When NAD’s gregarious Managing Director, Marty Borish, hired the company’s quiet genius of an audio engineer, Bjorn Erik Edvardsen, the NAD magic began to percolate. Soon this creative team saw a space in the market for a new category of affordable, high-quality electronics. Sure, there were high performing amplifiers, but they often came with a lot of extraneous features that bloated their cost. Edvardsen believed he could make an affordable amplifier that utilized state-of-the-art engineering by focusing solely on the essentials for good sound. Young people wanted in on this hi-fi experience too and affordability was an issue! This revolutionary concept became the ethos that would drive NAD to produce some of the most storied products of a generation.
Edvardsen began testing new ways to combine and configure transistors, wiring, and the like, to create the pair’s first amplifiers – prototypes that had yet to be identified as NAD products. These first units were a bit crude in their design and manufacture, but they sounded better than comparable amplifiers in their price range. Almost right away, these early prototypes captured the attention of audio enthusiasts, distributors, and critically, some investors, and paved the way for NAD.
Initially headquartered in London, UK, NAD’s growing team of engineers, led by Edvardsen, obsessively experimented and refined the electronic designs, seeking that eureka moment when they knew they had a winning design. This culminated in the ultimate reward for the engineers and the brand – the distinction of creating the best-selling hi-fi amplifier in history, the NAD 3020. This was a turning point for NAD; a point when both Edvardsen and the NAD brand developed a cult-like following that has remained loyal to NAD products and solutions ever since.
The success of the 3020 was followed by other successes and industry firsts. The 6100 cassette deck was the world’s first Dolby C player, which continued the brand’s performance and value mantra. The NAD 5200 became one of the world’s first early premium CD players. The M2 redefined the digital amplification category, smashing the preconceptions of many audiophiles that digital amplification couldn’t deliver high performance sound. These products were all underpinned by remarkable technologies developed by NAD’s labs, sometimes in collaboration with outside technology partners. Modular Design Construction, HybridDigital, DirectDigital, Enhanced Ambience Recover System (EARS), SoftClipping, among numerous other technologies, that through five decades, represented NAD’s research and development prowess.
Today, our development team is Canadian based. The team is led by one of Edvardsen’s closest associates and protégés carrying forward the legacy that Borish and Edvardsen began. Remarkably, Edvardsen still contributes strongly to NAD’s engineering and his passion for good sound burns as bright as ever. Unfortunately, Borish passed away in 2017, but he remained a bright eyed and wise advisor to the NAD team up until the time of his passing. A conversation with any one of our dedicated team members will tell you that like Borish and Edvardsen, we are driven by nothing more than a belief – a passionate belief that true-to-source sound should be accessible to everyone. The meticulous and persistent approach with which we pursue our goal means that NAD owners can take comfort in the knowledge that every product we build sounds significantly better than any before it. In fact, we won’t release a product that achieves anything less.
Many of NAD’s new technology innovations are first introduced in this flagship series. World-class fit and finish reflect the advanced design and features enclosed within. Often sounding better than the boutique brands that can cost much more than NAD, our advanced technology is often emulated by these same brands just a few years later. NAD’s Masters Series was created to prove that high fidelity audio, high technology, and high design shouldn’t cost a fortune.
Two new and advanced amplifier technologies have been featured in the Masters Series. One, DirectDigital™ is the world’s first closed loop digital amplification – essentially a computer controlled DAC that amplifies – that can compare its output to the input and make corrections every 10 nanoseconds. This not only reduces domain conversions in the signal path, it results in an incredibly pure and vivid sound quality. The other technology, HybridDigital™, masterfully blends the best of both analogue and digital technology to create a platform that outperforms traditional analogue components – even when the source is analogue.
Designed in collaboration with the award-winning industrial designer, David Farrage of DF-ID in New York, the Masters Series is the first high-fidelity product to feature a fully programmable front panel. All functional switches and readouts are software defined and can be updated and revised when new features and technology are added. These additions can be made in software and in hardware with NAD’s exclusive ‘future-proof’ Modular Design Construction chassis that allows for easy and affordable upgrades.
Comprised of some of our most celebrated models, our Classic Series products’ minimalist design makes them prone to being overlooked by some. But even seasoned audiophiles are often astonished by how good they sound – regardless of price. Evolved from the technologies that Edvardsen pioneered, today’s Classic Series products are an embodiment of the philosophy of accessible hi-fi that NAD became famous for. Everything required for great sound is included, but we leave off the superfluous features that add unnecessary cost and complexity—leaving only what matters most, the music.
Because we are aiming for a more affordable product category with our Classic Series, you might think we’d be tempted to revert to less advanced technology as most of our competitors do. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Edvardsen would convincingly argue that it is far more of an achievement to create great performance when the bill of materials is limited. NAD engineers are able to benefit from the advanced technology developed for Masters Series and find ways to use it more efficiently, or to simplify it without losing the advantage.
NAD’s early designs were inspired by the purely functional aspects of mil-spec electronic test gear but in a form factor built for the home. This simple ergonomic ethos has continued through the years with incremental refinement evident in every succeeding generation. NAD has always aspired to provide an upgrade path for its customers, first with the Building Block approach started in the 1970s and more recently with Modular Design Construction (MDC). We know that once you hear real high fidelity you will want to share our passion for perfection in sound.
As an expression of NAD’s desire to share our musical expertise in ever more affordable and easier to enjoy plug-and-play products, NAD VISO is unique and a fearless foray into new spaces. Born from decades of audio innovation, NAD VISO’s line of modern audio products are designed with the music lover in mind. The NAD VISO line consists of products from headphones to all-in-one music systems, offering the performance and styling to experience true-to-source audio – at home or on the go.
Our NAD VISO line borrows the acoustic competence of Paul Barton from our sister company, PSB Speakers, and brings our signature performance and value sensibilities to the world of personal audio. Built with trickle down technology from NAD’s flagship amplifiers and voiced in the world-renowned anechoic chambers of Canada’s National Research Centre, NAD VISO is held to the same high performance standards as NAD’s most legendary models.
Built on the BluOS™ wireless multi-room streaming platform, developed by sister brand Bluesound, custom integrators can now outfit a home with a wide array of audio products that communicate over a home network to stream internet radio, music services, and high-resolution music from local libraries to any and every room in the home. With an open API and deep integrations with popular home automation systems like Control4, Crestron, and RTI, among others, our CI Series is the ultimate choice for custom integrators looking for versatile and reliable distributed audio solutions.
Through advanced NAD technology that makes it easy for integrators to add dedicated music zones to existing home automation systems, our CI series will help you create the ultimate whole-home listening experience. From our unique amplifier and network audio technology, to the rich interface of the BluOS music management software, NAD CI brings over 40 years of audio expertise to the specialized world of custom integration and allows you to control your home entertainment with a touch of a smartphone, tablet or dedicated control panel.
These practical workhorse products use standard rack mount sizes to integrate easily with other types of products used in CI. Specialized features like thermostatically controlled fans air, rack mount adaptors, detachable power cords and Phoenix style speaker connectors make for easy installation and assure a lifetime of reliability even under severe operating conditions. Each design meets the requirements of custom integrators around the world, bringing them a whole-home audio solution that brings your music together with the most advanced smart home devices.
The most important part of innovation is keeping an open mind when new technology developments finally come of age. This is why several of the world’s major technology companies have worked closely with NAD to advance the state-of-the-art and bring new concepts to market. NAD has both the reputation and track record for great performance and affordable products. We take more time to do our research and development to seek out the most novel ways to tackle common technical challenges, and bring measureable sound quality improvements to our customers.
From start to finish, our decisions on which design, features, and components make it into a new product are based on whether they enhance true-to-source sound performance. If no appreciable improvement is there, we go back to the drawing board. We are so adamant in our philosophy that we have been known to delay the release of new products until we achieve what we believe is a winning formula.
Sound and music can evoke profound emotions and bring great enjoyment and enrichment to our lives. We strongly believe that these are fundamental human experiences that should be appreciated by and accessible to as many people as possible.
While there is nothing simple about our technologies, everything else about our products remains minimal, uncluttered, and intuitive. This gives our customers and us the ability to focus on what really matters – bringing to life the sounds and the music of our lives.
Marty Borish and distributors meet to discuss the future of NAD
Marty Borish, original founder of NAD,
NAD introduces world's first amplifier with FDP into 2 ohms
The NAD 3020 is launched, taking hi-fi music to a whole new level
NAD releases NAD 7020 Stereo Receiver
NAD introduces the world's first amplifier equipped with Bass EQ
NAD Introduces the first cassette deck with Dolby technology
NAD 2140 and 3140 both win AudioVideo's Grand Prix Awards
NAD launches their first-ever, high performance CD Player
NAD 6220 earns "Cassette Deck of The Year" from What Hi-Fi?
NAD receivers an avalanche of awards from hi-fi's top press
NAD releases NAD 502 CD Player with propietary technology
NAD 302 and 304 Integrated Amplifiers listed in Hi-Fi Choice
NAD 302 honoured with European Audio's top award
Once again, NAD 302 is named "Amplifier of the Year"
NAD introduces innovative EARS technology
NAD introduce series of AVRs for home theatre applications
NAD introduces their first, in-house developed learning remote, the HTRM
NAD Launches high performance, all-in-one DVD Receivers
NAD develops powerful five, six, and seven channel A/V Receivers
NAD introduces its new top-of-the-line, flagship Master Series
The "red" carpet release of NAD's VISO Series
NAD VISO FIVE brings home multiple pieces of hardware
NAD introduces Modular Design Construction (MDC)
The M2 Amplifier is introduced with Direct Digital Technology
The world's best sounding smart music system is unveiled
We’re looking to collect stories about how our customers got their hands on their first NAD product.
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