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NAD C515BEE or Onkyo DX-7555?

 

New member
Username: Bsong

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-09
I'm in the market for a CD player to play Redbook and CD-Rs exclusively. My absolute high is $450 total. I'm also not comfortable buying a used CD player. So this rules out a lot of players. I've narrowed my choices to two -- The NAD C515BEE and the Onkyo DX-7555. There are no stores near me that have either one out to hear. I've read a huge amount of mostly positive pro and user reviews for both players and I can't decide which way to go. The list price on the NAD is $300 U.S. I can get it new for a total cost of $270. The Onkyo has a list price of $700. I can get it new for a total cost of $435, from two very reputable dealers.

There's a part of me that's drawn to the Onkyo simply because it has an original list price that more than doubles the list price of the NAD. Selling at $600 The Absolute Sound felt that it was "a great bargain." And at $700 Stereophile felt that it was "an excellent value." So at $400, it seems like a steal. I've read that Onkyo is introducing a new CD player in June and I'm guessing that I'm seeing a price drop based on the fact that it's being replaced. Considering the huge difference between the list prices of these two units I can't help but feel that the Onkyo is in a different class. But I really don't know if that's the case -- prices come down for various reasons. As far as the NAD is concerned, What Hi-Fi? gave the C515BEE a very good review, and The Absolute Sound gave it a Product of the Year award in 2008.

User reviews are generally good for both of them. But of course there are upsides and downsides to both of these players, as there are for all CD players. Does anyone have an opinion between these two?

My amp is an NAD C-340 integrated which I bought in 2000. I listen exclusively through my Grado SR-225 headphones through the phone input of the amp. I don't even own speakers.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2444
Registered: Feb-07
I agree with your decision to stay away from used CD players. Most other audio components I have no problem with buying second hand, but the moving parts of a CD player make it a possibly risky candidate for buying used.

If you already have a NAD integrated, and plan on keeping it, it makes sense to me to buy the NAD CDP. Sometimes synergy is more than the dollar sum of a system's parts.
 

New member
Username: Acroatis

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-10
Hi from England - and Greece! I recently bought one of these CD players new for £199! and felt compelled to add my experience so far.
Straight off, the sound quality of the 7555 is simply and NATURALLY superb! I am using the matching (in every way) 9755 amp and have the use of three pairs of speakers, which are capable of doing this Onkyo set up justice.

These are a) A pair of modified Dynaudio Contour 1.3 MKIIs. b) A pair of hybrid speakers I built using 4 NXT panels (2 per channel with a dedicated 10" sub and super tweeter top end bottom) and last but not least c) my old pair of "Parthenons", so called as I have used solid marble slabs for the sides, each recently updated with 2 12" Peerless bass drivers to an Onkyo mid-range horn driver (from 1974!) and super tweeter, capable of probably the most 'real' sound I've heard - regardless of money! Best of all, each pair has cost me only a few hundred dollars to make, as the Dynaudios were picked up very cheaply 2nd hand and also modified by me.

I mention the speakers as, since the late 60s, I have aspired to do justice to all those groups, orchestras, musicians and artists who have given me so much pleasure, but could never afford the "hi-end" kit that sometimes came close to naturally reproducing what my ears expected or had heard live! For many years, the wonderful Onkyo A9070 amp and reasonably priced turntables and cartridges served me well and then came CD.

But since my Philips 104b CD player, the struggle has mostly been finding a front end source I could afford that could reproduce the potential that digitally recorded sound offered. Unfortunately even some outrageously priced "hi-end" kit failed to sound accurate to that recorded sound - let alone natural. Until now!

'Naturally' the Onkyo isn't absolutely perfect (what is?) but it comes so satisfyingly close that I am now simply listening to the music and, only sometimes when rediscovering new insights on familiar recordings, think about or become aware of the quality of the equipment.

Finally, if you still have a CD collection and don't want to spend silly money to hear it satisfactorily, all I can say is, if you're lucky enough to still come across one, grab it! This CD player (and amp) is extraordinary value for money - even at it's "original" price - with excellent, cost effective application of technology and 'sound' engineering. Quite frankly, it also raises serious questions regarding the multi thousand price tags of so many "hi-end" products.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Captsquid

Post Number: 18
Registered: Mar-06
Bill, Where are these two dealers that have the DX 7555 ? I've been unable to find one.
 

New member
Username: Acroatis

Post Number: 2
Registered: Feb-10
You will be lucky to find the Onkyo player now - both in the US and the UK - but if you do spot one, grab it! You won't be disappointed!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Captsquid

Post Number: 19
Registered: Mar-06
Any thoughts on Onkyo's new C-S5VL vs the DX 7555?
 

New member
Username: Acroatis

Post Number: 3
Registered: Feb-10
Yep - no contest, Onk for sure! if you can still find one!
 

New member
Username: Acroatis

Post Number: 4
Registered: Feb-10
Apologies, I misread your question just having re-read the post re the Nad. There's not a lot between the Onkyos sound wise, slight edge to the DX 7555 - the main difference is the C-S5VL also plays SACD!
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