New from NAD is this hybrid product, the C 390DD direct digital DAC (digital-to-analogue ocnverter) and stereo amplifier. It's just gone on sale in the UK for £2200.
For that you get 150W per channel digital amplification, 35-bit architecture and a precision 108 MHz master clock. The NAD C 390DD has no analogue stages in the signal path, keeping the music in the digital domain right up to the speaker outputs.
Connectivity is comprehensive, with eight inputs (expandable to 14 via optional modules) including five SPDIF digital inputs and a 24-bit/96kHz compatible USB socket.
Options include the DD HDMI-1 module with three HDMI inputs giving video passthrough, and the DD AP-1 offering both balanced and single-ended analogue line inputs along with an MM/MC phono stage.
"The NAD C 390DD is not only a new concept in amplification, but also in audio system architecture," says Greg Stidsen, NAD Director of Technology and Product Planning.
"The popularity of music downloads – especially high-resolution 24/96 audio files – has many audiophiles rethinking their traditional system architecture with CD players being replaced by computers and network attached storage devices.
"The C 390DD offers plug-and-play convenience to this new world of computer audio while offering a significant performance advantage due to the short signal path and high speed operation that is unique to this design."
Additional features include tone controls, a DSP-based crossover for adding a subwoofer or bi-amplification, and a Room EQ mode for fine-tuning the bass response of speakers.
A RS-232 port, IR inputs/outputs and 12V triggers are part of the spec too, to make integration with home systems simple.