Australian HIFI - - ON TEST -

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

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