Discussion in 'Solid State' started by Lilmsmaggie, Jun 4, 2015.
Kinda makes you wonder why there isn't a NAD forum in the manufacturers forum...
Let's see. I started with a new 3140 amp and a 4020 tuner. Later, I added a 5255 CD player. Next, I bought a 3155 and a matching 2155 from my brother. I also went backwards, and picked up a 3020 from a friend. Oh yea, 1155 and 116 preamps too. Unfortunately, the 3140, 4020, 5255, 1155, and 3020 were stolen during a move. I still have what's left. Though the 116 has a balance issue that needs fixing.
Actually I meant crazy=good. I definitely will consider. Just have to wait the appropriate amount of time that my wife doesn’t think I am totally insane. I love having a setup that someone looks at and says, “Holy Sh!t! I did not expect it to sound like that!” The 7100 totally made me fall in love with my 707s again. It is all I can do to restrain myself and not take it to the other speakers in my house to hear how they sound with it.
A little bit of a story here. Back in the early 80s I was running a Marantz setup, I forget the amp model number, but it was one of the nice champagne gold finish ones. I went round to a friends place and he had a TEAC CD player and a NAD3020 playing through a pair of transmission line speakers he had built as a university project. I was absolutely blown away by the sound. Not a lot of bass, but the detail was astonishing. We put the amp against my Marantz playing through a pair of Goodmans 3 way speakers with 12" bass units and the sound was amazing. Obviously the poor little thing started running out of steam at higher volume levels, but the detail was quite astonishing.
Coming up to date - I run a fully active system using a Rotel RB976Mk2 6 channel power amp from active crossovers. I have used various preamps and I came across a NAD C320 and I though I could use this as a preamp. I tried this and I was quite disappointed with the sound. It was kind of flat, undynamic and shrouded. It went away in a box for a while. I got to looking at the circuit diagrams of the Cxxx NAD range and I was very impressed with the power amp and PSU designs, so the 320 came out again and I tried it as a power amp. It was very good. So what was going on?
All these amps have preamp modules fitted as small daughter boards standing upright on the main board. They are a simple class A emitter follower preamp with a JFET transistor at the front. They also generate quite a high dc offset at their outputs which requite large in-line decoupling capacitors - generally not a good thing to have as they also act as a LF rolloff filter.
After a lot of thinking and calculating I replaced each of these with a small board housing a NE5532 OPamp. The effect was absolutely astonishing. It was just transparent. The whole system just opened up. I have since replaced these with OPA2143 devices which are even better. As the OPA2143 has almost no dc offset at all, it was also possible to remove the large decoupling capacitors from the audio chain. A couple were replaced with small film caps for HF oscillation damping. I have also added a 12v trigger circuit as used in the BEE version to trigger my power amp and other systems.
The point of this is that it would appear that the preamp circuits could be where the infamous 'NAD sound' comes from.
So, for the time being at least, the NAD is staying in place as a preamp/control unit.
On re-reading my last post, it looks like I am suggesting that NAD got it wrong. This is not the case at all.
The market segment that the Cxxx range is aimed at would have largely included smaller budget bookshelf loudspeakers. These tend to struggle with low bass, so maybe it's better that a preceding amp rolls this off. Where these speakers are sold, they tend to be displayed on shelving in the shop with lots of other speakers around them, connected to speakers selection boxes for direct comparison. Not the ideal listening environment. Many of these speakers are voiced to sound a bit bright (more exciting to listen to in the shop) - it makes them easier to sell. Stick a NAD amp in front of them and they will sound really smooth and the bass will not be overblown. I tried this with a pair of Wharfdale bookshelf speakers (kitchen system) and they sounded really good.
If you put the same amp in front of a system which has a very wide range and is extremely dynamic with a smooth top end, it is going to sound a bit flat and lifeless.
With this in mind, I think that NAD cleverly pitched these amps just right and their reputation for good sound is fully justified.
I find this post interesting, I've done the opposite using an Rotel RC-995 preamp, which I find detailed to the point of being 'clinical', and playing through my beloved NAD 218 power amps, which I reluctantly have to admit I subjectictively 'love' !
Mostly due to their effortless low octave grunt. (Can not confirm their, by some people claiming 'tubelike' sound, as I never listened to, or owned any tube gear .)
I earlier used/owned the NAD C-165 (BEE RIP) pre, And found it too colourfull to my ears.
I however like the different approach, we find our way
The 218's are 3 emitter follower BJT design
Interesting with regard to the RC-995. I have heard very good things about these preamps. I must try to find one to try out sometime.
NAD 1600 preamp, Nad 214 power amp and NAD C215 BEE cd player here!
I don't know if anyone saw my NAD 3020 and 4020A with custom blue anodized aluminium faceplates :
Full thread here :
I was just updating my list and Lee posted his pics ^^^^,all I can say is WOW,now that's slick.
Anyhow add to my list of NAD gear a second 106 preamp,this one is like new and came w/the box & manual.
I cant believe these are selling @ what I'm buying them for,,,I mean an XLR out equipped preamp for < $200.00 ???
He!! I cant resist that sorta deal,the only thing stopping me from cornering the market on 'em is usually poverty.LOL.
Now if I could find a deal like that on a 208 -or- 218 power amp I'd be set...
NAD 1020 phono stage as advertised! Crown DC-300A series ll nice synergy
Story of my life,Could'nt possibly be a worse time for something like that to pop up.
And it's REAL close too,I could've easily popped down there and done a local P/U.
Working on thinning the herd soon,and I might could've done something once I do,but progress is moving pretty slowly around here.
I'm kinda trying to time that "thinning" with folks getting their income tax refunds,,,but everything related to the gov. is on hold these days...
Sigh,,,oh well there will always be other deals,,,just gotta be patient,,,right ???
If its working, its the bargain of the year. The green light is on which usually means they are ok.
Selling for around 1000 dolls here in scandinavia, highly regarded with their mosfet outputs and dual voltage rails, (class G)
i've had/have a bunch of nad stuff
sold this a couple yrs ago
no idea the model number anymore
but the copper knobs sure made it pretty
Yes, there should be a NAD forum in the manufacturer's forum.
Separate names with a comma.