Throughout their rich 45-year history, NAD Electronics has been offering high-performance turntables at stellar prices. A component that critical listeners can applaud for its musical quality, and one that almost anybody can afford, the NAD C 558 is a full-featured, belt-driven turntable for vinyl enthusiasts everywhere.
Pre-fitted with an Ortofon OM10 phono cartridge, the C 558 features a belt drive for maximum noise isolation, as well as a precision AC motor with isolated AC power supply that has universal voltage. Complimented by a glass platter with a felt pad, an MDF plinth, and a low resonance dust cover, the C 558 delivers an outstanding listening experience unlike any other.
- Belt driven 33/45 RPM turntable
- 10mm glass platter with included felt pad
- Precision AC motor
- Isolated AC power supply with universal voltage
- 9" tonearm with fixed headshell
- Ortofon OM10 Moving magnet (MM) cartridge preinstalled
- Vertical tracking angle
- Rigid MDF plinth with rubber isolation feet
- Low resonance dustcover
- Detachable high-quality RCA cable with separate ground
While most of the world has focused on digital technology, there has been a quiet revolution of understanding and refinement in the analogue turntable design. On the one hand, the task is very simple; spin the platter at precisely 33.3 RPM without any variation, and perfectly track the grooves of the record while giving the cartridge a solid platform that allows all the energy in the record to be translated into stylus motion of the cartridge. We don’t want the energy to ‘leak’ into vibrating the tonearm or the platter; we want it all to become pure musical energy bursting forth from your speakers.
To this end, NAD uses a sophisticated power supply that transforms the AC alternating voltage of your wall socket into a pure DC voltage. Then, the DC voltage is regenerated into a precise AC voltage that powers a precision clock motor to achieve a near-perfect speed consistency and smoothness. The motor is isolated from noise and voltage fluctuations that occur in the raw unfiltered AC mains that can cause instability in the motor. The motor uses a specially developed rubber belt that is flat ground for precision and drives a non-resonant sub platter that is also precisely machined for smooth rotation. This sits in a brass bearing with a hardened steel shaft. All of these parts are carefully developed to work together to provide a remarkably stable and precise rotation of the disc.
Quality Parts and Materials
The plinth of the C 558 is solid MDF, as opposed to the particle board or plastic that is commonly found at this price point, and is CNC machined for precision. The C 558’s dustcover, too, is heavier than most and made from a non-resonant Perspex with a counter-sprung hinge design that allows the cover to remain in almost any intermediate position from open to closed.
The tonearm also offers a similar level of careful engineering and development. At 9” long it offers low tracking distortion while maintaining rigidity and low mass required to stabilize the cartridge. By allowing VTF and Azimuth adjustment, you get precise tracking with low distortion and record wear. Preinstalled on the tonearm is a high-quality moving magnet cartridge by Ortofon. The OM 10 is a budget-conscious cartridge with an elliptical diamond stylus that delivers an excellent sound and is perfect for general use.
The glass platter and massive plinth combine to extract all the energy from the disc while isolating unwanted external vibrations.
Everything You Need to Enjoy Your Vinyl
Listening to records is an immersive experience. You become as involved in the process as you do in the listening. To a much greater degree than with digital sources, vinyl playback requires solid mechanical precision to extract the music from the medium. A properly played record is a fantastic and rewarding experience, and the NAD C 558 has everything you need to get maximum enjoyment with minimal fuss and expense.