The Audio Tailor Voted #1 Australian Hi Fi Store 2021 + 2022
NAD - C 658 - Preamplifier
Thank you for visiting The Audio Tailor.
We’re Stuart, Gabby, Nathan and Vaughan. It’s a pleasure to have you here!
The first question we get from customers usually starts with, “What’s the difference between...”
When you’re shopping for new speakers, a turntable, or even thinking of putting together that home theatre of your teenage dreams - you’ll likely be faced with stacks of comparisons.
Why would I buy the Bluesound Pulse 2i when the Flex 2i is half the price?
Is NAD the best?
Should I wait for a sale? Or get this now? What will I be missing out on when the new model comes out next year?
Endless questions. Lots of FOMO. Loads of hmm-ing and ha-ing.
And there SHOULD be.
Because you don’t go to a Hi-Fi store and drop $2000, $3000, or $15000 on something you're not 100%, positively, secure-in-your heart sure of.
It’s a lot of hard-earned money on the line.
Imagine doing hours of your own research. Reading up the suppliers’ websites, taking notes from Hi Fi blogs, categorizing the differing opinions as you trawl r/audiophile. You know what you’re getting. You’ve narrowed the online stores down to the final five. You’ve checked and re-checked that you’re getting the best deal. You’re sure you’re not getting ripped off by shipping.
You hit the “Checkout” button. Momentary relief!
Until your speakers haven’t arrived by the estimated delivery date and you have yet to hear a peep about its progress.
Until your new turntable arrives with a crack in the dust cover.
Until your long-awaited amp set-up fails to deliver the kind of sound you had in mind. Now you’re not even sure if you got the right one anymore, or how to troubleshoot it.
What could possibly be worse?
What about: No after-sales service. No phone number to call. And no one responding to your tickets.
Not to mention the hundreds of man hours you’ve already lost on reading layman opinions from the likes of Graham H. from Melbourne and Sarah D. from Perth; dutifully scrolling through pages and pages of reviews. Torturing yourself by looking for all the ones with less than 3 stars... when you could have been sitting back and diving into a whole new world of immersive sound and deliciously satisfying body vibrations.
Would it make sense to go to audio specialists that know brands, specs, and installation like the back of their hands?
Should you spend less time on weighing up pros and cons and more time enjoying good music?
Want to get the absolute best home theatre for your budget and surroundings without the weight of 100++ brand offerings bogging you down?
We like to think so!
And that’s why we’re here. Two things to know about us:
Thing 1: We were voted Australia’s 2021 Hi Fi Retailer of the Year (Yay! And THANK YOU!)
Thing 2: This is purely because we are sound specialists and audioheads - NOT salesmen.
We got into this business because we genuinely love audio and because we realized there was a lot of faceless dropshipping in the HiFi industry - and not enough expertise out there. People who keep coming back to us do so because they’re getting attention to detail and individualized solutions that they can’t find elsewhere.
Our clients don’t need to worry about budget, brand name, or size.
All they need to worry about, is talking to us.
Because, when you come to us, you’re in for a conversation.
We want to know the picture in your head.
That final portrait of you back from the flea market with Pearl Jam’s Ten, eager to place it gently upon a turntable you haven’t quite decided on yet.
A summer barbeque in your garden with the boys. Having a yarn around a beer-filled cooler while appreciating the crisp, clear, quality of sound streaming through the open doors of your listening space.
The kids having mates over - quiet for once - immersed in a good movie, lights out, in the comfort of the home theatre that is your pride and joy. “I wish we had one of these at our place!”
Once we know precisely what your ultimate scenario looks like, we’ll want to know what you’re working with.
What kind of budget have you set aside?
What’s the existing set-up look like?
How big is the listening room you have in mind?
How much ambient light is coming in?
Are you running drywall or wood panelling? Carpet or hardwood?
What about room resonance and reflection?
No idea what we’re going on about? No worries. We intend to talk you through all that. Our aim is that you get the absolute best sound system for your home, at a price point you’re happy with, and an aesthetic you can’t help but want to show off.
To get to this end goal, an unhealthy interest in all things audio simply isn’t enough. That’s why we spend countless hours behind the scenes sourcing products from only the most reliable brands and trustworthy suppliers - regardless of their branding and marketing.
We don’t rely on them to tell us what’s good about their equipment. We’ve developed our own proactive testing process to judge what’s what. So you get hands-on knowledge every single time. Coupled with our tight networks and stable supply chain meticulously refined over the years, we strive to ensure that the experience you get at The Audio Tailor is personal, seamless, and painless.
Personal, because it’s uniquely you in musicality, design, and taste. Your options are hand picked by us from amongst some of the world’s biggest, best, and most dependable brands.
Seamless, because we’re only small. You get one of us. Not one of dozens of salesmen milling about the place, working for commission and pushing the most expensive products.
Painless, because we don’t recommend anything until we’re clear about your needs. We follow up with you to make sure everything’s arrived in one piece. For us, the transaction isn’t over until your equipment is safely installed and fully satisfying.
Some of the big things we feel are missing in the HiFi world are:
- The need for expertise before, during, and after the sale
- A vast wealth of comparative knowledge, and
- A commitment to end-to-end service.
At The Audio Tailor, we hope we’ve made it clear that service doesn’t shut off when a problem pops up. It’s an opportunity to tighten the ship we run, bolster our 5-star reputation, and most importantly - make someone’s day.
Hi! We see you’ve actually made it to the end of this page. Love it!
We’d like to end this by giving a shout out to all the enthusiasts and audiophiles we’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years. It has been a privilege to share our desire, passion, and journey for the purest sound and finest entertainment solutions for your homes and businesses.
Thank you to all our customers - past, present, and future - for helping us chase after something above the ordinary.
To make your audio dreams come true - call, email, or hop on down to our Brisbane store.
We’re looking forward to meeting you!
The NAD C 658 is a new kind of stereo component, one that at once changes preconceptions and opens new possibilities for audio reproduction. You see, there has never before been a component offering such a rich palette of both new and proven technology.
- BluOS Network Streaming with MQA Decoding
- ESS Sabre DAC
- Dirac Live Room Correction*
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Dual Band Wi-Fi ac/n
- 2-way Qualcomm aptX HD Bluetooth
- 2 x MDC Slots for Future Expansion
- MM Phono Input
- 2 x Line Inputs
- 2 x Optical Inputs
- 2 x Coax Inputs
- Balanced Preamp Output
- Preamp Output
- Stereo Subwoofer Output
- High Current Headphone Out
- USB socket for adding optional wireless output module
- IR In with Learning Function
- Trigger Out/In
*These features will be implemented via future software upgrades. Note: The C 658 will include a license for Dirac Live with the option for advanced users to upgrade to a Dirac Live Full Frequency version.
Redefining the Architecture of Hi-Fi Playback
As we move deeper into the 21st Century the way music is distributed and enjoyed continues to evolve away from physical media to streaming. It also has moved away from analog to digital. The C 658 has incorporated these fundamental truths to create an entirely new type of component that combines a Network Streamer, a state-of-the art DAC, and many aspects of the traditional Preamplifier into a single highly cost effective package. And thanks to NAD’s exclusive Modular Design Construction, it will keep pace with the latest technology, not yet introduced, but inevitably coming in the future. In fact, an optional HDMI 4k switcher module is available now allowing the best sound from any of the many HDMI sources available (like game consoles and video STBs). While the C 658 immediately replaces (or adds) your Streamer, DAC, and Preamp, it also adds many new features you may not be aware of, like a Bluetooth aptX HD transmitter to use with your wireless headphones. The highly flexible outputs allow for a true balanced connection to powered speakers or amplifiers. Single-ended connections for amplifiers and subwoofers are also provided and include an adjustable subwoofer crossover executed perfectly in the digital domain. A highly sophisticated MM Phono input is also included along with line inputs for legacy analog components.
Also on board is BluOS, the most sophisticated High Res streaming system available. BluOS natively supports over 15 streaming music services and indexing of over 250,000 tracks from local network sources. The C 658 becomes a node in the BluOS ecosystem allowing high res network streaming to 64 zones and control options for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS phones, tablets, and desk top devices. BluOS also supports all major smart home controllers and is available in a wide range of products making it easy to create a whole house audio system with the C 658 at its heart.
Traditional NAD Performance and Value
The C 658 is part of our Classic Series of components which have an enviable reputation for giving Music Lovers more enjoyment for less money. If you want a solid block of hand–crafted aluminium with gold plated accents you’ll need to look elsewhere. If you want state-of-the-art performance and features in a sturdy no-nonsense package then you have the right address.
High Resolution in Every Detail
Most NAD components have been High Res for 45 years with very wide bandwidth, low distortion, and ultra-low noise. We just never had High Res source material to play. With High Res digital recording and streaming, combined with advanced technology like MQA, record companies are opening their vaults and releasing Studio Master Quality recordings. MQA decoding is available through BluOS Streaming content. The C 658 is pure High Res from input to output and features the ESS Sabre 32bit DAC , one of the best performing DACs on the market today with its 118dB Dynamic Range and incredibly low jitter spec. All preamp functions are executed in the digital domain including the same wide range non-truncating digital volume control used in our Masters Series components. This offers an incredibly short analog signal path that, rather uniquely, is identical for all volume settings. Sophisticated active power supplies provide super clean voltages to all circuits to keep noise and distortion at the edge of measurability.
Make the Speakers Disappear (It’s Not Magic)
The C 658 is also the first NAD stereo component to feature Dirac Live room correction*, the most sophisticated and effective room correction available. Dirac corrects the impulse response of your speakers, in addition to the frequency response of your room, for a truly transparent window into the musical performance. When the room resonances are tamed and the transient response is corrected, the result is magical. You have never heard your speakers sound this invisible or this good!
*Note: The C 658 includes a license for Dirac Live with the option for advanced users to upgrade to a Dirac Live Full Frequency version.
Master Quality Authenticated
Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) is a revolutionary end-to-end technology built into every BluOS Enabled amplifier to capture and deliver MQA music to your speakers in the purest quality. All BluOS Enabled players and systems include a powerful decoder and audio renderer for the millions of the MQA encoded songs, The MQA logo shown in the BluOS app indicates that the unit is decoding and playing an MQA stream or file, and lets you know that you are hearing exactly what the artist recorded and approved in the studio.
LINE INPUT, PRE-OUT
- THD (20Hz – 20kHz): <0.005% at 2V out
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >106dB (IHF; A-weighted, ref. 500mV out, unity gain)
- Channel separation: >80dB (1kHz); >70dB (10kHz)
- Input impedance (R and C): 22 kohms + 100pF
- Maximum input signal: >4.5Vrms (ref. 0.1% THD)
- Output impedance: Source Z + 240 Ohm
- Input sensitivity: 93mV (ref. 500mV out, Volume maximum)
- Frequency response: ±0.3dB (20Hz – 20kHz)
- Maximum voltage output – IHF load: >4.5V (ref. 0.1% THD)
- Tone Controls Treble: >±7.0dB at 20kHz; Bass: ±7.0dB at 60Hz; Balance: -10dB
PHONO INPUT, AUDIO PRE-OUT
- THD (20Hz – 20kHz): <0.01% at 2V out
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >84dB (200 Ohm source; A-weighted, ref. 500mV out); >76dB (MM cartridge source, IHF; A-weighted, ref. 500mV out)
- Input sensitivity: 1.44mV (ref. 500mV out, Volume maximum)
- Frequency response: >±0.3dB (20Hz – 20kHz)
- Maximum input signal at 1kHz: >80mVrms (ref. 0.1% THD)
LINE INPUT, HEADPHONE OUT
- THD (20Hz – 20kHz): <0.005% at 1V out
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >110dB (32 Ohms loads; A-WTD, ref. 2V out, unity gain)
- Frequency response: ±0.3dB (20Hz – 20kHz)
- Channel separation :>>60dB at 1kHz
- Output impedance: 6 Ohms
- Supported audio file formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, ALAC, OPUS
- High resolution audio formats: MQA, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, Supports converted DSD playback via the BluOS desktop app (only)
- Native sampling rates: Up to 32bit/192kHz
- Bit depths: 16 – 24
- Supported operating systems: Plays music from network shares on the following desktop operating systems: Microsoft Windows XP, 2000, Vista, 7, 8 to current Windows Operating Systems and Mac OS X versions
- User interface mobile operating system: luOS – Free Android and iOS App available online at Google Play and Apple App store
- Supported cloud services: Spotify, Amazon Music, TIDAL, Deezer, Qobuz, HDTracks, HighResAudio, Murfie, JUKE, Napster, Slacker Radio, KKBox, Bugs
- Free internet radio: TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio, Calm Radio, Radio Paradise
- Bluetooth quality: Bluetooth aptX HD wireless built-in
- Bluetooth connectivity: Two-Way (Transmit and Receive)
- Network connectivity :Gigabit Ethernet RJ45; WiFi 5 (802.11 ac/n)
- Dimensions (W x H x D)**: 435 x 100 x 405mm (17 1/8 x 3 15/16 x 16)
- Shipping Weight: 10.1kg (22.3lb)
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
Welcome to The Audio Tailor’s NAD range.
If you’re looking for a turntable for your records or a good receiver to connect your input and output devices, then we’ve got a couple of sweet selections here.
But, if you need an amplifier, then don’t move. You’re definitely in the right place.
We have quite possibly the most comprehensive selection of NAD amplifiers in Australia at brilliant prices.
Know exactly what you want? Then head straight over to our list of pre, phono, power, integrated, or multi-channel amplifiers.
If you’re still trying to sort out which one is which, and deciding on what your hi-fi set-up needs; then you may have already gone down the Google and Reddit research route.
These are great places to start. By now, you most likely have an idea that NAD is a brand worth checking out for a few main reasons. Its pure, clean, powerful sound production is a given. Award-winning technology and design released year after year over the last five decades isn’t anything to overlook either.
You’ve skimmed through dozens of articles about the huge range of amps to suit all usages. You’ve whistled at the most technical “I finally found the perfect music set-up” blogs sporting two-box whozits and multi-channel whatzits. You might’ve weighed up just going for the easiest integrated plug-and-play solutions. Maybe you’ve taken it one step further and even watched the Youtube reviews comparing future upgrade pathways if you get that thing or the other one.
Either way, here you are.
At the core of it, NAD is a brand that prides itself on offering a kind of quality never seen before at its price point. Before NAD came on the scene, we audiophiles had The Super Expensive Good Stuff and the Mass Produced Knock-Offs, which while not the stuff dreams are made of, at least could be purchased without taking out a bank loan. To be honest, NAD has opened up a whole new world for seekers of unadulterated sound. One that we don’t need to sell a kidney for, which is lowkey, a huge plus.
If you’re still not 100% certain on what works best for you, there are two roads to take at this stage depending on the kind of person you are:
You’re an “After” person: Of the she’ll-be-right variety. Then, scroll on down and pick out whatever you need. Checkout is a breeze, and we’re always available on email or through the phone on 1300 308 711 if you have any questions while you’re setting up, or even after you’ve had it a while. We’re here in case anything goes wrong or could’ve gone better. We’ll do our best to sort you out if, and when you need us.
You’re a “Before” person: If you enjoy peace of mind before handing over your hard-earned cash, then sound advice and years of technical expertise is what you’re looking for. In that case, pop on by our Brisbane store and come talk to us in person. That’s the best way to ask a bunch of questions, look at the actual products, and listen to some of it in action. Not a people person? No worries. We man our email inbox regularly and are always available over the phone on 1300 308 711. Give us a yell before purchasing. We’ll help ensure you’re making the best choice out of tons of available NAD options.
Once we get you set up with the perfect amplifier for your set-up, then it’s time to tackle your wireless speaker game. Because, what’s the point of getting that crisp, clear sound if you can’t fill every nook and cranny of your living space with it? See you over at the best bluesound in Australia!