TEAC NT-503 USB DAC & Network Playersearch

TEAC NT-503 USB DAC & Network Player

TEAC NT-503 USB DAC & Network Player

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A year ago I scanned an industry Ad for this series from TEAC. I am aware they absolutely make some fine products. HOWEVER - its' really tough for me to see reviews discussing burn-ins and the finer nuances of fidelity on a device (late 2017) that is working with a meager 110db's and 1/2 watt per channel - $700? No MQA? Does the what must be single DAC Chip have a bypass setting to at least chase superior sound when not using the modest Amp? Sorry - not a fan of hater comments but I am sure there are PLENTY of people hear who may recommend better use of your $700.....
AdamInHiltonHead
Could you list some better DACs in this price range? Also I would like to point out that this DAC is using dual AK4490 chips.
ccc888
I ended up buying the oppo sonica DAC, 100 dollars more expensive. I did a comparison between it and the nt503. NT 503 is soft and fuzzy more tube-like sound, oppo is rich, punchy with a slightly bigger and cleaner image. I would say oppo is slightly better, but nt503 is also very easy on the ears.
I have the UD-503, the non-network version of this DAC.

For the longest time I thought the performance was pretty "meh", and not as musical as my UD-501. I was actually considering selling it.

Then after a fairly long time of using it, the sound became very lucid, clear, and open.

I could discern subtleties in the phrasing and in vocal inflections that made it seem like I was hearing the song for the first time. Or listening to an alternate take of the song that had different, but more musical, detail, inflection, and flow. And yet it was the same recording.

Wow. So it seems to take some time before the music starts to sound good through this. I also recall reading the same from some other reviewer or user.


K.T.N
"Then after a fairly long time of using it, the sound became very lucid, clear, and open. "

Sounds like your ear just got used to the sound.
jrjr2
No. After listening it to about a month and having it sound basically the same every day, and then one day just reveling in the improvement, no, I didn't just get used to the sound.

I've been in the audio hobby for about 30 years. There are some things I've owned and used that really changed their sound drastically with some use, sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly, sometimes slowly over an extended time.

I've also owned whole bunch of gear that maybe changed some aspect of their sound to some degree over time, but nothing mind blowing (ie, started by sounding somewhat congested, but opened up after some use, but retained the same basic sound quality).

And then there are those that didn't really change in sound quality much if at all over an extended time.

To me, it's really apparent when a sonic change happens. Because over the decades, I've listened to a lot of gear, and I know what works for me in terms of sound quality, ie, pacing, flow, tonality, resolution, liquidity, sense of space, rhythm, naturalness in attack and decay of notes, etc. So I can recognize when those qualities I like are there or not. And I can recognize when there is a change.

So when I listen to a piece of equipment for more than long enough to get a grip on the basic sound quality (ie, a month or so in this case), and then it takes a turn for the better (in this case), I definitely notice that. And it's not just getting used to the sound. I can usually get a grip on that in a couple of days or so.

I think what you are talking about is called "brain burn in". It's when you start listening to a piece of gear which may have a different presentation that what you are currently accustomed to, and your brain accepts that presentation over some period of listening, and you accept that presentation to the extent that you will, you unconsciously overlook the shortcomings, and enjoy the musical presentation in the way it is presented.

I think it's something like watching a play put on by community theater group in a theater with dim, subpar lighting. No, you don't see all the colors and details that you would if you were watching the play in a professional theater, but your brain adjusts and you forget that the light is a bit too dim, and overlook the yellowish cast, and watch the play and enjoy it to the extent that you can. And unless the shortcomings are totally egregious and distracting, you don't think about those things after a while and just enjoy the play.

But here's the thing. Even after you've gotten accustomed to the dim lighting, etc. those colors that you are seeing and the resolution and detail that you can discern will never be the same as if you were in a professional theater with its superior lighting. So your getting used to the lighting will not net you the higher quality experience that you would see in a better theater, no matter how much you get used to it.

So when I hear what, essentially, was a community theater experience change into a professional theater experience, no, I don't think what I was hearing was because I simply got used to the sound, in my opinion.

Will buy only if it is a 220volt version!
Sure wish this was a UD 503 for sub $500... :)
Still no confirmation on 220V
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But there are no options on choosing EU/UK ver
renzero
my guess is this is the North American version. sorry my friend, looks like you are out of luck on this one. not sure why they couldn't put a voltage switch on this. electronics get converted to DC then voltage regulated anyways so 110 or 220 doesn't make a big difference in the grand scheme anyways.
What chips does this use and where are the measurements?
Would love this with confirmed EU voltage, shipped to the EU! Maybe for the next drop?
I bought the Teac UD-501 and Teac AI-101DA from Massdrop and they were shipped to Canada. This drop they're not shipping here.
How do you configure for network play? Read the manual and it didn't really cover it at all.
Rochambeaux
download & install Teac Remote APP for your android phone
but,this app function is very simple...
This or Onkyo RZ-900? Same price ...
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local electronics store :)
yes pal, I am aware. But it also supports DSD, 384kHz DAC via USB and such.
Are the XLR and RCA outputs active simultaneously? I'd like to use this as a preamp for my powered speaker and sub combo; while I could use the RCA passthrough on the sub, I'd like to run RCA to the sub and XLR direct to the speakers if possible.
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Thanks. I considered the Jotenheim, but reviews seem consistent in its brightness, so I'm hesitant. Plus, I like the network player features of the TEAC. It would be cool to use it for USB gaming audio and then leave the PC off for music listening.

I'm currently running my setup via the sub's RCA passthrough. I guess it could be argued that I probably wouldn't hear much difference using XLR on my speakers and that RCA would do the job.
JaySylvester
If you aren't married to your current sub, look at the Yamaha hs8s that dropped here a week ago or so. Kinda expensive but it has full Xlr pass through.