TEAC UD-701 vs NT-505 vs ?

I stream Quboz and Tidal via a Bluesound Vault 2. Vault transmits to Parasound JC2 to modded A21 to Vandersteen Quatro CTs. (See my profile for complete description of system.) Happy, really very happy, with Vault 2 but it is likely best point at which to upgrade my system.

Considering TEAC NT-505 ($2K) and new TEAC DAC/streamer UD-701 ($4K), which has some very attractive features: in-house-built discrete Delta-Sigma DAC with FPGA circuity, dual-mono signal path, four separate power supplies... Have seen enthusiastic reviews for NT-505 from owners here. Only one review by Moon Audio out about UD-701, and they are not an uninterested party. Curious if any out there have heard UD-701?

Open to other suggestions, including used with roughly $6K price ceiling. See TMR has used Aurender A-10s for sale. Used PS Audio Direct Wave DAC with bridge is another consideration, although I have seen owners comment negatively about the bridge.

Not wed to DAC/streamer combo but that has appeal to me because it eliminates a box, connecter, and power cord, all of which add to cost and connector makes signal path less direct.

Also not wed to SS but a tube DAC appears to me to introduce an additional source of distortion into my otherwise SS system, so it will then be affected by both SS and tube distortion.




I have an NT-505 with the AKM chip before they had to switch to Sabre due to the AKM factory fire. I haven't heard the new 505 but would love to hear both the new 505 and the 701. Music Direct offers a 60 day trial but they're backordered.  My local Teac dealer has none to listen to unfortunately. I know my response doesn't help but I will be following this discussion. Hopefully someone who's heard any of the new ones can chime in. 

@bosssound Hi, First let me say that the UD-701 is a beautiful looking unit and I was considering upgrading my UD-503 headphone amp to it but then the AKM chip plant burnt down and TEAC had to re-think their plans. They were going to use the AKM chips and I think a few early models had them, but now are using 2 Delta Sigma chips developed by TEAC, clear as mud.

I would certainly go with an Aurender either with or without DAC. They are fabulous machines. I have thoroughly enjoyed my UD-503 headphone amp and used it in a full system and I'm sure the UD-701 will be very good but Aurender are in a different league.

If you are considering a separate DAC you can't do better than the Musetec 005, read the thread on here.


First post on here. The UD 701n was developed in conjunction with Esoteric and was always a delta sigma from concept. See £10800 Esoteric N05XD. The NT 505 X upgrade had to switch to ESS because of the akm fire.
My Ud701n arrived in January, one of the first batch to arrive in Europe I was on a second Tidal trial but have now gone back to Qobuz Digital inputs can receive MQA and I have MQA cd in plus Radio Paradise MQA in via Coax from a Node130. all sound fabulous to my ears having bought 4 MQA CDs but even regular CDs are enhanced from a Marantz SA14 se, not too shabby itself, particularly at the top end with enhanced detail, spaciousness and refinement. A true digital hub that delivers

as with the excellent NT 505 which it replaced, you can make small adjustments by up sampling, choice of processing and filters I have it set to eight times up sampling, 512 DSD conversion and filter 1 amp is a Luxman 507 mk2, speakers Dali Epicon 6, chord clearway coax,xlr,rcas Audioquest NRG Z3 power cables - my end game system. I can highly recommend the TEAC with the caveat that I have not heard any competitors. Subjectively, the processing narrows the gap between red book and high res  and gets very close to SACD  the esoteric big brother must be amazing at three times the price. Although not cheap, the ud701 n is a relative bargain, imho



Hopefully, the first of many posts!

Appreciate your sober, precise analysis of the merits of the UD-701-N. Few have heard the unit, yet, it appears. So your input is precious.



Believe @nomorelandings has history of development of UD-701 correct.

Saw thread on musetec-005 that you pointed to. Got my attention. Rave reviews.

Lack of compatiblity with MQA and relatively new, unknown manufacturer without a US distributor give me hesitation.

I listen mostly to Hi-Res via Quboz but once in a while the MQA version on TIDAL sounds better.

Can't say that I have a lot of technical expertise but did spot that construction of circuit boards in Musetec unit is different from others. Cicuit board material is different- looks like a black foam board as opposed to typical stiff, green circuit board and connectors look plug-n-play as opposed to custom built.

But to repeat I am no engineer or technician so I could be and very possibly am off-base on last comment.


and I'm sure the UD-701 will be very good but Aurender are in a different league.

Here is my rub with the folks promoting the Musetec. They have absolutely no experience with the DAC that is being discussed, and they automatically imply that something other might be better than the DAC being discussed. But the DAC they promote is the best. Aurender makes a wide range of products. The A10 is a cheaper one with streamer and DAC together. It would be hard to believe that the all in one A10 would be better than the UD-701N. Don't understand why people post on stuff they have ZERO experience.

Yeah, I have read and was very much interested in the Musetec. But the tone of some of the users and the way they shoot down non-Chinese competition got me thinking that there is something more going on. Funny enough - the Musetec is readily available, while the cheaper Okto DAC8 Stereo (European make) has been flying off the shelf and not available to order - even though they use the same chips. And normally you make in China to save $$$. Why should the Musetec cost so much more than the Okto? The Musetec costs almost near the Teac price range.

Now lets wait for the rest of the Musetec gang to come up and defend their DAC or bash my post. I would really like to see some of these poster's system with that DAC in it.

In the meanwhile please continue to post on the Teac UD-701N. I am interested too.


Let me say that I have a TEAC UD-503 headphone/pre-amp, DAC which is capable of being used in a full blown system and it's very good soundwise and very well built and I would recommend it and it's later models to anyone looking for a reasonably priced good quality one box solution.

Enter Aurender the UD-701 competes directly with the A10 and A100 servers/streamers.

What I suggest and will always suggest, go and audition these servers because they really are great performers and will hold their price better in the used market than TEAC.

Enter the Musetec 005. I know there's been a lot of talk on this forum about the 005 but that's because it's a watershed product. The product that made Chinese HIFI come of age. Most of the parts it uses if not all major items are imported. Mundorf capacitors from Germany, Amanero USB board from Italy, chips and oscillators from the US and I believe the transformer is from the UK. Point to point wiring.

You owe it to yourself to hear this DAC.

There is a US distributor and Aurender plays MQA but not ROON.


@bosssound ,

Looks like there are more reviews coming up on the Teac UD-701N.

The first one is the latest from Europe while the second one is from Japan. Both had to be translated. The DAC looks impressive with great build quality.



The Teac also seems to be solid built and uses Esoteric's own delta sigma tech instead of off-the-shelf chips. This was one thing I liked about the Marantz SA-10. The SA-10's sound quality, per some posters who own them, are nothing short of phenomenal, at a price that is much less than the competition. I am hoping the same for the Teac. Might have to find a way to audition this DAC, sometimes this summer

One more thing to keep in mind - you will need to "separate the Wheat from the chaff" on these forum posts. You know what I mean.


One more thing to keep in mind - you will need to "separate the Wheat from the chaff" on these forum posts. You know what I mean.

But I guess that would involve one on one auditions instead of wild presumptuous conclusions. 

Nice Diana Krall collection...lol, btw where's your Kenny G?

Hi Bossound,


Hopefully I can eradicate the lack of capitals this time! I do not store music on hard drives etc. but as a streamer, the TEAC does a great job via the HR app. Tidal connect works although I prefer to construct my playlists in the app. MQA unfolds accurately as has dual clocks for 44.1 & 48 multiples. A few tracks on tidal unfold to 352.8 ( Norwegian label 2 L) as do MQA CDs. Agree with you, Tidal can be excellent, although I find Qobuz more consistent sq wise. As mentioned, FLAC and Regular CDs sound great to my ears after up scale and 1 bit conversion. I listen to internet radio via a node as BluOS only way of receiving Radio Paradise MQA which has superb SQ, imho. I also feed it optical from a smart tv for those music videos. I was a little sceptical as to any benefit vs the NT 505/ AKM but worth the investment. Not heard the ESS9038 version of the 505 - it lacks the MQA in via digital inputs, but sure it would be a quality choice for streaming. Horses for courses. I do find both need some hours to give their best and hope you can find a demo.still only one dealer advertising here in the uk. I bought direct from TEAC. 

But I guess that would involve one on one auditions instead of wild presumptuous conclusions.

Please go back and read about my statement on trying to audition this summer. And other words I used were "seems", "hoping", etc. So not jumping to conclusion like :

system and I'm sure the UD-701 will be very good but Aurender are in a different league.

If you are considering a separate DAC you can't do better than the Musetec 005, read the thread on here.

Also good to know that you enjoyed looking at my system and carefully noted my choice of music. Thanks for the kind words. D comes before K. So that screen shot in my system page shows only partial list of the music. I listen to all sorts of music - I do not differentiate - "music expresses the joy of the soul". That was what I had on the wall of my previous listening system. Would love to see your system, if you got some time to post.

And if you find more reviews/user posts on the Teac, please do post it here.

@nomorelandings Thanks for notes on TEAC HR streaming app.

@milpai Appreciate pointers to Dutch and Japanese reviews.

@lordmelton Hope to check out Aurender kit. My dealer used to carry their equipment. Not sure if he still does.

I located open box units of both NT-505 and UD701-N. Former thanks to Dylan, who was pleasure to deal with, at HiDEF Lifestyle in Red Bank, NJ. Expect to receive both units this weekend.

Plan DAC shootout at HiFi Buys in ATL next week. Will be able to compare TEAC units to HiFi ROSE streamer/DAC, Marantz CD Transport/DAC, Chord Hugo and possibly others,with dCS Bartok as a benchmark. 

Hope to be able to add to observations of nomorelandings then.



@bosssound ,

Excellent news. Looks like a lot of reading for me in the next few days on this thread. Will be eager to know how the comparison went and what you end up with. Do keep us posted.

Good luck and have fun!


@bosssound Nice to see you've got a nice audition ahead.

A big positive with the TEACs is that they have 10Mhz, 50 Ohm clock inputs, if you can listen to them with the clocks connected that will make a big difference.

Unfortunately Aurender doesn't give clock inputs until you get up to the N20, $12k.

The TEACs DO NOT however give digital outputs which means you can't connect an outboard DAC. All Aurenders allow this.

Take your time and listen. Best of luck.

Interesting point. I have no experience of the outboard clocks and cannot quantify the improvement vs cost, which is very substantial for big brother Esoteric and dCS. If anyone does have first hand experience, I would be glad to hear your views. I have tried to get the best out off the ud701n with Audioquest power cable and Ethernet cable, plus xlr and vibration mitigation. Whether any of these are beneficial is unknown, but do no harm other than to the wallet.

I guess there is no digital out as TEAC judges that the onboard DAC is already the strong point and why would anyone buy the product for its streamer section alone? In saying that, I have a Node130 solely for radio paradise MQA stream output via coax.

Hope you enjoy the demos, bosssound and look forward to hearing your views. I visited ATL many times as an aviator. Busy, busy busy!

@nomorelandings  Get your tag now. Trust not holding the lives of hundreds in your hands relieves some stress. Curious what filter settings you employed with your NT-505? I I have settled for now on fixed volume (line out) DSD 512 (Upconversion), slow roll off (PCM filter), wide (DSD filter). Also, what's your estimate of burn-in time? I will withhold opinions on sound until I listen further. By the way, I got hold of NT-505 unit with AKM chips, since folks are so enthusiastic about that model.

@big_greg Same questions to you. Peace.




@bosssound Thanks for all your updates on your thread.  I really look forward to hearing about your DAC shootout in ATL. I wish I was a little closer than 805 miles. I've reached out to HiDEF Lifestyle to see if they have a demo on the floor of the UD-701. I also reached out to Moon Audio who have it listed on their site and heard nothing back. Just an FYI, on my NT-505 (AKM version) in my system I prefer Short (Delay Slow) with 4x upsampling. My second favorite is DSD 512 and wide like you have. I run it direct into an Odyssey Kismet amp and like it better than pretty much anything I've tried including integrateds and using a preamp.

Certain destinations had their moments, but my commute to Heathrow was often more stressful!

I had mine set to 512dsd for several months, but then switched to PCM/ 8X upsampled. Found DSD a little softer which suited some recordings. Conversely, the 701 in 512 mode is probably my final setting. Like you, I used soft roll off in pcm mode. I have no experience of ESS, but suspect that without the factory fire, TEAC would have gone with the akm4499. Happy listening. 

plus xlr and vibration mitigation. Whether any of these are beneficial is unknown, but do no harm other than to the wallet.

At least my experience, in MY system, has been that vibration mitigation makes a lot of difference, especially in controlling image smearing and achieving tight bass.

@bosssound , is the UD-701N expected soon? I would like to know your take on the difference between the AKM/ESS based 505. A proprietary Delta Sigma implementation OR FPGA DAC OR a Maranzt style proprietary implementation interests me more than R2R or chip based DAC. But you never know unless you hear one in person. I am not sure if I can make it to AXPONA this year.

Hi Milpai,

agree re: vibration etc. didn’t want to make subjective claims and distract from the thread.

Thanks for that review. Although limited to its performance paired with the class D power amp, a fair conclusion. At least they used some high end Borreson speakers. A direct and detailed A/B comparison with the NT 505 might have helped bosssound. My first experience of delta sigma and have not heard R2R etc, but can safely say that the 701 is all the streamer/ DAC that I will ever need, as are my amp  and speakers. More expensive PS audio, Esoteric and dCS delta/ sigma DACs must be very good indeed. 

I can only chime in, one year listening to the NT-505, streaming Qobuz. Have not heard the newer models. What is clear, is that the 505 needs break-in time. It does not outperform my vinyl rig, but now sounds very good. This is into a tube system - Einstein The tube mk2 preamp, and Atma-sphere Ma-1 amps. It seems a supportive environment for the 505. The best digital recordings - also standard cd format - now sound clearly better than I'v heard before.  

Can report back now. Sort of.

First, want to thank all for a thoughtful, informative, and helpful thread.

There were a couple points that where the thread could have turned to mudslinging and I want to thank both parties for turning away from that and staying civil.


Qualification regarding report is the left channel of the UD-701-N was dead, so I could only do one channel listening with it.

I have not heard of any similar or other manufacturing problems with this model or other TEAC products so I don't take this as a ding against the 701. (See my comments later about its excellent build.)

I also have no beef with Safe & Sound from whom I bought this unit. No suspicion that they sold me dud. In fact, they have been excellent about handling the issue and have promised full refund and paid for shipping back. I am happy to do business with them again.

First will report on listening tests at home. My system is described in my profile. Set-up for tests is described below.

Could not perform direct comparison of 701 to other units (new TEAC NT-505, old Vault 2) because my Audioquest Victoria RCA IC runs as a unitary cable with split into right and light connectors only near its two ends. Therefore, could not connect 701 to RCA IC because the L and R analog outputs on its back are far apart (as a consequence of its dual mono design). Hence, while 505 and Vault were connected to my Parasound JC2 pre-amp via RCA; 701 was connected via AQ Yukon XLR IC, which IMHO are inferior to Victoria and AQ Earth. I also did some listening with NT-505 connected directly to my Parasound A21 amp via Earth XLR IC. I used stock power cables with both the TEAC units. Connection to Internet in all cases was via Wireworld Starlight 8 cable to Ethernet port.

Home Listening Tests...

NT-505 had several advantages over Vault.

More detail. For example, on opening of Bruca Manigua by Buena Vista Social Club featuring Ibrahim Ferrer, the backup horns sound more like individual horns playing together on the 505 than Vault. Same for back-up singers later on in track.

In addition, the layering of instruments and soundstage depth was better on the 505 than Vault.

Portrayal of Ferrer’s voice was somewhat diffuse and I would say veiled or uncontrolled (?) with Vault. With 505, portrayal was more veridical to my ears; it was more precise and intense.

Bass was both more articulate and powerful with 505 than Vault. This was apparent with heavy bass lines on Chic’s Le Freak (Oliver Heldon mix) and Beyonce’s Partition. Also with acoustic bass on Le Herida Oscura from Susana Baca’s new album Palabras Urgentes.

These advantages IMHO were more pronounced on tracks in lower resolutions formats (non-HR vs HR on Quboz). Case in point is Viento del Olvido from Baca’s Travesias. I can’t speak to the technical details but believe that NT-505 has more options for rendering these "low" resolution recordings in high fidelity than Vault.

All that said the listening test made me appreciate how well the Vault renders music and explained why I was very happy with my system as is. Sound is engaging and evokes emotion. The edges of notes of communicated appealingly, For example, edges of guitar notes and other plucked instruments are sharp, appealing and natural (e.g., any track from Samba in Seattle by Bola Sete or Baaba Maal’s Yoolelle - Maman from Missing You.)

I discuss some of the shortcomings of the NT-505 in my next post where I compare it to the UD-701.

The TEAC UD-701-N was superior to the NT-505.

It had all the advantages of the NT-505 over the Vault but in larger amounts.

But none of the disadvantages. The NT-505 at times sounded bright and at moments glassy. For example, on Hamadoun Toure from Toumani & Sidiki Diabete the kora notes just don’t sound natural. The brightness moderated with time. I wondered whether I would find listening fatiguing in the long run. Note that I have not seen other users complain of this in their comments, which are overwhelmingly positive. (@o_holter indicated burn-in was important for the 505 so that may improve further with time.)

The 701 just sounded right. Engaging, natural, emotive. Timing, rhythm, flow of music just sound right- makes you move. Inviting to listen to even with only one channel. (That’s tough to do!) Musical notes with intensity and weight.

Hard to describe. Just that feeling of ahhhh... like a new experience that feels like coming home.


This is a side note. But an observation that stands out. On Valsa de Uma Cidade from Samba in Seattle, Sete taps out a four count before the band starts playing. You can hear on this Vault and 505. Less distinctly on the Vault than 505, although on both it is less distinct than on 701, on which the taps have more weight and character. My guess (since I did not have the privilege of hearing the live performance) is that the 701 portrays the original timbre of those taps more accurately. Another observation from this track that stands out is Sete’s use of dynamics to convey emotion come across very clearly on the 701. There is some of that with the 505 but it’s there to a larger degree with the 701.


The 505 had AKM chips. It was NOT the NT-505-X with Sabre chips.


Additional notes regarding set-up.

Streaming was via Quboz. Most but not all tracks were Hi-res.

Settings on 505 are thanks to tips from @nomorelandings and @bhvf :

fixed volume (line out) 4x (Upconversion), short delay slow (PCM filter), wide (DSD filter)

I felt that these upconversion and PCM filter settings produced a more natural sound than what I posted previously and 8x upconversion with slow roll off PCM filter. However, differences here are subtle and very likely to vary with listener.

Settings on 701 are thanks to @nomorelandings with modest modifications based on my listening:

8x Fs (Upconversion), fixed volume (line out), 512x (Delta-Sigma Fs), DSD 1 bit (PCM Delta Sigma), Fil 1 (DSD Low Pass Filter Fs).

I felt that DSD 1 bit produced a more natural sound (more weight, higher contrast edges) than the DSD multibit setting. The multibit setting in its defense had more air. Again differences were subtle and likely to differ with listener.


Second sentence of last paragraph of post @ 4:00 pm today should read: No suspicion that they sold me dud on purpose.



I promised to comment on the 701 build.

It's an absolutely beautiful unit. I ordered one in black. Thick black aluminum (?) plate on front with beautiful grain. Knobs and switches that feel great to the touch and respond well to your actions. Low profile fins with individual variation in length on side to reduce resonant vibration. Solid. Heavy. A 26 pound DAC!

That weight is not surprising given contents the chassis bears. I won't go into detail here since that's easily available from the TEAC and other websites: four power transformers/coils, dual mono design...


Other matters call... I will post a breakdown of the listening tests at my dealer most likely tomorrow.


Thanks for the update! I've bought an amp from Safe and Sound before and had no issues. I don't think they would do anything nefarious at all. A distributor/manufacturer who often comments on these forums has good things to say about them also. 

Now I really want to find a UD-701 to try. Moon Audio has them but with a restocking fee of $400 (10%). That's a little higher than I'm willing to pay to try it so I'll probably wait for a local dealer or Music Direct to hear one. 

Please keep the thread updated when you get the 701 back with both channels working.

fyi: new firmware was released a few days ago - it includes channel balance which is a nice addition.

Hi Mantis,

any idea how you update the system firmware as I do not have any Microsoft based computer, only Mac? Net firmware updates fine in the HR app. Thanks. 

Hi bosssound. Great write up and in line with my own experience. Both channels working on the 701 will be a revelation! Thanks for keeping us updated. So often on UK forums, advice is sought then silence. I agree, the output from my Node130 has been beyond expectation. Better still when output to the TEAC. 


You own/have owned some awesome systems.

Curious if you have had a chance to compare 701 to PS Audio Direct Stream DAC. That's one I wanted to A/B 701 against but did not pursue in end because of dissatisfaction I see some owners express about Bridge and particularly its corresponding streaming app, along with low probability of PS Audio investing in improving Bridge/app because PS Audio is planning to come out with a new streamer per user posts.

Post removed 

@bosssound thanks for that. All that stuff is long gone - some I wish I still had but… 🙂 There have been at least a dozen more systems since then at 2 different homes.

I moved on from the PS about 4 years ago and have been through several dacs since then. I did enjoy the PS when I had it. I think the 701 is much more advanced in its steaming capability vs the bridge. I haven't kept track but I imagine the DS is pretty much done as far as PS is concerned. I use the 701 in my second system and think it is several levels above the NT505 I had for a while in that system. Teac did a nice job. The preamp section is very nice too. I have an Esoteric F-07 amp that can be used as amp only (pre bypass) and using the 701 as preamp was very good. Not a huge difference in using the 07 as an integrated. I also should say I think the the 701 USB is slightly better to my ears vs the network input. Just slightly.



Thanks mantis007. Will have to wait for my son-in-law to visit - he is a software expert for a Swiss bank and has a windows device. I haven’t tried the preamp into my Luxman, but good to know. I am in the process of selling my nt505 and have also been offered a good trade in against the cg-10m clock. I have no idea regarding the merits of adding a clock and suspect small gain vs $$$ , but might be wrong. Any thoughts?

@bosssound ,

Thank you the update. I read it with great interest.

Bummer that only 1 channel worked. But good to know that even with that you preferred the 701 compared to the 505. The Teac 701 is now high on my list, since it also has streaming capability. Question about the upsampling - does it mean that if you send FLAC to the 170, you would be able to upsample it to DSD?

Currently I have found a way to add Radio Paradise, Folk Alley and Spotify to Foobar 2000 and love the upsampled DSD sound. I am wondering if I would be able to do that via this DAC.

Do you plan to get another 701 which does not have any issues?


@mantis007 ,

What DAC do you have in the primary system? Did you compare the 701 with the DAC in the primary system?

I must agree.....you have had some really neat systems in the past.


I don't think upsampling to DSD from FLAC is possible. But this is at edge or beyond of my technical sophistication. On page 15 of manual, chart shows 44.1 kHz (FLAC) can be upsampled 8x max to 352.8 kHz.  Delta-Sigma DA modulator sampling freq appears to be set independently of this with options of 128, 256, and 512 (page 25). Conversion of PCM to DSD appears possible by selecting appropriate setting.

Yes. I plan to get another 701. But who knows when that will be given supply disruptions present. Moon Audio has stock. But like bhvf I am not crazy about their terms.

Agree. “What’s it doing now” is beyond my limited technical knowledge, but my understanding is that post FGPA up sampling- I use 8X- it is converted to DSD which then only requires a low pass filter on the journey to the op amps. As per my original post, the SQ of CD input via Coax has brought new life to my CD collection. I have bought a few MQA CDs from Amazon and the screen says they unfold to 24/352.KHz the same as 8 X redbook 44-1. MQA is not subjected to the FGPA upsampling. The other coax receives output from a Node, which I bought specifically for Radio Paradise’s MQA stream. The 701 unfolds this raw MQA stream to 24/44-1 and then converts it to DSD as above. The end product is an outstanding SQ for internet Radio to my ears which comfortably beats the already good RP FLAC/ALAC stream that I previously enjoyed on the NT505.
A true digital hub that delivers on whatever you throw at it. NB. Not sure that Spotify is FLAC as yet. Long overdue. I will have to ask my son-in-law about algorithms in the FGPA as alien to me as trading derivatives!

Shenzhen has closed its factories due covid. Supplies are going to get even worse imho. When I first flew to Hong Kong in the 1970s, it was a fishing town over the border. Now 25million plus beavering away at high tech products. 

Thanks for listening reports, and discussion! I will probably stick around with my NT-505 for a while, before an eventual upgrade. I still need to "get to know it" better, even after a year of use. This is so also because I mainly play music from LPs. As I stated above, there is still a considerable gap, in my system/to my ears, between the superior analog sound, and the not-bad-to-quite good digital sound. Some have found the 505 bright and glassy. In my setup, compared to the Lyra Atlas cartridge, it is not very bright, nor very glassy, but it is clear that the treble air and resolution is greater with the Atlas, and thereby, the "thereness" of the music. I find it somewhat surprising that the AKM chip should sound "glassy", but I will check it more, myself.

I agree with many other observations: yes, standard cd format through Qobuz etc often sounds surprisingly good on the 505. The hi res takes are maybe not so much of an improvement as one should expect (I get varying results),

DSD sounds best to my ears also, and for DSD, the best formula seems to be to keep as close to 'native DSD' as possible. So I have not experimented much with filters.


I have no idea regarding the merits of adding a clock and suspect small gain vs $$$ , but might be wrong. Any thoughts?

I bought the CG-10M clock for one of my NT-505s and consider it the biggest waste of money I've made in the hobby.  There might be a little more something that it adds, but whatever it is, it's barely, if at all detectable to my ears.

The NT-505 at times sounded bright and at moments glassy.

I have to wonder if that's not a system or room issue.  Looking at your system, it doesn't seem it would be due to your system components, but there appear to be a lot of hard surfaces in the room.  I have two NT-505s and have used them in 3 different systems and found them to be more on the warm side, certainly in comparison to my current DAC - an Aqua La Voce S3.


Onto to notes from DAC shootout at my dealer, HiFi Buys in ATL.

First session compared dCS Bartok to Chord Hugo to HiFi Rose RS150.


Not sure about how streaming was set-up. Selected music using Roon. I used same set of tracks to test DACs as I did at home.

Believe that pre-amp was D'agostino Momentum. Amp was Parasound JC5. Speakers were Vandersteen Kentos. ICs and power cords were higher end Audioquest products.


Okay. The results from this listening session were weird. Perhaps they reflect bad taste on my part, a problem with my ears, or a problem with the set-up. (However, in my experience the folks at HiFi Buys know what they are doing.) Hence, I will use terms like and dislike as opposed to better or worse.

I did not like the sound of the Bartok. The soundstage and sounds were large but the individual sounds were diffuse, as opposed to precise and intense. The sound was also somewhat dull and grey to my ears.

I did not like sound of the Hugo. Although notes were precise, the music just sounded wrong and lacked some life. Digital. I had the impression the end of notes were being cut off. (Sustain and decay is supposed to be a strength of the Hugo, so this was also strange.)

I liked the sound of the Rose RS150. Notes were defined. Sound was colorful and live. Engaging. A negative feature was that the translation of the bass notes in Beyonce's Partition. Just sounded weird/wrong.

To circle back to my comments at top, my impressions here are strange. At odds with the glowing reviews of the Bartok and Hugo by many both pro and user reviews and hence my own expectations.

In my defense, when David White of HiFi Buys played a record on the $12K turntable that is part of the set-up in that listening room I could immediately hear what analog fans cherish- big soundstage with big notes with both precision and intensity. Emotive, engaging sound. (I had not listened to a record since I was a kid listening to my father's Bang & Olufson straight arm, lateral tracking turntable so this experience was a revelation.)

There is also some consistency in my preferences. The RS150 employs an AKM DAC, as does the TEAC NT-505. The two units sounded very similar, which speaks well for the NT-505 since it is less than half of the cost of RS150 (<$2K vs $5K).

The second listening session at my dealer put the winner from my in-home shoot-out, the TEAC UD-701-N, up against the winner from the first session at my dealer, the HiFi Rose RS150.

A Bluesound node functioned as the streamer. Audioquest Earth ICs were used to connect both the UD-701 and RS150 to the pre-amp. Settings on the UD-701 were the same as for my home listening tests except for selection of variable line out volume. Volume level adjusting was necessary, since at the 0db line out setting on the UD-701 the signal sent to the pre-amp was stronger than that for the RS150. Listening was done with only the right channel active for both units since left channel on the UD-701 was dead. Other components of the set-up were the same as for the first listening session. Hence, this shoot-out was head-to-head, apples-to-apples.

I preferred the UD-701 sound over that produced by the RS-150. Given that sound of RS-150 was very similar to NT-505, advantages of UD-701 over RS-150 were very similar to its advantages over NT-505 (see post on 3-19-22 at 5:38 pm in this thread). UD-701, relative to RS-150, was more natural, engaging, and conveyed emotion in music better. Note UD-701 is $4K vs. $5K for RS-150. Discernment of advantages required careful listening but once heard were distinct.

Note my impressions regarding UD-701 at dealer confirmed what I heard at home.

My plan for now is to purchase a UD-701 when I can get a hold of a unit on acceptable terms. Will report back after two-channel listening, which @nomorelandings promises will be revelatory. Given current supply chain problems, who knows when that will be...