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plastic penguin's picture
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Nad 326 BEE
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Could someone please clarify something, please. When this amp was reviewed and Group tested WHFI commented: Avoid partnering with high-end equipment. When it won the Group Test, in a later edition, WHFI said, keep speakers below £500 mark.


At what point do you say NO that won't bring the best from the Nad. And does this apply to just better speakers or CDP's or both?


Sorry if I sound pedantic, but I'm not sure at what line to cross or to avoid.

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Anonymous
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Re: Nad 326 BEE

Sorry to sound like a broken record but it's obvious to me from the warning about partnering with more high end equipment, that the NAD C352 is a much better choice (circa 200.00 second hand) if you are looking for a NAD amp to pair with more high end or even if you are not, it's surely a much better option and was raved about by practically every publication.

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Re: Nad 326 BEE

Every bit of electronics has its limitations, of course. The C326BEE is a fine pound-for-pound device, but when it gets out of its depth where partnering equipment is concerned it's all too apparent. That's why we consistently say that disproportionate spending on the rest of the system it's a part of would be a bit of a waste of money. 

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Re: Nad 326 BEE
Simon Lucas:That's why we consistently say that disproportionate spending on the rest of the system it's a part of would be a bit of a waste of money. 

 

Yes

Big Smile 

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Re: Nad 326 BEE
Simon Lucas:Every bit of electronics has its limitations, of course. The C326BEE is a fine pound-for-pound device, but when it gets out of its depth where partnering equipment is concerned it's all too apparent. That's why we consistently say that disproportionate spending on the rest of the system it's a part of would be a bit of a waste of money. 


Understood. My question is why in one sentance is High-end mentioned and the other, up to £500. Also I remember Mr. Duncan mentioning once that he heard a Rega played through 5-7K speakers which were a revlation.


So I'm just looking to clarify whether to avoid high-end or £500 equipment? I think the info is a little . . . .vague.


I'm trying assertain this info not for my benefit, but for others. This may be useful in their choices.

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Re: Nad 326 BEE

That is the thing about rules. They can be both a guide or a straightjacket.

The only current manufacturer of the classic LS3/5A told me during a phone conversation that he regularly suprises people by sucessfully demonstrating them with the aid of an old 40watt Denon budget level amp!

It does not mean they will not sound even better with a valve amp costing many times more. (His favourite is the no longer produced Rogers E40a amplifier.)

It just means that some imbalanced systems can sound good despite what the 'rules'/guidelines teach us.

The problem is that serendipitously great sounding (but theoretically mis-matched) systems are not easy to choose - by their very nature - but that is no good reason to reject such a combination if,  by some happy accident,  you come across one that you love.

In that situation you should just sit back and enjoy your luck and ignore the objections.

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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Re: Nad 326 BEE

As ketan told me: "hi-fi is grey area." I know when i recently tested my A65 with PMC DB1i's it sounded fabulous, with one exception: it was a tad reticent at the lowest frequencies.


As I get older it seems to be more and more cloudy. Stick out tongue

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Anonymous
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Re: Nad 326 BEE

I purchased this amp after all the positive reviews.  Keeping in mind what it costs (I spent less then $350 US) it sounds....pretty good.  However, it's no giant killer and yes when pair with "higher end" speakers, it does show it's limitation.  I find that the upper mids and highs are somwwhat compressed, brittle  and sounds somewhat confussed.  My old amp which was a good deal more expensive did not have this issue.  My suggestion would be to mate it with a failry efffecient, smooth, somewhat warm sounding well respected name in the $700 US or less price range.  However, is does sound better than a $350 amp has a right to.

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Re: Nad 326 BEE

NAD have a good long pedigree in producing equipment that punches well above its' weight. In my own experience, I think their older stuff has the edge on the newer kit. I've read less than stellar reviews of the 372 amp and the new 326 continues that trend.

My own 23 year old 3020A is back in service providing as it does and excellent match for my amp and speakers, ironically they sit at the level WHFS&V recommends as the cutoff for the 326! THe Missions were about £500-£600 or so and the Marantz CD player was around £600-£650.

There is a trade off to some degree. The NAD brings the soundstage in, so you are never in any doubt where the speakers are. The Marantz PM6010-KI it replaced (now residing unused upstairs and due for a quick clean and sale) has a much bigger soundstage, allowing the music to "roam" a little beyond the speakers. The downside is the overall tonality was too lean and a bit too honest as well. The NAD brings a very lifelike and substantial "body" to the music.

I picked up a 3CD boxset of Dylan's "Modern Times", "Love and Theft" and 1997's "Time Out of Mind" the other day (a Fopp £5 special, result!). The three sound superb, the first two especially - the production's pretty much spot on for my taste, but songs like "Summer Days" just swing and it's foot tapping stuff all the way.

Dylan hit paydirt with these three albums and I've been playing them to death since I bought the set. It's the first time in a year or two I've spent really just listening to the music and forgetting about the hifi that's doing the work. Pretty much the way it should be all in all, but's it not lost on me that it's a 1986 amp, based on a late 1970s design that's really enabled that to happen in this set-up. The source and speakers are good, no question. Great in fact, but it's only with the NAD that they've really started to shine.

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Re: Nad 326 BEE

Interesting speculations and experiences. As TAS  has just reviewed the 326 in www.avguide.com, it would seem that their experiences are different than some expressed here.


I had a C320BEE set up in my former partner's system, and found it quite capable of maintaining clarity in the upper mids. Given that the CD player was a lowly modified JVC XL Z-1050TN, although with Nordost Frey interconnects and Nordost Brahma power cords, perhaps that was why it seemed unconfused: I can't say. The percussion opening on Mercury Living Presence's Scythian Suite was not compressed as I recall, nor was it confused (although I can't say the same for my friend's electricity! He had very old wiring in there and I doubt it helped. I put in a Monster line conditioner, but I observed some irregularities in that, but for the cost, it made sense).


I've just purchased as C326BEE because I have a clear memory of what Bob's system sounded like when I replaced the NAD with an Arcam FMJ 22 integrated. The high frequencies were more extended, but less dynamic, and a bit "dry." The midbass weight was, in his system, and now in mine (I inherited it back from him), lacking in body. The NAD is clearly less "gray" sounding than the Arcam, and layers better, has more solid imaging, considerably better delicacy (heard in voices, and flutes, and other woodwinds) and flat out sounds more real. Of course, the Arcam was made back in 1999, so progress had been made by that time, but the Arcam, a $2100 model, has never, in my observations on Usher 718s, Hales Revelation 3s, Sound Dynamic RTS 3s (which are so grainless that they resemble Avalons in this respect), ever surpassed the NAD. Given the 718 (not the BE version) speakers are around $1500.00, it's disappointing enough that I bought a '326 because I wanted the fuller sound back. I've even plugged the ASL Hurricanes into the Arcam, which improved the sound enormously, but one would expect that for a $6k amplifier. I'll just have to see if the NAD trend continues to improve.


By the way, I found the 320 to have an unrefined high end (heard especially on bells, xylophones and other high frequency instruments). There would be some sense of the transient, but not the whole thing, and certainly minimal decay, so I won't be overly surprised if the 326 does the same. There is one major difference: the 320 had no  provisions on it for a power cord of another manufacturer. I can't help but wonder if the Shunyata Python CX I'm putting on it, with it plugged into an Audience Ar2p-Teflon version conditioner will show a giant improvement as the Audience Teflon version does on everything else. We'll have to see! Fingers crossed, ladies and gents!

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Re: Nad 326 BEE

Blimey, I'd forgotten all about this thread..... Surprise

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