Behind the Design of the C 399 Hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier

NAD C399 amplifier on a table


The NAD C 399 amplifier brings a new level of musical and technical performance to the NAD Classic Series with technology descended from the venerable NAD Masters Series. Not only does the C 399 extend NAD’s long-standing reputation for amplifier excellence, but it comes at a price that belies its performance. In addition, the C 399 reaches new levels of flexibility and ease-of-use.

Below we will go into more detail as to how the C 399 is set apart from its competitors.

Connect Any Analogue or Digital Source

The C 399 can reproduce an analogue or digital source with precise sound staging and level of refinement that is atypical for a Classic Series amplifier.

The analogue section of the C 399 pre-amp allows for connection of two RCA line level analogue sources and dual subwoofer outputs. The MM phono stage features ultra-precise RIAA equalization, excellent sensitivity, and a generous overload margin. An innovative circuit suppresses infrasonic noise on LPs without compromising bass response.



On the digital front, the C 399 provides a full-fledged HDMI eARC input on an integrated amplifier, in addition to two coax and optical digital inputs. The HDMI eARC input makes it easy to connect your TV for superb sound, simplified with the ability to automatically switch itself on and select the HDMI input. Volume control is easily adjustable with a TV remote control (requires an HDMI eARC compatible TV).

Finding its way to the C 399 is the first ESS Sabre ES9028 DAC in NAD’s Classic Series, as well as a pre-amplifier output that facilitates the addition of a power amplifier, for example, bi-amping.


Sustained with Power

Another first for the Classic Series is the use of Hybrid Digital Hypex nCORE amplification technology, also trickled down from NAD’s Masters Series. This allows for 2 x 180W per channel continuous power and an excess of 250W per channel of instantaneous power within the very low rated distortion across the full frequency band.

Though power is an important indicator, an equally important yet overlooked performance factor is an amplifier’s capability to deal with varying impedances. Unlike most Class D designs, the C 399’s HybridDigital design can easily drive low impedances with lots of current and a completely linear frequency response regardless of impedance.

Sustain your home stereo systems with incredible power and enjoy the sonic qualities of the C 399’s refined, distortion-free sound even at very high listening levels coupled with thrilling dynamics, and stunning clarity.

Flexibility & Expandability

Since 2007, NAD has featured Modular Design Construction, or MDC for short, in many of its designs. MDC allows an amplifier to be upgraded with new features and possibilities, at time of purchase or later. The C 399 is the first NAD product to employ the latest version of MDC, the new MDC2 platform.


The launch of the C 399 coincides with the introduction of the MDC2 BluOS-D module, a perfect partner for it. MDC2 brings more possibilities, courtesy of its capability to channel local sources in and out of the module. The already available MDC2 module; the MDC2 BluOS-D; makes full use of this feature.

With the inclusion of the BluOS streaming platform, music can be streamed from no less than 20 different music services (Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Amazon Ultra, Qobuz and more), a local NAS or even a USB drive for up to 24bit/192kHz HD streaming. The module also supports Bluetooth aptX-HD (both send and receive) and Apple Airplay2.

New with the introduction of MDC2 is that local sources connected to the C 399 can be shared with other BluOS players in the same network around the house. As technologies continue to evolve at a quick pace, the MDC2 platform will give us more flexibility to adapt.

Dirac Live Room Correction

MDC2 allows the inclusion of Dirac Live, the renowned Room Correction system, to be included for the first time through MDC. The listening room itself often is the largest barrier to great music reproduction, yet often overlooked. With Dirac Live, measure your room’s acoustics using the supplied microphone and intuitive app to automatically create powerful filters that perfectly tailor playback to match the room’s acoustics.

Future Forward

With its commanding power, wide range of connectivity, superb amplifier technology and expansion capabilities, the C 399 becomes more than the sum of its parts, enabling a performance level unmatched at its price and even above.

Learn more about the C 399 HybridDigital DAC Amplifier


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