WANTING FOR NADA?
The NADAC is attractively styled and finished in a silvery aluminium—and rather solid—chassis featuring neatly-rounded corners. Simplicity itself, the fascia’s left hand side sports a large multi-coloured multi-function LED-backlit push button (LED colour changes to indicate the resolution being played) styled in the Merging Technologies logo, flanked by etched company and model names. On the right-hand side you’ll find a blackened panel sporting, a rather small and low-res OLED display (160×128 pixels, 16-bit colours) while to the right a large multi-function knob facilitates access to the NADAC’s menus and sub-menus (press and hold, turn and quick press) and also provides volume control when the unit is in preamp mode. A built-in headphone amplifier outputs via a duo of mini and standard jack sockets alongside the display. The NADAC comes remote-less but Merg- ing Technologies has developed a remote app which provides some level of control via tablet or smartphone, although a small remote control (the classy Apple Remote perhaps?) would have been a nice value-add, if for nothing else other than for volume control and input switching.
More fun awaits on the rear panel where, from left, we find a high-quality Neutrik XLR-style Ethernet RJ45 socket (Audio Engineering Society AES-67 standard) followed by the digital input cluster. Here you’ll find AES/EBU and RCA SPDIF, Optical and a word clock input via a true 75 BNC connector. Both XLR and RCA analogue outputs are provided and a fused IEC socket with adjacent mains power switch rounds out the back panel items. Any omissions? Yes… there’s no USB connectivity. When several competitors’ DACs offer DSD resolution via USB this could, indeed, be seen as a perplexing, even a potentially costly omission for the plug-and-play user. However, the point of the NADAC is that, at its core, it’s an Ethernet-centric device, which in theory is a superior method of data transfer given the USB interface’s in-
Any omissions? Yes… there’s no USB connectivity ... which could turn out to be a potentially costly omission