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NAD C 316BEE or Cambridge Audio 550A (+$50)?

Poll Results: NAD C 316BEE or Cambridge Audio 550A (+$50) for Monitor Audio BX2?

  • 71% (5)
    NAD C 316BEE
  • 28% (2)
    Cambridge Audio 550A
7 Total Votes  
post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 



I have a dilemma, I don't know what amplifier to chose between these two, and I would like to ask you guys first what do you think!




Which is a better match for these speakers (Monitor Audio BX2)? (I don't know how these speakers are sounding ..bright, bassy, etc, but I have a good deal on them.)

Obviously you can recommend any other speakers if you want..but I think I am settled on these. (Price+Looks+ that review on them at whathifi.com)


If you haven't heard these speakers you can help me by sharing your impressions on these amps based on other systems.


The source is a Logitech Duet

Cables are some BlueJeans cables (Canare 4s11 or the Belden 10awg)


So the question is...NAD C 316BEE or Cambridge Audio 550A (+$50) for Monitor Audio BX2?

Nad is $50 (USD) cheaper.

Of course if you want you can recommend me another amplifier, I will take your words into account, but these two are preffered because of the low budget and the nice deal on them. regular_smile%20.gif 



Thank you in advance!




Edited by UtzY - 1/11/11 at 9:40am
post #2 of 8

BX2 are slightly on the warmer side as it is, I'd expect the Cambridge to pair a little better than the NAD. Also you get a bit more power with the 550A. To me 40WPC is quite low and future upgrades of speakers might be a bit bottlenecked by that. But they are both fine amps and the BX2 being quite sensitive will do quite well on either, just feel the 550 might do a better job here.


Personally though, I'd look at the Onkyo 9555 or the new Yamaha Integrateds. The 9555 is well respected and has much better specs and performance at the price range and the new yamaha's have been getting some good reviews.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your help, jilgiljongiljing ...just as you said I was leaning towards CA550A (RMS), but I was afraid that Monitor Audio BX2 are bright. And because of NAD's marketing I admit redface.gif I thought that somehow, magically C316BEE has more dynamic power! 



"Continuous power is a conservative 40 watts and dynamic power, which is more important for music listening, is remarkably more than 100 watts! Far more usable power on tap than other amps at this price point." NAD

I can't find Onkyo 9555 in my country and the new Yamaha A-S500 is something like double the price of the CA 550A. (The Yamaha AX-497 it is price-comparable though..what do you think about this amp?)
If Cambridge 550A has more dynamic power, sounds a little brighter, and the Monitor Audio BX2 are a little on the warm side, than I think it's a clearer, at least over the 316BEE normal_smile%20.gif

Thanks again for your help, and I am waiting some other members to post their opinion.




Edited by UtzY - 1/11/11 at 11:34am
post #4 of 8

Marketting talk...Power is power. While all of them do not rate their amps accurately or using the same technique, in the end though the rated power is a determining factor in what you can expect from the amp. Agreed, a 40WPC amp from NAD probably has more usable power compared to a not so good 40WPC amplifier, but I'd say the rated power gives you a better idea on expectations.


I was talking about the newer Yamaha amp that you had mentioned not the 497, which isnt all that great IMO. If thats too pricey in your area then I guess sticking to the 550 makes sense. I'd expec the 550A to pair well with the BX2.

post #5 of 8

Not to confuse the issue but I believe, in the case of NAD, their marketing is backed up by their performance.  I had their 55 watt/channel receiver some years ago and it was excellent.  I now have a Yamaha 100 watt/channel and, to my ears anyway, the NAD was the superior product.  Not many flashing lights and glitz but truly amazing sound quality.


I ordered the 316BEE as an alternative to a headphone amp and believe it will be a winner.


Good luck with whatever you decide.

post #6 of 8

either is fine. my frend uses the 540 with the MA RS1 and it's borderline too bright. depends what you listen to usually.


my vote goes for nad since it's on the warmer side

post #7 of 8

I voted for the nad. however, if you can stretch the budget I'd go for the C326BEE.

post #8 of 8

Well, I wouldn't trust What HiFi too much myself as they seem to give everything at least four stars.  I mean, out of stereo speakers they've rated, 85% of those they've reviewed are at four or five stars... over half of that 85% is a "perfect" five stars.  Anything that claims audible differences (good or bad) when biwiring is IMO suspect as well.


I know mid-priced speakers are good these days, but there ought to be more distinction than that...  They're needlessly compressing the scale.


Anyway, regarding amplifiers - especially entry level low powered integrated amps - buying new just seems like a waste to me.  Whether you're in the US or the UK, you can find NAD integrated amps (and others) on the used market all over the place for under $100.  Amps are reliable too, especially those from the '80s on - and there certainly haven't been groundbreaking improvements in amplifier sound either.  I'd bet most of the differences are in cost of manufacture.

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