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User Review: 533 Turntable - Cracking budget turntable

November 24, 2012

Products: 533 Turntable

Ok, so it has the look of most NAD products of it's era (functional), but there is certainly something to be said for a sleek and functional design in hi-fi. The 533's looks are also very reminiscent of another Iconic British turntable manufacturer... and if you scratch away hard enough at the "533" label i'm pretty sure you'll read "Rega" underneath. Obviously this is no bad thing. The main way in which the Nad Differs from the Rega RP2 is the cartridge. The Goldring Electra fitted as standard on the 533 is frankly a fantastic cartridge for the money, though if your searching for a place to upgrade this would be the logical place to start. It would not be a waste to buy a cartridge for double the price of the Goldring and fit it to this turntable. Treble and top ends are nice and clear from this turntable, some of the mids have a tendency to get a little muddy and the bass extension isn't great. However, in all these categories you cannot buy better for less that £400, so the turntable is excellent value for money. Most of the muddiness in the mid-range goes away with a better cartridge, but the bass isn't coming back until a serious spend. This turntable fits really well with the rest of the older NAD range, amplifiers like the C320 that still have "that NAD sound". With some of the newer more clinical offerings such as the -BEE series you could end up being a little disappointed that your vinyl doesn't sound like you remember it. Other, warmer, modern options amplifier-wise such as the hybrid tube-transistor amplifiers that are becoming commonplace are a great option for this turntable. Build quality is as you'd expect from NAD - bombproof. The model I currently use in my second system has had no problems except one belt change and a new needle every now and then since new. Conversely I have been through 3 top end turntables in that time in my other system. Always going back to the NAD and never being disappointed. Overall a great turntable, well worth the money, but perhaps wont blow your socks off.

Dave Nixon - UK

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