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Re: NAD C541i vs. Music Hall CD 25
Posted by SEK on May 28, 2003 at 01:20:53:
I prefer the NAD C541i. The Music Hall sounds nice, but its coloration is not to my taste. I observed that the Music Hall CD 25 can impose a slight richness and cloudy sheen in its sonic presentation that might make it sound better with some recordings or to some ears. The NAD C541i sounds remarkably neutral and clear to me; I think it yields more insight into the music that is (and is not) on the CD and has been a pleasure to listen to.
"Build quality", I guess, is in the eye of the beholder. Underneath the Music Hall's thicker and heavier shiney faceplate, the quality of its parts and mechanics seem sufficient, but are certainly not better than the NAD's. Less importantly, I prefer the NAD's compact remote control to the Music Hall's original retro-sci-fi remote (I just read somewhere that Music Hall now supplies more conventional remotes with more recently-manufactured CD 25's).
The widely-reported reliability and tracking problems in many of NAD's previous CD players, especially with the C540 and C520, have been virtually eliminated in the "i" series ("i" apparently means "improved"). Also, while the CD 25 has a 1-year warrantee, the C541i has a 2-year warrantee.
I am more enthusiastic about the value offered by Music Hall's turntables.