CD player suggestion and new NAD C538

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by ezav, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. ezav

    ezav
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    Hey guys,

    As my title suggests, I am looking for opinions on the NAD C538 CD player which just came out.
    Has anyone tried it? How does it sound?

    I'm looking for a CD player for my budget system which consists of the B&W 686 s2's and a
    NAD C316BEE v2 amp (the new model, not the 2010 model). The amp is warm and I like it. The speakers are probably not the most transparent at that price point, but they are quite musical although a bit bassy (I've muffled the ports to keep low end better balanced). I have tried the Marantz 6006 spinner with my setup and imo it sound good. I am thinking of going for the new 6006 UK edition, but I would prefer to lower the cost to about £250 (used is out of the question).

    Thus the NAD C538 fits the bill, with 6 years warranty (I won't miss the USB or the headphone out of the Marantz, but I might miss the digital output off and display off features). Is there some other decent option I fail to consider at this price point? (£250-£350).

    Best,
    Stathis
     
  2. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    It's a bit early for the NAD to have any reviews either professional or owners. I see Sevenoaks has it at £249 with the six year warranty which is very reassuring. Performance is likely to be on a par with it's contemporaries at that price point. The obvious bench mark being the Marantz CD 6006, a player I own and use exclusively as a headphone amp. What I noticed is the weight of the NAD, more than half that of the Marantz, 3kg as opposed to the 6006's 6.5kg.
     
  3. ezav

    ezav
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    I've noticed the weight also mate and it struck me awkward as well. However, having worked on repairing a friend's Marantz 6005 I can tell you that the bulk of the weight is for two (rather obvious) reasons. For one, the power supply is massive (which would actually be a good selling point vs the NAD given that I am not going to use any power conditioning on this system), and second the chassis is very solid. Given that NAD have gone chi-fi and from my experience with my amp, I can tell you that they have probably went full cheap on the chassis. The Marantz has thick gauge steel pretty much everywhere, even in the front panel's section and is incredibly rigid.

    Now for direct competitors to the NAD, I think the 6 year warranty is a major selling point because at that price CD players tend to be unreliable since many years ago and competitors give 1-2 years warranty. While simple problems like stuck trays I can fix easily with no cost, skipping and early dying laser sections can be pretty expensive to fix even DIY. Marantz are much more likely to have used completely new laser diodes and the 6 year warranty on the NAD alleviates my concerns on the laser section.

    Another thing that occurred to me today is that Sevenoaks are selling some ex-display units of Arcam cds27 and Rotel CD-14. I have tried neither of those but I have good experience with Rotel and these two units consistently get good user experience feedback, so now I'm thinking of going the extra mile. But while the units are bound to be more reliable to the NAD, I'm not sure that a £500 CD player will add much to my system given the amp and the speakers.
     
  4. muljao

    muljao
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  5. ezav

    ezav
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    Thank you mate, but I'm not going open box with 1 year warranty. I did get the Marantz 6006 open box from Peter Tyson 3 months ago and the unit was in sh*tty condition (top lid was hit at places and the paint scratched off, machine had been repaired but some washers were missing from the screws) and it failed within 3 months. None of these were mentioned in the sale, so I'm not going that route again of buying returned units from other customers.
     
  6. muljao

    muljao
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    Thats fair enough. Just for info I bought a marantz pm6005 off superfi open box and it was pristine, I followed up buying a pm6006 for another room and it was also pristine,and I bought open box studio monitors from gear4music. I'd think you were just unlucky but i understand you need to be confident in what you buy
     
  7. ezav

    ezav
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    I think I was unlucky as well and that it's not the rule, but I can't be bothered with not trusting the machine at this point, it's putting too much anxiety on me for a budget system that's simply not worth the anxiety!
     
  8. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    The main difference between the Arcam and the Rotel is the Arcam being an SACD player. The problem with buying an SACD player is that, if you don't already own any, you may be tempted to search out some discs to try and that can be expensive as I have found out.

    I was lucky and snapped up a new Marantz SA8005 at it's very lowest price and it is certainly a good step above the already excellent 6006. The Arcam and Rotel fall somewhere between the 6006 and 8005 price wise but I still feel that, at it's current price, the Marantz is one of the finest players available. Build quality the 6006 is certainly on a par with both. I bought mine from RS and took advantage of their six year guarantee.
     
  9. ezav

    ezav
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    I see your point and knowing me I would be tempted to get into SACD, which is the least I need right now so I think I will avoid the SACD route. I have no doubt that the Marantz build quality is excellent and the 6 year plan which I believe I can get for another £35 from RS is actually a good option in the end I think. Since I like the 6006 on my system, I guess there is no point on risking with the Rotel, so again I'm stuck between the 6006 and the NAD (which I would risk just to save money and given I can return the machine if I don't like it buying online). So I guess I just have to wait for some feedback on the NAD C538 then, as Sevenoaks in Southampton has closed shop to move to another store.
     
  10. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    I know you've said you're not interested in the headphone socket but I'm using the computer in the conservatory listening to a Jethro Tull CD from the 6006 with headphones. Happy and content in my own little world. The AKG headphones are permanently connect to the 6006, no amp just using it's own headphone stage and it's a bloody good sound.

    I've spent over £100 on just four SACDs in the last few weeks.:eek:
     
  11. Cornish Dave

    Cornish Dave
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    In fairness to Peter Tyson I have just purchased an ex display Arcam CDS27 from them and whilst it's box is not perfect everything about the machine was fine, could not tell it from new. If I wanted to complain the two batteries for the remote control were missing! They confirmed they would honour a two year warranty and on registering it on the Arcam website they increased the warranty to five years but excluded the laser after two years. I paid £449 for the machine so for something that was £699 very recently that seems fine to me.What happened with your 6006 did you send it back? I have purchased a fair bit of kit over the last few years from them so perhaps they are looking after me who knows?
     
  12. ezav

    ezav
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    Yeah that's a plus I guess for the machine. While I want it for my budget system, the fact it can be used as a standalone armchair headphone amp I guess is also a major plus.

    Ah, I know your pain. Because I buy both CDs and Vinyl, I've already considered with sticking to one of the two formats because when I go on a buying spree things turn ugly haha. I guess I should avoid the SACD after all haha.
     
  13. ezav

    ezav
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    Mine was sold as open box, saying that it came with all accessories. Not ex-display, but given the condition of the machine I was surprised. They said they would honour their warranty, but they offered me the option to refund which I took, because I feel it was unfair to get the machine in that beaten up condition (the remote cable was also missing) without any description in the sale. I have sent the machine back and it should be with them tomorrow and hopefully they will refund me without much fuss. The shop has a good reputation in general and the people I spoke with on the phone were kind and understanding, so I have no complaints I would buy from them again, but I'm not that confident on open box sales anymore.
     
  14. Cornish Dave

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    Hope it works well for you . If I have had a problem I always contact a Matthew Tyson who has sorted it out for me. In truth that should not have been sold to you in that condition!
     
  15. ezav

    ezav
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    On a bright note, and to be fair to PT, Peter Tyson seem to have refunded me already with no fuss, no questions asked. While I am not happy that they sold me that spinner, I have to say that their aftersales customer care was, in my experience excellent.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  16. Cornish Dave

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    That is good news. I see they have an Arcam CDS27 advertised for £449 with a message saying it is cosmetically damaged please ring to discuss. I believe the photos on their site are generic so the one shown looks perfect.Pleased that my £449 worth was cosmetically fine! That is what they should have done with yours. Perhaps somebody has had a word!
     
  17. ezav

    ezav
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    In the end I decided to go with the Marantz 6006 UK after all. It is tempting to try out the NAD, but the nearest showcase is in Reading and given the value of the player I'm not willing to spend any kind of money or time to go there and try it out. I also don't want to get in the hassle of returning it if I don't like it, so I went for the option which I have tried and liked in the first place. Thank you for your replies and also for getting the SACD route off my mind!
     
  18. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    I don't think you'll be disappointed at all, very very good player.
     

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