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Customer Reviews

NAD C 658

BluOS™ network player/preamp/DAC with Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®

MFR # C 658

NAD C 658

NAD C 658

BluOS™ network player/preamp/DAC with Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®

MFR # C 658

27 reviews
View this product

The brains of your 2-channel system

Charles from Stowe, VT on 11/8/2021

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The NAD C658 BlueOS Streaming DAC pre-amplifier should be the brains of any 2-channel stereo system. It has all the connection options ( inputs/outputs) that you may need, probably more than you will ever use. It has ample features like BlueOS, DAC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Dirac room correction, and many more I won't bore you by listing. It will also keep up with any HiFi changes since it has 2 MDC slots. Who else offers all this stuff at its price point? If I had to list anything that it may lack in, I would have to say its looks. The NAD C658 looks like a black box. That doesn't bother me though because I don't have it on display, it's in my stereo cabinet.

Pros: Connections Features Upgradability

Cons: For some it might be its looks

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2 of 2 found this helpful

Disappointing

Crutchfield customer from Campton, NH on 10/4/2021

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I bought this to replace a Cambridge Audio CXNv2 as I wanted to maintain a single device but wanted to add a turntable to my living room setup, which is exclusively digital aside from the turntable. The optical audio inputs have roughly a second delay before working, causing most sources to have clipped audio - in attempting to address this, I tried both optical ports and experienced the behavior in both. I ended up setting up a second DAC to handle those inputs, defeating the goal of one device. The system will silently no longer send signal to the output after a period of time, whilst still looking perfectly functional, forcing me to power it off and on. Given the cost, I am very disappointed in the product and will likely be replacing it shortly, it's just not worth the trouble.

Pros: Single device with the perfect set of inputs, allowing for a mostly digital setup, but still allowing for analog sources.

Cons: Technical hurdles make it subpar in many scenarios.

Crutchfield response on 10/5/2021
We're sorry you're disappointed with your DAC. Whenever you are not completely satisfied with anything you purchase from Crutchfield, please contact our Customer Support team at 1-800-955-9091. Purchases from Crutchfield can be returned or exchanged within 60 days of the purchase.

1 of 1 found this helpful

Phoenix

Christopher from Phoenix on 9/22/2021

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I received the unit yesterday. It was very easy to set up. It sounds wonderful. I stream Tidal, and the MQA music is just breathtaking on this unit. I also stream my personal FLAC files from my NAS, and they sound wonderful too. I had to change a couple of NAS configuration parameters so it was visible to the NAD, and then it appeared under Library in the sources drawer. The Bluos app is really nice too. It is a rich environment that is very professionally designed and rendered. All in all, I would recommend the NAD C658 very highly.

Pros: Easy set up Great sound, including MQA Bluos app

Cons: No front USB port No digital output, you must use NAD's DACs

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2 of 2 found this helpful

Pure and Excellent sound

Crutchfield customer from Conroe, TX on 8/22/2021

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Got the NAD C658 couple weeks ago. The sound clarity and details are fantastic. Hearing notes and instruments I have not heard before on some tracks. I was looking for just a great quality DAC to push my Arcam amplifier and BW 702S2. Totally worth it.

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2 of 3 found this helpful

If you only need streaming take a pass on this

Crutchfield customer from Sun Prairie, WI on 8/21/2021

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I bought this unit because I thought it would be a great somewhat high end all in one streamer with Dirac, boy was I disappointed. The sound from streaming from this unit was lifeless with no separation between instruments at all. Everything sounded smushed together. The sub outs had very little volume to them, I couldn't turn my subs up enough to get enough volume. I had to use the RCA outs from my amp which meant Dirac was basically useless. I replaced this unit with the 2021 Bluesound Node for a 1/3 of the price and OMG what a difference! It sounded so much better and very musical with all of the same functionality of the NAD C 658 minus the analog inputs and room correction. I plan on adding an external DAC and a minidsp 2x4 for room correction and it will still come out cheaper than this unit. If you don't need the preamp input functions of this, go with something else.

Pros: All in one Bluesound os

Cons: Sub outs Poor sound Expensive for what you get

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7 of 8 found this helpful

Versatile and great-sounding preamp

Edward from CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA on 7/23/2021

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When I took a chance on testing out the C 658 -- along with the NAD C 268 power amp -- I was excited to see that the C 658 had a built-in BlueOS feature. It synced perfectly with the Bluesound Node 2i I was already running in another room. My only other component in this system is my Dual 1019 turntable, and the C 658's phono stage did a fantastic job of delivering the vinyl's detail. I really love having the digital and analog formats side by side through this NAD pair -- and I'm barely taking advantage of what this preamp can do. The sound is effortless, transparent, and formidable.

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2 of 2 found this helpful

NAD C658 Delivers the Goods, and more!

Crutchfield customer from El Cajon, CA on 7/11/2021

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This is the one you want! After trying struggling with the CXN V2 and its inability to stream Amazon HD Music, and the complete meltdown of a new ST60 in more ways than I can mention, the company that comes through is NAD, with its C658 which fires on all cylinders delivering consistent and reliable functionality and an incredible soundstage! A bit of creeping elegance usually precedes such a purchase, and if you are seeking a network streamer/DAC unit in one chassis, this works how it is supposed to and sounds superb. I did side by side listening tests the the others mentioned above, which also sound very good. The NAD C658 wins the battle sonically, but most importantly for its BluOS software implementation. That is what you are paying 1/3 of the price for, but worth more than that!! Try the Radio Paradise MQA station mixes ... a nice surprise! I still haven't got around to the Dirac Live setup and listening, but I have a friend who has that and really likes it. I also haven't gotten out my records and use the phono input, but plan to. Let's face it ... if you have converted all your CDs to FLAC and are stepping into digital music delivery, there simply is no need to shuffle CDs into a player any longer. It took me a while to buy into that, but side by side tests of ripped FLAC tracks vs the physical CD tracks proved this point. Off to donation pile go my CDs! Happy listening ...

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3 of 3 found this helpful

What a great purchase!

Crutchfield customer from Mcdonough, GA on 6/6/2021

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I love this all-in-one solution. I upgraded to separates from a very high quality Yamaha receiver and I'm glad I did! This unit isn't just a "slight upgrade" in audio quality from my previous system- it's a huge leap in sound. I have it paired with the a C298 amp and Triton 2+ full range speakers. The sound stage and clarity is fantastic with the Dirac system engaged.

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3 of 3 found this helpful

NAD C 658

Crutchfield customer from MCHENRY, IL on 5/13/2021

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Awesome product. NAD sounds so natural and pure. They sound even better today! They are always amazing the audiophile in me. Thank you!

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2 of 3 found this helpful

Not very compatible with subwoofers

Crutchfield customer from Los Angeles, CA on 4/6/2021

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Enjoying the quality of the sound in my system. Reason for average score is that sub1 and sub2 RCA outputs are not functional. Doing some research I found out that are not compatible with many subwoofers (I have SVS which is a good reliable brand). The subwoofer has to be used through line 1 output. This has also caused issues with the Dirac room analyzer. Nevertheless the sound output has been excellent.

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4 of 5 found this helpful

NAD C 658

Crutchfield customer from Tuscaloosa, AL on 3/26/2021

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Awesome.

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0 of 3 found this helpful

Challenged Customer

Crutchfield customer from Los Angeles, CA on 2/14/2021

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I'm generally fairly adept at hooking up sound equipment, but trying to activate this BluOS pre-amp has me whipped. I feel it is the app that is really badly designed. It's simply not user friendly. I'm having to wait until a technician can fit me into his schedule. Most likely I will want to change my rating for the better once it's hooked up.

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Crutchfield response on 2/16/2021
We're sorry you're having issues hooking up your pre-amp. If you'd like our help, please just reach out to our Tech Support team. They can help you solve the problem or set up a return within 60 days of purchase. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

5 of 7 found this helpful

Poor experience

Matt from Asheville, NC on 2/11/2021

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This unit has a known defect where the subwoofer-out produces signal something at like 6-8db lower than it should be. It's basically unusable. Even with my sub's gain turned to the max it was barely audible. I verified it wasn't a bad unit; if you search around online, you will find forums where other buyers are discussing the same defect. The go-to solution for these people seems to be buying a signal booster and putting it inline. This is by no means an inexpensive piece of equipment, and "just buy a booster" is not an acceptable answer. To allow these to leave the factory with such a glaring defect does not bode well with me. On top of that I did try contacting NAD support just in case they had some fix that the Internet doesn't know about, but a week went by with zero response. I ended up returning it along with the 275BEE I purchased. This was my first NAD experience and will very likely be my last.

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26 of 29 found this helpful

NAD C 658

Crutchfield customer from Waukesha, WI on 11/24/2020

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Sounds very nice after switching from an AVA fet valve preamp that is 26 years old. Bluos is a buggy app that I am not crazy about so far. I am hoping that it will improve. My vinyl sounds good. I like the DAC. I haven't set up the Dirac precisely yet .

Pros: Nice sounds. Current technology.

Cons: Poor app.

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6 of 6 found this helpful

One MAJOR disapointment

alai from Easton, PA on 11/1/2020

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Unit has a superb feature set but glaring omission was a coax output to use a better DAC and make this a pure streamer should you fancy such. For my main setup i deferred back to the Node 2i which can send the digital dac bypass to my Arcam 860. This unit was moved to a stereo speaker setup that also feeds zone 2 to outdoor speakers.

Pros: Many features Pre-amp capable with phono and zone2

Cons: No digital out

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10 of 11 found this helpful

Solid if finicky

Dennis from MIDDLEBURY, VT on 9/13/2020

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I am using the C658 as a DAC, as a streamer, and as a phono and line preamp. I am running a Cambridge Audio CXCv.1 through it and the sound is stellar. Can't wait to dig into some of my CD's again. It's been a long while. As a streamer it's a bit finicky and that's one of the reasons I give it only four stars. The integration with Tidal is not all that intuitive, and is visually unattractive, lacking some of the Tidal functionality. There is a DNS issue. To fix it you have to log out of Tidal and reboot your router. But, it's a known issue so I hope future BluOS updates will fix it. When it's working, though, it sounds amazing especially with MQA releases. The only other streaming gripe is that with a ton of service options Apple Music isn't one of them. It also integrates seemlessly with my MacBook Pro. As a preamp it is quite serviceable. I really like the assignability of each line in, including the ability to change the names. Although the phono preamp is not as warm as my Yamaha R-N602, it is still better than most. I've got a new SL-1210GR coming to replace my 1987 MKII. That may make a difference. Finally, Dirac Live takes a while to figure out and the software could have better functionality and there could be much better instruction on mic placement, using the software, and saving files. This is the other reason for four stars. It gets updated often, though, so I expect it will only improve over time. First unit I got was defective and Crutchfield sent me a new one.

Pros: Versatile. Updated often. Sounds great.

Cons: Finicky. Software needs improvement.

Crutchfield response on

11 of 12 found this helpful

Superb Nerve Center For Hi-Res and Vinyl

Crutchfield customer from Arlington, VA on 8/30/2020

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This superb unit allows me to centrally organize and play diverse sources from Amazon Ultra HD hi res streaming to phono, in stunning quality. Playback is controlled via the free BluOS app, comfortably seated on my listening couch, the spot optimized acoustically by the included DIRAC live. Five stars!

Pros: Superlative sound, future-proofed for hi-res streaming/ all services supported

Cons: Pricey - zero interest Crutchfield three payment plan helpful

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4 of 4 found this helpful

NAD C 658

Crutchfield customer from Short Hills, NJ on 5/30/2020

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Excellent product. Sound quality is impeccable. The convenience of streaming from any device - PC, Android, and Apple is so great. You can attach a USB source too.

Pros: Vibrant true sound without any color.

Cons: Wish it had full set of pre-out channels. Currently its limited to L/R and 2 for subwoofer. If it did I could have used it as a receiver too with the add-on HDMI module. Additionally, the USB source recognizes only USB memory sticks and failed to recognize my Samsung solid state 2GB storage.

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5 of 5 found this helpful

Great vision, terrible execution

Crutchfield customer from Washington on 3/17/2020

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I really, really wanted to love this product but almost a year after ownership including getting a factory replacement - I am returning it and moving on. There are rampant bugs throughout the BluOS software, as well as the actual device firmware, some of which are made even worse when you enable Dirac Live room correction. If you spend enough time providing evidence to BlueSound and NAD support they will acknowledge the issue, but won't take accountability on either end and continue giving a generic "may be a hardware limitation" answer for every issue. The biggest deal breaker issues for me were the sub out levels being worthlessly low, and there always being some kind of erratic static/popping or white noise feedback even when the device was muted. Others have noted that the sound is analytical and a bit harsh which is true and you'll notice initially, then get a bit used to, then will REALLY notice when you switch to a different playback device. The reviews of the DAC quality are also quite poor which may be part of the sound stage issue. All up it has a rich feature set and is easy to use, but there are so many bugs and issues they overshadow how great of a product this should be.

Pros: Feature set, ease of use

Cons: Firmware and software bugs Poor product support Harsh and analytical sound

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40 of 47 found this helpful

NAD C 658

Bill from San Mateo, CA on 11/28/2019

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Really love this digital source. Great sound and flexibility. Now that Dirac live works, it's gone to the next level. I was able to measure and cancel the room effects, and it's made a huge difference, especially for imaging. Many of the initial bugs, in the app and unit, have been resolved since purchase, through updates. I use it as a source for my tube and digital amps. Compatibility with MQA streaming works really well. Love all the bells and whistles, but in the end it's simple to use and sounds amazing. One ask would be for a second line level unbalanced rca output. The unit only has one balanced and one unbalanced output. I have a complicated setup, but only one unbalanced output is limiting.

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11 of 14 found this helpful

2-channel Streamer Home Run

Aaron from Seattle, WA on 8/30/2019

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There are a few standout features of this device that put it in a league that has no competition. There are no other devices out there that have all these features (aside from the NAD M10): 1. Dirac Live (24/96) 2. MQA Rendering 3. Roon Ready 4. Independent Dual Subwoofer outputs (with Dirac Live Bass Management coming soon) All of that above wouldn't matter if this thing didn't simply have outstanding sound quality, and it delivers that in spades... super natural, transparent, resolving sound while connected to my B&W 804 D3 speakers & Emotiva XPA5 Gen3 amp. I upgraded from a Sonos Connect that was connected to a Marantz preamp. The sound quality of the C658 compared to my Marantz playing the same song off Tidal HiFi shocked me... I was surprised by how much I was previously missing. Before the C658 I didn't understand how much of a difference a good DAC could make. BluOS is decent, but I've personally been using this with Roon primarily. It works flawlessly with Roon and I'd recommend to anyone considering this product that you look into setting up a ROCK or purchasing a Roon Nucleus to go along with it. Roon is a huge improvement over BluOS. The front display on this is also really nice. I like that I can sit back on the sofa 10' away and see what song is playing via Roon/BluOS without needing to look at my phone. Last thing... I wish this had XLR inputs for use as a Home Theater bypass device, and I also wish it had dual XLR subw

Pros: Sound Quality, Dirac Live, MQA, Roon Ready, Dual Subwoofer outputs with Dirac Bass Management, flexibility.

Cons: My primary gripe with this thing is that I tried to use it in Home Theater bypass mode which means that it is sitting between a home theater processor and my amp. To do this you enable Analog Bypass, Auto Sense, Network Standby, and set the Line 1 analog to Fixed Volume -20. Unfortunately, there's a bug where the volume gets stuck on the previous input when Auto Sense wakes up the unit and switches to Line 1 for the Home Theather Bypass operation. NAD says they're aware of the issue.

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27 of 30 found this helpful

NAD C 658

Crutchfield customer from Nashua, NH on 7/8/2019

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Superb product. Well designed Bluesound app on iOS works seamless. Tightly integrated with my bluesound node and vault. Tidal MQA works super duper. So does Qobuz Sound reproduction is mellifluous with musicality and staging with utmost perfection

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8 of 10 found this helpful

Wanted more

Michael from Leesburg, VA on 6/30/2019

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Disappointed with this item and so returned it (thank you to Crutchfield for your generous return policy!). The problems I experienced: 1. Often fails to detect coax input, making it impossible to play the input. 2. Loses subwoofer setting (resets to "None" on wake from standby). 3. Loses Dirac Live filter profile selection (resets to "None" on wake from standby). 4. I didn't catch during my exhaustive research that you have to pay another $99 for Dirac full frequency. The NAD and Crutchfield websites don't mention you're not getting full frequency Dirac Live. 5. The iOS app UI isn't as user friendly as it should be. I was really bothered with the way the Library player always returned to a default playlist after playing a selection. I would much rather it pick up playing the next song in the list from which the original selection was made (the way iTunes works, which I can't believe I'm saying, but there it is). 6. Would have really appreciated Airplay support, but it does not have it. I was mostly interested in Dirac Live and DAC. I'm now considering the miniDSP SHD, which appears to be similar in terms of features but is a good bit cheaper and includes full Dirac Live.

Pros: Excellent build quality Nice feature set

Cons: Flaky settings detection and persistence. Lacks full frequency Dirac Live. Mobile app UX could be improved .

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37 of 40 found this helpful

Bittersweet

Crutchfield customer from Salisbury, NC on 5/26/2019

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So this one is a little complicated. Not the unit but the situation. Well the unit can be as well actually but in a good way. I have to say I love this preamp/dac but unfortunately it came with several problems. I mean this thing has about everything you need in one device if you run separates. I had to return it but might very well get it again later after the bugs are ironed out. See pros and cons for details.

Pros: - A great all in one solution. - Nice aesthetics that blend pretty well with other components. - Has Bluetooth AptX HD built in which works great! - Has dual sub AND balanced outs! - Has several analog AND digital inputs. - Great build quality.

Cons: - Dirac-Live not available yet - No output on either sub or balanced outs - Unusually "bright" sound characteristics to the point of it being mention on the forums. If Dirac-Live was working that would fix this I believe.

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22 of 25 found this helpful

NAD C 658

Crutchfield customer from Uxbridge, MA on 5/26/2019

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Just love. Sounds great, built in phono preamp with analog bypass. My records never sounded this good. And the BluOS is outstanding.

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6 of 7 found this helpful

Excellent Sound with Fewer Boxes

Crutchfield customer from Hood River , OR on 4/7/2019

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I replaced my Parasound Halo Integrated with a Primaluna tube amplifier this spring. Given that change, I needed to sort out a preamplifier, a phono stage and streaming capability. I considered things like the Parasound Halo P6 Preamplifier with a Bluesound Node 2i, the Mytek Brooklyn with the Node 2i and the Brooklyn Bridge. One other option I considered was the NAD C165 Preamplifier and the Bluesound Node 2i (tone control knobs are a plus). While that combination was the same price as this NAD, the other two were $500-1500 more than the C658. None of the competing options offered the Dirac room correction which I cannot comment on at this point. I just consider that an optional bonus once they get it out there which should be soon. The phono stage is very good, maybe comparable to a $250-400 preamp. I think it gives up a smidgen to the Parasound Halo phono pre, but the difference is not so big as to abandon my one box goal. The Bluesound streaming is excellent. Listening to Tidal MQA tracks is convincingly accurate, so much so that it exposes poor recordings for what they are. Spotify Connect works great (I really wish they would jump into hi res from an app format perspective) and the TV sound coming via optical input is great. Be advised that when you use Bluesound, you are stuck with their interface, just like with Sonos. It is not as good as the native apps. My tube amplifier sounds great and the NAD does nothing to interfere. Highly recommended!

Pros: Fewer boxes, great sounding DAC, MQA decoding, serviceable phono stage, tonally neutral, optional HDMI switching module

Cons: Phono stage could be a little bit better, balanced outputs would have been nice, tone control knobs would have been nicer than having to dive into menus

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15 of 18 found this helpful

NAD C 658 is a game changer

Lawrence from Palmdale, CA on 1/26/2019

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NAD C 658 is a game changer. Several years ago, I created a dedicated stereo system for the purpose of listening to my NAS stored CDs, purchased HiRes music, and SACDs. I was not satisfied with the performance of an old home theatre preamp that I was using so I have been looking for a solution for over a year. I have been watching news about the development of a new hifi device that was being described as a digital preamp but most were priced over $8,000 which is beyond my budget. Even though NAD does not call the C 658 a preamp, in fact it is and so much more. The C 658 replaced a dedicated PC, DAC, headphone amp, and preamp that had cost over $10,000 with one magnificent component. Connected to NAD M22 v2 amp, Paradigm Prestige 95F stereo speakers, and Ethernet CAT6 Gigabit LAN for connection to NAS and internet Tidal Masters MQA listening, I was blown away with the warmth and depth that the C 658 provided for both NAS stored music and streaming. There is not enough space to talk about all the features this wonderful component offers, read the NAD datasheet or owners manual. I do want to let you know that the performance is so impressive, I have spent every available moment listening to music with a permanent smile. As an unexpected bonus, I even plugged in my two favorite headphones (Sony MDR-Z1R & Oppo PM1) into the C 658, wow. Even the headphone amp in the C 658 offered a new warmth and depth I never heard before. Well done NAD, this device is a game changer.

Pros: Preamp/DAC/streamer as one component, BluOS, Roon supported, full MQA rendering, music reproduction far surpasses price category. Modular Design allows for future upgrades.

Cons: Dirac Live was not yet available for C 658, NAD support advises update should be out in several weeks. MDC modules listed in owners manual are not yet available.

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68 of 69 found this helpful

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