NAD C525BEE Compact Disc Player

General Information

The C 525BEE disc player is good sounding by a tad rough ergonomically. This isn't a serious criticism, but an observation that the right decisions were made about where to cut costs to bring the machine to market at under $300. The drawer is undamped and makes some noise as it slides in and out, and the blue-and-white backlit display doesn't have enough contract to be read across the room in high ambient light.

But where it counts the player is very well executed, with improved optical tracking circuitry and a 20-bit Burr-Brown DAC chosen for low-level linearity and resolution of detail. Borrowing much more upscale designs, the C 525BEE has separate power regulators for the digital and analog sections, for lower contamination of the analog output by digital noise. The player also features metal-film resistors and polypropylene capacitors in key areas for accurate frequency response, in addition to high-quality Burr-Brown op-amps in the output section.

Recognizing the likelihood that the C 525BEE might be used as a transport feeding an external DAC, NAD engineers buffered the coaxial output with a transformer from the converter itself. The digital output's 75-ohm impedance is, as NAD claims, ideally matched to digital cables, reducing the potential for jitter or timing errors.

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