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ivavcr's picture
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NAD C326BEE vs D3020 vs D7050

Currently I own the C326BEE and I consider it a very fine amp for the money.

I am courious if changing to any of the other  two would improve the sound of my humble system. I am not concerned by the connectivity options offered (analog/digital vs digital only) because both amps would suit my other components in that regard. The power of both is more than sufficient given the size of my room.

I am leaning toward the D3020 smply because it is the half price of the D7050. If the sound quality is much in favour of the D7050, I could try to stretch my budget.

The question of all questions: Is the change worth considering?

NAD D3020, Bluesound Node 2,  Oppo DV 980H, Martin Logan LX16, NHT Super 8

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Why just stick to NAD?  I'd

Why just stick to NAD?  I'd suggest auditioning the Rega Brio-R, Arcam A19, and Creek Evolution 50A as alternatives.  With one of those you will definitely make a significant improvement.

Pioneer PL12D II / Audio Technica AT-95E / Rotel RCD-965BX / Pioneer A-400 / Dynaudio DM2/6

 

 

 

 

ivavcr's picture
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Thank you for your

Thank you for your suggestions Matthew!

Brio R  was the main competitor to my 326BEE two years ago. I simply could not justify paying almost double of what I paid for the NAD. In addition, Rega does not come with pre/out, so connecting the sub would have been tricky. On top of that I would have paid for a decent phono stage I would never use. Overall, British audio equipment is sold at a great premium here in Canada. Even when the Pound was much weaker it was very expensive. Both Arcam and Creek are out of my price range and again they come with a phono stage I do not need. I sold my turntable 21 years ago and never looked back.

Why NAD? Back in 1982 the original 3020 was my first decent sounding amp and I may still be a bit sentimental. It replaced a Sansui A60 and the improvement in SQ was stunning! I believe that NAD is still offering a great value for the money. I never could imagine that I would consider streaming as my main source of music. Well, 15 months after I made a switch, I can not think about going back to anything else. It is so easy and convenient and sounds really, really good! With all the connectivity options NAD comes as a serious contender.

 

NAD D3020, Bluesound Node 2,  Oppo DV 980H, Martin Logan LX16, NHT Super 8

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I would have thought form

I would have thought form factor and connectivity options would be the reason to change to either of your alternatives no? 

What else are you expecting?

ivavcr's picture
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I am hoping to improve the

I am hoping to improve the sound quality of my system (as stateted in my first post).

While auditioning my current speakers, they were initially powered by some Cambridge Audio amp and subsequently by some Primare class D amp at the same dealership.

I do not remember the model numbers of the amplifiers (none was a flagship model) and all other elements were the same including the room and recordings I was listening to. The SQ was so much better through the Primare and I am hoping to achieve that kind of a change.

 

NAD D3020, Bluesound Node 2,  Oppo DV 980H, Martin Logan LX16, NHT Super 8

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Apart from connectivity

The D series NADs won't sound any better than the C326. So unless you really need the digital connectivity and want a more compact box, there would be no justification in spending on one for sonic reasons alone.

 

Also in my opinion the other amps mentioned wouldn't be worthwhile either. As you've already realised they come with phono stages you don't need and less flexible connectivity than what you have now. Also on paper there is nothing to suggest a better performance.

If you really want the digital connections of the D series go for it, but I really wouldn't expect an improvement in sound. 

Have you considered adding a DAC to your system? 

Hi-Fi gear by: NAD, Pioneer, Arcam, Sony, Pro-Ject, JBL, Tannoy & Beyerdynamic.

Gadgets: LG Smart TV, iMac, iPad, iPods, iPhone, PS3, Pioneer Blu Ray.

Wiring: QED, Van Damme, Tandy, Amazon.

 

 

ivavcr's picture
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Thank you for your opinion

Thank you for your opinion MeanandGreen!

One of the attractions of the D series I forgot to mention is that both come with some sort of subwoofer management. My understanding is that you can set the exact cut off frequency on D7050 throgh their app and D3020 senses when the sub is connected and sends lower end of the spectrum to the sub only (I was unable to find the official proof of that). I believe that directing the low end to the sub would be beneficial for the main speakers and they would hopefully sound even better.

I have a mixed feelings about investing in a stand alone DAC. I can not hear any difference when I play/stream the same recording either through my Logitech or Teac or Oppo (Oppo might be slightly behind). I somehow believe that I would really need to make a sizeable investmen in a DAC to be able to hear some real difference.

Both D series amps received some stellar reviews......and it is hard to ignore them. I was hoping that someone may have a first hand experience with any of the two or even better, with all three.

NAD D3020, Bluesound Node 2,  Oppo DV 980H, Martin Logan LX16, NHT Super 8

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