Question about NAD C542 CD Player

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Digital out put problem to external DAC

I have a two year old NAD C542 and recently added a Musical Fidelity X-DAC V3.
The DAC is connected via a 75ohm coaxial cable.
The problem is occasional brief cutting out of sound (like skipping but not the disk skipping - if you know what I mean) at the begining of tracks. The DAC works fine with my Sony DVD player and the NAD player is fine using its own DAC.
Other than the skipping the combination of the two sounds absolutely fantastic.
Is it unusual to have a problem in the digital output stage of the NAD cd player?
Or could it be that because it is a HDCD player as well, that there is a compatability issue?
Please help

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Nad C542 Troubleshooting

This is an issue that has plagued the 541I and 542 models - some units worked fine and some units had similar issues as the ones you mentioned. It was suppsoedly fixed beginning with Serial Number G56C54224800 but I know someone who has a later serial number and had the same issue. It could be the laser or the transport or both. Simply put NAD has a quality control issue. There products still produce great sound but the great sound at a reasonable price is seemingly coming at great cost - the lack of consistent quality.

Posted on Nov 18, 2007

  • 1175 Answers

SOURCE: NAD C541 CD Player

I wouldnt buy another one from NAD.
I've worked on their stuff cant say anything nice, Sorry.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008

  • 1175 Answers

SOURCE: NAD 5340 spins disk but no audio output

I've worked on a number of NAD players.
2 things to look for.
1. The belt that pulls the drawer in also lifts the laser assby to the disc. Those wear out.
2. The capacitors in the power supply section tend to age poorly.
Theyre usually 470 to 1000 uF(microfarads)
Also try pulling all the cables and re-seating them

If any of this works, rate my help please,


Posted on May 08, 2009

  • 5 Answers


maybe it is just the belt for the tray motor.

Posted on Dec 01, 2009

  • 1512 Answers

SOURCE: Pressing the 'open' button on my NAD C542 CD

G'Day Michael,

Having fixed thousands of CD players in my career, and also being a NAD Authorised service guy from 1989 till recent times, I can comment with some authority to your situation, and correct some of the ill found assumptions given to you already.

This unit uses a KSS213c transport. Very common and used in many machines, also relatively reliable.

The drawer load motor is not shown above. Is will be mounted on the black plastic load assembly. The drive belt/motor for it will be under the tray runners.
If you do not hear the motor run, then it WILL NOT be a broken or failing belt. However, this is the most common problem with this style of transport. I would be checking anyway to see, the load motors do free run fairly quiet with no drive belt connected. Wind the tray assembly out by hand by kicking the gears over to open the draw to see the belt/motor

Because you cannot get it to work from the remote, AND you have "open" indicator on the front panel, it WILL NOT be a faulty front panel button(never seen one fail ever!)

I have never replaced a load motor to a Sony transport. Spindle motors can be a problem, but they never stop working altogether.

I would be checking the tray mechanics, a jam caused by something fouling the gears may cause a fail. Tap the front of the draw as you press eject to see if you can encourage it to work.
Sometimes, small nylon drive pinions can split, the excessive gap in the gears caused by the split causing a bind. Check also for blown pico fuses in the servo drive stage. This will cause no drive to the load motor.
If you cannot pin down the source of the problem, the player IS welll worth repair. These machines sound great and would have cost you a few bucks to begin with. If you need help locating an expert NAD authorised repair guy I can help.

Happy to discuss any of this further with you. As previously direct your comment to me by name. Cheers


Posted on Aug 04, 2010

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