steel bearing assembly for smooth, silent rotation. The motor mount and belt drive system are designed to isolate the motor's vibration from the chassis to prevent noise from being transferred to the cartridge. Finally, the table's hand-built aluminum alloy tonearm glides on precision bearings at the gimbal pivot point, and includes a cueing lever to gently raise and lower the arm — protecting both the stylus and your records.

Easy to enjoy

NAD makes it easy to enjoy your vinyl right away. That's why the C 556 comes out of the box virtually ready to play. Its pre-matched, factory-mounted phono cartridge and tonearm take the guesswork out of installation, and give you optimized sound quality with minimal effort. A few simple steps to dial in key settings like tracking force and anti-skating are all it takes to get this player primed and ready to deliver spacious, detailed music.

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  • pressure-cast phenolic resin platter with felt mat provides excellent speed stability and protects records from scratches
  • precision bronze and stainless steel ball bearing for smooth, quiet platter rotation
  • hand-built aluminum alloy tonearm with precision gimbal pivot bearings
  • includes pre-mounted Ortofon OM-5E moving magnet cartridge
  • magnetic anti-skate bias control
  • three anti-vibration feet
  • high-torque synchronous-clock motor decoupled from base for reduced vibration transmission and better sound
  • manual operation with tonearm lift
  • 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds
  • frequency range (with included cartridge): 20-20,000 Hz (±2dB)
  • channel separation (with included cartridge): 22dB at 1kHz
  • attached 41" RCA audio cable
  • weight: 8.8 lbs.
  • 17-7/16"W x 4-1/2"H (with dust cover down) x 14-1/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • requires a phono preamp or phono input on receiver or preamplifier

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Turntable chassis
  • Tone-Arm (installed)
  • Cartridge (installed)
  • Spindle (installed)
  • Belt (installed)
  • Platter
  • Dust cover
  • Felt pad
  • Counter-weight
  • Owner's Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
  • Cartridge Alignment Protractor

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.



Overview: The NAD C 556 Turntable will make your vinyl record collection sound lush, vibrant and spacious. The secret to a good sounding turntable is to make a rock solid mechanical connection between the platter and the pickup stylus. Any play or vibration will either add resonant coloration (making the smack of a snare drum sound like a thud) or subtract the fine detail that is the primary benefit of well-played vinyl. To achieve this goal NAD uses special materials and techniques. With its minimalist design, NAD's C 556 Turntable offers accurate reproduction of vinyl music by using performance-focused parts and components that put music first.

High Quality Mechanisms: The three mechanisms that make up a turntable are the platter that supports and spins the record; the tone arm, which allows the stylus to accurately track the record; and the cartridge, which transforms the vibrations in the record groove into the electrical signals that are sent to your preamplifier.

  • Rigid Platter: The platter of the C 556 uses a special phenolic resin that is pressure cast to create the ideal properties of being both massive and inert. The mass creates a "flywheel effect" that eliminates small, and very unmusical, speed variations called wow and flutter. The mass also rejects unwanted external vibrations, and combined with the extreme hardness of the phenolic material, suppresses vibrations in the audible range. This massive platter requires a precision low friction bearing to allow smooth and stable revolving motion. A special bronze body with a stainless steel ball bearing provides a point-perfect contact with the hardened steel shaft of the platter assembly. This is the ideal design for minimal friction, and a complete elimination of any play or "wobble". The bearing is firmly connected to the rigid and well-damped base that provides a rigid connection to the tone arm. A precision synchronous clock motor keeps the platter spinning at exactly 33 1/3 RPM and its own vibrations are carefully isolated from the platter by a synthetic rubber belt and from the base by rubber isolation mountings.
  • Hand-Built Tone Arm: The tone arm must have the lowest possible mass while still maintaining a rigid, vibration-free connection to the record. To achieve this contradictory goal, the C 556 uses a hand-built arm featuring an alloy tube and precision bearings at the gimbal pivot. A simple counter weight balance is combined with a magnetic anti-skate bias control to make for a friction-free pivot that allows the cartridge to operate in an ideal environment.
  • Pre-Mounted Cartridge: The pre-mounted Ortofon OM 5e cartridge (MM) is itself a masterpiece of modern engineering. Building on 50 years of cartridge design expertise, and including the latest materials and precision manufacturing techniques, Danish company, Ortofon, has created a cartridge that outperforms some of the most expensive cartridges from the not-too-distant past. The OM 5e (Optimum Mass) features an elliptical diamond stylus that can extract the maximum information from your LPs while tracking flawlessly and exerting only 1.75 grams of tracking force to preserve your precious record collection.

Tailored Speeds: To further reduce speed inconsistencies and wear on the drive belt, you can modify and change the playing speed of your vinyl records. By removing the platter, you can move the belt to either the 33 or 45 rpm wheel of the drive pulley to attain the correct pitch of a musical track.

Attached Output Cable: The NAD C 556 Turntable is fitted with an attached 41" stereo RCA cable. Connect the turntable to the Phono input of your home receiver. If your home receiver is not equipped with a Phono input, you will need to purchase an external phono-preamplifier (such as the NAD's phono-preamps, sold separately).

Dust Cover: The NAD C556 comes supplied with a dust cover to prevent dust build-up on the turntable.



  • Drive System: Belt drive
  • Motor: High torque synchronous motor
  • Speed: 33.3 and 45.1 rpm
  • Suspension System: 3 energy absorbent synthetic rubber feet

Tone Arm:

  • Operation: Manual
  • Length: 289mm total length; 244mm pivot to stylus
  • Effective Mass: 9 grams
  • Overhang: 19.1 mm
  • Cable Capacitance: 150-400pF

Electrical Characteristics:

  • Recommended Load Resistance: 47 kohms
  • Recommended Load Capacitance: 200-600 pF
  • Internal Inductance: 450 mH
  • Internal Impedance, DC Resistance: 750 ohms

Mechanical Characteristics:

  • Cartridge Weight: 5 grams
  • Tracking Weight: 1.5 - 2.0 grams (15-20 mN)
  • Replacement Stylus Unit: Stylus 5E

Physical Dimensions:

  • Dust Cover Down: 17.4375" (w) x 4.5" (h) x 14.25" (d)
  • Dust Cover Up: 17.4375" (w) x x 15.875" (h) x 16.75" (d)
  • Weight: 15.4 lbs
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NAD C556 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

4 people say:

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5 out of 5

great product

Written By Big Mike, Phoenix Arizona on Sunday, August 04, 2013
I've heard it said that a "Hum" was emitted by this unit. If you have had experience with turntables you'd find that some tables can HUM due to feedback/resonance or close proximity to system/amplifier. This unit will do that if you don't take the time to insulate it from it's surroundings. Once you get that down you'll find it is one of the finest units you can buy especially for the price. It does not do well when dropped down a flight of stairs as I found out the hard way, so I have to buy another...and I will...
light weight, great preinstalled cartridge.,
doesn't do well when dropped from heights !
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5


Written By robert, Ashburn on Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Very low quality, light in weight, felt like it was made of plastic. The minute I began using it a loud hum was apparent. Called tech services, they couldn't really help getting to the bottom of it. The obvious problem with hums in turntables is the grounding wire. No way to repair this as the hook up's i.e..,, rca's, grouding wire, ac, etc. are built internal to the turntable, thus no access. I finally gave up and returned it. Crutchfield's excellent return policy allowed me to do so. They even paid for the shipping. I then went to a Music Hall 5.1 se. Now that's a turntable. Avoid NAD for turntables, they are better at amp, preamps, cd/br players and receivers.
Crutchfield's return policy.
Cheap feel to the turntable, unrepairable hum. RCA's are built into the turntable.
6 out of 7 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Good Product / Limited Documentation

Written By PLG 3, Hudson, OH on Monday, December 31, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
The turntable sounds very good--consistently. No wobble, no rumble. It has an inconspicuous profile that fits in well with my other NAD equipment. It sets up easily--IF you have had experience in the past with turntable set-up and know where to look for packing material, tape, etc. There is very little information on set-up in the provided documentation.
Good design, good sound, quiet operation
Very limited documentation, especially so far as set-up is concerned
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great turntable for the price

Written By wayne, el paso, texas on Friday, December 14, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I have been a turntable user since 1965 and in the interim, I have had some pretty nice ones - be advised , however, that this one is a winner - easy to set up, easy to use and the factory installed cartridge will surprise you - as part of a good home theater system, this table rocks - go for it -
6 out of 8 people found this helpful
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1 question already asked

I am comparing this turntable with the Pro-ject 1 Xpression. How do they compare?, I don't see the speed variance and wow and flutter for the Nad. [ paul/heidi  Feb 02, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • We have not received any answers from other customers on your question. I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They should be able to help answer your question. [ Jeff Staff  Feb 04, 2014 ]

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