NAD C 510 Direct Digital Preamplifier/DAC
Designed for Computer Audio and Digital Music Systems: NAD C 510 Direct Digital Preamplifier/DAC Upsamples All Signals to 35-Bit, Eliminates Distortion, Preserves Files' Sonic Purity
NAD C 510 Direct Digital Preamplifier/DAC Sounds the Same at Every Volume Level: Two 24-Bit/192kHz HDMI Inputs, Asynchronous USB Input, Ready for Computers, Amps, Active Speakers
Made for dedicated computer-audio and streamer systems, the cutting-edge NAD C 510 Direct Digital preamplifier/DAC serves as both an uncompromising full-functioning DAC and preamplifier. Upsampling all signals to 35-bit before passing them through an 8-channel digital modulator, C 510 offers full volume control and level adjustment without impacting the original content. This pioneering component sounds the same at every one of its 100 volume increments. Forget about worrying abut sweet spots, ramping, or imbalance. C 510 is also equipped with a full suite of connections awaiting your computer, network player, Blu-ray player, and/or streamer. A pair of 24-bit/192kHz HDMI inputs, an asynchronous USB input, three SPDIF inputs, and XLR and RCA analog outputs complement its dead-quiet operation. Direct Digital architecture means C 510 delivers 20dB more dynamic range than most DACs and preamplifiers, helping account for its incredible portrayal of musical nuances and tones. Eager to drive any amplifier or active loudspeakers, C 510 is your new high-resolution digital hub. 100% Music Direct Guaranteed.
"The closest parallel that can be drawn is with a well-designed valve preamplifier."
– Hi-Fi Choice, five-star Recommended review, March 2015
Dead-Quiet Operation: No Noise or Distortion
Unlike traditional analog preamplifiers, C 510 does not produce any noise or distortion that obscures detail and limits the performance of systems. By performing preamp functions like volume and source selection in the digital domain, C 510 shortens the signal path and opens up new possibilities. Whether driving your favorite power amplifier or feeding active loudspeakers, C 510 has the requisite drive and finesse to get incredible performance.
1,000 Times More Accurate: Direct Digital Architecture
Built using the incredible processing power and precision of NAD's Direct Digital architecture, C 510 ushers in a new era of affordability for state-of-the-art performance. Its dynamic range and accurate portrayal of subtle nuances better other those of other DACs and preamplifiers by about 20dB! That is a thousand times more accurate. And you can hear it in both the precision micro-dynamics and dead silence of this remarkable device. Because the volume level is controlled by mathematics in the digital domain, no mechanical or electrical imprecision enters the equation. All volume levels have exactly the same circuit conditions. Of course, this requires very high resolution, which is provided by 35-bit architecture. Even 24-bit files are not truncated until well below the threshold of audibility.
Connect C 510 to Practically Anything
C 510 includes connectivity for a wide variety of digital sources, including a USB Type B port for direct connection to a PC or Mac. This port operates in asynchronous mode, which means C 510 provides the precision clock for the USB data rather than the often-imprecise clock in the computer. Two HDMI inputs with video pass-through provide a secure encrypted path for high-res audio and allow C 510 to perform a limited role as a video switcher. The 2-channel PCM audio track present on all video programming is stripped from the HDMI input, with the video passing untouched to a connected video display. Three SPDIF inputs – all 24-bit/192kHz capable – are included in optical, coaxial and AES/EBU formats.
Simplicity of Design Yields Optimal Results
Driven by a Class A biased operational amplifier, the analog output operates in true balanced mode. Balanced XLR and single-ended outputs get the best performance with any amplifier. To optimize the performance of the premium parts used throughout, special care has been taken in designing the power supply and critical circuit layout. A 12V trigger and RS-232 port allow for system automation interface. Selected input and incoming sample rate are displayed on the front-panel display.