Proprietary PowerDrive Circuit, Tone Control Circuit, and Distortion-Canceling Circuit Let the NAD C 326BEE Integrated Amplifier Punch Above Its Weight Class: Save $99 on This 50Wpc Overachiever
Combining the highest levels of audio engineering with an extensive feature list, and more than adequate power for all but the most ambitious systems, the NAD C 326BEE integrated amplifier keeps the concept of affordable high-end alive and well. With the very high dynamic power and low impedance drive capability of NAD's proprietary PowerDrive circuit, the C 326BEE is able to accurately control even difficult to drive loudspeakers while sounding musical, detailed, coherent and relaxed.
C 326BEE boasts many upgrades and refinements taken directly from the highly acclaimed NAD Masters Series M3 amplifier. These include the Distortion Canceling Circuit in the output stage and BEE Clamp in the power supply. An improved tone control circuit and revised PCB layout has reduced distortion and noise to unprecedented levels. Taken together, these improvements mark a sharp upturn in performance that must be heard to be fully appreciated.
In addition, C 326BEE comes supplied with the NAD SR 8 system
remote control. The remote control features
an ergonomic form, with large buttons that are
differentiated by shape and position, to make
operation intuitive and enjoyable. The SR 8
will also operate many other NAD products
such as CD players, tuners, etc. Flexibility is
another NAD strong point. C 326BEE has
7 line inputs and the pre-amplifier section can
be separated from the power amplifier for easy
upgrades or adding ancillary equipment. Thus
the C 326BEE can be expanded to meet future
C 326BEE also sports a pre-amp output. Many
systems benefit from the use of multiple power
amplifiers for "Bi-Amping" (using separate
power amplifiers to drive the bass and treble
section of a loudspeaker). Additionally, there are two monophonic Subwoofer outs that can be connected to powered subwoofers - an increasingly popular option.
For remote on/off switching of ancillary components in a system, such
as power amplifiers or active speakers, C 326BEE is equipped with a
12V-trigger system. When switching the amplifier on, the 12V-trigger output is also activated which in turn can activate a 12V-trigger input switching on the remote devices. Besides the 12V-trigger, the C 326BEE also has rear panel IR ins and outs.
It is fashionable to omit tone controls nowadays: However, provided that the tone controls are properly designed, they can be really useful tools in making improvements to the overall sound. The C 326BEE tone controls only work at the frequency extremes leaving the critical mid-band essentially unaltered. The tone control circuits can be completely bypassed by using the Tone Defeat control button. The C 326BEE also incorporates NAD's acclaimed switchable "Soft Clipping" circuit, which significantly reduces the risk of damage to loudspeakers due to prolonged high power operation.
The C 326BEE also benefits from NAD's proprietary PowerDrive circuit topology. This allows the C 326BEE to deliver maximum performance under virtually any circumstance, independent of the loudspeakers it is driving. The circuitry automatically senses the impedance characteristics of the loudspeaker and will then adjust its power supply settings to best cope with that specific load. PowerDrive topology is a practical approach to enable an amplifier to easily deal with musical dynamics and difficult speaker loads.
The C 326BEE has the lowest levels of distortion and noise available in its price class and is easily capable of embarrassing far more expensive products. NAD uses Full Disclosure Power (FDP) - the most demanding criteria for performance measurement. FDP specifies distortion under the most extreme conditions of low impedance loads and frequency extremes rather than the simple and easy 1kHz @ 8 Ohms test quoted by many. This stricter performance criterion more closely matches the demands of real music and real loudspeakers. Maintaining specified distortion at 4 Ohms and at 20Hz and 20kHz is several orders of magnitude more difficult to achieve than the simple 8 Ohms and 1kHz test.
“You're never unaware of what else the C326BEE has to offer, though – where agility is concerned, for example, the this amp's giving nothing away, and it's happy to adapt to pretty much any genre of music you might throw at it – massed choral works, for example, are particularly revealing, allowing the NAD to demonstrate its punch and articulacy simultaneously.”
—What Hi-Fi?, four-star review
- 2 x 50W Continuous Power into 4 ohms and 8 ohms
- 100W, 150W, 200W IHF Dynamic power into 8, 4 and 2 ohms, respectively
- PowerDrive circuit
- NAD SR 8 Full System Remote control
- Headphone socket
- Front panel Media Player (MP) input for attaching portable MP3 Player
- Relay Input Switching
- Holmgren Toroidal Power transformer
- 7 Line inputs, including one tape in/out
- All discrete circuitry Short signal path from input to output
- All sockets Gold plated
- Tone controls defeat switch
- Main-amp input & pre-amp outputs
- Subwoofer (mono) Out
- Soft Clipping
- IR Input/Output
- 12 volt trigger out
- Detachable IEC Power Cable
- <1W Standby Power Consumption
- Free of lead and other environmentally dangerous substances