Found Gold - NAD 320BEE integrated Amplifier

Wharfedale Linton Heritage Speakers

amrutmhatre90

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Around 6-8 months back my friend had come home and liked my HT setup. He casually told his uncle has a old amplifier which he is not using and you can take it, I told him to share pictures.
Thought of taking it and keeping at my farmhouse and get some super cheap used speakers to pair with it.
Last week he sent me the pictures, and it was a NAD 320BEE!! I checked on the Internet and researched a bit, called him and asked is his uncle really giving it away and he said yes, I told him I am collecting it this week.

NAD 320BEE has Pre Outs and Trigger inputs and Outputs. Can be used as Pre Amp or an integrated amplifier. These are the specs.

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Got it home this week, I did not know will it work or not as it was lying unused. Opened it, vaccumed, cleaned whatever I could, heck I even polished it to look good. End result was satisfying, now was the main test! Will it work?

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Did not want to use it on my new speakers, was skeptical so removed the puny miccas from height channels and tested.
First thing after turning it on, no lights for the inputs. I thought all of my happiness is gone, read online and found you need to select the input everytime you power it on. Voala, it started playing through aux and Activo CT10. Tested bass treble balance, even the tone defeat button worked.
Now wanted to test the pre outs, it was connected to the crowns and Q Accoustics 3050i. Wow, it sounded very good, slightly warm, highs are not sparkly but has a good signature to it. I thought the NAD and Crown combination would be bad. But sounded very nice.

Using as pre amp now, connected to Crown XLS.
Now Denon, NAD & Tube pre Amp all connected to Crown XLS via switch box.

Few questions, I have from FMs.
1) What does Mains Out do? It is next to pre outs.
2) Would I be able to get spare parts, was thinking to replace as much parts I can. And where can I get them in Mumbai?
3) Should I keep it or send it to my farmhouse?
4) I hear slight noise which is creeping in on the NAD only when no inputs are connected, as soon as I connect to the Activo C10 noise disappears, why could it be? How to remove it.
 

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chander

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Congratulations - I had this amp for around 3/4 months before shifting to the Sansui AU 217 MKII.

Here you go have fun! check out page 5 - point#9. It is to connect your AV or PA, HT bypass and Pre-Out.
 

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amrutmhatre90

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Nice. Did you try out the NAD by itself with the QA. How does that sound ?

Not yet, cable management is a task for me. Will be routing separate speaker cables just for NAD.

One thing for sure, the holographic imaging what I got from the tubes pre amp is missing.
NAD as a pre amp sounds softer be it the lows or highs, can increase the volume and not have trouble listening for longer sessions, which I was not able to on the Tube Pre amps, it required playing with tone controls.

Read online is the Pre amp section is not as good as the Amplifier one. But I am happy so far with the results.

I could try if there is anything I could do to make NAD better. But now more listening to do :p
 

MaSh

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Congratulations. That's a great amp to have if it's in good condition. With nad the advantage is that you could use it as just a preamp or just as a power amp with another preamp. So you can really fine tune it to your taste.

MaSh
 

amrutmhatre90

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Congratulations. That's a great amp to have if it's in good condition. With nad the advantage is that you could use it as just a preamp or just as a power amp with another preamp. So you can really fine tune it to your taste.

MaSh

Yeah, I was looking for such versatility. Its in decent condition, everything works.
Only integrated amplifier I could think was Audiolab 6000a which could do all this.
Wanted a pre amp, but most cost a lot. Saved a lot of money, was thinking to bite the bullet on 6000a.
 

Rud31

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You Sir have given me an idea. I, too, have a NAD 316 lying in storage. In my current setup, there was no Preamp. I was feeding signal from my CA DACMagic Plus directly to my Crown Amps. Will now try putting in the NAD amp as Preamp in the chain and keep DAC in "DAC mode". The immediate advantage I see with this is Analog volume control and that too remote enabled as DACMagic has neither of the 2. On the other hand, I will lose out on the balanced aspect of my setup but honestly, I have found the RCA based chain in my setup more "musical".
 

Rud31

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Mine too. I got my pre-owned NAD 316 in 2019, when I started my HiFi journey. I too paired it with a pair of Wharfedale Obsidian satellites, courtesy of @blackscorpio . Ooh the warmth it delivered has set my taste in music for (y)ears to come, pun intended.
 

chander

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The power section is indeed very good, though it says 50W odd, the tap never runs out, not sure what they put in there. I had them hooked to a Tannoy rated 35-150W or something in a huge drawing room of one of the rented houses. I could have friends over, all of them chattering about, but we could listen to the music thumping across the room in a balcony.
 

Rud31

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Yup, earlier I used to draw a parallel line from the amp's PreOuts to feed a Crown XLS 2502, running 2 12inch subs. Even at half tilt of the knob, the L-R channels could over power the monstrous subs, partly due to the high frequency perception thing and partly due to the fact that the amp could really drive the speakers. I had mated a few of my DIY speakers to some Chi Fi amps, looking at you SMSL AD-18, which were rated higher than NAD 316 on paper in terms of power output, but it was NAD that really made the drivers bump.
 

Rud31

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A quick query though, if the NAD amp is used as PreAmp, will it's power amp section still draw power and work as room heater?
 

chander

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A quick query though, if the NAD amp is used as PreAmp, will it's power amp section still draw power and work as room heater?
I am not the right person for this query - but from experience I can say - it won't work as a heater even if some power is being drawn to the circuit it will be minuscule, perhaps only for the class A bias if at all. You do not need to worry about the heat part.
 

amrutmhatre90

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You Sir have given me an idea. I, too, have a NAD 316 lying in storage. In my current setup, there was no Preamp.
Does NAD 316 have pre outs? I googled but did not see them. As for the heat, it doesn't heat at all if running as a pre amp.

@ssf @chander I did try running the NAD as integrated alone, after getting hold of old wires, but to my surprise super low volume which is barely audible even at full volume on NAD and Activo CT10.
Thought the power amp section is kaput, tried the main out, connected the tube pre amp and it worked properly, tube sound. The Volume is controlled by Tube Pre amp and not NAD.

I guess the voltage Activo CT10 outputing is very less. Though I tried selecting it to 2V.

CT10 > Nad > Q acoustics = no audible sound
CT10 > Tube Pre Amp > Nad > Q acoustics = sound.
 

ssf

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Does NAD 316 have pre outs? I googled but did not see them. As for the heat, it doesn't heat at all if running as a pre amp.

@ssf @chander I did try running the NAD as integrated alone, after getting hold of old wires, but to my surprise super low volume which is barely audible even at full volume on NAD and Activo CT10.
Thought the power amp section is kaput, tried the main out, connected the tube pre amp and it worked properly, tube sound. The Volume is controlled by Tube Pre amp and not NAD.

I guess the voltage Activo CT10 outputing is very less. Though I tried selecting it to 2V.

CT10 > Nad > Q acoustics = no audible sound
CT10 > Tube Pre Amp > Nad > Q acoustics = sound.
Why not connect the NAD to another source and try ? CD / DVD / TV etc. Any setting that is keeping it as a pre.

What are the two pins connecting pre-out to mains-in. Where they connected when you used it as an integrated amp ? 9 & 10 in the manual.
 
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amrutmhatre90

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Why not connect the NAD to another source and try ? CD / DVD / TV etc. Any setting that is keeping it as a pre.

What are the two pins connecting pre-out to mains-in. Where they connected when you used it as an integrated amp ?

Yes damn those pins :p, I did not connect them while using as an IA. Connected and voala evrything started working.
TV does not have RCAs or 3.5mm Jack's, tried prior with laptop too. Thanks to you got the solution. Mechanical switches :rolleyes:

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@amrutmhatre90 Sorry for the mix up, looks like mine is C320

Yours is in a very good condition o_O
Let us know how does it sound using as a pre amp alone.
 

premoddev

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Got one C320BEE for a few days from a friend to try it out.. Playing from the last few hours now.. I am now loving it more than my Yamaha... liking the laid back sound rather than the aggressive tone of Yamaha.
 

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amrutmhatre90

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I heard few songs which are my usual test songs on the NAD using all 3 methods: Pre amp, Power amp and Integrated amp. Following are my observations.

1) Pre Amp: Chain = Activo CT10 > NAD > Crown XLS > Q acoustics
This is the best setup for me, Crowns have power on tap and the pre amp stage from NAD is great. They sound warm, soft, smooth and yet powerful, the dynamics are just spot on. This is the way I will be listening to the NAD.

2) Power Amp: Chain = Activo CT10 > Tube Pre amp > NAD > Q acoustics
Holographic tube sound, highs are crystal like sparkly. Cannot listen on high volume, feel harshness. I like to listen to soft music on such systems which make late night sessions a bliss.

3) Integrated Amplifier: Chain = Activo CT10 > NAD > Q acoustics
First thing is to make sure the pre out and main out connectors are connected by a strip. The sound was more or less like the 1st chain warm and smooth but lacked the oomph, punch or the dynamics which crowns added. At moderately high volumes the bass was lacking which was present 1st chain. Now it doesn't mean it lacks bass or punch, it is just less than the crowns as they have lot of power.

I am in love with the NAD, still laughing that I got it for free and taking my listening experience to new level.
Will be using the 1st chain only, as it is easier for me to switch between 3 different listening experiences with the help of switchbox.
Speakers will be connected to crowns, switchbox will hold inputs to Denon x3700, Tube Pre Amp and now the NAD.

Would like to know which speakers you drive with NADs and what inputs you guys use.

Got one C320BEE for a few days from a friend to try it out.. Playing from the last few hours now.. I am now loving it more than my Yamaha... liking the laid back sound rather than the aggressive tone of Yamaha.

What speakers are you using? Which Yamaha?
 
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