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NAD C 375BEE Integrated Amplifier Does anybody had heard it?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

First please if the mods consider this thread out of place, please feel free to place it in the right place, I did not find any other section more related than this one...But please if you do, let me know where did you place it, so I could find it later, OK???

 

I'm looking into upgrading my Marantz PM7200, and this one came across my way, the NAD C375BEE, I saw also a couple of Yamaha in the Magnolia section of Best Buy but nothing to dream about, even while I may get a good deal, I'm not 100% convinced yet that is what will make me happy, it is not an eye candy amp...LOL..., so I'm open also to any other suggestions in the 1K mark (not above)

 

 

 

Features I'm interested in:

 

- Discrete Class A operation (not a must, but will be good to have it)

- Stereo (not multichannel, unfortunately I have no space for any other setup other than stereo, and will not pay for features I will not use)

- Pre-outs a must for sub-woofer use...

- Tones must defeatable or better none...

- 5 way binding posts on the speaker outs (not pins or any other crap)

 

 

Features I'm not interested, and prefer not to get:

 

- No vintage, has to be a recent production amp with support from the manufacturer  (and if possible extended service plans) what fail in the amps are usually the most stupid things...

- For that same reason absolutely no tubes (no time for hunting tubes)

- No separates, I prefer to have an integrated amp for practical reasons.

- No receivers (I have no time to listen radio, I have enough music already)

 

 

Hope I will find some guidance in this regard, and I know we have quite few very knowledgeable members here that can give me a hand on that...

 

Thanks for the help in any case...


Edited by Sovkiller - 5/23/10 at 7:15pm
post #2 of 26

I would stay away from NAD, Huge quality control issues and everything id breaking, If you want the best bang for buck IMHO its the Outlaw 2150 RR receiver. Its 100W class AB that has a sub out an am/FM radio and head amp and a good phono stage. It is 699.00 from Outlaw audio. I replaced a 10K front end and I can say its 80 percent as good. Look at the reviews on the Outlaw. It drives my Maggie MMG with an Outlaw sub and is super. Outlaw also has a no questions asked 30 day return policy. I dont think you will find to many class A intergrated amps. I do not listen to radio but its there. It has tone controls all defeatable and it puts out 189w continuos into 4ohms. It also has a ipod input and USB with a DAC which I have never tried. I will tell you you need to spend 2k to get better.


Edited by Frank I - 5/23/10 at 6:48pm
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

LOL...Sorry but I will not spend 2K, that is for sure, not even 1,5K, simply I do not have it for audio right now...

The Outlaw sounds interesting, but a few things I do not like, tunner that I do not need, Class AB, BTW the cosmetic design was unique, so unique that is hard to match it with anything else,

 

post #4 of 26

I have the predecessor, the NAD C372.  The C375BEE has a few added design enhancements.  If what you want is basically plenty of clean power at a very reasonable price, a C375BEE might be the ticket.

 

I believe the C375BEE has a class A pre-amp section.  High power class A amplification is usually not cheap due to the robust power supply and heat sinks required.

.

post #5 of 26

I really doubt you're going to find a truly class A amp, integrated or not, in the price range you seem to be looking in.  The closest I can think of are the low powered Monarchy Audio amps, but I have no idea if those are still in production or what Monarchy might be charging these days.  The heat sinks and metal work required to manage all that heat is just too expensive, before you even get into the power supply or the actual circuit.  And those Monarchy amps are not integrated.

 

I had one of those Marantz integrateds like you have in my system for a while - for the money they are pretty nice.  I'm really not sure any of the integrateds out there for under $1k would be much of an upgrade.  If I was you, I'd just stick with the Marantz (what was it you don't like about it again?).  I've had NAD integrateds, and they are another solid value choice - but an upgrade?  I'm not so sure.  I ended up not buying the Marantz I was auditioning and spent a bunch more $ on a Portal Audio Pananche integrated.  I suspect you'll have to also spend a lot more to get a better result!

 

You don't want to consider a receiver (which is of course just an integrated with a built in tuner), but you currently have an integrated with a built in phone stage, tape loop and tone controls.  Do you use those?  If the Outlaw is the best choice for the money, then just ignore the tuner!

 

BTW, you can audition equipment in your system for a relatively low cost.  Music Direct, Elusive Disc, Audio Advisor and others offer a 30 day no questions return policy.  If you end up not buying the product and returning it, your only cost is shipping and the carrying cost on your credit card while you audition it.  Most of those online outfits have NAD and Marantz as well as other brands.  I'd rather listen to it in my system than trust some people I don't know on the internet!

 

Oh, and BTW, it's pretty tough to recommend an amp without knowing more about your system and preferences.  What kind of speakers?  efficient?  what impedence?  How big is the room and how loud do you like to listen?  Do you use the tape loop, a HT bypass, or a vinyl system?  Would you need a built in phono stage?  Do you need a built in headphone jack?

 

JB

 

post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

I have a pair of modest Axioms M80, that for the money they sound pretty nice, they are 4ohms, and i od not need too much power, actually the Marantz is 25 watts in class A, of course to find an 100Watts class A is dificult but I do not need that power anyway...I od not use phono stage or tones but they were there, and the Marantz was 359.00 (considering that is a class A amp, not bad)

What I do not like about Marantz, no pre-out, and I would like to have a little more spare power just in case...

I do not like the external look of the Outlaw neither, it looks odd, not bad if you have the rest of the matching gear, but I do not, if they were just a plain black amp, I would get it, that is of course the least of the problems, but one of them... 

 

Ik now that there are not too many choises that is why I'm asking here, to see if anybody knows of any other brand or amp...BTW according ot the manual the NAD is class A both, amp and pre


Edited by Sovkiller - 5/24/10 at 4:28am
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sovkiller View Post

LOL...Sorry but I will not spend 2K, that is for sure, not even 1,5K, simply I do not have it for audio right now...

The Outlaw sounds interesting, but a few things I do not like, tunner that I do not need, Class AB, BTW the cosmetic design was unique, so unique that is hard to match it with anything else,

 


I don use the tuner and really dont care it's there. It is high end and a great price. In MichaeL Fremer review he said it was a bargain at twice it's price/ It is very powerful detailed and will be a collectors piece when discontinued. Its an amazing amp for the price. I had the Onkyo 9555 and the Nad 315 all in house. and they were not in the same league. The Marantz models in that price range will not compete. The only class A out there are all much more money. I can play the Outlaw with volume all the way up and I couldn't clip the amp. John Atkinson in his measurements in Stereophile couldn't blow fuses at 310W where it maxxed out. 

post #8 of 26

Just as an FYI, the Outlaw 2150 that Frank refers to is on sale for $549 thru 05/31.  If I was in the market for a receiver or IA, I'd be tempted to jump on that.

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sovkiller View Post

 actually the Marantz is 25 watts in class A, of course to find an 100Watts class A is dificult but I do not need that power anyway..


Like I said, I had that Marantz in my system for a month.  I know they claimed it could be switched to run class A up to 25 watts but I never believed that.  The heat sinking just didn't seem to be there to dissipate that much heat, and it didn't run hot enough (My 50wpc Threshold T-100 that I had in the late 90's/early 2000's was a 50wpc Class A design that was much much heavier and had giant heat sinks - despite that, it ran very very hot).   The Marantz just never got hot enough to be dissipating that kind of power draw from the wall, particularly when you consider the smallish internal heat sinking.  Maybe they had some clever design and really did run in Class A without the heat and power draw penalty but it seemed very unlikely.  I also couldn't hear the difference when I moved the switch between Class A and Class A/B.  Despite my carping over this feature, I actually liked the Marantz in my system a lot, and almost bought it.

 

FWIW, a true class A design will run at 25% efficiency at best - and most of the time will be worse than that.  The rest of the power drawn from the wall becomes wasted as heat.  Class B designs can be close to 80% efficient but don't sound so good - the distortion is easily measurable.  Class A/B amplifiers are a compromise - Class A for some small power rating, then class B the rest of the time.  These are often 50%+ efficient - which is why they don't need the elaborate heat sinking.

 

The NAD is not a Class A design.  They claim a Class A voltage stage for the preamp and amp stages, which is part of it but not the entire ball of wax.  Most if not all preamps run in Class A, FWIW.  At the power levels they run, it's not much of a penalty and the relatively small signals preamps deal with are arguably more sensitive to distortion.  The final power amplification stages are not claimed to be Class A in this NAD - that's the last stage that creates the power to actually drive your speakers.  All they are claiming is that the small signal gain stages are Class A - which is not at all unusual.  Once again, there's no way it has the heat sinking to be a true 150 wpc Class A amplifier.

 

Seriously - I think you could save yourself some angst by not focusing so much on whether it's Class A and instead actually listening to these amps in your system with your speakers.  Then you can make up your mind if the features and sound quality are worth spending the money.  The online retailers will let you do exactly that for effectively the carrying cost of one month's interest on the purchase price.

 

JB


Edited by jonathanb715 - 5/24/10 at 11:42am
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 

I have the service manual of the Marantz with all schematics and design parameters, and if I'm not mistaken, we discussed that some time ago with a couple of friends that were professionals of the field, and it works in class A while selected, and it gets really hot in class A, to the point that you can barely touch the case....I have heard a few good amps that are class AB and sound as good as class A, the best bet is on vintage audio, Sansui, Pioneers, Marantz, from the 70's, but I do not want to go to an old electronic device that will be more prone to break that gimme me enjoyment for long years....any way if I go with tubes, it will be far worst in energy and parameters...

 

BTW do not understimate Class A in efficiency, it is true that is the worst of all three, but AB gives you about one third per channel of the toal power, in other words a 100 Watts power consumption amp, will give you roughly around 35W RMS per channel... 

post #11 of 26

LOL - you are kidding about the efficiency of a Class A amp, right?  Class A's biggest inefficiencies are at low levels, where the output devices are biased with at least enough juice to develop half rated power - and if it's not developing half power at the speaker terminals, then any extra becomes heat.  Class AB usually only biases the output devices to stay in Class A for a handful of watts, so they are much more efficient at low power outputs.

 

As for how hot your PM7200 gets in Class A, mine didn't so maybe the switch wasn't working as designed in the one I used.  It got warmer, but hardly hot (not like the Threshold I'd had).  Which of course brings up the possibility that mine would have sounded better if it did run in Class A.  We'll never know.

 

Forgetting all the back and forth on Class A for a second, I still think you'd be well served by auditioning amps in your system vs. the Marantz.  The only thing the Marantz is missing from your description are the preamp outs and maybe some additional headroom (ok - and the bling).  You don't seem to have any complaints about the sound quality.  If you do the auditions then you can make up your mind if the features and sound quality justify replacing the Marantz.

 

As for a list of amps to consider for a reasonable price, I'd just put up the usual suspects - NAD, Cambridge, Arcam.  You'll have to do the research to figure out which ones have the features you want.  I'd also suggest looking at Emotiva Audio.  No integrateds - but the pre and budget amp combo might meet your needs and fit your budget.

 

JB

post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 

I'm not saying that class A is efficient, just that Class AB is not the last word in amplification efficiency neither, also all comes at a price, sound quality...I'm trying to work the best deal on the NAD let's see, unless I find something better...

post #13 of 26

Go over to Audio Asylum and post the same post. Also do a search on what is going on with NAD quality issues. Most of all their gear is up for factory manufactured units. The NAD is class A/B Musical Fidelity A1 is class A and is selling for 1K. Monarchy doesn't make any intergrated amps all separates but class A. Just trying to save you some grief with the NAD. I owned a 3140 NAD that lasted me 20 years. But since NAD was sold not same anymore.

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 

I received an email from the dealer, he carries other brands, Arcam, Cambridge, Krell, Music Hall, etc...a very long list, according to them this NAD is the best amp they have in the price range, and of course he could sell me any other, he has no particular interest in selling me an amp that will give them troubles...

 

I'm not saying that the NAD is the best amp out there, just that I have not found any other in the price range that I like better, at least looking at the amp and specs, not much, and at the end the listening is what will make me decide, but this is getting harder, as there is not too many options around to choose from.  

post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 

Frank how about the Cambridge 740A, it looks very attractive, simplist design, very clean, but not sure neither how good those tend to be, or how they will sound??? It is not Class A for sure...

 

Contacted them and it will not drive 4ohms safely, at least they "will not guarantee a safe operation", so one down. Two to go...


Edited by Sovkiller - 5/25/10 at 4:25am
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