NAD Classic Series C 338, C 368, and C 388 DAC Amplifiers at CEDIA 2016 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 122 Old 09-20-2016, 03:52 AM - Thread Starter
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NAD Classic Series C 338, C 368, and C 388 DAC Amplifiers at CEDIA 2016

It was a huge year at CEDIA 2016 for NAD, the Canadian manufacturer of high performance AV electronics. Among the products introduced at the show were three new NAD Classic Series DAC amplifiers, which borrow technology from the Masters Series of AV components. The C 338 ($650), C368 ($900), and C 388 ($1600) all utilized NAD's hybrid-digital amplifier technology, but vary in terms of capability.


Greg Stidsen shows the new Classic Series DAC Amps at CEDIA 2016. Photo by Mark Henninger


The C 388 and C368 launched during CEDIA and are shipping now. These two models utilize an upgradable, modular design. Both possess MM Phono and line-in analog, optical-digital, and coaxial-digital inputs. While the C 388 delivers 150 watts per channel (stereo) into 8 ohms, the C 368 offers 2 x 80 W/ch output.

Thanks to their modular design construction (MDC), both units can be customized and upgraded, at present and in the future. Upgrade options include 4K HDMI switching, adding more digital inputs, and adding a BluOS module (with Wi-Fi and Ethernet) for networked-audio, multi-room audio capability.

The C 338 was previewed at CEDIA and will ship later this fall. This 50 W/ch (into 8 ohms) stereo DAC amp. NAD touts that it is capable of flawless operation when fed AC with any voltage from 110 to 240, thanks to "near perfect" voltage regulation.

The preamp section of the C 338 contains a solid-state volume control, which offers 0.5dB steps and 120 dB of range. The DAC is a dual-differential array where eight DAC channels are used to generate stereo sound with 120 dB of dynamic range (to match the volume control).

Even with the C 338, you get an NAD MM Phono stage that includes a capacitor-free infrasonic filter and hyper-accurate RIAA EQ. Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity add network streaming to the list of capabilities.

All three models feature Bluetooth with the aptX codec, and full app-based control from smart phones and tablets.

Regarding the new products, Greg Stidsen, director of technology and product planning for NAD Electronics, said that "NAD has continued to push the boundaries of digital amplification with our Hybrid Digital architecture and Asymmetrical PowerDrive. We have eliminated obsolescence with Modular Design Construction while expanding the frontiers of connectivity with Wi-Fi streaming and BluOS wireless multiroom."
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post #2 of 122 Old 09-20-2016, 09:00 AM
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It would be nice if NAD could release a multichannel class D amp at a lower price point than the M27.

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post #3 of 122 Old 09-20-2016, 09:02 AM
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The modular design approach have worked well for NAD for years now. Excellent.

Sadly they are slow at releasing MDC's though and basically never live up to release estimations. They need to improve in that area.

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post #4 of 122 Old 09-20-2016, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyDeg View Post
The modular design approach have worked well for NAD for years now. Excellent.

Sadly they are slow at releasing MDC's though and basically never live up to release estimations. They need to improve in that area.
Indeed, my perfectly fine NAD T775 is now used as a power amp due to only supporting ancient sound formats.

Tower Cinema - 9.1.6 in a 12'x12' room

Input : Nvidia Shield TV, Panasonic DMP-UB400
Magic : Marantz SR7010, Marantz SR6010, 2x NAD T743
Output : Pioneer KRP-600a, SVS PB13 Ultra, Monitor Audio GSLCR 2xGS20 2xGS10 4xGSFX 6xBX1
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post #5 of 122 Old 09-20-2016, 10:42 AM
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Spending $300 extra for an HDMI interface for an audio amplifier is a tall order for many, that too for one that doesn't support 4K.
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post #6 of 122 Old 09-20-2016, 10:45 AM
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Cambridge audio CXA-60 and CXA-80 seem to be better value for money as compared to NAD-368, plus they have 3 year warranty vs 2 years for NAD.

My iPhone doesn't do aptX so I just add Google Chromecast audio or Plex for my streaming needs.

Not sure where the NAD-356BEE belongs in the new lineup, unless you absolutely have to have a Class A/B amp.
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post #7 of 122 Old 09-20-2016, 01:20 PM
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Very Newbie here. Glad I can now take part in the conversation.

I've built a painting studio on my property...somewhat modest sized @ 14x25' with ten foot cathedral ceilings. The walls are 7/8" thick sheetrock and the cement floor is covered with 3/4" thick panels of industrial rubber matts under canvas drop cloths.
Acoustically it's not bad - the space is basically a white cube from floor to ceiling.
Skylights, work tables, 110 and 220v lines. A pretty neat set-up. I have enough room where I can work on two large paintings simultaneously - something my previous studio couldn't accommodate.
I've transferred various old and new audio components out there along with lots of vinyl lps and cds to keep me company while I work.

I'm definitely in the shopping mode for a new integrated to replace my NAD 326BEE.
These new NADs have caught my interest, particularly the 388.
I hope members start posting links to reviews and (even better) their own first-hand evaluations of these new products.

Anyway, sorry to gas on about myself. Nice to be here.
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post #8 of 122 Old 09-20-2016, 04:25 PM
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I'm a big fan of NAD sound. I use NAD amps in my HT room.

IMO, only one of a precious few audio companies out there that make solid-state amplifiers, of the class A/B variety, that don't sound overly harsh and strident.
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post #9 of 122 Old 09-20-2016, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mashie Saldana View Post
Indeed, my perfectly fine NAD T775 is now used as a power amp due to only supporting ancient sound formats.
I'm still using NAD T773's for my HT.

I just use the audio outputs from my Blu-ray player to feed the 7.1 audio inputs on the T773. It gives me *glorious* uncompressed 7.1 Blu-ray audio.
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post #10 of 122 Old 09-21-2016, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookside View Post
Very Newbie here. Glad I can now take part in the conversation.

I've built a painting studio on my property...somewhat modest sized @ 14x25' with ten foot cathedral ceilings. The walls are 7/8" thick sheetrock and the cement floor is covered with 3/4" thick panels of industrial rubber matts under canvas drop cloths.
Acoustically it's not bad - the space is basically a white cube from floor to ceiling.
Skylights, work tables, 110 and 220v lines. A pretty neat set-up. I have enough room where I can work on two large paintings simultaneously - something my previous studio couldn't accommodate.
I've transferred various old and new audio components out there along with lots of vinyl lps and cds to keep me company while I work.

I'm definitely in the shopping mode for a new integrated to replace my NAD 326BEE.
These new NADs have caught my interest, particularly the 388.
I hope members start posting links to reviews and (even better) their own first-hand evaluations of these new products.

Anyway, sorry to gas on about myself. Nice to be here.

Welcome to the forum!

NAD is def a good choice for many, including myself. Sadly there's a bit of a shortage of personal reviews and such for NAD products, but there are some. We can only hope there will be some or these.

| NAD M17 (a/v processor & DAC)
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PMC Twenty5.23 (5.2 speaker system)
OPPO UDP-203 (uhd blu-ray player)
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Check out my AVSForum review of the NAD M17 & M27 Master Series
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post #11 of 122 Old 09-21-2016, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mashie Saldana View Post
Indeed, my perfectly fine NAD T775 is now used as a power amp due to only supporting ancient sound formats.
Hmm... I've seen there were at least a couple modules released which fitted the T775. Not for immersive audio codecs, but for basically everything else. Didn't know HD-audio was considered "ancient" at this point? lol

http://nadelectronics.com/products/a...Sound-Receiver

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post #12 of 122 Old 09-21-2016, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nx211 View Post
I'm still using NAD T773's for my HT.

I just use the audio outputs from my Blu-ray player to feed the 7.1 audio inputs on the T773. It gives me *glorious* uncompressed 7.1 Blu-ray audio.
So technically you use your 773 as a multichannel amp as well.

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Output : Pioneer KRP-600a, SVS PB13 Ultra, Monitor Audio GSLCR 2xGS20 2xGS10 4xGSFX 6xBX1
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post #13 of 122 Old 09-21-2016, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mashie Saldana View Post
So technically you use your 773 as a multichannel amp as well.
Yes, I use my T773's pre-amp and amp sections for 2-channel CD listening and just the amp section for Blu-ray movie watching.

I still use the DAC's in the T773's for CD playback. IMO, they are still audiophile grade DAC's, of very high quality, even by today's standards. And for movie watching, I use the External 7.1 analog by-pass inputs - which use my Blu-ray players DAC's to decode the Blu-ray's 7.1 uncompressed audio streams.

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post #14 of 122 Old 09-22-2016, 08:27 AM
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Having never owned NAD I am interested in the C 368. I am also interested in the new Rotel line of integrated amps, specifically the A12. Anyone have any recommendations between the 2? Currently I have a Pioneer Elite SC-05 AVR but only ever listen to 2 channel for movies and music. Would either the Rotel A12 or NAD C 368 be an upgrade? Thoughts?
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post #15 of 122 Old 09-23-2016, 07:09 PM
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NAD is the better bet

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmorgan74 View Post
Having never owned NAD I am interested in the C 368. I am also interested in the new Rotel line of integrated amps, specifically the A12. Anyone have any recommendations between the 2? Currently I have a Pioneer Elite SC-05 AVR but only ever listen to 2 channel for movies and music. Would either the Rotel A12 or NAD C 368 be an upgrade? Thoughts?
You are better off with NAD, Rotel sounds sterile to my ears. Try to demo at least one of these if you can.
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post #16 of 122 Old 09-26-2016, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmorgan74 View Post
Having never owned NAD I am interested in the C 368. I am also interested in the new Rotel line of integrated amps, specifically the A12. Anyone have any recommendations between the 2? Currently I have a Pioneer Elite SC-05 AVR but only ever listen to 2 channel for movies and music. Would either the Rotel A12 or NAD C 368 be an upgrade? Thoughts?
I am also interested in the NAD C 368. For TV/music in the family room I am currently using an Onkyo A-5VL Integrated Amp that uses Class D for the power amp section with a linear PS. I like Class D quite a bit and would like to try an amp with both an SMPS and a Class D output like the C 368. NADs have always been a good value (sound vs. cost), both their Class A/B and newer switching amps. I wish the C 368 had more analog inputs without having to buy an additional module. The Cambridge CX series mentioned above do look like a good value too. Some people swear by Arcam or NAD, others by Rotel or Cambridge so you really need to try and listen to some of them if possible. You may be perfectly happy with the sound of your Pioneer afterwards.
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post #17 of 122 Old 10-02-2016, 07:26 AM
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I was at my favorite NAD dealer yesterday and they had gotten their first order of the new C338, C368 and C388 integrated. They sell NAD, but also move a lot of Parasound Halo, Rotel 1570 & 1592, Plinius, Classe, Jolida (tube) and a few more I couldn't possibly afford.

It was not possible for me to hear them in the 15 minutes I was there. That would take hours, comparing to the C326, C356 and C375. However, the salesman I (mostly) trust was absolutely enthusiastic about these new products. He told me the C368 they had running was so far ahead of the outgoing C356 that he was now going to have a harder time explaining the difference between it and the Masters series or the up-level other products. I don't know when I'd ever seen him quite so gushing with praise.

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post #18 of 122 Old 10-04-2016, 05:07 PM
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I installed my NAD C368 to my media room system yesterday. It is a great product overall. I'm still tweaking the sound for my room. So far, I find that turning off the tone controls gives me the best sound. With sound quality being very subjective, I find that it is a bit "warmer" and more "reserved" sounding than some of the previous receivers I have used in the past at the default tone controls during the first shakedown listen. As mentioned earlier, I defeated the tone controls for a better listening experience for my room. I know that I couldn't tell the difference between a Class AB or the Class D amplifier of the C368.

I did submit a product feature request to NAD today with regards to the bass management options available to the NAD C368. I use an SVS SB-2000 in addition to the PSB Image T6 speakers for my main L/R. You can only select "Full Range" or "High Pass" when integrating a subwoofer. According to the manual, frequencies from 40Hz to 200Hz are sent to the subwoofer. It would be great to set the crossover frequency of the user's choice, such as 80Hz, which is my preference. Using the subwoofer at the High Pass setting gives too much 'bass bloat'. My workaround is setting it to Full Range and adjusting my subwoofer crossover separately.

After a couple hour listening session, any previous receiver or amp that I've owned warms up my smaller media room (a.k.a. Free Room Above Garage) by a couple degrees. The NAD integrated amp runs very cool and didn't act like the typical space heater that I am used to.
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post #19 of 122 Old 10-04-2016, 08:09 PM
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Thanks for sharing that. The one thing which stands out to me is the bit about the high pass filter sending signals between 40hz and 200hz to the sub. I don't know about you, but my sub goes at least to 24hz as does some of the music I listen to, and I want ALL frequencies below a certain number (maybe 120 -140) to go to the subwoofer. Why stop at 40hz?

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post #20 of 122 Old 10-05-2016, 09:36 AM
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I'm interested in the C338 as a compact amp to power passive soundbar, but not enough info. on streaming features offered. Maybe the same as NAD 7050...

Af far as the High-pass filter, the online manual states differently. I understand it as normal, you can select a frequency from 40-200Hz and anything below that is sent to the sub.

Filters provide easy bi-amplification or subwoofer integration by adding the required filters to redirect bass frequencies to the subwoofer.

High Pass: Low pass signal from frequencies 40Hz to 200Hz can be selected and sent to Subwoofer Out, with the high pass signal sent to the C 368 amplifier section.

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

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpp8140 View Post

Af far as the High-pass filter, the online manual states differently. I understand it as normal, you can select a frequency from 40-200Hz and anything below that is sent to the sub.

Filters provide easy bi-amplification or subwoofer integration by adding the required filters to redirect bass frequencies to the subwoofer.

High Pass: Low pass signal from frequencies 40Hz to 200Hz can be selected and sent to Subwoofer Out, with the high pass signal sent to the C 368 amplifier section.

Full Range: Refers to the whole frequency spectrum capability of your C 368 and speaker system.
I talked with their tech support over the phone and he confirmed with their technical writer that that specific statement is in error regarding selecting the frequencies. I've attempted to adjust or find a secret submenu, but there is nothing available except High Pass. I also believe that anything under 200Hz, as opposed to the range 40-200Hz, is sent to the sub when "High Pass" is selected. However, I submitted another question to their tech support to get that in writing for confirmation.

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post #22 of 122 Old 10-05-2016, 04:43 PM
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Yikes! Thanks for confirming....might look for a used 7050 then.

Did you download the app? I read with the 7050, fine tune adjustments are only available via the app.

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Yikes! Thanks for confirming....might look for a used 7050 then.

Did you download the app? I read with the 7050, fine tune adjustments are only available via the app.
The C368 offers only bluetooth interface (no wifi). An optional BlueOS module can be added later due to its modular design.

I received a confirmation email from NAD support. Selecting High Pass will result in frequencies from 40Hz to 200Hz being sent to the subwoofer. Selecting Full Range will send all frequencies to the subwoofer, which can then be adjusted at the subwoofer. I submitted a feature request to NAD support to be able to simply set it at the amplifier, as opposed to adjusting it at the subwoofer.
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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.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speaker Robert View Post
The C368 offers only bluetooth interface (no wifi). An optional BlueOS module can be added later due to its modular design.

I received a confirmation email from NAD support. Selecting High Pass will result in frequencies from 40Hz to 200Hz being sent to the subwoofer. Selecting Full Range will send all frequencies to the subwoofer, which can then be adjusted at the subwoofer. I submitted a feature request to NAD support to be able to simply set it at the amplifier, as opposed to adjusting it at the subwoofer.
Thanks for the info.

Interesting, the lower end C338 seems to have wifi streaming built in. Most likely not as good audio though. I may try it.

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post #26 of 122 Old 10-13-2016, 08:28 PM
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To be clear, the C338 is the only one of the three new ones that can't stream via Wi-Fi, the other can but only by adding the MDC module for BlueOS. That OS does limit you to only the streaming services they've got agreements with so Pandora, Amazon Prime Music and iTunes is still a no-go but you do have Spotify and Tidal. You can stream any of the services with any of the amps (including the C338) though via the Bluetooth 4.0 aptX without adding the MDC module.

Someone like me would definitely need the BlueOS as my PC doesn't have Bluetooth and I wouldn't want the data charges from my phone to get my Tidal Hi-Fi.

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post #27 of 122 Old 10-13-2016, 08:36 PM
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For me Bluetooth is not a good option....though I've never had a device to try aptX. I like the C338 small form factor, spotify, & want to stream from my media server.

I tired Marantz NR1506, for form factor, but just couldn't get to a point where I was happy with Audyssey for music (noob here). I found myself constantly fiddling with the sound modes and got annoyed by some firmware bugs.

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post #28 of 122 Old 10-14-2016, 05:22 AM
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Bluetooth should work for you as long as the source is aptX compliant. What device are you streaming from, how far from the amplifier would it be and is it going to be in a fixed location while streaming?

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post #29 of 122 Old 10-14-2016, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
Bluetooth should work for you as long as the source is aptX compliant. What device are you streaming from, how far from the amplifier would it be and is it going to be in a fixed location while streaming?
Controlling from Android tablet (13ft. away), which does not offer aptX.

For best quality, I like the device to stream directly through spotify, or DLNA from my media server.

The modern receivers offer this, and it looks like the 338 does as well as google cast. It's more expensive than a receiver, but I may give it a try.

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post #30 of 122 Old 10-14-2016, 12:07 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.

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