NAD C326BEE Stereo Integrated Amplifier

NAD C326BEE Stereo Integrated Amplifier

Performance vs. Value Champ

The NAD C 320 series of amplifiers have always punched far above their modest weight. Combining the highest levels of audio engineering with an extensive feature list, and more than adequate power for all but the most ambitious systems, the C 326BEE keeps the concept of affordable hi-end alive and well.

Local Warranty: 2 Years

NAD C326BEE

S$ 720.00

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Product Description

With the very high dynamic power and low impedance drive capability of NAD's proprietary PowerDrive™ circuit, the C 326BEE is able to accurately control even difficult to drive loudspeakers while sounding musical, detailed, coherent and relaxed.

The C 326BEE is the latest in NAD's range of affordably priced, yet very high performance Stereo Integrated Amplifiers. Neatly slotted in between our most affordable C 315BEE and more powerful C 355BEE, the C 326BEE boasts many upgrades and refinements taken directly from the highly acclaimed NAD Masters Series M3 Amplifier. These include application of Bjørn Erik Edvardsen's innovative and patented Distortion Canceling Circuit in the output stage and BEE Clamp in the power supply. An improved tone control circuit and revised PCB layout has reduced distortion and noise to unprecedented levels. Taken together, these improvements mark a sharp upturn in performance that must be heard to be fully appreciated!

The C 326BEE is fully remote controlled and comes supplied with the NAD SR 8 system remote control. The remote control features an ergonomic form, with large buttons that are differentiated by shape and position, to make operation intuitive and enjoyable. The SR 8 will also operate many other NAD products such as CD players, tuners, etc. Flexibility is another NAD strong point. The C 326BEE has 7 line inputs and the pre-amplifier section can be separated from the power amplifier for easy upgrades or adding ancillary equipment. Thus the C 326BEE can be expanded to meet future system needs.

The C 326BEE sports a pre-amp output: Many systems benefit from the use of multiple power amplifiers for “Bi-Amping” (using separate power amplifiers to drive the bass and treble section of a loudspeaker). 

Additionally, there are two monophonic Subwoofer OUT that can be connected to powered subwoofers - an increasingly popular option.

For remote on/off switching of ancillary components in a system, such as power amplifiers or active speakers, the C 326BEE is equipped with a 12V-trigger system. When switching the amplifier on, the 12V-trigger output is also activated which in turn can activate a 12V-trigger input switching on the remote devices. Besides the 12V-trigger, the C 326BEE also has rear panel IR IN and OUT.

It is fashionable to omit tone controls nowadays: However, provided that the tone controls are properly designed, they can be really useful tools in making improvements to the overall sound. The C 326BEE tone controls only work at the frequency extremes leaving the critical mid-band essentially unaltered. The tone control circuits can be completely bypassed by using the Tone Defeat control button. The C 326BEE also incorporates NAD’s acclaimed switchable “Soft Clipping” circuit, which significantly reduces the risk of damage to loudspeakers due to prolonged high power operation.

Design: PowerDrive

The C 326BEE also benefits from NAD’s proprietary PowerDrive circuit topology, now well established and used throughout the NAD product range. The PowerDrive topology allows the C 326BEE to deliver maximum performance under virtually any circumstance, independent of the loudspeakers it is driving. The circuitry automatically senses the impedance characteristics of the loudspeaker and will then adjust its power supply settings to best cope with that specific load. PowerDrive topology is a practical approach to enable an amplifier to easily deal with musical dynamics and difficult speaker loads. Thus we have the highly desirable characteristics of high dynamic power and low impedance drive capability in one affordable package.

The C 326BEE has the lowest levels of distortion and noise available in its price class and is easily capable of embarrassing far more expensive products. To prove it, NAD uses Full Disclosure Power (FDP) - the most demanding criteria for performance measurement. FDP specifies distortion under the most extreme conditions of low impedance loads and frequency extremes rather than the simple and easy 1kHz @ 8 Ohms test quoted by many of our competitors. We use this stricter performance criterion because it more closely matches the demands of real music and real loudspeakers. Maintaining specified distortion at 4 Ohms and at 20Hz and 20kHz is several orders of magnitude more difficult to achieve than the simple 8 Ohms and 1kHz test.

NAD also takes a stand against the meaningless “brochure power” touted by many of our competitors by offering Full Disclosure power specs. We specify minimum continuous power, across the entire audible range of frequencies, at rated distortion, for both 8 and 4 Ohms with all channels driven simultaneously. Perhaps even more importantly, we also specify Dynamic Power at 8, 4, and even 2 Ohms, which better describes the way the amplifier will perform in the real world, with musical signals and reactive loudspeaker loads.

Less Distortion = More Music

Noise and distortion mask the fine details of a musical recording robbing musical texture and dimension and replacing them with non-musical artifacts. NAD has spent the last 35 years perfecting our designs to have the lowest distortion and highest power in its price class. This cannot be overstated! Our competitors often rate distortion at only 80% of rated power, and even then can’t match our very conservative spec of 0.009% at any frequency within the range of human hearing. Our noise spec is often 10dB (100 times!) less than that of competing amplifiers. This is far from a trivial difference as fine detail and nuance (micro dynamics) are often obscured by noise in lesser amplifiers, robbing a performance of that illusive sense of ‘realism’. It is that exciting feeling of being there at the live performance.

But even the most carefully reported specs cannot fully describe the sonic performance of an amplifier. Only your own ears can finally judge our achievement. We urge you to listen and compare NAD to other products in its price range, and even higher. We don’t think you’ll find anything that comes close to offering the C 326BEE’s overall musical satisfaction, well-rounded performance, and stellar value for money. 

Features

  • 2 x 50W Continuous Power into 4 ohms and 8 ohms
  • 100W, 150W, 200W IHF Dynamic power into 8, 4 and 2 ohms, respectively
  • PowerDrive™ circuit
  • NAD SR 8 Full System Remote control
  • Headphone socket
  • Front panel Media Player (MP) input for attaching portable MP3 Player
  • Relay Input Switching
  • Holmgren Toroidal Power transformer
  • 7 Line inputs, including one tape in/out
  • All discrete circuitry Short signal path from input to output
  • All sockets Gold plated
  • Tone controls defeat switch
  • Main-amp input & pre-amp outputs
  • Subwoofer (mono) Out
  • Soft Clipping™
  • IR Input/Output
  • 12 volt trigger out
  • Detachable IEC Power Cable
  • <1W Standby Power Consumption
  • Free of lead and other environmentally dangerous substances
 
  • Reviews

  • “Overall, I found that the C 326BEE integrated amplifier supports NAD’s reputation for creating affordable yet high-quality hi-fi components. In the end, for those looking for a solid integrated amplifier that puts out a healthy 50Wpc and excellent sound quality at a reasonable price, they should consider the NAD C 326BEE.” - Jarrett Dixon

    Source/Read full review: Goodsound, Apr 2010, NAD Classic Series C 326BEE Integrated Amplifier


    “Finally, “while most class A/B amplifiers use the output stage as a current dumper, in the ‘distortion-cancelling’ circuit Evardsen configures the output transistors to provide a small voltage-gain to which is added a local feedback-loop that reduces distortion even lower, to around 0.005 percent.” Stidsen told me he doubts that any amplifier, regardless of design type, size, or expense, of fifteen to twenty years ago could match the noise and distortion specs of this one. I’m inclined to agree. Make no mistake: These circuits do not work miracles. If loud sustained levels over inefficient speakers are demanded, then a far more powerful amplifier will be required. But I doubt that any serious music lover who plays back at natural levels will need louder, cleaner levels than the C 326BEE Intigrated Ampifier can deliver in normal-sized rooms, which means you’ll have a lot of money left over for better speakers, better source components, or more music. That’s smart economy.” - Paul Seydor

    Source/Read full review: The Absolute Sound, Jan 2010, The Best-Selling Amp in High-End History Just Got Better


    “A great pairing of components brings out the detail and definition of music with aptitude. Great budget components and good performance make this highly recommended indeed… Unusually confident into awkward loads and very assured, especially in the bass; Treble is still refined and clear… At first sight, the C 326 seems rather empty inside, or at any rate its circuit board is very lightly populated. Removing a service panel from the bottom of the unit, however, reveals a wealth of surface-mounted components on the underside of the board. Almost all of these are discrete and it seems that NAD stands firm in its preference for discrete circuits over integrated—quite an achievement at this price. The top of the board carries a few more components, including regulators and, of course, the output transistors, which are mounted on a medium-size internal heatsink. There's an impressive number of wire links, which evidently are still cheaper than multi-layer circuit boards. Inputs are selected by relays, while volume is adjusted by a motorized mechanical control, so problems with premature overload due to high-output sources are avoided. The power supply shows evidence of cost saving and the mains transformer is rather smaller than you'll find in most £500-ish amps. That's a fair compromise, though, and there's no question about the capability of this one to do what's promised: NAD's power specification of "greater than 50 watts" is comfortably met. We measured about 65 watts from both channels together, over 90 watts from one channel and brief peaks of over 100 watts, making this one of the meatiest amps in its class. We were also able to confirm NAD's claims of low distortion and wide bandwith… It's fair to say that we started impressed and pretty much remained that way… As a duo, these two really get on like a house on fire. The whole is distinctly more than the sum of the parts, in a way we don't always find with 'matching' components. For the modest asking price, these two provide a remarkably musical, but also analytical basis for a simple, high-quality system.” - Richard Black

    Source/Read full review: Hi-Fi Choice Magazine/Techradar, Jun 2009, The Dynamic Duo C326BEE and C545BEE


    “NAD's C326BEE amp is a real gem, but only for those with a budget system. There’s value here as surely as there ever was, but some upstart rivals have the measure of the NAD… In fact, it's the low frequencies that immediately impress. Playing Joy Division's She's Lost Control, the NAD generates solid weight and presence at the bottom end – in fact, this trait informs the C326BEE's entire sound, which is much more a boxer's heavy bag than his speed-ball. It has undoubted expertise in other areas – timing, in particular, is toe-tappingly expressive, there's fulminating dynamic potency on offer and it's especially revealing when given a well-recorded voice, with its fluid, organic midrange – but it's the scale and solidity of its bass reproduction that's the initial calling card. You're never unaware of what else the C326BEE has to offer, though – where agility is concerned, for example, the this amp's giving nothing away, and it's happy to adapt to pretty much any genre of music you might throw at it – massed choral works, for example, are particularly revealing, allowing the NAD to demonstrate its punch and articulacy simultaneously.”

    Source/Read full review: What Hi-Fi, Mar 2009, NAD C326BEE review

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    NAD C326BEE Stereo Integrated Amplifier

    NAD C326BEE Stereo Integrated Amplifier

    Performance vs. Value Champ

    The NAD C 320 series of amplifiers have always punched far above their modest weight. Combining the highest levels of audio engineering with an extensive feature list, and more than adequate power for all but the most ambitious systems, the C 326BEE keeps the concept of affordable hi-end alive and well.

    Local Warranty: 2 Years

    Write your review