Just got the NAD C541i...........

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by ReggieW, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    I must say that I was very hesitant to add this to my system since I already have a Sony SCD-C222es pulling SACD (and sometime redbook) duties. I bought a refurb C541i authorized for $360.00 and must say I'm VERY impressed. I know that the British press has been raving about this player for the past two years and now I see why. I compared it to the 222es (analog tot he 762) and the DAC via coax to the NAD T762 receiver and preferred the sound of the 541 to both. I also noticed a slight improvement in using the NAD as a transport when compared to my old JVC changer. Now the difference wasn't VERY significant, but the 541 seemed to offer a greater soundstage and more bass than the 222es or 762. Yes, I did attempt to level match the volume. The 541 is the first quality single-disc redbook only player I've owned, and everything just seems so robust compared to the changers I've owned in the past. Interestingly, the C541i plays 10db higher than the 762 and about 6db higher than the Sony. Is the NAD's torodial power supply that good? I also noticed that the C541i is heavier than my Denon 1600 and weighs closer to what my 222es changer weighs eventhough the NAD is this little skinny player. Anyway, just wanted to chime off about the purchase, and it looks really good sitting next to my new T762. If anyone else has any experiences with the C541i, please feel free to share them.


    Reg
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Reg how does it compare to the Denon 1600 for CD playback?
     
  3. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Andrew,

    I think the NAD sounds better than the 1600 imo.

    -R
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Reggie, congrats. You have done a great job upgrading your system over the past several months. An NAD receiver, Denon '1600, Sony 'C222ES, and NAD C 541i. Very nice!

    By the way, I read in the current issue of What Hi*Fi? (UK) that NAD is replacing the C 541i with the C 541BEE. It will be interesting to see what the media thinks of the new player. In case you don't know, "BEE" stands for Bjorn Erik Edvardsen, an engineer who designed NAD's classic 3020 stereo integrated amp many years ago and who more recently designed the very much celebrated C 320BEE stereo integrated amp. With Edvardsen behind the new CD player, I imagine it will be quite good. That said, the C 541i has gotten high praise all over the place, so you did good. [​IMG]
     
  5. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Keith,

    Great to hear from you. Btw, don't forget that I upgraded my speakers (which had been the real weak link in my system) as well to the PSB Stratus series, and my Stratus Subsonic 7 sub (a 15-inch that goes down to 18hz) is on the way. The same dealer I bought the NAD receiver and CD player from is also an authorized PSB dealer and sold me the Subsonic 7 (msrp: $949) refurbished for $499.00. and think, this sub is replacing a $89.00 Best Buy Sony SWMN20! Now that's an upgrade. Anyway, I know that the NAD 541i is being replaced with the C542 here in the states sometime around October/November. There are already PDF's out there for it and it didn't look much different spec-wise than the 541. I know the 521 was being given the EE treatment but didn't know that the 541 was as well. Also, the new issue of "What Hi-Fi" gave five stars to the Denon 2900 and proclaimed it the new universal king (that is until the 5900 arrives!). I am waiting for the 5900. I was thinking of replacing the 1600 with the forthcoming 1400, but decided I would just wait for now as I'm satisfied with the 1600's DVD-A performance, and love the video performance. I can live without multi-channel SACD until the 5900 arrives (which'll be early next year for me). I will place a moratorium on upgrading audio equipment until then, that is until I get a 16x9 display that's DVI ready. I played the Dire Straits "Brothers In Arms" HDCD on the 541 this morning and it sounded really amazing. The strings were really lush, something I'm not used to with regular redbook Cd's. I then popped in the New Donna Summer "Bad Girls" 2-disc remaster which is OUTSTANDING in every way. I knew that Moroder's heavily synthesized productions (like "I Feel Love" and "Our Love") would sound really incredible with my setup.

    Reg
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Reggie, sounds like you are rediscovering your music, which is a wonderful thing. You are going to have a lot of fun. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Yes, I do remember that you upgraded the speakers. As I recall, you had JBL S38s. My brother had those for about two weeks. After I heard them in his set-up, I made him return them. He now has the Energy Veritas 2.2. [​IMG]

    It sounds like you got a great deal on the sub. I'm sure that will shake the walls! Enjoy!

    If you get that '5900, you'll really be loving life! The '5900 looks to be great player. I think you are smart to wait for the '5900 instead of getting the '1400. If I were you, I'd get Radio Shack switch boxes to use the 'C222ES for multi-channel SACD before I'd buy the '1400.

    You are right about the new NAD player. It is the C 521BEE, not the C 541BEE. Once I read your post, I rememebered that What Hi*Fi? wrote about the C 521BEE. I haven't heard about the C 542, but NAD seems to be turning out new players every year.

    Since we have been talking a bit about Denon DVD-Audio players, I still haven't gotten a DVD-Audio player for my second stereo system. I thought about picking up the Panasonic DVD-S55S or 'F85, but I wasn't sure about the audio quality. They would probably be O.K. for my second system, but I wasn't sure. Then I considered the Denon '1600 at a discount from Tweeter awhile back. However, I knew it was on the way out, so I thought I should wait to see what was in store from Denon. I've seen the '1200 posted on denon.com, and I wasn't really impressed with the look of it. It's a '910 with DVD-Audio. I am concerned about the performance there. Will the '1400 be any better? I wonder. I'm not sure that Denon is going to have something of the quality of the '1600 on its new product range.

    You know, it would be nice if NAD were to come out with a $500 DVD-Audio player. That would be one nice component. [​IMG]
     
  7. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Keith,

    From what everyone has posted here and elsewhere, one area where NAD is sorely lacking is in their DVD players. I hear they're pretty unreliable and not really worth the money. I still find it odd that NAD has yet to produce a DVD-A or SACD player. As far as Denon goes, I read somewhere that the 1200 only weighs 4.5 pounds. That's two pounds lighter than the 1600 and about the same as the RP-82. The 1400 appears to be a 1200 with SACD enabled and wonder how adding SACD will effect the player's weight. Anyway, I doubt the multi-channel SACD playback will be on a par with that of the 222es, which would be my main reason for adding the 1400. I guess you'll have to wait and see how DVD-A playback is on the 1200 before adding it to your second system.

    Reg
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Reggie, I read also that the '1200 is a lightweight. Weight isn't everything, but 4.5 lbs.? Unless the chassis is paper, the innards can't be too impressive. [​IMG]

    It certainly seems like NAD hasn't done much on the DVD side. I don't see much said about their players, and a company predicated on sound quality certainly should have SACD and DVD-Audio players by now. [​IMG]

    At this rate, I don't know if I will ever find the "right" DVD-Audio player for my second system. I don't need something as extravagant as the '3800, which is in my main system, but I don't want to settle on something I don't like just to have DVD-Audio. [​IMG]
     
  9. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Reggie where did you get your 541i from?
     
  10. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    yawaonline.com in Southern California.

    -Reg
     
  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Thanks
     

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