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TEAC NT-503 (Read 757 times)
HockessinKid
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TEAC NT-503
06/22/17 at 18:23:03
 
So, a few questions regarding the NT-503 in anticipation of Steve's possible release of a modified unit.

First, how easy is it to use?  

Second, is the app straight forward and how is the SQ of PCM/DSD upsampling?

Third, what would be the best SQ cable input choice for connecting a CD player/transport to the NT-503?

I have a large collection of CD's but I'm primarily interested in this unit for high resolution WiFi streaming.  Thanks.

HK
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Lonely Raven
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #1 - 06/23/17 at 17:22:57
 
I'll do my best to answer these as I can currently - and will add on as I gain experience. You'll also see I'm posting about both my DirectStream DAC and this NT-503 in other threads.

Quote:
First, how easy is it to use?  


Surprisingly easy - just using the front control panel, it took me all of 30 seconds to get it turned on, dialed in to Network, then stream to it using the Teac AV app. I poked through a settings and filters a bit, then broke out the manual to see what the descriptions of the filters were, and poked at it some more. Connected my Roon streaming PC directly to it and had it running that way in about 60 seconds after checking settings, and making sure Roon could see the DAC via USB. Super Easy.

Quote:
Second, is the app straight forward and how is the SQ of PCM/DSD upsampling?


The app is a little clunky, but works. I find the Roon software so much easier and more intuitive, but the TEAC software will do fine if you don't mind the clunkiness and don't have another software option.

As for UpSampling - I'm still playing with that. The higher up you can sample, the smoother the music seems to get - but I'm not hearing a huge improvement like I was hoping. It's not a bad thing - it's just the differences between native input and upsampled aren't huge. Again, I still need time with this...when the changes are subtle, and there are so many variables, I need to take it step by step, getting used to how it sounds, then changing one settings, and getting a feel for the differences. So far, the upsampling just makes everything a little more analog sounding...which is what I was expecting.

Quote:
Third, what would be the best SQ cable input choice for connecting a CD player/transport to the NT-503?


Since it's unlikely that your CD has USB out (do any of them?) I would say digital CoAx. Optical has it's own issues that are inherent in design of the format - so I shy away from it - too much jitter. Make sure you're using a CoAx cable that's *made* for digital transport, and don't just plug in any RCA cable you have around. Any decent RCA cable will work, but digital needs specific impedance requirements and other such things to not cause jitter which would make the DAC work harder.  I've literally heard a truly nice CoAx cable appear to make a DAC sound *louder*, simply because it was able to get those bits down the pipe more accurately. I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't hear it for myself. I used to think "Bits are Bits", but there is way more to audio bits than there are computer bits.

Quote:
I have a large collection of CD's but I'm primarily interested in this unit for high resolution WiFi streaming.


How were you thinking about doing this? If you were thinking about Bluetooth - I'm unsure of what bandwidth Bluetooth can support (off the top of my head) and what jitter it might introduce. In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, I know I saw a chart on the TEAC page that listed what the inputs were capable of...I'll see if I can find that for the Bluetooth input.
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« Last Edit: 06/23/17 at 17:32:04 by Lonely Raven »  
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Lon
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #2 - 06/23/17 at 18:47:11
 
I'll repost my cable recommendations here from the other thread.

I have tried about seven different coaxial digital cables and have two favorites, the "Reference" from VooDoo Cable and the Take Five Audio "Deluxe" Neotech cable. Both are similar in construction and sound, both are excellent transferrers of digital data.

I've also used the Creative Concept Black Knight and a WireWorld (not sure what model this is) with success. Even a Monster Cable was a decent link. The VooDoo and Take Five however seem clearly superior in my system to the others I've used. I would recommend these for the TEAC knowing they'll give you an accurate and great sounding connection.

I've had very good results with optical especially with the PerfectWave DAC and the DIrectStream DAC--granted both have digital lenses to control jitter, but I have not encountered a lot of jitter issues with other sources either. If you were to use an optical connection I'd recommend the Lifatec glass optical cable. I've used these with a number of components and they give a very good sonic picture with a clarity that is in a class of its own, and is not "analytical" or etched in any way. A different sound than the coaxials I've used, which actually makes me think these "add" something, a subtle glow, that I find more comfortable to listen to, but may not actually be the most accurate transfer!
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HockessinKid
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #3 - 06/23/17 at 19:13:57
 
Lonely Raven wrote on 06/23/17 at 17:22:57:
How were you thinking about doing this? If you were thinking about Bluetooth - I'm unsure of what bandwidth Bluetooth can support (off the top of my head) and what jitter it might introduce. In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, I know I saw a chart on the TEAC page that listed what the inputs were capable of...I'll see if I can find that for the Bluetooth input.


I have a WiFi Router and thought I could stream Spotify or Tidal directly from my home computer via the NT-503.  Bluetooth does not allow for decent SQ, based on my experience.

HK
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Lonely Raven
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #4 - 06/23/17 at 20:00:46
 

Quote:
I have a WiFi Router and thought I could stream Spotify or Tidal directly from my home computer via the NT-503.  Bluetooth does not allow for decent SQ, based on my experience.

HK


I tried to look up the Bluetool on the NT, and I couldn't find anything about bandwidth and file types/sizes. So I'm pretty sure the Bluetooth standard is 100% in control - which would make me agree with your thoughts on sound quality there.

I think I see what you mean about WiFi streaming - I just wanted to make sure you had that figured out on your end, because the NT-503 doesn't have any WiFi itself.
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Luis
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #5 - 12/23/17 at 13:29:28
 
IŽve seen TEAC is about to release a new version of both UD and NT in January. It looks that they have upgrade the chips to the VERITA AK4497

https://teac.jp/jp/product/ud-505/top

https://teac.jp/jp/product/nt-505/top

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Lonely Raven
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #6 - 12/23/17 at 23:38:15
 
Quote:
NT-505
DSD 22.5 MHz, PCM 768 kHz / 32 bit compatible dual monaural USB DAC / network player


Wow!

And here, I've just been hoping for firmware update for my 503.  I'm getting the feeling that they are more into upgrading the the hardware than tweaking the existing software for better performance.

I don't know anything about that chip, but I'm going to have to read up on it. I've been very happy with my 503, but I don't see me upgrading to the 505 unless I could get at least $600 for my 503.
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Luis
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #7 - 12/24/17 at 07:53:02
 
Yes, well, IŽll wait to see the price, but it also could be an opportunity to buy a cheaper 503
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Luis
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Re: TEAC NT-503
Reply #8 - 12/24/17 at 11:05:20
 
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