NAD C326BEE Integrated Stereo Amplifier - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 54 Old 07-21-2009, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone else get one of these or thinking of getting one of these?

I picked one up this week. It's my first NAD unit. It replaced a Yamaha RX-V750 that I was using in "Pure Direct" mode to drive my 2 channel setup. On the advice of my local hifi shop, they recommended that I spend my hard earned money on the C326BEE to better drive my B&W 685's. All I can say now is that after about 25 hours of listening time, they were right. I'm really happy with how much cleaner and punchier my music sounds. For anyone else using an AVR in a dedicated 2-ch setup and NOT knowing if a good 2 channel integrated stereo amp would make a difference, I'm hear to say that it does. (That might be a no brainer to many, but I didn't have the experience, or the friends with equipment, to show me.)

Happy listening. Other NAD stereo integrated owners, do you think that stepping up to the 80W/ch models (C35x) would make a noticeable difference with my speakers?
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post #2 of 54 Old 07-21-2009, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSIinPA View Post

Anyone else get one of these or thinking of getting one of these?

I picked one up this week. It's my first NAD unit. It replaced a Yamaha RX-V750 that I was using in "Pure Direct" mode to drive my 2 channel setup. On the advice of my local hifi shop, they recommended that I spend my hard earned money on the C326BEE to better drive my B&W 685's. All I can say now is that after about 25 hours of listening time, they were right. I'm really happy with how much cleaner and punchier my music sounds. For anyone else using an AVR in a dedicated 2-ch setup and NOT knowing if a good 2 channel integrated stereo amp would make a difference, I'm hear to say that it does. (That might be a no brainer to many, but I didn't have the experience, or the friends with equipment, to show me.)

Happy listening. Other NAD stereo integrated owners, do you think that stepping up to the 80W/ch models (C35x) would make a noticeable difference with my speakers?

How loud are you listening to your speakers? If you feel that at your current listening level the speakers are asking for more power then upgrade to more power.

I fell for the whole better SS electronics bit once. I was running my 2ch speakers on a very old Sony AVR so I went ahead and purchased an Arcam integrated amp. Well got home hooked it up and low and behold the speakers sounded exactly the same. I cranked it up to the highest spl I sometimes listen to the speakers thinking that would be what made the difference and still nothing. So needless to say I sold the Arcam and used those funds to buy better speakers (now that made a difference ).
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post #3 of 54 Old 07-21-2009, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by VectorLabs View Post

How loud are you listening to your speakers? If you feel that at your current listening level the speakers are asking for more power then upgrade to more power.

I fell for the whole better SS electronics bit once. I was running my 2ch speakers on a very old Sony AVR so I went ahead and purchased an Arcam integrated amp. Well got home hooked it up and low and behold the speakers sounded exactly the same. I cranked it up to the highest spl I sometimes listen to the speakers thinking that would be what made the difference and still nothing. So needless to say I sold the Arcam and used those funds to buy better speakers (now that made a difference ).

I don't push my speakers hard at all - except for maybe short bursts (like less than 15 seconds).

Sorry to hear your experience differed from mine but I can definitely hear the difference. Had I not, I had 7 days to take the NAD back to the dealer for a full refund. In fact, my biggest worry was not hearing a difference and being "out" five hundred bucks plus tax. I know some people say to not expect a difference doing the swap but I did. That sentiment is what worried me when I was considering the purchase. But the risk-free trial negated that. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it out in my space, with my equipment.
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post #4 of 54 Old 07-21-2009, 04:29 PM
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It is not AVR vs stereo. It is that NAD makes simple clean equipment. Yamerhammers always sounded "technical" to me. If you had a Denon AVR, you might not have noticed as big a difference. I have a 20 year old cheap Denon receiver that I can't tell the difference compared to my old NAD or Rotel. All three completely trump my mid-line Yamaha AVR. Clean is clean.
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post #5 of 54 Old 07-22-2009, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSIinPA View Post

Sorry to hear your experience differed from mine but I can definitely hear the difference.

A great deal of people here still adhere to the believe that all amps sound the same. There are also those too old to be able to detect the differences. It's a moot point to argue. Going back to your original post, have you tried any class d amps prior to settling on the NAD? I auditioned this model a few months back but found it not detailed enough.
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post #6 of 54 Old 07-22-2009, 09:45 PM
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as Veda sugg, give digital amp a try.
I also went from an AVR (Pioneer 1015) to an lower power rating SS Int. Amp at 75W, very clear improvement w/ the sound quality.
Then from Int. Amp I try an separate ICE Amp(feeding from the Int. amp), I can hear the music came alive even at very low volume. that was a huge step.

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post #7 of 54 Old 07-22-2009, 10:39 PM
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It is not AVR vs stereo. It is that NAD makes simple clean equipment. Yamerhammers always sounded "technical" to me.

It's funny you should mention that. I'm normally a skeptic and in the camp of "most well designed amps sound pretty much the same", but about 10 years ago I went from a Yamaha integrated to a NAD receiver and I immediately noticed that it sounded less harsh or crisp or something. I believe I was driving Paradigm Mini Monitors.

I've been in the market to replace my 10 year old NAD receiver for a long time now. Last summer I went to audition one the BEE models, and the dealer was such a snobbish jerk I had to walk out of the store. I went to the other dealer in town and was told that there was a 2 week waiting list for auditioning equipment - IN STORE! "Can you come back next Tuesday?" lol wut. Anyway those incidents combined with some apparent quality problems with some of the AVR's a few years ago has turned me off NAD.

I'm never quick enough to snap one up on the used market.

Edit: What's with all the models in NAD's line up now? 6 different models of C3-series integrateds, 7 different models of T7 series AVR's. yoi.
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post #8 of 54 Old 07-22-2009, 11:22 PM
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What is nice about the BEE series Int. Amps, there easy to listen to at low listening levels with a great amount of detail. I have the 355BEE and I use it as my spare backup when I am trying other stuff out and I was amazed at how good it sounds especially for the price. I currently have too many Int. Amps, so I might sell it, but the new one sound so good it is very hard to give up and it even drives my big Dynaudio C2 speakers with easy. As far as there quality, there a hit or miss, some years there excellent others so, so... So far I have heard great things from all the dealers that carry the BEE series stuff.
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post #9 of 54 Old 07-23-2009, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I definitely didn't step in here to argue with anyone about the ups of changing amps. Nor was I here to look for positive reinforcement on my purchase. I really would have returned the NAD if I didn't hear an improvement. I considered returning the C326BEE for an older model or a used equivalent from Audiogon after my "in home demo" but I'm kind of against that as it costs dealers money to accept returns and the truth is I'm happy with the purchase and happy with the improvement in my system.

I'm sure that others with started out with "better" amps might not have noticed the difference and that makes sense to me. I'm willing to bet that if my Outlaw integrated (Model 1070) were my amp in my 2ch setup, the difference would have been less (or not) noticeable and the NAD would've gone back, but the Outlaw 1070 is in my HT setup and that's where it's staying. So as of now, my Yamaha RX-V750 is done...trying to sell it now. Unfortunately it probably isn't worth much. Maybe better just sitting in the closet in case my Outlaw tanks it and I need a backup while I save funds for a new HT receiver.
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post #10 of 54 Old 07-23-2009, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSIinPA View Post

I definitely didn't step in here to argue with anyone about the ups of changing amps. Nor was I here to look for positive reinforcement on my purchase. I really would have returned the NAD if I didn't hear an improvement. I considered returning the C326BEE for an older model or a used equivalent from Audiogon after my "in home demo" but I'm kind of against that as it costs dealers money to accept returns and the truth is I'm happy with the purchase and happy with the improvement in my system.

I'm sure that others with started out with "better" amps might not have noticed the difference and that makes sense to me. I'm willing to bet that if my Outlaw integrated (Model 1070) were my amp in my 2ch setup, the difference would have been less (or not) noticeable and the NAD would've gone back, but the Outlaw 1070 is in my HT setup and that's where it's staying. So as of now, my Yamaha RX-V750 is done...trying to sell it now. Unfortunately it probably isn't worth much. Maybe better just sitting in the closet in case my Outlaw tanks it and I need a backup while I save funds for a new HT receiver.

I don't think anyone is arguing here, but not sure what your specifically trying to say? If you hear a improvement and your happy with purchase enough said! I have owned a ton of gear over the years and any decent Int. Amp sounds better than any HT receiver I have ever owned. Outlaw makes some good products which are on par with NAD, so I would agree with you there, it could have or would have been less noticeable. In my personal opinion of owning and selling NAD for years and trying some of there new gear out, there new line of Amps and Int. Amps sound more musical to my ears. I have a trusty 355BEE as a backup, and it always seems to please.

Plus if you go to a decent dealer you should be able to return and or exchange a product within 30 days with no loss or gripe from the dealer. I know I use to work for one years ago.

Now there are more musical receivers out there these days, Arcam and Rotel make some decent gear and there HT receivers happen to preform very well on 2 channel as well. Pioneer Elites and some HK models are also not bad and tend to be more musical than others. Best of luck to you on your quest.

Naim/Creek/Musical Fidelity/Rote/Krell/Plinius/Accuphase/Luxman etc.. are all very good as well and you can get some great prices on the used market.
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post #11 of 54 Old 07-23-2009, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Garman - wasn't trying to imply that anyone WAS arguing - but sensed one might erupt on the basis that I might be construed as making the argument that I'd purchased "superior amplification" i suppose there was some paranoia there but I've read some pretty ugly threads that went that way. I feel the NAD is simply more straight forward and clean and it was obvious from the moment I turned it on.

I inquired about Rotel when I was at the shop and the gentleman noted that the only Rotel they had was in the $1000 range which was out of my reach for this go'round. I do love the way they sound when I demo them at the shop and like the way they look as well. There's always time and room to upgrade in the future and I'm sure it won't be too long before I do. In fact it wasn't long at all before I noticed that the NAD 355 was in the same ballpark price-wise on the 'Gon as what I paid ($525 incl. tax) for the 326BEE at the shop - which of course set the wheels in motion. But I've managed to stop them and enjoy what I have for the moment.
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post #12 of 54 Old 07-23-2009, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSIinPA View Post

Thanks Garman - wasn't trying to imply that anyone WAS arguing - but sensed one might erupt on the basis that I might be construed as making the argument that I'd purchased "superior amplification" i suppose there was some paranoia there but I've read some pretty ugly threads that went that way. I feel the NAD is simply more straight forward and clean and it was obvious from the moment I turned it on.

I inquired about Rotel when I was at the shop and the gentleman noted that the only Rotel they had was in the $1000 range which was out of my reach for this go'round. I do love the way they sound when I demo them at the shop and like the way they look as well. There's always time and room to upgrade in the future and I'm sure it won't be too long before I do. In fact it wasn't long at all before I noticed that the NAD 355 was in the same ballpark price-wise on the 'Gon as what I paid ($525 incl. tax) for the 326BEE at the shop - which of course set the wheels in motion. But I've managed to stop them and enjoy what I have for the moment.

Hence my as I never like getting into too many heated threads because this hobby is subjective and everyone sees and hears differently that is why we have so many products too choose from. Ironically the 355BEE on Audiogon is one of mine, as I have too many Int. Amps and I am getting rid of some equipment. I really like the new sound, very neutral sounding and priced right.
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post #13 of 54 Old 07-24-2009, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Garman View Post

Ironically the 355BEE on Audiogon is one of mine, as I have too many Int. Amps and I am getting rid of some equipment. I really like the new sound, very neutral sounding and priced right.

Now that's funny - Gandalf? today would be the last day to return my 326BEE. I'm thinking that at my listening levels, I wouldn't notice much of a difference.
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post #14 of 54 Old 07-24-2009, 01:06 PM
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I have a NAD C350 integrated and I love it! I run it through a pair of PSB Alpha A/V's and the sound is fantastic for a budget setup. I also have the 520 CD player but I hardly use it anymore as I have my ipod hooked up most of the time.

Im going to replace the Alphas as soon as the new 2009 Image series speakers become available, and Im thinking of moving the PSB Alphas into the computer room to use as my computer speakers and purchasing a new NAD C315bee amp to power them!

NAD makes great equipment I been sold on them for years!
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post #15 of 54 Old 07-24-2009, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RedSIinPA View Post

Now that's funny - Gandalf? today would be the last day to return my 326BEE. I'm thinking that at my listening levels, I wouldn't notice much of a difference.

The 326BEE unit is very nice, I had it first before I had the 355BEE, what I liked better about the 326BEE, is it had blue led lights and the finish was darker. Some of the inconsistencies that annoy me about NAD, just after my dealer told me that this unit looked just like the 326BEE but it does look slightly different. The good thing is, the sound was the same, very good for a budget system.

mattldm: Great system, most likely one of the better budget systems on the market. How do you like the PSB Alpha? I was thinking of picking up a pair for my office. Are they that good? I use to sell them years ago and always liked them over Paradigm, well at least back then anyway.
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post #16 of 54 Old 07-25-2009, 11:29 AM
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mattldm: Great system, most likely one of the better budget systems on the market. How do you like the PSB Alpha? I was thinking of picking up a pair for my office. Are they that good? I use to sell them years ago and always liked them over Paradigm, well at least back then anyway.

My Alpha's are about 9-10 years old. They are the second generation A/V's with the magnetic shielding. I dont know how they compare to the current generation of Alpha's but they compare favorably to many other speakers that I auditioned. In fact I owned a pair of PSB Stratus Bronze speakers and I often switched them out with the Alphas to compare. The Stratus had more bass being a tower speaker, but aside from the that they Alpha's held up very well against the much more expensive Stratus.

I wouldnt hesitate to use them for your office, im keeping mine even when I upgrade because for the money they are hard to beat!
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post #17 of 54 Old 01-12-2013, 09:08 PM
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Bump ! Picked up a NAD 326Bee for a 2 ch setup . Im running it with some Sonus Faber Venere 1.5 speakers.Im very impressed with this combo nice detail but not to bright . Nice bang for the buck !
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post #18 of 54 Old 01-25-2013, 12:46 PM
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Newb here...
Just received an NAD 326BEE this week. It replaced a Denon DRA-685 receiver that's stuck in protection mode. I'm a 2 channel old school guy who just wanted a basic 2 channel amp to play CD's, iPod, and TV set-top box audio.

I'm still on the fence about keeping the NAD. It's hooked up to 2 JBL floor standing 3 way speakers that have a 10" woofer. The speakers sounded great with the Denon. Nice sound stage, lots of clean bass with plenty of oomph!! With the NAD I'm not quite sure if I like this super clean, almost bright sounding tone. Tha bass doesn't seem as deep as I'd like. It's tight and clean but sems to lack depth. In other words, the bass doesn't thump in my chest at higher volumes the way the Denon did.

Perhaps this is a characteristic of the NAD clean sound?? The NAD doesn't seem to produce as much of a distinct/focused sound stage as the Denon did. Could it be that my ears were so used to the Denon, that the NAD has a different tone that my ears have to adjust to? OR....could it be the JBL's were more suited to the Denon than the NAD? I have 60 days to make a decision to keep or send it back to Crutchfield.

Any thoughtful opinions?
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post #19 of 54 Old 01-26-2013, 09:06 AM
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I had a C325BEE, which I sold recently, and it was excellent. I think the C326BEE is essentially the same.

I also had a C356BEE, and it seemed to have a flaw. I found that it had a lack of definition and power in the bass, while the C325BEE was very good in the bass.

You would think that the supposedly more powerful amplifier would be better, but it never sounded quite right to me. I was using it with a pair of PSB Image T6 speakers, which sounded great with 3 other amplifiers I tried, but I suppose there might have been some sort of mismatch there.

Go Figure.
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post #20 of 54 Old 01-26-2013, 09:11 AM
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I think the bass will be changed considerably, depending on whether the "SOFT CLIPPING" switch is ON or OFF.

I suggest that you experiment with that switch setting. It made a lot of difference on my C325BEE.

Also, you might want to consider whether the extra bass you were hearing with the Denon actually sounded like the real thing, or was just "boomier', and emphasized the bass more on certain recordings (perhaps unrealistically).

In any case, the speakers and amplifier certainly interact in the bass; certain speakers will sound better with an amplifier that has more electronic damping, and others may not. It may be that there is just good synergy between your JBL speakers and the Denon. Sometimes two things that are not perfect can nevertheless complement each other well.

Some people like the sound of Cambridge amplifiers better than NAD; maybe you should consider trying one of them if the NAD doesn't float your boat?



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Originally Posted by rav4banger View Post

Newb here...
Just received an NAD 326BEE this week. It replaced a Denon DRA-685 receiver that's stuck in protection mode. I'm a 2 channel old school guy who just wanted a basic 2 channel amp to play CD's, iPod, and TV set-top box audio.

I'm still on the fence about keeping the NAD. It's hooked up to 2 JBL floor standing 3 way speakers that have a 10" woofer. The speakers sounded great with the Denon. Nice sound stage, lots of clean bass with plenty of oomph!! With the NAD I'm not quite sure if I like this super clean, almost bright sounding tone. Tha bass doesn't seem as deep as I'd like. It's tight and clean but sems to lack depth. In other words, the bass doesn't thump in my chest at higher volumes the way the Denon did.

Any thoughtful opinions?
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post #21 of 54 Old 01-26-2013, 07:33 PM
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I tried my nad c326bee with my jbl northridge n28 speakers playing a destiny's child cd. it had pretty good bass at barely turning the nad up. denon sounds good also. if you are used to denon would it be better to try another denon?
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post #22 of 54 Old 01-28-2013, 12:08 AM
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Also, you might want to consider whether the extra bass you were hearing with the Denon actually sounded like the real thing, or was just "boomier', and emphasized the bass more on certain recordings (perhaps unrealistically).

Right. Not having had experience with either--just picked up a C326BEE--in general I'd guess that the Denon may simply emphasize bass more, as the mass-market companies think that's what the general public wants (and more bass may be better suited for movie sound so often played in A/V systems--like in the theater).

rav4, as you say your ear is used to the sound of the Denon, so the NAD may not sound punchy enough for you. That's not necessarily bad; of course it all depends on what you're wanting to get from your music. I'd suggest giving it a little more time and see if the NAD reveals more in the mid-high ranges in your music, and if discovering that aspect of your music pleases you enough to keep it. 60 days is a generous return policy, so you have plenty of time to check it out and compare.
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post #23 of 54 Old 01-28-2013, 04:10 PM
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^So you're saying the Denon has a hump in the bass range of its frequency response? Got any links to measurements that show that hump?

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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post #24 of 54 Old 01-28-2013, 09:46 PM
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thefactor how do you like the sound of parasound halo series? I hear they are amazing. I like parasound.
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post #25 of 54 Old 01-31-2013, 12:25 AM
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After a few more days of listening to the NAD, via CD/DVD player, TV set-top box digital music channels, and iPod here a few of my observations:

With the tone defeat on, the music seems rather sterile on CD's, not much punch in the low end. The digtal TV music channels sound less pronounced than the CD's. The MP3's from the iPod seem to put out more punch in the bass which is the most pleasant of the 3 inputs. I like the clean sound for watching regular TV. It's a bummer when you're watching a show and the you have to turn up the voulme to hear the dialog and then turn it down when actio abd explosions blast out the speaker.

With the tone defeat off, here's is where I found a sweet spot. By turning the bass up to max and the treble to about 3 o'clock (12 o'clock is center detent at 0), all 3 audio inputs had a fuller bass sound (not muddy at all) while maintaining smooth mids and crisp highs.

This is more of the sound I was hoping for. Not that I need more bass as of now, but with the bass tone control at max, that doesn't leave any room for more bass if I needed to add some. Overall, I'm pretty much liking this amp with the JBL's a lot more. I'll still give it some more time to make a final decision.

Whats been weighing on my decision is this. I'm curious how this NAD compares with the new Onkyo A-9050. That's the other amp I have on my radar. Spec wise, the Onkyo seems to have some fine circuitry that might translate into more flexible tonal characteristics than the NAD.

Has anyone had the opportunity to A/B the Onkyo vs the NAD?

I'll probably end up ordering the Onkyo. A/B them and send back the one I like the least.
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post #26 of 54 Old 01-31-2013, 06:20 PM
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thank you for letting us know your observations. let us know if you take back the nad in a while or keep it.
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post #27 of 54 Old 02-14-2013, 01:26 AM
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Sent the NAD back and replaced it with the Onkyo S9050.. What a world of difference. Couldn't be happier. The NAD was just too bright for my ears and had to turn the bass control to max to get some respectable bottom end. I'm sure a sub would do it justice.. I found the NAD to be super source sensitive
Every source , from cd to tv to mp3, all needed immense tweaking to find a sweet spot. Perhaps my JBL S3810 II weren't a good match forc fthe NAD .


On the other hand, the Onkyo has plenty of bottom end, even with direct bypass of tone controls. The amp is much warmer than the NAD. Source friendly no matter what I threw at it. Bass, mids and highs all sounded clean and dynamic. The phase boost management adds a nice feature that doesn't color the sound either. I've used it in bad source recordings that lacked depth and the PB manager brought more dynamic detail to poorly mastered CDs .

Adding the phono input, phase bass boost, extra speaker terminals , this became a no brainier for me to choose the Onkyo over the NAD .
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post #28 of 54 Old 02-14-2013, 11:34 PM
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I am glad that you decided which amp was better for you. have fun rocking out with your onkyo.
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post #29 of 54 Old 04-17-2013, 11:33 PM
 
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I'm in the process of getting a Nad C372, the previous generation of the current C375BEE. On Onkyo, I just replace a TX-SR504 running 2 channel in my bedroom. Through a weird happenstance, I ended up with 7 older components, including a harman Kardon PM625 intergrated. I swapped it into the bedroom system, and it was superior than the Onkyo, rated at 75 wpc, while the 625 has 20 wpc. Better soundstage and bass. I can't explain it, and I was using my Ipod

Anyway, I wanted a used NAD to try out to see if I like their sound. If so, I'll sell some of the stuff and get a NAD C165BEE for the 2 channel system. Anyway, nice to read the thoughts of some NAD owners.
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post #30 of 54 Old 05-02-2013, 12:23 AM
 
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Well, what a difference a dedicated preamp makes! That NAD c372 sounded good in my system(Oppo 95, Paradigm S6) and I felt an improvement over using the Oppo as preamp with its volume controlling a Parasound A21 to the Paradigms. After a few days of that, I connected the NAD as preamp to the Parasound and found the Parasound amp to be faster or more accurate sounding. I'd not noticed that the NAD was slowish or anything, but comparing the two that's what I found. So I've set it up permanently not using the NAD's amps at all and what a nice soundstage. It's somewhat warmer than without the NAD and it really images well. The mids or highs are not harsh at all and I've got plenty of bass. By comparison the Oppo volume was somewhat sterile and brighter, with not as good a soundstage.

I'm so happy with it, I've ordered the NAD C326BEE for the bedroom as the old Harman PM625 is long in the tooth and pops somewhat loudly when the relay turns the speakers on. I tried Deoxit on various innards, but it didn't reduce the pop. Still a nice integrated though. Odd what others have found with the NAD 326 being bright, although the Nad c372 is 2 generations behind the 326BEE, I guess we'll see what happens in my system.
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