NAD Electronics has announced the newest member of their digital-electronics family, the C 510 Direct Digital preamp/DAC. This new model uses the same "high-precision digital processing" as NAD’s more expensive M2 integrated amplifier and M51 digital-to-analog converter, which are part of the company's Masters series, but in a more affordable package. The C 510's DAC section is said to have "extremely low noise, low distortion, wide dynamic range, superb linearity and extremely low digital jitter." It accepts PCM audio at resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz. The C 510 is purely digital and therefore contains no analog inputs, but does include a wide array of connectivity options such as USB Type B for direct connection to a PC or Mac, two HDMI inputs, and three SPDIF inputs in optical, coaxial, and AES/EBU formats that are all 24/192 capable.
The analog output operates in true balanced fashion and is specified as being "driven by a class-A-biased operational amplifier." Both balanced XLR and single-ended RCA outputs are available to be compatible with virtually any amplifier. For further flexibility, a 12V trigger and RS-232 port allow for system-automation connectivity.
In NAD's press release on August 5, 2014, Greg Stidsen, NAD’s Director of Technology and Product Planning, stated, “Like our legacy NAD digital products, we wanted to create a bridge product between the new world of high-definition 24/96 digital and the existing world of analog amplifiers. The C 510 allows audiophiles to conveniently add digital audio to their high-end system while enjoying the superb performance of NAD Direct Digital technology. It is truly the best of both worlds.” The NAD C 510 will begin shipping this month at a retail price of $1299 USD.