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NAD C352 + NAD542 souding very lean

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by RichT, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. RichT

    RichT
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    Hi,

    I finally got my new system set up and to be honest, I'm a bit disapointed. My complete setup is:

    NAD C352 + NAD542 with Van Den Hul The Name interconnects. Quad 12L speakers bi-wired with QED silver aniversary speaker cable.

    The problem is that it just sounds too thin and lean. At first I thought that it was just the wrong choice of speakers, as I know that the quads are extremely detailed, and neutral sounding.

    I tried swapping the interconnects around in different combinations and it didn't make any real difference.

    I then tried plugging in a set of headphones and still have the same problem. So now I'm sure it's something to do with the NAD gear and not the speakers.

    It's particularly noticable when listening to stuff like T-Rex, that normally has a warm, full, lush sound. In fact, I took the T Rex CD and played it on my girlfriend's £30 Goodmans hifi from Argos with the same headphones as before - and I have to say, it was a whole lot better. The punchy warm sound as expected was there. Obviously the detail, imaging etc lacked badly (as you would expect!) but the sound was so much fuller.

    At first I thought maybe the NAD gear just needed to be run in. I've played it for about 20hrs now, and whilst it has got better, it hasn't really improved by a significant amount.

    I recalled that the NAD C352 got a bad review from What HIFI to begin with due to lack of bass, and thought that maybe I got one of the bad ones. But then I read that NAD didn't release any C352s for retail before they fixed the problem. So I guess that's not it.

    Any ideas? Maybe I should just send it all back and go with a Cambridge Audio setup instead? :rolleyes:
     
  2. meinbrain

    meinbrain
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    i have the same amp and cd player paired with some moraunt shorts.

    its sounds totally brill!

    are you listening to a 'burnt cd'. i never noticed it before but 'quickly' burnt cds sound a bit pants compared to real cds on the setup we/i have

    if you burn the cds i recommend burning them at the lowest rate u can and using nero
     
  3. sm0akes

    sm0akes
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    I have a very similiar setup, Nad 542, Nad C370, Quad 11l, and it doesnt sound lean so unless we have very different interpretations of music then there must be something wrong with your system. Perhaps it needs running in longer, I know the quads need 50 hours or so. Otherwise I would try it with another cd player and then amp if possible.
     
  4. RichT

    RichT
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    I've listened to a few more CD's tonight, and I think I might just be a little overly critical. I find the bass and trebble on the amp need turning up to a little over quater of a turn past central to get it to perform right. I'll probably leave it until 50 hours or so and then if it's not much better, I'll grab some replacement gear to demo to see if there's a problem.

    With tone defeat on - that's when it sounds weak. Do you guys use tone defeat or do you normally listen with the bass and trebble turned up a bit?
     
  5. sm0akes

    sm0akes
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    Tone defeat on here
     
  6. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    You did demo this lot before you bought it and not just rely on WHF reviews didn't you?
     
  7. RichT

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    I'm kinda home demoing it at the moment. I couldn't find anywhere that had everything I wanted close by to demo in-shop, so I took the parts home from different places. I could send any of it back for a refund if need be.

    But I did read all the reviews I could possibly find, so thought the setup was a safe bet as I barely found anyone that isn't happy with it.

    I think what I'll do is get hold of some more gear to listen to, side by side with what I have now, and compare. Then I'll just return what I don't want.
     
  8. RichT

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    update: I left the CD running all night on repeat and the amp on with headphones plugged in. Sounds a great deal better this morning! The sound has much more body to it. Guess it really just needs a good running in period.
     
  9. GFS AV

    GFS AV
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    Glad it's sounding better, chances are it will get better still.
     
  10. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    Those speakers arent renowned for their bass... thats probably why. You might want to look into getting a subwoofer or some bigger speakers if your still not happy.
     
  11. RichT

    RichT
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    Yeah, as I said, I originally thought it was the speakers too. However, after listening on headphones, I'm sure it's more localised to the amp / cd player.

    But things are a bit better now anyway. As GFS AV said, it'll probably continue to get better with time. I still have to use the tone knobs on some CD's to get the best out of them. I know they "supposedly" destroy some of the sound quality, but if it sounds better - it sounds better so I wont rule out using them.

    I should have been more specific in my original post in that the problem was with the low mids of the frequency range. I also should have said that this is my first "real" hifi system, so I think the extra detailing (and I guess this is a detailed system I've built) takes a bit of getting used to when all you're used to is bass laden stuff from a £30 setup from Argos for all those years :)

    It's sounding better all the time and I'm enjoying the clear trebble more and more.
     
  12. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    You do get used to it. Now when I hear cheap systems like mini hifi's they just sound muddy and boomy.
     

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