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NAD C 328: Simple yet powerful integrated amplifier

NAD C 328
NAD C 328

One of the most famous devices in NAD’s history was the 3020 amplifier, released in 1978. Now the NAD C328 has appeared – an integrated circuit based specifically on the 3020. The NAD C328 amplifier is built around the classic NAD principle “the simpler the better.” At the same time, the developers will modernize the topology by replacing the power-hungry output stage in class AB with a customized version of Hyper UcD, operating in class D. The device produces 50 W per channel at 4 and 8 ohms with 0.03% THD and a signal-to-noise ratio of 100 dB.

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The NAD C328 amplifier comes with a very simple and obviously inexpensive remote control. The desire to comment caustically on this fact disappears immediately, once you find out about the presence of the proprietary NAD Remote application. Once installed, the application itself connects to the amplifier via Bluetooth and allows you not only to select inputs and control the volume, but also to make settings that you can’t get to otherwise. For example, automatic input selection and automatic amplifier go into standby mode are set entirely using the application.

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Despite the intricate name and obvious associative reference to Master Series technologies, Hybrid Digital technology is nothing more than the familiar Class D, when an analog signal is supplied to the input of the PWM amplifier. The C328 uses Hypex amplifiers, but these are not standard boards, they are modified by NAD specialists. Among the features of the circuit, it is worth noting the absence of capacitors on the signal path, which reduces losses and various types of distortion.

One of the key elements of the circuit is a proprietary switching power supply with low noise and ripple. With its small dimensions, it provides instantaneous delivery of high currents, which, in combination with a Class D amplifier, promises fast and dynamic sound. And by the way, I remind everyone who likes to call class D “digital”: unless we are talking about Direct Digital technology, a class D amplifier is an analog device and does not work with a digital signal. And this is a reason to look inside, if only to understand what kind of DAC is used there.

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The NAD C328 has two optical and two coaxial inputs, two more conventional analog inputs, and a third analog input connected to the built-in MM-type phono stage. This is where the list of more or less standard inputs ends and the fun begins. The amplifier has built-in Bluetooth.

“Our goal was to create a best-sounding amplifier in its class, adding important features while maintaining the simplicity for which NAD is famous,” NAD explained the C328. “This amplifier works for all the money, and we believe that NAD fans, both long-time and new, will be pleased with the result.”

NAD C328 Specs

Power: 2x 50 Watts (nominal), 2x 100 Watts (peak) into 4 ohms
Frequency range: 20-20000 Hz
Distortion: less than 0.03%
Signal-to-noise ratio: 98 dB
Dumping factor: more than 300
Inputs: 2 coaxial, 2 optical, 2 analog stereo, phono stage, Bluetooth
Dimensions: 435x70x285 mm
Weight: 4. 85 kg

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