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User Review: C 390DD Direct Digital Powered DAC Amplifier - Fabulous equipment, flexible - beautiful sound

April 6, 2012

Products: C 390DD Direct Digital Powered DAC Amplifier

Fantastic product! I have now heard this amplifier with a variety of speakers and decided to combine it with the Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor M. This amplifier deserves some serious transparent speakers that are the equal of its fantastic resolution. Irrespective of speakers though, the NAD c390dd is unequaled in creating a fabulously clear sound stage. Very crisp sound, without any undesired characterization. Still, it does not make sounds harsh or unpleasant. I directly compared the NAD to a Lavardin and to various tube amplifiers. Tubes sounded truly fuzzy in comparison. The Lavardin is beautiful but I found the NAD to be in the same class honestly, which surprised me positively. Despite its humble appearance, this amplifier packs real ability to power big speakers and to really fill a big room with sound. I also commend NAD for making this a product which is a breeze to install and use. Very straightforward setup, I got it up and running in one go in 5 min, all products should be this easy. Also, the NAD packs a multitude of possibilities to connect a whole lot of equipment, sources, PCs, TVs etc. Beautifully depicts CDs I ripped and run through my Sonos, I heard all kinds of bits and pieces of my music I never heard before. Also, I am particularly in love with the HDMI options which allowed me to hook up my DVD and TV. It may not be the most audiophile of options, but it is quite handy! It makes my HD TV package worth its while - feeding digital audio directly from the TV set-top box to this amplifier makes for a much clearer and much better quality sound than the in-built amplifier in a TV. It is good enough to hear the difference between bad and good quality recording in TV studios I am looking forward also to some of the updates that NAD will come up with given the fact that the interface is programmable and I still have a slot left for a modular upgrade. I would be grateful for any product which would eliminate the remote control, e.g., so that I can operate the volume control through my ipad in the Sonos application. This way, I could also fully hide the amplifier in a closet somewhere which I think would be great. As an engineer, I also love the beautifully executed Power-DAC concept. Beautifully engineered, made with a love for technology. All in all, I am very enthusiastic about my switch to digital - great value for money. I recommend the NAD amplifier to any true lover of sound and music!

Paul - Amsterdam

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