NAD 515 CD Players

515

5 Disc CD Changer

User Reviews (30)

Showing 1-10 of 30  
Gary   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 04, 2015]

This player, the NAD 515 truly is the bee's knees. I have compared it with the same system with a Panasonic player and a decent Sony player. Music is just so nice warm with pulsing out of my Boston Acoustics speakers through a Marantz amp. I have a vintage Radio Shack sub-woofer driving the bottom. I got this as a warranty replacement for the NAD 505 changer which died soon after purchase.

Bottom is tight. Mid and high tones are clean. When I play some of my classics and my country western collection, I swear I am in the concert venue or the recording studio. I mean stuff, you didn't quite hear before like singer taking in a breath before a phrase. It is startling how real stuff sounds as interpreted by this player.

This unit does not like dirty disks. It isn't a problem for me as I have a pristine collection for the most part.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
whatnot   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 17, 2005]
Strength:

Mechanically sound Great DACs Quick Play

Weakness:

Remote is responsively slow Had problems getting the remote for the Marantz to work with NAD CD player (heard of other problems with universal remotes) NAD no longer makes carousels....

I'm not going to make this too long or in-depth because there are already some great reviews on this site of the NAD 515. I don't see myself adding much beyond the fact that this is one quality product. I picked it up used on eBay and it's much more mechanically sound than my old Denon and it's DAC is great. With my Marantaz receiver, it's best to use analog connections with the Pure Direct, which bypasses the internal processing of the Marantz. I've noticed new details and reappreciated CDs that had nearly fallen by the wayside. It's Quick Play feature sounded gimmicky, but is really amazing--I bet as fast as almost nearly single CD player. If you can find it used, it's worth. Much better than similarly priced new HK, Denon, Yamaha products.

Similar Products Used: Denon DCM-440 HK 8380 Yamaha Carousels
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mfeehl   AudioPhile [Aug 05, 2004]
Strength:

It's a most Musical Instument!

Weakness:

Like other reveiws the remote is cheap,the front is plastic. I use the Denon RC 770 so I don't care about the remote anyway.

Just got my NAD 515 out of storage after 2 years. Didn't have room at my condo for all of my toys.Boy, I'm a Happy camper! The sound is just as true as I remember it:warm,spacial,tight , good sound staging works well with Rock, Jazz,Vocals, Classical for under $500.bucks! No it's not my $4000.00 Audio Alchemy-didn't expect it to be.But a quick, 5 disc changer to sound the way it does - for hours on end is great! I do use the Musical Fidelity X10 D in between the amp and CD with Kimber PB&J's.These extra's do , of course , add cost, but I already had them , so I've put them to great use. The CD's sound even more real-more of a great vinyl sound and of course greater sound staging , even thru my little Lineums.Took me only a few hours of tweaking the speakers to achieve the soundstage - comparing notes I'd made with my hi-end system.I can now hear the subtle nuances, live performers moving around the stage,breathing,a real person performing! Also, I must tell readers that I did use the Reference Recordings XLO Test And Burn In CD(24K Gold disc;I love that tweak!)for about 12 hours,all my equipment has warmed up for at least 4 days straight and I made sure no speaker cables were wound, no interconnects were touching and kept all away from power cords and sources! Since I just got this puppy really working(I'm sure I'll try more tweaks tho)I've only been listening to R2D4's (or CD's).I had my mom , who's 78 and a former big band vocalist, listen to some and she wouldn't stop listening to the music! I played "Keith Jarrett at the Blue Note"on ECM,Terry Evans' " Puttin' It Down"on Audioquest, Art Davis'"A Time Remembered" on Jazz Planet and oh yeah,BB King/ Dianne Schuurs'"Heart to Heart" on GRP(not sure if that's a R2D4)- she and I both had a blast! We were listening at reference levels too- which is so cool to do with a 78 year old! The NAD 515 is very cool and sweet. No boloney to it -just all about the Music. By the way , had to take a Bose Lifestyles Cd/radio into the shop today,a man I've known awhile(in his 60's)is the owner.I told him about the NAD and before I could say NAD 515 he said "I hope you have the 515!" Yup!He went on and on about it- loves it and owns one himself that he got from a customer. If you can get one, pay the price if it's in top condition - the 515 is worth it!

Similar Products Used: Sony Lifestyle Pioneer ? Marantz (old) Auditioned many more in soundrooms at a higher price point.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Will   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 25, 2002]
Strength:

Dynamics, low noise, good soundstage

Weakness:

No optical digital output, only digital coax

After having the 515 sitting boxed up in storage for two years, I finally brought it back out the other day. I had recently sold some equipment which freed up some coveted shelf space in my audio rack. I was debating between using my single disc Sony DVP-S7700 with 24/96 DACs as my player and dusting off this "older" 5-disc changer. Let's just say I'm happy that I took it out of the box and didn't just decide to sell it without giving it another listen. Even 2+ years later the 515 with its 20-bit Burr-Brown delta sigma chips outshined the 7700 when using each players internal DACs. I was really impressed by the soundstage and the dynamics using either the digital or analog outs. Overall I preferred using the DAC in my Sony TAE-9000ES. When I did an A/B comparison between the digital out for the 515 and the digital out for the Sony 7700, I still found the 515 digital bitstream to be superior in almost every aspect. The only time I preferred the 7700 digital output was during "live recordings" of concerts on CD, for some reason the 7700 gave a better 3-D listening experience. I would have thought that the extra 3 years that the 7700 had in technology would make up for the fact that it was a DVD/CD player instead of a dedicated CD player (although I believe it does have separate lasers for DVD vs CD playback), but the 515 with its "rustic" charm and good "old-fashioned" musicality won out in almost every way. If you can find a cheap used one, I'd highly recommend it over even some of the latest changers. Related Equipment Used: NAD 515 Sony DVP-S7700 Sony TAE-9000ES NAD 208THX Amp B&W DM604 S3 Audioquest Bedrock speaker cable Audioquest Coral interconnects Audioquest VSD-2 digital coax Panamax 5100 AC noise-filter

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dave   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 01, 2000]
Strength:

Sound, build quality, design

Weakness:

Lack of track programming feature

I'm no audiophile, but I could scarcely be happier with the 515, which I tested against the similarly-priced Nakamichi MB-10 and Marantz CD4000 OSE. Clearly more musical than the otherwise very sexy Nak; sound is similar to the Marantz, but the simplicity and reputation of the NAD won me over.

Sound is warm and natural, with a broad soundstage, good imaging, and a lot of resonance in the midrange. Maybe a little too much resonance - I feel like vocals might be a little muddy sometimes, but my front speakers (Infinity Overture 2s) are newish and still pretty bright, and balance out the player nicely. Have added a MonsterPower line conditioner to the system to lower the noise floor and yield a really excellent sound. Family and friends are impressed.

Only real beef is the lack of a track programming feature, but sound (as described above) and build quality well outweigh this minor deficiency.

BTW, bought the player for $450 at a local retailer after a bad (and excrutiatingly drawn-out) experience with shop4.com. Was willing to pony up the extra dough for the customer service/advice.

Similar Products Used: Nakamichi MB-10, Marantz CD4000 OSE
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jon Marvin   an Audio Enthusiast [Mar 01, 1997]

I recently obtained the 515, and am extremely pleased with it's performance. The simple control face is a welcome relief from the "million button" players taking up so much shelf space.I'm using the 515 in conjunction with a NAD 7100 reciever. Unfortunately, the 7100 came out before the "NAD Link" was available, so I am unable to utilize that function. In fact, my only real complaint is the lack of a unified remote control. Ah, well.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Sean Ritzie   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 18, 2001]
Strength:

Great bass, smooth mids and highs; quick tray mechanism

Weakness:

none yet.

I got this changer after seeing it for years on Stereophile's Recommended Components list. They were right! All the great strengths mentioned above and not a day of trouble out of it. Glad I got it when I did because NAD doesn't seem to have made a replacement for it, offering only the 523 changer as a multi-disc option.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tim Peterson   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 02, 2000]
Strength:

Clarity, Bass, Highs

Weakness:

cheap remote.

I purchased the 515 about a week ago and couldn't be happier with it. I was sceptical about the improvements I would hear over my 5 year old yamaha. The sales person told me to expect significant improvement in the bass. He was correct. I have this CD player paired with the c340 IA and BW CDM 7SE's. As an audio enthusiast I love great sound and I have it now. The 515 has pushed the performance of my system to a much higher level that the yamaha. If you are considering upgrading a component, and want a changer, I can't imagine a better buy than this. In fact I also auditoned a comparable Nakamichi changer and preferred the NAD.

Tim

Similar Products Used: Yahmaha
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 04, 1999]
Strength:

Simple-not alot of extra bells and whistles

First thing that impressed me was the simple basic layout on the front panel. Plenty of room to push the appropriate buttons, wasn't full of features I would never use.
I recently purchased the C340, so when I hooked up the 515 it was magic. Right out of the box I noticed more detail in the bass. Quick, defined bass from my mini-monitors. Gone was the bloated, boomy bass I was use to. I noticed a deepth in the soundstage where the instruments were comming from. Everything seemed to have its on place, it wasn't all running together.
The drawer is smmoth and quick. The quick load feature IMHO is extremly fast. The only small nit-pick is the fact that the metal case is a little thin, but I am planning on using some damping material to remedy this.
IMHO the NAD products are a great value for anyone looking for a budget system or even a more expensive high quality system. I sold, I'll continue to have NAD products in the future.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John S   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 04, 1999]

The NAD 515 is my third attempt as a replacement for my dyeing 7 year old Denon CD player and will definitely be my last.

The first CD player I purchased to replace my Denon was the Harmon Kardon 8350. I was very satisfied with it’s sound, but experienced problems with it the second I hooked it up to my system. Less than two days later I returned it. (See my review for this model dated 10/5/99).

The second player I tried was an Onkyo DXC530. As much as I love Onkyo products (I own a three year old Dolby Pro-Logic receiver of theirs), there was, unfortunately, a noticeably poorer distinction in its sound quality. Regardless of which disc I played, the music always sounded too “boomy” and was never as clearly detailed as the HK. This was also promptly returned.

The NAD 515, which I had been pining for ever since reading its reviews under the “Hall of Fame” category before Audio Review changed its format (what happened there?), was not so easy to find as other mainstream brands. After much searching, I finally managed to find it through a store advertised on the internet called ABC Stereo and Home Theater out of Manalapan, New Jersey. Buyer beware; Even though they offer great prices on stereo equipment ($420 for the 515 including shipping), their customer service is incredibly crappy and not always reliable. I think I heard “it’s in the mail” more times than a collection agency does in one day. Non-the-less, three weeks after ordering the NAD it finally arrived at my doorstep.

True to its reputation, the 515 is a very simplistic player – even its manual is barely 4 pages long. Everything about it seems to exude quality; The tray feels sturdy and works quickly, discs load incredibly fast (I especially love the “Quick-Load” button on the front of the tray which takes exactly 4 seconds from inserting the CD to hearing the first note), the controls are easy to understand and use. Then, of course, there’s the sound. After breaking in the player with a mandatory live Grateful Dead recording (“Dick’s Picks Vol. 9” has a killer version of “Queen Jane Approximately”), I tested it with other favorites such as Eva Cassidy’s “Songbird” (great disc if you don’t have it already), and Dire Straits “On Every Street” (ditto). The NAD handled them all effortlessly and impressively. Nothing sounds too sharp, too boomy - - too anything. Everything sounds clear, well defined, and very easy on the ears. Overall the 515 offers a very appealing sound without coming across as offensive in any way, which makes this a CD player I’m sure I’ll never get tired of using. $400 for this kind of performance? Nooo problem.

Despite spending a fair amount of time and effort finding a replacement for my Denon, I’m glad I refused to compromise with other inferior players because the 515 is truly a great buy. I like this unit so much that I’m seriously considering a NAD receiver when I eventually switch over to digital. I highly recommend the NAD 515 to anyone – it would make a great addition to any sound system.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 30  

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