NAD C658 upgrade -> Auralic Altair G1.1,... ?

Hi everyone,

My current set exists of the NAD C658 streamer/preamp/dac + the NAD C298 power amplifier with a pair of bookshelf speakers.  I'm mostly streaming music via Qobuz, but also listening to internet radio, playing CD's with a transport connected via coax & streaming files from a NAS.

I'm looking for an upgrade of the C658 and would prefer to keep streamer/dac/preamp in a single box.  However, I'm open to suggestions.

The price range is around 3000€.

I had the opportunity to try both the Eversolo Dmp-a8 & Auralic Altair G1 from my hifi dealer.

I don't consider the Eversolo as a real a upgrade in my set but just sounding different.

I was quite impressed by the Altair G1 (couldn't get the 1.1, but I assume the character is similar).

Some questions from my side:

- When changing tracks via Qobuz (only source I tested), I sometimes heard a small tap (hope this is understandable English) in the sound.  Any idea how this can be solved (will ask my dealer next Friday also) ?

- What are possible alternatives for the G1.1 in this price range ?

- I'm not familiar with the Auralic brand, so interested to know how long they will upgrade the software, since the G1.1 is almost 2 years on the market.  Maybe they don't have a lifecycle policy, but probably some people can tell from experience how long devices are upgraded.

- Does someone know if a G1.2 is planned/annouced ?

Please let me know if any more information is needed to be able to respond to my post.

Thanks a lot in advance for your response & advice,



Correct me if I’m wrong, but that conversion to US dollar would be around $3,251. It may help to know if you’d be open to the used market.

I have no experience with Auralic and can’t comment on whether a G1.2 is planned. I had owned the NAD C658 for a few years with DIRAC full version and UMIK. I recently sold it on the used market and was able to grab a Teac NT-505 (approximately $2K when introduced in 2020/21). I’m not suggesting you look a Teac, especially since this DAC does not appear to meet your criteria. What I am saying: I found the Teac more engaging and not nearly as “hard” sounding as the C658. My suspicion is that you’re paying for the features and convenience of the C658 at the expense of SQ. If I didn’t have this experience I’d say that the Altair could have the potential of being a sideways move - I don’t think this will necessarily be the case in this situation.

I have Auralic gear though the Aries G2 and Sirius G2.1 processor. I had the Vega G2.1 DAC as well until I upgraded from there - but it was quite good and fully competitive with other $7k+ DACs. 

I mention this because i don’t have direct experience with the Altair line though I understand it to also be quite good and competitive with similarly priced units.

It’s possible the “click” or “tap” you’re hearing is the unit switching to adjust to different file formats or bit rates available on many Qobuz streams. 

You asked about their support of their software. I find they upgrade continuously - and do so automatically and seem to fully support older units in this regard. 

I think the units are well made and supported. 

You might find helpful information in the Auralic community forums: The president of the company also frequently responds to support requests and questions. It’s a good company with enthusiastic users.



@toro3 Thanks for your feedback.

I'm open to the used market.

@mgrif104 Thanks for your feedback.

The click is solved now.  I found a setting to disable output when switching between bit rates.  

Regarding software support, I received an answer from Auralic.  They support models at least 5y after being discontinued.

Best regards,