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New NAD Classics - bargains?

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  • New NAD Classics - bargains?

    Hello,

    I don't endorse this brand (but yes, I usually like their aproach), but I think are a new interesting option for someone looking for a new amp. I dont think you should spend money if you already have a good big amp , so it is not about these amps have any special sound. Also Iknow there are cheaper options, like yamaha 501 701 602, that have really a great price, hopefully these new NAD will have a better price in the future.

    The good thigns about these new NAd C368 and C 388 are:

    - New Hypex technology with low power consumption
    - Tone controls / balance
    - DAC, optical and coax inputs
    - Bluetooth
    - Headphone
    - Phono
    - Minimum stand by power consumption 0,5W and auto power up, and auto power down.
    - Expansion using MDC NAD card, one can be the bluOS to manage music in a hard drive, NAS, high res enabled, other MDC in the future could add other things, some people say they could release one with room correction.

    The C 388 seems the cheaper 150 W 8 Ohm HIFI amp.

    Usually NAD amps have more power that the one written in specifications (may be is something also true with other brands of amps). Also NAD seems agree with Alan with the needed power for music reproduction ( huge peaks with 80% more power than the average volume of the music ), we can read in NAD webpage about their smaller model C 338:

    "Furthermore, the power supply is capable of 160 watts continuously and over 300 watts instantaneously to allow for short-term musical transients." and in the specifications the IHF dymanic power is in NAD amps usually much bigger than other amps with same RMS power output.

    Model C 368 :
    " the power supply is capable of 200 watts continuously and over 600 watts instantaneously to allow for short-term musical transients."


    C 368
    RMS Power into 4 Ω and 8 Ω (Stereo) 80W (at rated THD, 20-20kHz, both channels driven)
    IHF Dynamic Power 2 Ω 260W 4 Ω 240W 8 Ω 145W

    C 388
    Continuous output Power into 4 Ω and 8 Ω (Stereo) 150W (at rated THD, 20-20kHz, both channels
    IHF Dynamic Power 2 Ω 400W 4 Ω 350W 8 Ω 250W

    Bad things about these amps are, no USB input (Edit: I saw in the manual you can add USB with a MDC card), no airplay or chromecast (except the 338 that has chromecast). Price is not very cheap comparing with Yamaha, but these amps are VERY new, so in some time price could go down.

    For people looking to spend 500 euros in an amp, these new NADs will be expensive, for people looking into "audiophile" brands could be a bargain, I think are a new interesting option.

    Oficial price is 1080 euros for the C 368 and 1750 euros for the C 388, but I know they can be found for less even now.

  • #2
    More on NAD

    Originally posted by kerouack View Post
    Hello,

    I don't endorse this brand (but yes, I usually like their aproach), but I think are a new interesting option for someone looking for a new amp. I dont think you should spend money if you already have a good big amp , so it is not about these amps have any special sound. Also Iknow there are cheaper options, like yamaha 501 701 602, that have really a great price, hopefully these new NAD will have a better price in the future.

    The good thigns about these new NAd C368 and C 388 are:

    .
    Interesting looking units.

    Still incorporates MM phono stage which NAD says utilizes an infrasonic filter as they correctly say that infrasonics are always present with vinyl replay (the next time a salesperson tells me woofer bouncing is due to an incorrectly set up TT I should walk out the store).

    Class D (for better or worse) means the unit might be quite cool.

    For my $ the best thing is the upgrade slots where you can actually add an HDMI switching block, this is probably the lowest price I have see where a (dedicated) stereo amp has the potential for an HDMI video out. I think this adds $300 to the base price, for the 36 that makes $1200, its still potentially a reasonable price considering it has a lot of functionality and I assume is well made.

    Has a HPF for sub integration, I was hoping for a bit more flexibility that allowed a HPF generally (something below 40Hz) for speaker protection. (edit: unfortunately it seems that the filter sends signals to a sub between 40 and 200Hz (instead of under that value) I'm sure that is wrong, some forum users enquired to NAD and that's what NAD told them, seems strange, I assumed that the HPF was variable between 40-200Hz and sent everything else above to the main speakers.

    I do notice however the line in has an input sensitivity of 93mV which seems problematic but the manual also suggests that the volume control is very linear, so maybe there is some circuitry in there that makes sure the amp is not hitting full power at 9 oclock on the potentiometer. {Depends where the volume control is in the overall circuit etc.}

    For a 2 channel AV system I would definitely see that as a practical set up.

    EDIT: there is an online 'review' of the larger model by whathifi, which unfortunately tells me nothing more than NAD's own literature and states that it sounds good but lacks 'get up an go' compared to another similarly priced (UK) amp. Perhaps that translates as 'you have to turn the volume further around before it clips??'
    Getting to know my C7ES3

    Comment


    • #3
      Filter settings

      Yes , about the filter, from the manual:

      Filters provide easy bi-ampli cation or subwoofer integration by adding the required lters to redirect bass frequencies to the subwoofer.

      High Pass: Low pass signal within the frequency range 40Hz to 200Hz is sent to Subwoofer Out and high pass signal sent to the ampli er section.

      Full Range: Refers to the whole frequency spectrum capability of your C 368 and speaker system.

      I don't know if they could change that with a firmware upgrade, but right now that's how it is. I saw the whathifi review, says nothing useful to know the amp characteristics.

      Comment


      • #4
        Illogical

        Originally posted by kerouack View Post
        Yes , about the filter, from the manual:

        Filters provide easy bi-ampli cation or subwoofer integration by adding the required lters to redirect bass frequencies to the subwoofer.

        High Pass: Low pass signal within the frequency range 40Hz to 200Hz is sent to Subwoofer Out and high pass signal sent to the ampli er section.

        Full Range: Refers to the whole frequency spectrum capability of your C 368 and speaker system.

        I don't know if they could change that with a firmware upgrade, but right now that's how it is. I saw the whathifi review, says nothing useful to know the amp characteristics.
        That just has to be wrong. Why design a system that sends only 40-200 to a sub but will send full range to the main speakers? It makes absolutely no sense.
        Getting to know my C7ES3

        Comment


        • #5
          Low pass, high pass

          Originally posted by acroyear View Post
          That just has to be wrong. Why design a system that sends only 40-200 to a sub but will send full range to the main speakers? It makes absolutely no sense.
          I think your interpretation is incorrect, thought the line you refer to is a bit confusing.

          The line above it clearly refers to "high pass" as well as "low pass", the latter being the one that goes to the subwoofer. Presumably then the high-pass signal goes to the main speakers. "High pass" means that the lower frequencies have been filtered out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-pass_filter. So the main speakers are not getting a full-range signal.

          Comment


          • #6
            Low and hugh pass

            Acroyear, I dont understand that. I agree with EricW.
            I understand there are two ways, High Pass and Full Range, and you choose one or the other in the amp configuration.
            High pass : from 40 to 200 to the sub, the rest (high pass ) to speakers.

            Full Range: All signal to sub, all signal to speakers.
            So you can choose one way or another, if you choose High pass, not all signal will go to speakers. What you can not do is choose the exact frequency of the filter, so you can not change the limit of the filter for another, change 40 to another frequency like you can in another amps.

            About the NAD cd in this Range, hte NAD C 658 i think 700 euros is a lot of money for a cd without network functionality, Airplay, ios/android app and HD reading, or anything more. The "cheaper" NAD cd is the C516, price 385 euros, so i think in cd readers there are better options in another brands, like yamaha, Teac, Onkyo. I will try to find a cd with network functionality and digital outputs, may be i will use another thread to write that information, to have a better order in the forum.

            Comment


            • #7
              Conflicting information

              The NAD bass management as stated does seem odd if it works exactly as described.

              This seems to discount information below 40Hz (still sloped I'm sure) when the filter is engaged. Users with dedicated sub are normally trying to use that signal and is precisely why they have a sub, especially for movies with lots loud very low frequency information.

              {Mocderator's comment: If we could see some frequency response curves that would probably explain everything...}
              Getting to know my C7ES3

              Comment


              • #8
                NAD and CDs

                Originally posted by kerouack View Post

                About the NAD cd in this Range, hte NAD C 658 i think 700 euros is a lot of money for a cd without network functionality, Airplay, ios/android app and HD reading, or anything more. The "cheaper" NAD cd is the C516, price 385 euros, so i think in cd readers there are better options in another brands, like yamaha, Teac, Onkyo. I will try to find a cd with network functionality and digital outputs, may be i will use another thread to write that information, to have a better order in the forum.
                A cute quote from NAD:

                "Although CDs are often dismissed as relics of the past, we here at NAD recognize the pride and joy one feels when combing through their personal CD collection. Whether itís peeling away the plastic or marvelling at the album artwork, the process of buying and opening a CD is both intimate and sacred"

                the new vinyl perhaps. I still find CD's reasonably practical, light, small, they are easy to keep in good condition, a few scuffs make no difference to the sound, vinyl on the other hand is now a bugbear to me but that is for another thread.
                Getting to know my C7ES3

                Comment


                • #9
                  Clear

                  I understand you now, thanks, so if you choose High pass sound from 40 to 0 hz will not be sent to any speaker, strange.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    NAD clarification

                    I wrote to NAD, they told me:

                    Please be advised that you are able to set the High end setting of the crossover point for the Subwoofer Output between 40Hz and 200Hz.
                    If you set the crossover point to be for example 80Hz. This means that the Subwoofer Output would have the 20Hz-80Hz bandwidth and the {main} Speakers Outputs would have 80Hz-20kHz.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Crossovers - thanks

                      Originally posted by kerouack View Post
                      I wrote to NAD, they told me:

                      Please be advised that you are able to set the High end setting of the crossover point for the Subwoofer Output between 40Hz and 200Hz.
                      If you set the crossover point to be for example 80Hz. This means that the Subwoofer Output would have the 20Hz-80Hz bandwidth and the {main} Speakers Outputs would have 80Hz-20kHz.
                      That makes much more sense! Thanks for posting that information.
                      Getting to know my C7ES3

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        C368 specs

                        Specifications for the C 368


                        Link : imag

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          On input sensitivity

                          Originally posted by kerouack View Post
                          Specifications for the C 368
                          I don't understand the two input sensitivity ratings given. For line in/pre out it gives 93mV, for line in/speaker out it is 470mV. I assume if I use it as the integrated unit we are using an input sensitivity of 470mV which seems sensible.
                          Getting to know my C7ES3

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            NAD confusion

                            I can not help you with that, may be someone could help us, technical information seems very detailed with NAD products.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              NAD decode

                              I've had a look at this for you and marked your NAD data sheet: (attached)

                              Ok: on the left side, marked in yellow, we see their specs for the Preamplifier section. I don't know this amp, but I can guess that it has, in effect, two function blocks integrated into one case: a preamp, and a power amp.

                              By implication, as we see the words "Pre output" and we also see "Volume maximum", we can deduce that the volume control is somewhere in the preamplifier circuitry and the signal must pass through that volume control before it reaches the preamp-output sockets - which although I am not familiar with this unit, must exist. Whether or not the preamp-output is alive all the time, I don't know (there may be a switch which switches between preamp-only mode and complete pre/power), but it's clear that the signal level found at those pre-outputs is not fixed (as with, say, older QUAD preamps) but will vary with your setting of the volume control. Unusual.

                              In the good old days when people recorded sources via their (pre) amps onto tape, many quality amplifiers provided a tape output connection. You can visualise then that the tape output sockets were not related to the master volume control and hence had a fixed level regardless of how you adjusted speaker volume. Imagine the frustration in having your tape recording ruined because you turned down the speaker volume to answer the phone!

                              The right side of the NAS spec shows the situation as if it were an all-in-one conventional amp, ignoring the fact that it has a pair of pre-out sockets. It would have been better, for comparison purposes and the avoidance of doubt, if NAD had stated at what rotation of the volume control those right-side, speaker output, ratings were made at. Perhaps they don't because it would expose at what rotation of the volume control the output stage of the amplifier clipped with an energetic signal like that from a CD player, usually at about 11 o'clock rotation of the volume control (I'm assuming that it's rotary).

                              Hope that helps. If not, just ask.

                              >
                              Attached Files
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

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