Originally Posted by SnoopGordo
I just bought a new pair of Focal 936 speakers, and I'm using a NAD C356BEE with them.
While I like the sound, I don't think I'm getting everything that I've paid for.
The only way that I get the separation between the highs and lows is to crank it up to a point where I can't hear the person sitting next to me.
I realize that there are dozens of reasons of why this could be happening, and one of them is not enough power.
I will certainly look at all options, but I'm just looking for advice here for a reasonable 2-channel amplifier without breaking the bank.
I have had several NAD amplifiers, starting with the original wonderful 3020 in 1980.
All of them have performed well EXCEPT the C356BEE.
I had one and tried it with NAD, Vandersteen and KEF speakers, all of which were excellent, and that amp never sounded right.
My wife and I both agreed that there was something that just didn't sound right about that amp; the sound was flat-sounding and uninvolving. We got rid of it.
It sounds as if your experience with it is similar. With a decent amplifier, those speakers should sound like a million bucks.
I also had a C326BEE at that time, which sounded great with all 3 sets of speakers. Go Figure. For some reason, that 356 is a dud.
You really don't need an amp with more than 30 or 40 watts per channel, because the sensitivity of those speakers is very high; 92 db/watt.
I recommend the Music Hall 15.3 amplifier, which is a very good amp that only costs $549. The C326BEE is also good, for the same price.
If you are willing to spend $1500 for an excellent amplifier, the Musical Fidelity M3si is worth the money. That is my recommendation for your speakers; it will really make them sing.
I used a M3 for a couple of years with a pair of Vandersteen 3A speakers, and the sound was excellent.