It just smells funny. NAD is gambling on there being life in the silver disc yet with its budget C 538 player launched this month. In an attempt to cover all the angles the £249 player is “Designed as either a music lover’s first CD player or as a quality replacement, the C 538 employs many of the same engineering techniques found in audiophile players but at a fraction of the price.”
The spiel continues “Many of the techniques NAD has perfected for Hi-Res Audio playback have been applied to the venerable CD format, including a high precision clock for lowest possible digital jitter performance and the latest generation Wolfson High Spec 24/192 DAC. The C 538 outputs include stereo analogue along with coaxial and optical digital outputs.”
The player supports MP3 and WMA playback and is also compatible with CD-R/CD-RWdiscs, allowing you to play CDs burned from a computer. If these songs are encoded in MP3 or WMA, the user can fit up to 10 hours of music on a single disc. There are also optical and coaxial digital outputs that allow connection to an external DAC or digital component (like an AVR). The C 538 comes supplied with an IR remote and detachable AC cord.