NAD Classic Series C 338, C 368, and C 388 DAC Amplifiers at CEDIA 2016 - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 122 Old 10-14-2016, 12:31 PM
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Integrated amp or separate power amp with receiver?

Right now I am up-grading and simplifying since I have gotten back to listening to music with 2 channels only.

Believe it or not I replaced the my L/C/R 802Ns with LS50s and subs. I love the sound and form factor even in a 14x26 room. I sit about 9-10 feet from speakers.

I'm using a Yamaha 2060 receiver right now and that's where the upgrading comes in. On the one hand I am considering something like the Halo Integrated so Tidal music can go directly to the integrated without having to pass through the receiver at all. The receiver would still be used with a HT pass through for movies.

Since the 2060 is no slouch, however, I'm wondering if the money might be better spent and sonic differences more apparent by still running everything through the 2060, but getting something like a NAD M22 power amp to use with the receiver's pre-outs. It's 140 wpc x 2 for Yamaha v. 250 wpc x 2 for the NAD.

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.
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post #32 of 122 Old 10-14-2016, 12:38 PM
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I've only heard the C368 and I know many people don't believe there's a noticeable difference in sound from receivers vs. integrated amps. I have however noticed that an Anthem MRX710 sounded better to me than my NAD T758 receiver. I'm not good at describing the difference and it wasn't something "profound", it was just clearer to me that it got more out of my speaker's tweeters on the high end without being harsh and mid-bass was seemingly richer.

I get a similar impression of the C368 over the C356BEE that my cousin just bought to mate with their new Totem Staff speakers. I would assume the C338 is very similar.
Do any of them have Toroidal Power Transformers?

Don't see that information on the Website or manuals....want to hear what the hype is about.

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post #33 of 122 Old 10-14-2016, 02:16 PM
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Do any of them have Toroidal Power Transformers?

Don't see that information on the Website or manuals....want to hear what the hype is about.
The outgoing C316BEE, C326BEE, C356BEE, etc are A-B type amps equipped with toroidal transformers. The C338, C368 and C388 are hybrid digital D class so I see no toroidal transformer.

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post #34 of 122 Old 10-15-2016, 10:01 PM
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Do any of them have Toroidal Power Transformers?

Don't see that information on the Website or manuals....want to hear what the hype is about.
Class D amplifiers like the NAD C series can use a linear power supply with a Toroidal xfmr (or any type) but these amplifiers use a Switched-Mode Power Supply (SMPS) which is a different type of technology and only requires a much smaller transformer because of their high efficiency and switching frequency.
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post #35 of 122 Old 10-19-2016, 01:28 PM
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Will thi be able to drive Elac UB5?
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post #36 of 122 Old 10-19-2016, 01:52 PM
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I was given a NAD c368. This is my first amp ever. I will only use it for music using iPad(Tidal or Spotify) I did a some research and it seems these speakers are really good but need a lot of power. You guys have any other recommendation if this is not a good match.
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post #37 of 122 Old 10-19-2016, 03:26 PM
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Elac UB5 and NAD

The NAD C368 will have no problem driving the Elac UB5, in this review http://www.thorntonhifi.com/elac-uni-fi-ub5-review.html the reviewer drove them with much less amplifications.

"After comparing the UB5's to other speakers I wanted to see how they sounded with more modest equipment so I replaced the McCormack amplification for an old NAD 7240 Receiver which puts out about 40 watts rms. The sound was not as controlled as with the separates but was still very pleasing, and honestly seemed easier to drive than the B5's were. The Kef's paired with this NAD would have been a major dissapointment as the LS 50 needs high current, high quality amplification to sound as they should. Clearly Jones kept amplification in mind when designing the UB5's because they perform well with a wide range of amplification, even an old Onkyo receiver I dragged out of the Abyss."

Contrary to what is often said by reviewers and repeated by many, most amplifiers can drive speakers with low sensitivity or that occasionally dip below 4 ohms satisfactorily. If you are an extreme headbanger who keeps the volume turned way high you could also consider a high sensitivity speaker like a Klipsch or another brand.
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post #38 of 122 Old 10-19-2016, 04:28 PM
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I was given a NAD c368. This is my first amp ever. I will only use it for music using iPad(Tidal or Spotify) I did a some research and it seems these speakers are really good but need a lot of power. You guys have any other recommendation if this is not a good match.
The NAD C368 is junk and won't driver those speakers at all. Tell you what, I'll do you a favor and come take it off your hands for no charge.

Seriously now...it's a GREAT integrated amp and will rock your world. If you can, add the BlueOS MDC module to stream Tidal Hi-Fi and you will be blown away by the sound in every way.

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post #39 of 122 Old 10-19-2016, 05:47 PM
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The NAD C368 is junk and won't driver those speakers at all. Tell you what, I'll do you a favor and come take it off your hands for no charge.

Seriously now...it's a GREAT integrated amp and will rock your world. If you can, add the BlueOS MDC module to stream Tidal Hi-Fi and you will be blown away by the sound in every way.
+1 on that opinion. I liked the "I was given" part.....makes me wish that it would actually rain audio equipment someday. It is a great integrated amplifier that will give you plenty of options of speaker choices. I'm saving up for a BlueOS module to make it more of a wireless hub for my house. The Bluetooth (not the BlueOS module) feature that currently comes with the amplifier works well with my iPhone for basic music streaming.
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post #40 of 122 Old 10-19-2016, 07:14 PM
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Adding the BlueOS module and a subscription to Tidal Hi-Fi will potentially get you MQA file streaming (when and if they ever start making it available with music I'd actually listen to.) I don't know if your Elac UB5 speakers would be up to showing you the difference between 24/96 and MQA, but the integrated amp sure would. I don't know what "basic music streaming" means but if it's just Pandora, Sirius or iTunes low-res stuff, going with at least 320kbps via aptX BT would be a nice improvement even if short of the full capabilities of that C368's DAC.

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post #41 of 122 Old 10-20-2016, 01:25 AM
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Adding the BlueOS module and a subscription to Tidal Hi-Fi will potentially get you MQA file streaming (when and if they ever start making it available with music I'd actually listen to.) I don't know if your Elac UB5 speakers would be up to showing you the difference between 24/96 and MQA, but the integrated amp sure would. I don't know what "basic music streaming" means but if it's just Pandora, Sirius or iTunes low-res stuff, going with at least 320kbps via aptX BT would be a nice improvement even if short of the full capabilities of that C368's DAC.
I am using PSB Image T6 speakers and have been for years btw.....but basic streaming implies typical, everyday, convenience use (lossy/lower resolution)....connect, and output audio via the amp using the apps (amazon music, pandora, iheartradio, etc) on my iPhone, which does not use aptX. Streaming music is more about convenience for me anyways, while my lossless files are utilized on my PC. I'll continue to do some more research on BlueOS to see if it is worthwhile to make it more of a hub for my house, with additional Bluesound wireless speakers in various locations.

As mentioned earlier in previous posts, the modules NAD provides are a little on the high side in price. $300 for an older 1080p HDMI module and $450 for a BlueOS module online. Perhaps it may be cheaper via a local dealer.

Overall, it is the first integrated amp that has actually gotten me excited (previous NAD products in general seemed kind of boring to me) and I'm glad to see more digital options as nothing I own is analog based anymore (no vinyl, no cassette, just streaming and music on the PC). There are a few shortcomings that I have noticed while owning the C368, but perhaps can be added as features later:

1) Lack of bass management and crossover settings for subwoofer integration. Setting it to High Pass will only send frequencies from 40Hz to 200Hz to the subwoofer. The workaround is to set it to Full Range and adjust the crossover setting at the subwoofer, which will in turn run your speakers at full range as well.

2) Lack of display options. Since I use my PC, it is nice to get a confirmation at the amp on if I am playing audio at 16/44.1, 24/96, 24/192 etc, but I have yet to find a way to display it on the integrated amp. The text that displays the source (such as Optical 1 or however you want to name it) is also pretty small, even for my younger 20/20 vision eyes from a distance. I can see the volume value a great distance away, but it would be nice to have some customization.

I am still putting my C368 through its paces and am noting anything else I may run into, but it is a new product and will likely see new firmware updates and features in time.

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post #42 of 122 Old 10-20-2016, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for the details.

#1 does not work for me using with smaller passive soundbar that requires 120Hz filter.Guess I'll look for used nad7050.

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post #43 of 122 Old 10-20-2016, 09:28 AM
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Wow, for comparison, the Paradigm PW amp offers anthem room correction (bass management/tweak crossover), but no external display or optical

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post #44 of 122 Old 10-20-2016, 05:12 PM
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Thanks for the details.

#1 does not work for me using with smaller passive soundbar that requires 120Hz filter.Guess I'll look for used nad7050.
Look at the Bluesound Pulse Soundbar. I heard it and was VERY impressed...for a fellow who has little respect for soundbars. It's got a lot more features than you might think.

http://www.bluesound.com/en-us/products/pulse-soundbar

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post #45 of 122 Old 10-20-2016, 05:32 PM
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Look at the Bluesound Pulse Soundbar. I heard it and was VERY impressed...for a fellow who has little respect for soundbars. It's got a lot more features than you might think.

http://www.bluesound.com/en-us/products/pulse-soundbar
Thanks, I'll have to check it out, but the drivers seem small.

Not sure it will be better than the GoldenEar or DefTech ssa50 soundbars I already have mated with SVS sub.

I just want to power these, with bass mgmt/room correction, streaming, remote control, without the size & complexity of a receiver

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post #46 of 122 Old 10-20-2016, 05:47 PM
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Wow, for comparison, the Paradigm PW amp offers anthem room correction (bass management/tweak crossover), but no external display or optical
I love Anthem/Paradigm products....the Anthem Room Correction is outstanding and well worth it. I agree, the lack of optical inputs was a deal breaker. I did a back to back comparison of an NAD T758 and an Anthem MRX 510 years ago and the Anthem was noticeably clearer and more detailed in sound quality than the NAD unit. ARC definitely reduces the "bass bloat" issues that plague many rooms. However, Anthem's prices seem to be headed further north (higher). I'm glad NAD released some pretty advanced integrated amps at fairly reasonable prices.

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post #47 of 122 Old 10-20-2016, 06:21 PM
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Thanks, I'll have to check it out, but the drivers seem small.

Not sure it will be better than the GoldenEar or DefTech ssa50 soundbars I already have mated with SVS sub.

I just want to power these, with bass mgmt/room correction, streaming, remote control, without the size & complexity of a receiver
I haven't heard the 2 soundbars you have, but have heard several others including a new model high-end Yamaha. That Bluesound Pulse (PSB speakers inside, I'm sure) just knocked my socks off with it's sound quality. Worth a listen IMO.

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post #48 of 122 Old 10-21-2016, 12:30 PM
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I haven't heard the 2 soundbars you have, but have heard several others including a new model high-end Yamaha. That Bluesound Pulse (PSB speakers inside, I'm sure) just knocked my socks off with it's sound quality. Worth a listen IMO.
I've downloaded and looked @ a few Bluesound product manuals. There are no useful details to be found whatsoever.

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post #49 of 122 Old 10-21-2016, 05:09 PM
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Don't let a lack of details and poorly done documentation get you down, it's something NAD/PSB/Bluesound (a.k.a. Lenbrook companies) are renowned for producing. The products are solid though.

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post #50 of 122 Old 10-30-2016, 06:53 PM
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After much consideration, I decided to return my NAD C368. I was originally planning on downsizing a bit to stereo for the main media room upstairs, but picked up an Anthem MRX 520 instead and am much happier with my bass management options for my room. I sold off my MRX 510 and plan to go to 4k in the future. Overall, the NAD C368 is a great product, but having more bass management options would be beneficial.

I may consider an NAD C338 for my downstairs TV stereo setup for the optical input & streaming support, but am currently using a Yamaha RX-V379.

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post #51 of 122 Old 10-31-2016, 10:00 AM
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FWIW, I heard a C368 at my dealer the other day. It was hooked up to a pair of Paradigm Prestige 75F (no sub) and streaming Tidal Hi-Fi.

Now I've heard those very same speakers playing off a Marantz SR5010 a week before. This C368 was absolutely fabulous. Wow. I expected less, believe it or not, but it truly impressed me.
Funny, as I am using Marantz, NAD, and Paradigm for my theater. What a wonderful combo these are. My old NAD 925THX (5ch amp), 3 NAD 216THX (2ch amps), and my Marantz AV7702 and UD5007 universal player. Fantastic. I even have an old NAD 5300 CD transport which sounds great for jazz and vocals (apparently they Audio Review was using this transport, back in '88 to test CD's)....anyway, I'm glad to see that NAD is still kickin' Paradigm Studio Ref v.1/2 all around (except for the ATMOS speakers)
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post #52 of 122 Old 10-31-2016, 10:37 AM
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You think that's good you should wait to hear the new M32 integrated. OMG is that thing clean and clear!
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post #53 of 122 Old 11-01-2016, 10:32 AM
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You think that's good you should wait to hear the new M32 integrated. OMG is that thing clean and clear!
I'm hoping to get a listen soon...have you had a chance to compare it to the C 388 (or C 390DD)? All 3 are on my radar for my next purchase and since they don't differ much in terms of utility (at least for my needs) I'm really interested in the sound quality differences.
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post #54 of 122 Old 11-01-2016, 11:56 AM
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I can't hardly believe the bass management implementation on these integrated amps. It seems like it must be a mistake, but given the feedback Speaker Robert received from NAD support, the manual wording, and the lack of GUI to set a crossover frequency, I guess there is no mistake. But it must have been a botched implementation as I've never heard of a fixed crossover utilizing such a ridiculous range. Like they are discarding 10-40Hz and it goes to no speaker? And hardly any subs can handle frequencies at 200Hz. Selecting full range is not even a crossover, it is just a set of preamp outs. I have mini monitors in my bedroom system which need a high pass. I was excited to try the C368 as I have been wanting a NuPrime IDA-8, but it doesn't have a crossover so I can't use it. Apparently I won't be able to use this either unless they "fix" it via firmware at some point. It just seems so crazy, like they intended to have a selectable 40-200, which would make sense, i.e. 40Hz AND lower sent to the sub, or 80 and lower, but messed it up???
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post #55 of 122 Old 11-01-2016, 01:11 PM
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Don't let a lack of details and poorly done documentation get you down, it's something NAD/PSB/Bluesound (a.k.a. Lenbrook companies) are renowned for producing. The products are solid though.
Yes, their products may be solid, but knowledgeable consumers need details to make decisions. Otherwise, we'd need to wait for reviews and hope the particular detail is exposed or purchase and return.

I'm generally frustrated by marketing buzzwords these days without any information....making it basically useless. Not picking on NAD in particular.

For example:
  1. Product provides music streaming. That is useless without understanding the protocol and listing all the darn formats/bitrates supported mp3, ALAC, etc.
  2. Show a picture of sub out and don't provide any details on configuration/setting options. If it doesn't provide any, say so.
  3. Show a picture of volume buttons on remote control. Don't provide any details on if there is some indication (blinking lights/digital display) when the button is pressed.



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post #56 of 122 Old 11-23-2016, 06:21 PM
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Yes, their products may be solid, but knowledgeable consumers need details to make decisions. Otherwise, we'd need to wait for reviews and hope the particular detail is exposed or purchase and return.

I'm generally frustrated by marketing buzzwords these days without any information....making it basically useless. Not picking on NAD in particular.
Looks like the NAD C338 may be available around 11/28/16. I'm curious to see how well it performs and the available features. I will wait it out for a while, check reviews, and maybe order one online.

I'm with you on products not meeting my expectations. I no longer buy av receivers or integrated amplifiers from local dealers as those remaining in my area do not have return policies. If I were to invest $$$ and am stuck with a product that has poor documentation or advertised features that may not perform as described, it gets returned. The NAD C368 was such an item that joins a growing list of returns that preceded it. I wasn't planning to wait on an update, if it ever happens. I didn't have very positive experiences in the end with two NAD T758 attempts (buggy performance, or HDMI issues), so I'm a little more wary of NAD products than others.
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post #57 of 122 Old 11-23-2016, 06:37 PM
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Maybe I'm lucky or you're unlucky because I've had zero problems with my T758 in not-quite one year of ownership, and it was a "refurbished" unit.

I wasn't aware the C338 wasn't out yet, my local dealer has the C368 and C388 in stock. I love how those sound!

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post #58 of 122 Old 11-24-2016, 08:24 AM
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Yes I have to agree, very disappointing. NAD does not seem to get it or they just do not really care. The sub crossover is ridiculous assuming that is the way it works. Lack of documentation. To get just 2 more analog inputs you have to buy an additional module. One of those inputs is XLR, really, how many people purchasing an amp like this need/use XLR. And, then they force you to pay for an additional phono input on the same module. Again, how many people need another phono input, if one at all on an amp like this. If someone is using an MC cartridge they are probably using a dedicated phono amp. Why not just a simple 3 or 4 SE input module (or 3 SE and 1 XLR). Where is the [future proof] ethernet module. I am no longer interested in NAD.
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post #59 of 122 Old 11-24-2016, 07:23 PM
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Looks like the NAD C338 may be available around 11/28/16. I'm curious to see how well it performs and the available features. I will wait it out for a while, check reviews, and maybe order one online.

I'm with you on products not meeting my expectations. I no longer buy av receivers or integrated amplifiers from local dealers as those remaining in my area do not have return policies. If I were to invest $$$ and am stuck with a product that has poor documentation or advertised features that may not perform as described, it gets returned. The NAD C368 was such an item that joins a growing list of returns that preceded it. I wasn't planning to wait on an update, if it ever happens. I didn't have very positive experiences in the end with two NAD T758 attempts (buggy performance, or HDMI issues), so I'm a little more wary of NAD products than others.
Many of these integrated amps don't have volume displays, I find that a major plus for the C338. Looks like a great product if you can run your speakers full range.

When I make a purchase, I usually keep for a long time, so as I narrow down products, I will just have to purchase and try to see if it meets my requirements.

I just picked up a Paradigm PW amp. Great piece of hardware and small enough I can tuck under my TV pedestal stand to keep that minimalist stealth look. Once again, I wonder what the product managers were thinking....they advertise using the analog input for TV, but there is no way to control the volume of the input using the app. So, I found a good deal on a used NAD7050 (another integrated with nice volume display) to use as the preamp from the TV into the PW AMP. You may ask, why don't I just use the NAD7050 without the PW AMP?....because the PW AMP comes with room correction which is a must in my room for the sub.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother with cosmetics LOL, I could just purchase a huge receiver with all the features and be done with it

LN55C630, PN64F8500, Definitive SSA-50, GE Supercinema 3D Array X, Paradigm Millenia CT

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post #60 of 122 Old 11-24-2016, 07:24 PM
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Yes I have to agree, very disappointing. NAD does not seem to get it or they just do not really care. The sub crossover is ridiculous assuming that is the way it works. Lack of documentation. To get just 2 more analog inputs you have to buy an additional module. One of those inputs is XLR, really, how many people purchasing an amp like this need/use XLR. And, then they force you to pay for an additional phono input on the same module. Again, how many people need another phono input, if one at all on an amp like this. If someone is using an MC cartridge they are probably using a dedicated phono amp. Why not just a simple 3 or 4 SE input module (or 3 SE and 1 XLR). Where is the [future proof] ethernet module. I am no longer interested in NAD.
Sounds like the Samsung Evolution kit marketing that never fully materialized.

LN55C630, PN64F8500, Definitive SSA-50, GE Supercinema 3D Array X, Paradigm Millenia CT
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