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NAD C390DD Direct Digital DAC/Amplifier


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Mac Mini mostly, along with a Macbook and Macbook Pro. Works astonishingly well.

 

Also tried a NAD T577, Oppo 95, Apple TV3, WD Live, and the output from a new iPad. Not all those worked out quite so well... (grin)

 

-Paul

 

Revealing my ignorance here, but how do you get HDMI out of Macs?

Mac Mini 5,1 [i5, 2.3 GHz, 8GB, Mavericks] w/ Roon -> Ethernet -> TP Link fiber conversion segment -> microRendu w/ LPS-1 -> Schiit Yggdrasil

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Revealing my ignorance here, but how do you get HDMI out of Macs?

 

(I just realized that the below may sound a little snarky - I did not mean it that way. -Paul )

 

No problem at all. :)

 

Through the HDMI port on Macs equipped with HDMI ports, or through a Mini-display Port to HDMI adapter on Macs equipped with mini-display or Thunderbolt ports. That's pretty much all the current generation Macs. Mac Minis have a built in HDMI port ready to go. Macbooks and such usually need an adapter, like these. (I use the Belkin adapter with great success.)

 

 

-Paul

 

 

Moshi MiniDP to HDMI

 

Belkin MiniDP to HDMI

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Just tried Mac+AudirvanaPlus and 24/192 and 24/176 files played great an the NAD.

Going back to PC+JRiver and still no 24/192 or 24/176. Reinstalled Audiophilleo driver, and played around with some configurations in Jriver, but had no luck.

 

Has anyone experienced something similar?

 

 

I have a loaner from a friend I am evaluating, and I have no issues at all driving it to 24/192K from a Coaxial input, using a Lindemann USB DDC 192. I can also send 24/192K to it via HDMI, which sounds really good.

 

I have to got to get me one of these. ;)

 

I have not tried from a PC, but I would start looking at the special drivers you have to use on a PC to get 24/192K. Perhaps something is misconfigured with them.

 

-Paul

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Kind of a dumb question, but does the PC have physical USB 2 ports on it? Some older PCs had USB 1.1 ports that will not work at 192k.

 

Paul

 

Just tried Mac+AudirvanaPlus and 24/192 and 24/176 files played great an the NAD.

Going back to PC+JRiver and still no 24/192 or 24/176. Reinstalled Audiophilleo driver, and played around with some configurations in Jriver, but had no luck.

 

Has anyone experienced something similar?

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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They are the Windows drivers that are recommended for use with Wavelength DACS, and enable 192K USB transmissions. I know these work, or rather, worked about six months ago. I don't keep up with Windows all that much.

-Paul

 

 

Will try them tonight, thanks!

What will these drivers do that regular usb drivers don't?

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Decided to download jPlay last night to try another player before installing additional drivers and everything (24/176, 24/192) worked flawlessly using both jPlay Mini and jPlay plugin for JRiver.

Back to standalone JRiver things are again limited to 24/96, so its definitely something related to the software settings.

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In my experience, the NAD c390dd blew away my previous setup from the very beginning. No need for burn in.

 

Hello

Have been demoing this dac/amp for the last few hours..The dealer says this has 40 hours and needs another 60 hours to really open up..

do the users here experienced this break in?

 

Cheers

KS

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Finally solved the 24/192 issue with JRiver and AP2.

Reinstalled the player, driver, and changed USB ports.

One of them did it, don't know which one, but my NAD gets a perfect 24/192 signal now.

Hello Santiago

Are you seeing on the display ,the input signal as "192Khz"? I am "upsampling" itunes with Bitperfect on the SPDIF connection upto 192 K but the display still shows 96KHZ..

 

Any ideas?

Cheers

Kalyan

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Are you seeing on the display ,the input signal as "192Khz"? I am "upsampling" itunes with Bitperfect on the SPDIF connection upto 192 K but the display still shows 96KHZ..

By "SPDIF" connection do you mean via the optical out of a MacMini / MacBook Pro? If so, then you are limited to 24/96 - you need a USB or FireWire converter to support higher.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Eloise beat me to that one. Optical is limited to 24/96 on macs.

If you are using USB, try downloading another player (ie. pure music trial version) just to check if it plays 24/192 correctly.

 

Hello Santiago

Are you seeing on the display ,the input signal as "192Khz"? I am "upsampling" itunes with Bitperfect on the SPDIF connection upto 192 K but the display still shows 96KHZ..

 

Any ideas?

Cheers

Kalyan

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Eloise beat me to that one. Optical is limited to 24/96 on macs.

If you are using USB, try downloading another player (ie. pure music trial version) just to check if it plays 24/192 correctly.

 

Thanks..I have downloaded Pure Music..will try to upsample through the USB to see how it works..

Cheers

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Is the HDMI card on 396DD doing any sort of upconversion from SD to HD ?I have a loaner without the card and would like to give this ap a try for my Cable and DVD sources too..

In terms of video the HDMI connections are purely passthrough.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Thanks..I have downloaded Pure Music..will try to upsample through the USB to see how it works..

Cheers

Just for the record, the NAD C390DD supports 24/192 via optical, co-ax SPDIF and HDMI. Direct USB is limited to 24/96.

The MacMini is limited to 24/96 via optical so optical to the NAD C390DD will only be up to 24/96.

 

To play 24/192 files without and down sampling you will need to use HDMI (which should work) or purchase a USB to SPDIF convertor which supported 24/192 such as M2Tech HiFace, Audiophileo or Musical Fidelity V-Link 192.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Eloise is right, sorry for my confusing post earlier.

 

Just for the record, the NAD C390DD supports 24/192 via optical, co-ax SPDIF and HDMI. Direct USB is limited to 24/96.

The MacMini is limited to 24/96 via optical so optical to the NAD C390DD will only be up to 24/96.

 

To play 24/192 files without and down sampling you will need to use HDMI (which should work) or purchase a USB to SPDIF convertor which supported 24/192 such as M2Tech HiFace, Audiophileo or Musical Fidelity V-Link 192.

 

Eloise

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I've had a C 390DD here for a week now. I'm still trying to sort out its sonics, which are fairly unlike most things I've heard before. Driving my Dunlavy SC-III.A's, there are a couple of things that give me a bit of pause. The first is that vocals seems unusually recessed. Second, the top end is definitely on the soft side, which is not an especially good compliment to these speakers. I also feel the 390 has less "bloom" than we're accustomed to in the high end and, perhaps related, I find the sound stage small. Of course, bloom may be a distortion or some other kind of artifact.

 

The 390 is definitely a low-distortion device, and its composure -- it unravels and presents individual instruments regardless of the denseness or complexity of the music -- is remarkable and makes the 390 exceptionally musical in my book as this allows you -- or almost forces you -- to engage with the music.

 

I think it does have a sonic fingerprint: extraordinarily quiet but not with a black background. [Audiophile BS alert!] It's like a medium-gray background and it's present with all recordings. But it has also surprised me with how natural and even moderately organic it sounds, and those are my top priorities.

 

As noted by others, the speaker binding posts are a royal PITA. They should have mirror-oriented the left and right channel plastic guides (if they have to use posts with those silly guides in the first place). I ended up adding banana adpaters to my spade-terminated cables.

Mac Mini 5,1 [i5, 2.3 GHz, 8GB, Mavericks] w/ Roon -> Ethernet -> TP Link fiber conversion segment -> microRendu w/ LPS-1 -> Schiit Yggdrasil

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