NAD C446 Network player

I had been raised on radio, and that I still love its unpredictable mixture of news, attributes, and music. The truth is, there was a time when no self respecting audio system was considered completely dressed with no tuner that is great. You do not hear lots of chatter about FM/AM radio anymore. In spite of some scheduling that is wonderful it is become a casualty of mobile digital media, downloads, and satellite services basically relegated to the vehicle, and counted on mainly for traffic reports and talk radio. However I stay a stalwart. The C446 Digital Media Tuner, its latest attempt, continues the tradition; though it does so having a measured and significant turn on the tuner that is original.

As is the standard now, wireless streaming is restricted to standard 16-bit/44.1kHz resolution.

Other characteristics are the capacity to digitize FM/AM as S/PDIF as well as a front-panel USB input for thumbdrive playback. Cloud music services are additionally supported by the C446 so you can get your music library from several devices. The discretionary IPD 2 Dock of adding NAD enables iPod/iPhone docking/charging by means of a back-panel input signal. Concerning the sole thing the C446 does not have is a USB DAC a business as resourceful as NAD has budgets to match after all. But do not fret; NAD was not resting. NAD has several USB DAC solutions that will often be added down the street.

The NAD C446 is minimalist, elegant, and carefully laid out for easy control and set up. The big LED display that is central is readable from a space that is small. The rear panel is definitely arranged, and also the remote control is intuitive and nicely laid out. Kudos to the graphic Quick Start guide, which goes a ways toward lessening the link jitters of NAD. It evenly walks networking-phobes like yours through wireless or wired Internet set ups, and believe me I am a fumbler. Since UPnP is assembled into that OS, Windows users have it simple. For Mac users it is somewhat more complicated. An instant download in the Twonky website, some legwork in the C446 setup menu to generate a handshake that is radio, and, voila, a recognizable completely searchable music library with playlists that are complete appears on the front-panel screen. In general, a set up that is somewhat uncomplicated. Hint: Keep in your mind that it is not a terrible thought to compile music playlists with content in formats the C446 can decode. It will not do aiff.

Turning to tuner functionality, station selectivity was really great and sound was minimal on all but the poorest stations. Even with no signal strength meter, it was not difficult to get a lock that is great. The memory attribute is useful especially in the event you do not need to begin all over again spinning the tuning knob. I wish there were a scan attribute, or the numeric keypad may be utilized to find stations via their call numbers that are identifying, but never mind. Signal-to-noise and station separation were perceivably competitive, and really great in this budget. On among my personal favorite ancient stations it threw a graphic and broad soundstage, with solid dimensionality worked out pictures, exact timbre, as well as a lively awareness of atmosphere and hall ambience. In head to head comparison with compact-disc the most noticeable shortcoming of tuner duplication, playback is a truncation of dynamic range. While low level resolving power is sufficient to keep you to the edge of your seat, some energy is lost by bigger dynamic swings. So that you can increase functionality, an adequate antenna is essential loft unit or an omni rooftop like Magnum's moderately priced ST-2 whip-post version. You will probably comprehend that there is more life than you believed left in the venerable tuner.

But of most of the tools in the digital arsenal of the C446, wireless is the star. It is become a performer. This group is joined by the C446. And I say this after spending significant time using the AirDream technology of the Micromega. Like the Micromega, the NAD sonically matched compact disc sources along with a handful of USB DACs that I 'd on-deck for review. Key among its performance merits is the way that it loses that I believe more natural manifestation of passing strike and a few of the unyielding hardness I hear in typical digital and replaces it. It's a liquidity that I generally regard as the terrain of more expensive digital reproduction. On this particular track there's an underlying resonance in the associated cello which is expressed as if only "under its breath." In this case it had been different as well as the instrument was replicated using its complete character. Equally instructive were heat and the clarity of the solo violin on this cut.

There's a tiny subtraction of transparency that veils the music. The rendition of spatial cues, of particular picture positioning, of hall borders is only a bit more ephemeral as opposed to Lindemann or AirDream USB. Exactly the same track in the compact disc version was better defined. Yes, I possess some minor quibbles, but wireless is certainly moving into primetime.

Straddling two worlds, it is something old and something new from your organization that appears to intuit a the sweet spot of a market. The NAD is a welcome improvement in a fast transforming landscape that is sound.

NAD C446 Network player photo