The NAD C588 is an updated version of the discontinued C556 turntable. The NAD C588 is a belt-drive turntable with a 9-inch tonearm that comes with a factory-installed Ortofon OM10 cartridge. Among the settings, the new product supports adjustment of the vertical tracking angle and azimuth. NAD C588 works with 33.3 and 45 rpm discs. The player has a centimeter-thick glass disc covered with a felt mat, an MDF table standing on rubber legs, and a protective cover included.
A flat belt, in turn, is placed on the subdisk, transmitting rotation to it from a turned aluminum bushing mounted on the engine spindle. It has two working surfaces of different diameters, and, as you might guess, the gears are switched by throwing the belt from one of them to the other. The NAD C 588 player has a synchronous motor powered by alternating current, but is completely isolated from the wonders of the home power supply. To do this, a rectifier is used, and then a regenerator of direct current back into alternating current is used – with a precisely specified frequency and sinusoid shape.
The polished glass of the support disk, peeking out from under the black felt, looks impressive, but the table itself, with its matte finish, seems rustic. Additionally, the straight edges of the dust cover combined with its rounded corners can make it feel like the top was originally intended for some other model. However, there will probably be music lovers who will find the ascetic matte finish and the combination of right angles and roundness harmonious and even stylish.
The cover of the NAD C 588 player is cast from transparent non-resonant Perspex acrylic and is securely fixed in any position relative to the main body. The table itself is machined from MDF, and the final processing is performed by high-precision milling. The reason for such a scrupulous approach is straightforward, because a single-layer fiberboard serves as a single frame for the entire structure. It rests on four “floating” rubber feet with felt bearings. The damping they provide is simply excellent for its class, the only pity is that the design does not provide for height adjustment.
The support bearing of the NAD C 588 is non-inverted, with a bronze cup into which a hardened steel spindle is inserted. The entire structure is enclosed in an external metal cylinder, fixed with self-tapping screws, again on the main plate. It must be said that despite the overall simplicity of the design, the class of surface treatment and the quality of installation were really up to par. The spindle fits tightly into the bearing, without play, the disk fits absolutely evenly, no beating was noticed during operation. The power switch is located on the bottom plane of the case, and therefore a person who is not familiar with the turntable will not start it with the first movement. On the other hand, the laconicism of the surface is not disrupted by the presence of a brutal toggle switch.
The straight 9-inch tonearm is made of aluminum, and apparently so is the shell. I was very pleased with the set of adjustments: downforce, VTA, azimuth and anti-skating can be set, and the latter is adjusted not by shifting the weight on the line, but by a precision screw mechanism. The kit contains all the necessary accessories for setting up, including scales and hex keys, with one of which you can even adjust the height of the bushing on the engine spindle (in the event that it suddenly begins to touch the lower surface of the disk). Moreover, this is a standard user installation, described in detail in the instructions.
The Ortofon 2M-Red moving magnet pickup is available in an updated series of cartridges from the company, the models of which differ in body color. And the name 2M itself just means the type of pickup – MM. The Danish bureau Møller Jensen Design, which is also responsible for the design of the top-end MC Jubilee and Kontrapunkt heads, took part in the development of these models.
The design of these pickups uses the company’s proprietary design – magnets with split pole pieces. This gives the Ortofon 2M-Red the same flat amplitude-frequency response as the more expensive MC-type models. The head has an elliptical stylus with precision sharpening, providing accurate tracking, excellent sound detail and minimal wear on the record when listening to music.
Ortofon 2M-Red develops an output audio signal with an amplitude of up to 5.5 mV, which ensures good compatibility with various types of phono stages. The downforce range for this model ranges from 1.6 to 2 grams, and its recommended value is 1.8 grams. A tracking angle of 20 degrees is typical for most tonearms, making it easier to adjust the head.
All electrical parameters of the cartridge are within standard values, so in most cases there will be no need to adjust the input impedance of the phono preamplifier. The weight of the head, the body of which is made of high-quality anti-resonance translucent plastic, is 7.2 grams and the dynamic compliance value is 20 µm/mN.
The Ortofon 2M-Red driver provides a very rich and dynamic sound, and is great for listening to modern electronic music. An extended frequency range and a minimal level of intrinsic noise and distortion make listening to vinyl records using Ortofon 2M-Red a real pleasure. This pickup is an excellent example of a modern cartridge that can be used successfully on many mid-range turntable models.
Characteristics of NAD C 588
Drive type: belt drive
Tonearm: effective weight 9.5 g, effective length 230 mm, lead-in 18 mm
Rotation speeds: 33 1/3, 45 rpm.
Speed deviation (%): 0.5/0.45 (33/45 rpm)
Switching: RCA Stereo Out S /N
: -40/-68 dB (mechanical/electronic)
Power consumption (max.): 5 W
Dimensions (mm): 435 x 340 x 125
Weight: 7.24 kg
Ortofon OM 10 cartridge (included)
Frequency range 20 Hz – 22 kHz (+/- 1.5 dB )
Stereo separation greater than 22 dB
Self-inductance 700 mH
Recommended input impedance 47 kOhm
Output voltage 5.5 mV
Tracking force 1.6 – 2.0 g
Tracking 70 µm (315 Hz)
Dynamic compliance 20 µm/mN
Weight 7.2 g