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NAD 521BEE or 542 ???

 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 73
Registered: Apr-04
I want to change my current cd player (Yamaha 575). After two weeks of search I have opted for NAD.
Should I buy the 521BEE or spend more in the 542?

Thanks for opinions.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 362
Registered: Feb-05
The C542 is worth every penny of the difference!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 74
Registered: Apr-04
Do you think that a universal player can match the NAD's performance in CD audio?
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 509
Registered: Sep-04
No. I haven't heard a universal player that actually plays music yet...
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1828
Registered: Aug-04
"No. I haven't heard a universal player that actually plays music yet..."

Maybe it's about time time you did, Frank. But, if you are inferring that all universal players can't play music then I find your remark highly insulting to those of us that would advise otherwise.

Regards

M.R.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1829
Registered: Aug-04
"time time"

It catches up on us all, I'm afraid afraid!

 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 510
Registered: Sep-04
My Rantz,

Fine, feel insulted. I haven't heard one play real music yet and I've heard a few. Don't get me wrong - they play what's on the disc, but they're about as musical as watching paint dry most of the time. The high-res discs come through with all the extra resolution, detail and space you'd expect, but still no music. The CD replay on most of those machines is even worse than the high-res replay.

Generally, in my view, high-res has so far been the most disappointing waste of time of the last decade. Its sales have failed dismally (even lower than vinyl last year!) and BluRay has far better possibilities of actually happening (BluRay is the Playstation 3 platform so it should happen).

So feel free to feel insulted My Rantz, but I'm not going to apologise for what I see as a dismal failure on the part of the music and electronics industries to get their act together and boost the chances of quality replay due to political greed for the whole market with absolutely no regard for what the format war would do to either the consumers or the retailers.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1830
Registered: Aug-04
Actually Frank, a forward incompatible person such as yourself couldn't insult me and personally I think you'll be extinct before the hi-res formats will, However, I'm not about to waste my time getting into a slanging match with another of this forum's dinosaurs except to add that if the hi-res format sales are slow getting off the ground, it's blaringly obvious who might be partially responsible.

Good luck.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 511
Registered: Sep-04
Well, My Rantz, you may well be right. Who's to know? I didn't realise that being on a forum for a grand total of just 8 months made me a dinosaur! Blimey.

In fact the hi-res formats have been trying to get off the ground for quite some time, certainly longer than this ol' dinosaur has been on the forum. :-)

As to responsibility, we only have to look at a little history. Older music carrying formats had short or non-existent format wars (e.g. horizontal/vertical vs 45 degree stereo arrangement for stereo storage on vinyl), cassette had little competition from 8-track and so gained universal popularity, VHS vs Betamax was the first format war which caused a little confusion and hundreds of thousands of disgruntled Betamax customers and retailers, CD had no competition so it succeeded beautifully in gaining market traction, DVD-V had no competition so it, too, succeeded beautifully. DCC and MD fought things out for ages and eventually got overtaken by MP3. DVD-A and SACD have been fighting it out for ages and neither have any appreciable market traction.

The market is suffering from a sales depression since 2000. The companies we all know and love are wasting valuable time and resources on bickering over formats instead of providing direction and inspiration.

And you have the cheek to accuse me of being forward incompatible? Please...!

Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 75
Registered: Apr-04
And what's about the NAD 542 and 521BEE?

Or the Denon 2910 or Marantz 8400 against them?

 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1833
Registered: Aug-04
Alejandro,

I have a Denon DVD-2900 (now superceded to DVD-3910) and CD playback via the analogue outputs is excellent - maybe not quite up to par with stand-alone $2000 plus players but it handles CD, SACD and DVD-A with aplomb. The Marantz 8400 and new 9400 are excellent as is the Denon 3910 model and higher. A few respected regulars here say great things about the DVD-2200 however, I have read (but not experienced) that the 2910 does not quite compare for cd playback but an audition is the best way to chose no matter what type of transport you are considering.

And I wouldn't worry too much about Frank's comment regarding universal players not being musical, if it sounds musical to you than that's all that matters. Good luck.

 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 512
Registered: Sep-04
I've played a bit with the Denon 2910. It's a good machine with an excellent picture. The NAD C542 beats it musically in my view, but then I generally have a problem with Denon's musical presentation.

As to the Denon 2900 and 3910, there are some who would say the 2900 is the better machine. I seem to remember reading a review in HiFi News which basically said that if you were in that market you should go to Richer Sounds while they had the 2900s going cheap because they were better musically and nearly as good in terms of picture...!

Personally, DVD and the hi-res formats are not so important to me. If it were me with the money for a 2910, I'd buy a dedicated CD player (Arcam CD73T) and a reasonable DVD player (Pioneer thingie probably since they have arguably the best picture for the money).

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 77
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks for the answers.

I agree with a dedicated CD player should be better than an universal player as CDP, but the matter is that comparing prices (at least in my country) the NAD 542 and the Denon 2910 are at the same level.

The NAD is just for CD and HDCD, while the Denon reproduces anything.

If later I want to improve my DVD, I would have to buy another player, while with the Denon I have a good CD player and an excellent DVD player. With the NAD I have only a very good CD player.

This is the question...
 

NADMAN
Unregistered guest
Alejandro -
I am facing the same dilema. Not alot of local dealers have both NAD's on display where I live for some stupid reason. I went into a store that did have both set up (along with my amp and speakers - believe it or not - NAD C320BEE & PSB Image t55). Only problem was that the C542 wasn't working (I was pretty pissed about that) However they also had the T572 dvd changer. I compared the 521BEE & changer to see the difference, and there was hardly any. The 521BEE did sound a little better to me, but very very little difference. The room could have made a slight difference, but not that much when they are in the same room.

A lot of people say that dvd changers suck for music, but don't take their word for it. Listen for yourself. Everyone here has there own opinion (which I respect), but in the end it's your money, ears, & choice. The dvd changer has been discontinued,but some places still have it. I don't know where you are from, but if it is available, it may be worth looking into to settle your mind. I don't know how well it plays dvd's, it wasn't hooked up to a tv, and I wasn't listening to it for that. I'm still waiting for them to get a working C542 to make up my mind as to which one to buy (although the C542 not working right scares me a little). If this happens before you get something, I'll let you know.

In a nut shell, don't disregard something because of what others say. The more equipment you listen to, the better off you are.

The T572 was selling for around $320. I think it plays HDCD and SACD (one or the other or maybe both). I know it plays mp3 (sounds like crap, but is convenient for parties). Check out northamptonaudio.com or dmc-electronics.com. They are usually selling either refurbished or still new models. If you can't buy from them, at least they have data and specs on them.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 515
Registered: Sep-04
Of course, if you prefer the sound of the Denon then by all means go ahead and buy it. You certainly won't lose out in terms of feature-set so that would be the best of both worlds. I was quite specific that I didn't like it - and that I have a problem with Denon's musical presentation generally. If the Denon 2910 is similar money to a 521, then that's a rock solid deal! Over here it's 3 times the price!

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 516
Registered: Sep-04
Sorry, I misread the previous post. Here, the Denon is £600 to the C542's £329. Still a big difference.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 78
Registered: Apr-04
My problem is that I don't have the possibility to listen to the Denon, I have to buy it for order.

I have listened to the NADs and I liked because they have a sound but natural and relaxed compared with my Yamaha.

I live in Argentina and the NAD 542 bought here and the Denon 2910 brought by order are near the u$s 700. -

Audioholics granted five stars as CDP at the 2910 and advised to take to the Denon like a all in one solution replacing the separates. It's just an opinion, but I think that the Audioholics's guys are serious.

 

NADMAN
Unregistered guest
Alejandro -
If you order something and don't like, can you return it? Or will this cost you a lot of money? I don't know if they are shipping you this stuff from outside of Argentina, or if it its an Argentine mail order company, like Crutchfield is here in the States. If you can return them without penalty, you may be better off trying them that way. If not, I'd probably go with something that you know you like rather than gambling on something you might or might not like. The drawback is how do you know if you're really getting the best sounding stuff (in your opinion, no one else's)?
It's amazing how much the prices of stuff fluctuates in different countries, even with the conversion rates factored in.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 79
Registered: Apr-04

No, I can't return it. This's the reason for which I should base my purchase on reviews and/or in yours opinions.

I agree with you, prices vary a lot in different countries. Maybe I don't have so much difference in the Denon, but you can get cheaper the NAD.
 

NADMAN
Unregistered guest
That situation doesn't sound like much fun. Personally, I like NAD in it's price range. But that is why I bought it over anything else - best sound (for me) for my budget. A lot of people like Denon, and for good reason. I can't comment whole heartedly on them because I've never owned them, but I think they are pretty well built and sound good, relative to their pricing of course.

Hearing is a sense, and like every other sense, is purely subjective. My favorite beer is probably different than yours; my perfect woman probably looks different than yours, etc.

If I were in your situation, I would stick to what I've heard and like. If you have heard, liked, and can afford NAD (or any other brand for that matter), I'd go with it. I wouldn't gamble on something else because a couple of magazines and people said it "sounds" better. In the end, it's in your house, paid with your money!!!

I don't think you could really go wrong with any of the stuff you mentioned though.
 

NADMAN
Unregistered guest
I don't know why I didn't ask this before - Have you heard the NAD CDP's? I assumed that you did, but reading the thread again, it doesn't say if you did or did not. Sorry!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 80
Registered: Apr-04
Yes, I compared a Yamaha (similar to mine) and the NAD 542. I liked NAD, for its more natural sound and better soundstage.
However, it's a big difference of money for a smaller difference in sound quality, but well... these are the rules of this game
 

NADMAN
Unregistered guest
In reading the posts and reviews, a lot of people say the 542 sounds a lot better than the 521BEE and is worth the money, and a lot of others say it's not that much better. I haven't heard them side by side, so I have no educated opinion. My local dealer still hasn't got a 542 so I can compare them side by side, but when he does (hopefully soon) I'm going to campare them, and buy one of them. If the 542 is worth the extra money (about $200 more), I'll buy that. But if it isn't, I'll buy the 521BEE. But I still think the T572 (DVD changer) sounded just about as good as the 521BEE, but also had DVD, SACD, 5 disc, and mp3, which are pretty good to have for only a few bucks more. It's a frusterating and fun hobby at the same time. If the dealer gets the 542 in the next few days, I'll let you know what I think.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1846
Registered: Aug-04
NADMAN

I think you are incorrect about about the T572 having SACD - I believe it does DVD-A.

 

NADMAN
Unregistered guest
MyRantz -
We are both wrong. The NAD T572 has the following: (Taken from northamptonaudio.com)

5 Disc DVD changer
Plays DVD-Video, VCD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW
MP-3 decoder integrated Dolby Digital/PCM/DTS Digital output
HDCD decoder
Coaxial & Optical digital outputs
Play Exchange feature allows discs to be changed without interrupting play (120V only)
State-of-the-art MPEG audio decoder (230V only)
Random play across all discs (with CDs only)
Component Video; SCART with RGB (230V only); S-Video and Composite Video outputs
Progressive Scan with 3:2 pull down (NTSC 120V version only)
Audiophile quality 96kHz/24 bit Crystal DAC and Burr-Brown Op-amps for analogue outputs
12V Trigger Input
4 x 10 bit 54MHz Video DACs
Resume Play (120V only)
Scene Bookmarking (120V only)
DVD-2 Remote Control
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1847
Registered: Aug-04
That's right - it was HDCD Duh! Sorry, but I didn't think think NAD had gone with SACD. About time they released a truly universal player - with the famed NAD sound it could be a real world beater.
 

NADMAN
Unregistered guest
They actually don't make it any more, but it is still around. I think the new NAD DVD players are "universal" however I haven't heard or seen them.

The 521BEE and T572 sounded extremely close to each other. If I was forced to describe the difference, I would say that MAYBE the 521BEE was a little more detailed, but that's about it. I'd love to hear the 542, but the local dealer sucks, and I refuse to pay $500 for something that I haven't heard or directly compared to something else. I don't have an extra $500 burning a hole in my pocket that I have to get rid of soon, if you know what I mean. But if it's worth the extra money, I've got no problem spending it.

Brand new, the T572 sold for $600, but I've seen it around now for about $350. At the $600 price, the 521BEE wins hands down. The extra price wouldn't be worth it to me. But for about $350, it's sounding like a better deal everyday.

I haven't seen it's video output, but I'm not concerned with home theater. It would be an added bonus to have DVD, which shouldn't take much to upgrade from my Playstation2. Not that I think the PS2 is a great DVD player by any means, but for me it's sufficient. I don't care enough about video quality to spend a lot of money on a player.
 

Silver Member
Username: Sun_king

Leeds, West Yorkshire UK

Post Number: 240
Registered: Mar-04
I've had the Nad C542 cdp for a little over a year and the soundis excellent - it digs a bit deeper into the bass than the C521BEE.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 81
Registered: Apr-04
Sun King:

Which other CDP has you listened before buying the NAD 542?
 

New member
Username: Bhumi44

Ahmedabad, Gujarat India

Post Number: 7
Registered: May-05
Dear sir,

We have this service manual in stock.
kindly contect us on info@bhumitapes.com or bhumi44@rediffmail.com

thanking you
kirit shah
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 486
Registered: Feb-05
I own the NAD C542 and the Denon DVD2910. I love them both but for redbook cd's the C542 outperforms the Denon. The Denon however has the best SACD and DVD performance that I have heard or seen for less than $1500. The HDMI perfromance for the Denon is astonishing. I use an Audioquest HDMI cable and wow is all I can say. Both players are remarkable values.
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