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NAD - D 1050
|Price:||£449.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Delivery Details|
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- Totally Connected: The D 1050's digital inputs allow you to connect many different digital sources. SPDIF inputs support both coaxial and optical connectors. The USB input is very special, its asynchronous operation mode uses the D 1050's high precision clock to control the output of the connected USB device for lowest possible jitter. It also supports USB Audio Codec 2.0 allowing 192kHz signal transmission via USB.
- The Perfect Mix: Analogue outputs are fixed for highest resolution and include both balanced and single-ended connections. The D 1050 also includes a premium discrete headphone amplifier output with a high quality volume control. Output impedance is extremely low, minimising the effect of connecting cables and keeping noise vanishingly low.
- Making it Count: NAD have packed a lot of premium high spec parts inside the D 1050 USB DAC. But premium parts need optimal implementation to get the actual performance they promise. This is where NAD's expertise with both digital and analogue circuits shows its true value. Ultra short impedance-controlled signal paths are made possible by multi-layer circuit boards and micro-miniaturized surface mount components which are soldered with lead-free high silver content solder. They also found that they could further reduce noise by isolating the power supply from the sensitive analog circuitry by using a highly efficient external type. These details all contribute to the remarkable performance of this advanced DAC.
- Magic from a DAC: The digital processing of the D 1050 features Delta/Sigma architecture with active oversampling filters. This technique effectively reduces out of band noise while maintaining linear phase response and virtual elimination of filter ringing in the pass band. This assures detailed and extended high frequency response while taking full advantage of the extended response of recordings sampled at 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 172.4kHz and 192 kHz. Separate precision clocks fed from pristine DC supplies keep jitter (digital timing errors) to an absolute minimum. Everything is bit perfect; NAD do not upscale or downscale sample rates, and the incoming sample rate is indicated on the front panel display.
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The new D 1050 USB DAC is the best way to add Computer Audio and HD Digital to your component hi-fi system. In fact, all digital sources will get a boost when the D 1050 takes over for the inferior digital circuitry found in everything from Blu-ray, DVD and CD players, to music streamers and set-top boxes. Both the digital and the analogue circuits are highly optimised and based on techniques developed over 40 years of NAD audio engineering excellence. There is no reason to sacrifice audio quality for convenience, as their D 1050 so vividly demonstrates.
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My former desktop setup (now the "on-the road" setup) is the HRT Microstreamer playing into Sennheiser HD598 over-the-ear headphones. It is impressive, detailed, but cannot really manage big orchestral tuttis. I upgraded the phones to Sennheiser HD650 (167% more expensive), and the improvement in clarity and definition is hard to describe! But the HRT cannot drive it, beyond chamber music.
A little research revealed that an "asynchronous USB DAC" was essential. This thins the field of contenders, and I settled on the NAD D 1050.
It was more than twice the cost of the portable HRT, so could it justify that price? Straight out of the box, it sounds awful---tubby distorted sound.
But run it for 40-50 hours and the balance and clarity takes over.
(+) Impressive sound quality. No background noise, extremely clear detailed sound. I have hear better, only in kit costing over £3000! Plenty of power available to the HD650s.
(+/-) The sound quality is too addictive. Instead of being "background', I spend too much time listening intently.
(-) The digital volume control is brilliantly engineered, but extremely confusing to use, because there are no visual indicators.
(-) Indifferent signal to the HD598s. The NAD is much more suited to driving higher impedance headphones.
It also made very irritating loud pops when changing inputs, which is totally unacceptable in this day and age; it was bad enough that I had to press mute on the Amp every time before I changed inputs!!!!
I could not get the USB input to work, even though I had downloaded and installed the necessary driver. The V-90 does not require a driver and has no such proplems at half the price of the Nad.
Perhaps see my review on the Musical Fidelity V-90 and Arcam IrDac, here on Amazon.
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Speaker Setup: MacBook Pro with Audirvana software -> NAD D 1050 -> HeadAmp GS-1 -> NEW A-60 amp -> Quad 22L floor stander speakers in small listening room.
Headphones: KEF M500, Audio Technica ATH-A700, Sennheiser HD595, Sennheiser HD600, Grado RS-1, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro (250), Bowers & Wilkins P-5
Cables: Nordost Blue Heaven ICs and speaker cables. JPS Labs power cables.