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maxpain's picture
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nad d 3020 question...

Hello there people! I am very glad I have found a forum that I can ask a few questions about my first attempt to build a hi fi system! So,my source of music will be my desktop.My soundcard is an auzentech X-Meridian 2g using the analog output of the card. The speakers that I will propably use are the q acoustics concept 20. I have looked up plenty of amps like marantz,arcam and rotel,but the nad d 3020 have made a very nice impression on me because of its inovative tech and becaouse it is very beautiful for a desktop. But considering the fact that I dont really know a lot about ''digital hybrid'' amps I have some questions. I know that the d3020 has multiple digital inputs so I could connect it weth my pc threw usb or optical cable.I really dont want to waste the soundcards dac and analog feuters becaouse that is the reason I bought it on the first place.I know that the amp has an analog conection too but what I dont really know is that if that would be the best way to benefit from the amp.Does the ''digital amp'' means that it will converse the analog singal from my soundcard to digital again and then re-converse it to analog or the rca conection will by pass the dac of the amp as it does in all the other amps.And if I do that...will I be loosing all the sound quality benefits that the amp has to offer? Bottom line...is this amp a good choice for an analog conection or I sould be searching for something else instead? Thank you in advance for your help! Smile

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

Hi,

If you connect to the D3020 analogue input it does not run through the NAD dac, only digital inputs will be converted to analogue by the NADs dac.

You might find that the NAD dac is better than your soundcard, I'm not familiar with the soundcard so I don't know. You also have the option of using bluetooth with the NAD which might be useful sometimes.

Personally I run an external DAC into my NAD through the analogue input.I didn't need the NADs dac functionality but picked up the amp because of it's great reviews regarding sound quality ( which have proven to be accurate to me) and the biggest seller was the amps small size. It is practically portable it's so tidy. I just didn't have the self space for a full sized amp.

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

By the way, I originally used this amp with Concept 20s. In my opinion the sound quality from this combo was really good but for me was a bit too smooth sounding overall. The sound while very clear, detailed and full just wasn't exciting enough for my tatstes. Every genre of music I listened to kind of sounded the same, everything being given the same smoothing over.

I now have Dali Zensor 3 which are proving to be a far more exciting listen I find. Really work well with the NAD D3020. In other words it seems the amp will play on the strenghts of your speakers/ system rather than be the main influence. A great little amp indeed!

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

First of all thank you very much for your full and extened answer.It really helped! I was afraid that the combination of 2 ''smooth'' sounding devices will not be a good thing. I fully understand what you mean by exciting...Do you thing that maby a pair of b&w or focal's will make a better matching? I was thinking about the kef ls50 too but I think that they are even more smoother than the q acoustics. As for the dac on the soundcard,the manufacture (and some forums that I checked online mention that the dac ''AKM AK4396 120dB 192kHz 24-Bit Advanced Multi-Bit Stereo Delta Sigma DAC'' is a very hight quality dac.Maby I have to check out more combinations to end up in the right choice! Thank you again for your feedback!

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

Maxpain

I've been using the D3020 with LS50's for about 6 months now and really love the combination. I lot of people who have not heard the combo will tell you that the 50's need more power, but don't let that keep you from trying it yourself!  I keep thinking I'm going to get something new, but it's hard to beat the value/sound of this combo.

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

Thank you for your reply! I dont question the power handling of the nad...I think that for my space of hearing low volumes is the only level I would be listening.What makes me think it twice is that the ls50 are preety smooth and soft sounding...so combined with a very smooth amp will be a bit too much.From your experience...can this combo produce enough pucnh for music gernes like hard rock (acdc,led zeppelin,etc...)...you know...not just be smooth and detailed but also be alive and kicking...thank you for your oppinion on the matter!

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

You can also wait for the Monitor Audio Airstream A100 amp. It will be released this month.

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

I didnt know about that...I will defenately look into it.The are so many choices...but in my country we dont have lots of dealers to actually hear the combo...so in the end I would have to setle for something that I can hear with my own ears...

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

maxpain wrote:

What makes me think it twice is that the ls50 are preety smooth and soft sounding...so combined with a very smooth amp will be a bit too much.

I have auditioned the LS50 and I wouldn't describe them as smooth… With what equipment did you listen to them?

Arcam irDac • Arcam FMJ A19 • Arcam FMJ P38 • Kef R100

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

I think it was a roksan amp...but I am not sure becaouse the store had different speakers connected to different amps for you to change the combo...I didnt hear them for too long though becaouse at the time I was not even close to have the budget for such a speaker hehe...how would you describe the sound of the ls50? 

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

I don't think I would describe it as smooth either--at least not in my setup.  Revealing or transparent would be my description. 

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

My experience with the ls50 was very brief anyway...before I buy anything I will defenately odition then again with different amps.Do you guys think that a marantz pm6005 will be punchier and more ecxiting than the d 3020 combined with the atc scm 7 or the ls50 becaouse of its more power?

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

I found the LS50 to produce a very neutral but detailed sound, and a forward soundstage. Their sound actually changed a lot from one amplifier to another, so I'd recommend to find amplification that produces the sound you are looking for. I'd regard them as very revealing, and in this sense maybe they depend more on the amplifier than other speakers. 

Arcam irDac • Arcam FMJ A19 • Arcam FMJ P38 • Kef R100

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

Oh I see the point,the only problem is that in my country I dont have lots of live hearing options so I have to go with information and maby some luck too hehe. So thats why I am looking for an amp that will smooth (I like smooth) but not to the point that will smoothing everything up. Any suggestion will be welcomed...

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

Out of your comments about the size of the amp and the volume at which you can listen to music, do you have space constraints? Maybe it'd be good to consider speakers first, and then find a suitable amplifier. 

Arcam irDac • Arcam FMJ A19 • Arcam FMJ P38 • Kef R100

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RE: nad d 3020 question...

Yes,ufortunately I have very limited space. My hearing possition will be in front of my desktop.That means that I will be 1,5-2 meters away from the speakers and they will be very close to the wall.The distance between the speakers will be 2-2,5 meters. I dont want to go for active speakers becaouse next year I will be moving in a bigger place so I will have more space and I am hopping to an upgrade on the speakers or the amp,So I am looking for speakers not too large for them to fit on my desk or on stands behind it..and of course they have to be audible from that distance.Its really my first attempt to built a system so I dont really where to look at.I know that I like smoothness more than detail and that I want some bass with it. What do you think about the atc scm 7? I think they are preety combact and they do not need a sub..other choices could be focal 705 q acoustics 2020i or monitor audio radious 90?

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