NAD C521BEE CD Players

4.25/5 (12 Reviews) MSRP : $299.00


Product Description

CD/CD-R/CD-RW compatible, NAD CD-6 full function remote control, Burr-Brown Sigma-Delta 20-bit digital to analogue converter, coaxial digital output, low output impedance, separate power regulators for analog and digital sections, EL backlit display with selectable track/time/repeat, repeat mode for single track or entire CD, program play up to 20 tracks, random play.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bill Matichuk a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 13, 2010

Bottom Line:   
This is a tough machine to get a handle on. I've read everything posted here, and others, and the reviews (mostly glowing) encouraged me to purchase the unit used for $200.

The unit produces good sound - especially in comparison to other $200 players (don't pay more), and provides significant upgrades in sound quality when compared to entry level players, or re-purposed DVD players etc.

Much was my story, upgrading a rag-tag bunch of consumer equipment (ie Panasonic DVD, Yamaha receiver, Athena speakers), but now that the rest of my system has evolved (AudioRefinement Pre5, VTL ST85, Quad 21 speakers with similar upgrade to cables and wires) the NAD, well, it's weaknesses are revealed and is truely, in the company of my other components, the far weakest link.

The source is the starting point in the creation of the music we listen to -- weakness here cannot be compensated by anything downstream in the system.

If you have a casual system, or are looking to spend $200 on a "better" player, I don't think you can do much better. In the longer term, with other investments made in decent quality components and the like, this player falls a long way short.

If you are hard up for a decent source and have limited funds, go for it.

If you are looking to upgrade your rig along the way, this would not be the player to benchmark your system with - spend your first money on a good source - stretch to the 700 to 1000 mark and you can get into Meridan 506 or 508 -- an infinitely better player that you can grow your system around. For about half - the Creek CD50 is available and is worth at least the upgrade in cost.

To each their own - I'm not knocking the unit - and by the way, it does have issues with reading CDs reliably - if your are looking for a great sounding $200 player, look no more, but let's face it, $200 players sound like, well, $200 players. That's what makes reviewing this unit difficult -- great value for the money, but not really a great player in the long run.

Have fun - tweak away!

B

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2007



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by niles300z a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 14, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I was lucky enough to get a chance to pick one of these up after selling my beloved C515BEE. I was unsure it would sound as good with the 515 being a newer model, but I have to say the 521 sounds better. It almost sounds modded. It is used and I know little about it's past. Some talk about burn in time. Maybe this unit is really burned in well, but I am hearing things I didn't with the newer model. Wow. Better detail, and smoother. The bass is just different. It may be a little richer or slower bass, but I like it. I think the DA converter in the 521 is the Burr Brown vs. the Sigma Delta in the 515. Also, the 521 is a little deeper chassis wise which may have allowed them a better layout or a bigger power supply. All I know is it is wonderful. I now have a favorite CD player as I have been monkeying around with many for months including CAL DX2, several Sony ES models, Magnavox CDB650, and some other nice vintage pieces and this one takes the cake. Bravo NAD. Keep on making affordable pack leading equipment and keep working on the durability. Many of these could be classics if they can stand up over time.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2005



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ajani a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 22, 2008

Bottom Line:   
Honestly, this is a difficult product for me to review..... I owned a NAD C352 Integrated Amp and C521Bee CD Player for almost 2 years and before I upgraded to Rotel seperates (which I absolutely love).....

For the price I think NAD delivers good audio quality and an overall decent performance..... but Unfortunately from what I've experienced with theses two NAD products they suffer from at least 2 real issues:

1) They are Ugly and look cheap (which is not necessarily a major concern to everyone)....

2) They seem to always suffer from some type of really annoying electrical problems..... My Amp has the crappiest volume control via remote ever (it basically switches from low voliume to too high with just one touch of the volume button)... it also showed some issues when I started hooking up all my HT components to it and tried to switch audio signals..... My CD player takes a ridiculously long time to read a ot of my CDs and can't read many of them.... my old cheap Technics CD player had no such difficulties.... I recently returned to the store where I bought the NADs to check for speakers and was told that they no longer sell the NAD AV Receiver line becuase of problems with Video Switching....

My overall assesment is that NAD creates good products but I believe that they cut too many corners in order to try and cram as much 'quality sound' in for the minimal cost..... which can lead to glaring and frustrating flaws in what would otherwise be amazing equipment (for the price)....

So, my advice is to thoroughly tryout any NAD product you're considering buying and ensure that you can live with any potential shortcomings before purchasing one.....

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Bay Bloor Radio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I recently purchased the C521bee from my local Audio X. I got this player to replace my marantz cd player. My sstem is a marantz pm4400 amp with Mission M33i speakers, im using black rodium interconnects with black rodium ast400 bi-wire. Im Very pleased With the C521bee sounds Exciting no matter what music you play the detail is Excellent and the bass is warm with good timing. Theres plenty of warmth and Scale no matter what music you like The bass maybe Big but is well controlled. If like Me you love hifi But are on a tight budget Yo wont go far wrong with the nad. You will probably have noticed there are savings to be had if you buy online but beware it does affect your warranty with nad. I payed full price for the c521bee but my local audio X also included A black rodium interconnect worth £30 so its not always cheaper to buy online.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $199.00

Purchased At:   audio X



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by polyanka a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 8, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Very disappointed! Bought this CD player brand new less than two weeks go. From the very first day I noticed that it makes occasional tiny skips when playing CDs. The issue seemed to have reslved after 1-2 days. However, after 7 days of usage, it just stopped recognizing CDs and playing all together. I still cannot believe it: one would think that they could have learnt by now how to manufacture a reliable basic CD player. Apparently, NAD has not! It doesn't matter what the sound is, if it the player doesn't last!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $299.00

Purchased At:   Harvey's Electronics




Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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NAD C521BEE cd player vs.new NAD C525BEE

I cannot decide which CD player to buy, I suppose the new NAD C525BEE is an improvent over old NAD C521BEE, but I cannot compare vs. Do you have any experience with NAD C525BEE? Is there any diference? Thank you for any information about this playerRead More »

Question about NAD C521BEE CDPs...

I ordered one about a month ago along with picking up a new C720BEE Receiver. Well, they didn't have it when promised so they loaned me a C542 CDP. I have been playing the heck out of it, LOL. The C521 finally came in and I reluctantly returned their's for mine. The display on the C542 matched t ... Read More »

NAD C542 or C521BEE?

Any real advantage to using the C542 over the C521BEE CD player hooked to the NAD C352 Integrated Amp? Almost a $200.00 diffrence. Dont mind the extra 200 if its going to be that much better.Read More »

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