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User Review: C 352 Stereo Integrated Amplifier, C 521BEE CD Player - Power, detail and sound stage

August 30, 2007

Products: C 352 Stereo Integrated Amplifier, C 521BEE CD Player

Being afraid that the NAD C325BEE wouldn't be able to fulfill the very demanding old KEF 104ab, I decided to go for NAD C352. I must admit that after connecting the amp, paired with the NAD CD521BEE, I was a bit disappointed. It seemed that the mid range was overpowered (not extremely, but a bit overpowered). After couple of days things started to change. That mid range calmed down and took it's exact place in the sound picture where it should be. Now I hear that all the frequencies are divided and in the right place. I don't know if the story of amps that need "playing in" time is true, but for me it worked. We all have to understand that many factors should be taken care of when we decide to review a product, such as: what speakers do we use when picking an amp, what kind of music do we prefer, what kind of equipment we had before (especially if that equipment was used for a longer period of time) etc. Naturally we must know that the strongest factor is the subjective opinion. But to get back to the product itself. If you look at the power supply cable, you'll see that it is more serious than in most other products in this range. The input selector wasn't created on the switcher basis, which doesn't allow the dust to get in over the years. I must admit that the volume, bass, treble and balance knobs are not exactly the state of the art. They all look cheap and fragile. About the power of this particular model, I don't think that I have to waist too many words. 2x80W combined with signal to noise ratio >100dB, speaks for itself. The precision and detail of the sound is outstanding. You must hear it to believe it. Channel separation is very obvious. The bass is deep, clean and concrete. The mid range is not "drown" in the bass border line. It stands out in the way that it actually separates the low and high range by it's very existence. The high range is very well accented and nicely placed in the sound picture. Naturally, you can find better amps today, but the question is will those amps, costing ten times this one play ten times better? I think not. We all have to draw the line somewhere. The conclusion is that this amp was not the product of the year for nothing.

Nebojsa Nikolic - Belgrade

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