NAD D 3020 unboxing
Forty years ago NAD introduced its iconic 3020 stereo amplifier, a reasonably priced stereo amp that sent its pricier competition running scared. Forty years later and it has launched the NAD D 3020, a small box of tricks when it comes to digital music that looks like no other stereo amplifier on the market.
It sits in the middle of a family of three new products from NAD and, just as its predecessor rewrote the rules for amplifiers of its generation, so the D 3020 is trying give things a bit of a shake-up, both in functionality and design.
It’s quite a different form factor to any other stereo amplifier you would have seen before. Depending on your space or preference, you can have it standing up or laying down – you get little rubber feet you can stick on the base, whichever way you prefer, to protect the casing.
As well as acting like any other stereo amp would to power your loudspeakers, it also has a few tricks up its sleeve. It has a built-in DAC for improving music played from your laptop, and it has aptX Bluetooth compatibility for streaming music from any mobile device. It can also act as a headphone amp thanks to the front-facing 3.5mm jack.
Inside it has a few differences from a traditional amp too, as it offers Class D amplification and a switch mode power supply – all of which enables it to squeeze much more into its small shell, and with less power output than traditional amps.
Connectivity-wise, you have the power supply, your traditional speaker inputs, two line ins – both RCA and a 3.5mm input for portable devices. Then you have a subwoofer output, coaxial and optical inputs and an asynchronous USB that supports up to 24-bit/96kHz high-def audio files.
There’s 30W of power per channel, something NAD says doesn’t sound much, but promises it will push your loudspeakers to satisfying levels. We’re looking forward to giving it a go.
Keep your eyes peeled for a full NAD D 3020 review very soon – until then, take a look at the video and let us know if you'd buy one in the comments section below.
By Verity Burns