For those who have a pile of compact discs and think the idea of listening to MP3 files is somehow high-definition, NAD has made the highly affordable C545BEE disc player.
The $499 NAD C545BEE occupies a slot one notch below the top of the NAD Classic line. In typical NAD form, the player is filled with reference-level hardware and features which belie its modest price tag. Its hardware includes a large toroidal power supply with separate regulators for the digital and analog circuitry, as well as the latest Burr Brown 24-bit high-resolution DACs. The NAD player also accepts CD-R/W discs, even if they are filled with songs burned in MP3 or WMA compression algorithms.
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Internal flash memory allows you to program and store up to 40 of your favorite songs from your discs on the player for immediate playback. The programming features are useful, user-friendly and laid out logically. Programming is able to be controlled entirely by the included remote. The remote has a solid feel and all buttons seem well placed for easy access.
Listening to the player, it is obvious that the NAD philosophy of Music First is alive and well. The C545BEE creates music that is smooth, relaxed and detailed. The bass performance is exceedingly good. This is the type of player that is the equivalent of a gateway drug to the world of high-end. It is so affordable that just about anyone can own one, but it gives the user a big taste of just how good digital music can be.