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surferpat's picture
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Is NAD c326 better than c356?

Im going to buy a nad amp and after alot reading many people seems to prefer the 326 instead of the bigger 356. I have heard the 326 at home and it sounded good. I also heard the 356 years ago and didnt like it with my setup. However I a/b tested them last week and didnt hear much difference than 356 had a bit more punch in the bass. Why do people say the nad 326 is more musical and a more spot on amp than the bigger one? Anyone with experience?

If the 356 was exact as good with just more power I would buy that amp but I will not spend more for something that sounds a bit worse.

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RE: Is NAD c326 better than c356?

i wonder the same thing

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RE: Is NAD c326 better than c356?

Anyone? Smile

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RE: Is NAD c326 better than c356?

Okay, as nobody could answer this, I will Smile

 

I bought the NAD 356 thinking it would sound the same as NAD 326 but more powerful.

When I plugged it in I couldnt believe what I heard... The sound stage was narrow, the sound was thin, very trebly and front footed. It was very hard on the ears also but the bass was there If you winded up the volume. The amp had power and guts and controlled the speakers well but the tonal presentation was so in your face It wasnt an enjoyable listen. Also there was alot sibilence, SS and TSS.

It sounded worse than my Marantz PM7004 that I wanted to exchange, thinner, harder and much narrower soundstage.

Now... since I heard the nad 326 some days ago at my home I found this very strange. Then the amp was much better and bassier than the Marantz. Was it just my ears?

I decided to exchage the amps today and didnt expect much, it sounded too strange to be true as I heard both amps before in the store with A/B testing.

Okay.. so I got home with my new NAD 326 and immediatly noticed that it feels different with the volume nobs and the blue lights where alot stronger, almost that its made in different factorys. It felt that it would sound different cause everything was different (the nad 356 had more quality to it though)

Plugged a new 326 in and WHOA!

Okay... the soundstage is ALOT wider. The sibilence is all gone, the bass is MONSTER. It has gone from front footed to back footed.

These are two totally different amps that feels and sounds like different brands.

 

While the NAD 356 is treble +5 bass -3 the NAD 326 is treble -3 bass +5.

No wonder why this amp is easier to listen to as people had said on different forums.

 

What worries me is that the differences are way to big to not feel that every thing is alright here.

Was my NAD 356 faulty? Why did they sound the same in the store using B&W 685 and a floorstanding DALI? (The NAD 356 then used the more expensive NAD CD player though)

Is my NAD 326 done in a cheaper factory with a chip that increases all bass and adds fake room information?

And why dont people speak more of this?

 

I borrowed this NAD 356 2 years ago and felt the same things about it with different speakers...

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/dynaudio-26-with-nad-c356bee-harsh

When heard it now It remembered me of that experience so the amp shouldnt be faulty.

 

The differences are not subtle...

My speakers are Monitor Audio BX2 and together with the new NAD 326 I almost got a home theater system now with 3D sounds and subwoofer sounds.

The NAD 356 didnt give me any 3D sounds, no sub. It gave me controlled speakers at very loud volume but just that...

 

 

 

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RE: Is NAD c326 better than c356?

It's funny that you didn't hear a difference in the store and a very substantial difference at home. Did you check whether the soft-clipping switch was either on or off?

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RE: Is NAD c326 better than c356?

I agree and yes, I have checked.

The difference between these amps or the versions of them I had is not substantial at all, its huge.

 

NAD 326 is the best amp I have tried, NAD 356 the worst.

And then I compare between these, Rotel RA-10 and Marantz PM-7004.

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RE: Is NAD c326 better than c356?

While I have read different opinions about the two amplifiers, you definitely are not alone in thinking that the C326BEE is the better amp, but there are not enough opinions to be found on this matter for me to draw general conclusions. 

 

Quote:
The sound stage was narrow, the sound was thin, very trebly and front footed. It was very hard on the ears also but the bass was there If you winded up the volume. The amp had power and guts and controlled the speakers well but the tonal presentation was so in your face It wasnt an enjoyable listen.

I have the C356BEE connected to a pair of DC6T's and my experience with my setup is nothing like what you just described. Strange indeed.

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RE: Is NAD c326 better than c356?

The NAD 356 is more collected and powerful, should be more suitable for bigger speakers that need real power but they didnt bring my BX2 alive in the same level as its smaller model.

 

I can though, gurantee u that the difference is big in tonal balance. This difference is all to big for me to just hear it wrong. Its a bigger difference than rotel-ra10 compared to marantz pm7004.

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RE: Is NAD c326 better than c356?

Yesterday evening I played a little bit with the bass and the treble, but in the end I realised that the tonal balance (in neutral) is perfect. 

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RE: Is NAD c326 better than c356?

Good!

I wouldnt really find the NAD 326 as neutral, its definately warm and on the bass side playing from its toes. Opposite as its bigger brother then that may be more neutral.

I also have to say that the NAD 356 has much better quality to it in looks. It has better quality knobs on the front, and all the blue lights on the front panel are even in strength(on the nad 326 the lights are much stronger and different from the stand by light). This makes me think that these two amps are created in different factorys with different components and could also explain how diffrent they also sound.

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RE: Is NAD c326 better than c356?

sound wise, how different NAD C326BEE to Rotel RA 10?

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