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NAD C355 BEE or alternative with speakers to match

Audiolab 6000A Amplifier

Ash

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Hi

I am looking at buying a stereo amp and speakers and have been a passive observer on this forum for the past several months. I am more inclined towards the NAD C355BEE, but still open to suggestions for other brands in that price range. Wondering how the Arcam and the Marantz would compare with the NAD ? Also looking at buying floorstanders. Considering the PSB , Monitor Audio Wharfedale, B&W, KEF. Ive heard the NAD 355 with the PSB Image 25. Was very happy with the combination (although they are bookshelves). Would just like members to share their views and ideas. My source is a Marantz DVD player DV 3002, but will soon upgrade either to an Oppo or a dedicated CDP. But one step at a time :)
 

venkatcr

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The NAD is a good choice and will go (somewhat naturally) with the PSBs. The other alternative is CA, but you have to listen to it to decide which one you like. Between the two NAD tends to favour low frequency sounds while is CA is supposed to be transparent. Depending upon the music you like, you can choose between the two combination.

Cheers
 
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rallynut

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+1 to the nad/psb combo.the ca even though its a good amp can feel clinical at times,very transparent.cheers
 
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marsilians

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Hi

I am looking at buying a stereo amp and speakers and have been a passive observer on this forum for the past several months. I am more inclined towards the NAD C355BEE, but still open to suggestions for other brands in that price range. Wondering how the Arcam and the Marantz would compare with the NAD ? Also looking at buying floorstanders. Considering the PSB , Monitor Audio Wharfedale, B&W, KEF. Ive heard the NAD 355 with the PSB Image 25. Was very happy with the combination (although they are bookshelves). Would just like members to share their views and ideas. My source is a Marantz DVD player DV 3002, but will soon upgrade either to an Oppo or a dedicated CDP. But one step at a time :)

not sure which Arcam model you are looking for. I have listened to the A18 and 35 as comparables and they are much smoother than NAD - the NAD is very very good as well. Marantz woudl be the 3rd choice.

All this are based on good pairing with speakers - for which I would look at MA Bronze or RS series. Next choice would be PSB. I would not pair this with low sensitivity floorstanders as they dont have that much power to get the best out of them.
 
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dinyaar

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Hi

I am looking at buying a stereo amp and speakers and have been a passive observer on this forum for the past several months. I am more inclined towards the NAD C355BEE, but still open to suggestions for other brands in that price range. Wondering how the Arcam and the Marantz would compare with the NAD ? Also looking at buying floorstanders. Considering the PSB , Monitor Audio Wharfedale, B&W, KEF. Ive heard the NAD 355 with the PSB Image 25. Was very happy with the combination (although they are bookshelves). Would just like members to share their views and ideas. My source is a Marantz DVD player DV 3002, but will soon upgrade either to an Oppo or a dedicated CDP. But one step at a time :)

Hi
Am not sure if it fits in your budget but an Arcam A28 with a MA RS 6 is a good set up.
U are keen on Floor standers only? Nothing from the B&W 600 series is worth it and i have not heard the wharfies so cant comment.
Regarding amps i would consider an Arcam to be way better than any Nad/ rotel/marantz. Its not boring and dull (as made out to be) if u pair it sensibly. In fact i truly liked the A38 that i used for a short while.
Ash i see u are from bbay and i presume u had the Nad/PSB audition @ Lakozy. What is the 355 retailing at?
Rgds
 
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Ash

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Hi Dinyaar

Thanks for your suggestion about the Arcam & MA. You're right about the audition at Lakozy. This was a couple of months ago. Dont remember the exact price, but put it at the back of my head as under 40K. Think it was 38ish. The Image 25 was under 25K.

Yes I am keen on Floor standers, but I have one question....its been discussed on this forum on the past but I need to confirm this.

Considering the space I have in my living room, the front of the speaker will be 18 inches from the back wall, so if the depth of the speaker is 9 inches (I checked , it is), the back of the speaker will be atmost 9 inches from the wall. Will this significantly affect the performance of the speaker ? In that case would it be advisable to consider book shelves ?

BTW any idea where can I audition the the MA ? and how much does the A28 cost ?
 
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dinyaar

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Hi Dinyaar

Thanks for your suggestion about the Arcam & MA. You're right about the audition at Lakozy. This was a couple of months ago. Dont remember the exact price, but put it at the back of my head as under 40K. Think it was 38ish. The Image 25 was under 25K.

Yes I am keen on Floor standers, but I have one question....its been discussed on this forum on the past but I need to confirm this.

Considering the space I have in my living room, the front of the speaker will be 18 inches from the back wall, so if the depth of the speaker is 9 inches (I checked , it is), the back of the speaker will be atmost 9 inches from the wall. Will this significantly affect the performance of the speaker ? In that case would it be advisable to consider book shelves ?

BTW any idea where can I audition the the MA ? and how much does the A28 cost ?

Hi Ash,
Most speakers sound better in free space. By that they mean with some space around the speakers. If rear ported then i would have at least a foot and a half from the rear walls and if space is not a constraint even more. This applies to FS and SM.
Arcam & MA can be auditioned at Boomerang at their outlets in JUHU or at VT. The arcam A28 should be about 55/60K and the speaker about 60/65K. I got the A38 for my neice at 1L
Magma has also suggested the PSB image 45. Thats a good speaker too. Its a smallish tower but WONT be as crisp/exciting as the RS6. Should be cheaper than the MA though. Arcam/PSB i would like but some would prefer some more in the upper freq and may find the combo bland/too boring.
I had the Nad C352 bought for 25K and to my mind 38/40K on a similar (355)amplifier is not worth it.
Why not buy the speaker that appeals to u the most and then think of the amplification.
Rgds
 
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afj

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hi ash
the arcams are definitely a step up from the nads / cambridge. they would be my next preference. and finally marantz. it depends on your budget. the arcam is a more refined and smoother amp - more punch in it as well. between the nad and the cambridge the nad is slightly warmer and more musical. bass isnt so tight. cambridge is slightly tighter bass but less involving imo - but as venkat said more transparent. its all about listening to it and deciding what you prefer.

nad and psb are sister concerns so pair well. but the nad pairs very well with the monitor audios. the ma's are a very neutral speaker and very musical. sweet highs, transparent mids and tight bass. the nad lends a little warmth to it though im not too happy with the bass. but definitely no listening fatigue. it also depends on what music youre listening to. the nad is definitely not a heavy metal / hard rock setup but works for most others. if you listen to indian classical you definitely want the nad since the highs can lead to listening fatigue and the nad rolls it off a bit

after all this gyan, whats your budget:)
 
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Ash

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Thanks Guys

Looks like I'll check out the Arcam & MA first. Dinyaar I cant buy the speakers first as I dont have an amp to use them :-( I'll have to buy the amp first and then the speakers even if I do plan to break up my purchase. All depends how the audition goes...

AFJ you asked about my budget . Well it started with 25K for only the NAD 325, but after I heard them matched with the image 25 , I decided to upgrade my speakers as well...so thought i'd go for the 355 with floorstanders i.e the T45 ...now you, Dinyaar and Marsilians speak highly of the Arcam.... so i've decided to consider that option as well.....after all i hope to keep this set up for atleast 7-10 yrs.... but thats its !!! I dont want to go beyond 125K.... cause who knows i may need to upgrade my dvd/cdp next year :)

BTW, I believe MA have discontinued their RS series and bringing in the RX series..... which has received great reviews.... so a few grand added to the budget :) ......
 
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afj

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ash, imo you should go for a higher range in bookshelves instead of floors if you dont want to cross a certain budget. for eg i would rather go for the ma silver bookshelves instead of the ma bronze floorstanders. also it would suit the amp youre looking at better because if you go for the ma rx6 you would ideally need an amp the power of the nad c375. a small arcam (or the nad c355) would pair nicely with the ma rx2
 
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dinyaar

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Hi
A few years ago a nad 352 cost about 25K and the 372 about 47K and the pre power 162/272 75K. At those prices i did consider them fair and owned them. Then sold the 372 to a friend and swapped the 352 for the pre power with the distributor himself.
An Arcam A38 is for about a lac today and the Nad 375 is about 85. To me its a no contest really. I could and would happily settle for the lesser output of the Arcam ( SS watts are cheap u know) as i am getting so much more in every aspect of musicality. At todays local prices the Nad is lesser and lesser an option to deserve serious consideration.
Needless to say this is purely my opinion and for MY MUSICAL TASTES. Maybe hindi film music which is recorded with an unnatural zing in the trebles (i am told) may sound better with the Nad but then that is not something that i listen to at least at home.
In my book an Arcam always was and is good HIFI. I even prefer it to the Cyrus/Rega amps i have heard and the CD 37 pretty much beats everything upto a lac and a half as a cdp for most music.
Rgds
Rgds
 
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thevortex

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A few years ago a nad 352 cost about 25K and the 372 about 47K and the pre power 162/272 75K. At those prices i did consider them fair and owned them. Then sold the 372 to a friend and swapped the 352 for the pre power with the distributor himself.
An Arcam A38 is for about a lac today and the Nad 375 is about 85. To me its a no contest really. I could and would happily settle for the lesser output of the Arcam ( SS watts are cheap u know) as i am getting so much more in every aspect of musicality. At todays local prices the Nad is lesser and lesser an option to deserve serious consideration.
Needless to say this is purely my opinion and for MY MUSICAL TASTES. Maybe hindi film music which is recorded with an unnatural zing in the trebles (i am told) may sound better with the Nad but then that is not something that i listen to at least at home.
In my book an Arcam always was and is good HIFI. I even prefer it to the Cyrus/Rega amps i have heard and the CD 37 pretty much beats everything upto a lac and a half as a cdp for most music.
Rgds
Rgds

True, Dinyaar. The Indian prices of NAD integrated amps are indeed very high.

Personally though I have found the Arcam amps a bit dry in comparison to the fuller sounding NADs. Of course I was not auditioning them seriously. Also I was listening to an Arcam receiver as opposed to a NAD integrated amp - a bit unfair naturally.
 
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dinyaar

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Hi Vortex,
U are right on the Nad amp having more 'body'. I for one like the clean presentation of the Arcam and i find it absolutely fatigue free. Fair con trol, very clean highs and 'enough' bass defination which is where i feel a Nad loses out.
I too have used a lot of Nads, the 350( Good amp for the money),352 (over hyped and inferior to the 350), 372 (Not as bad as described, in fact decent bang for the buck) and the 162/272 which according me was the CHEAPEST & BEST PRE POWER at the time for all of 75K!
A few years ago Nad was priced as BUDGET HIFI, today the pricing is taking it to a level where the performance will not match up.
Rgds
 
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Asit

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Of whatever I have heard the amplifiers from Nad, CA, Marantz and Arcam (and some others like the Creek), undoubtedly IMHO I have liked the Arcams the best, so I fully agree with what dinyaar is saying. It's also a matter of taste. Yes, in the budget, sure the Nads give you a more full-bodied sound with acceptable dynamics, but the sound could be a lot cleaner. I have heard the Nad amps (not the new ones though) extensively and even owned one. They were good buys at the earlier prices, but as dinyaar said and I agree completely I would not buy the 375 at 85K. At similar prices, besides the Arcam a28/38, there is also the Roksan Kandy K2 which seems to me a better amp (although I have not heard it, but according to reports the signature is Primare-like).

Similraly, the Nad 355 may not be worth the new increased prices. Yes, I like the fuller bodied sound of the Nads, but not at the expense of cleanliness. I also agree that it is a matter of personal preference which also grows on you. Having lived for years with an amp and a pair of speakers that provided very clean and dynamic sound (may be lacking in body a bit), it was hard for me to accept the sound of Nad for long and I sold it off. No offence, Nad owners. As I said it's a matter of personal preference. My current amp produces both cleanliness and body, actually in plenty, and very very lively :D.

A friend recently bought an Arcam A18 and paired it with B&W 685. Both purchases were decided more by the economics, because he got both at very decent prices (from two different sources) almost new (about a month old in both cases, with prices slashed by one-third or more). I am eager to hear this combination. Any ideas guys, how these would pair up?

Regards.
 
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gobble

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Of whatever I have heard the amplifiers from Nad, CA, Marantz and Arcam (and some others like the Creek), undoubtedly IMHO I have liked the Arcams the best, so I fully agree with what dinyaar is saying. It's also a matter of taste. Yes, in the budget, sure the Nads give you a more full-bodied sound with acceptable dynamics, but the sound could be a lot cleaner. I have heard the Nad amps (not the new ones though) extensively and even owned one. They were good buys at the earlier prices, but as dinyaar said and I agree completely I would not buy the 375 at 85K. At similar prices, besides the Arcam a28/38, there is also the Roksan Kandy K2 which seems to me a better amp (although I have not heard it, but according to reports the signature is Primare-like).

Similraly, the Nad 355 may not be worth the new increased prices. Yes, I like the fuller bodied sound of the Nads, but not at the expense of cleanliness. I also agree that it is a matter of personal preference which also grows on you. Having lived for years with an amp and a pair of speakers that provided very clean and dynamic sound (may be lacking in body a bit), it was hard for me to accept the sound of Nad for long and I sold it off. No offence, Nad owners. As I said it's a matter of personal preference. My current amp produces both cleanliness and body, actually in plenty, and very very lively :D.

A friend recently bought an Arcam A18 and paired it with B&W 685. Both purchases were decided more by the economics, because he got both at very decent prices (from two different sources) almost new (about a month old in both cases, with prices slashed by one-third or more). I am eager to hear this combination. Any ideas guys, how these would pair up?

Regards.

Asit
Would this be the pre section of the NAD to blame the most?

Regards
 
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Asit

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Asit
Would this be the pre section of the NAD to blame the most?

Regards

Hi Gobble,

Actually I have not tested this issue, because both my other two amps are integrateds and do not have pre-out and main-in ports like my Nad (and yours too) had. But experienced people like square_wave and dinyaar suggested in my amp thread that the pre section of the nad amps are the weak links. In a sense this ought to be true for all budget integrated amps, but many people use arcam integrateds as pre (as a cheap but acceptable solution) for their better power amps, as I have read on the net (and also supported by dinyaar), probably because the pre section of the arcam integrateds are better. Probably because of a better pre section, the arcam amps are never very cheap, their lowest priced A18 is close to 50K, A28 is about 75K (I do not know where dinyaar gets his prices from :) and A38 is around 1.1K.

Regards.
 
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dinyaar

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Hi Asit,
Firstly i am pretty upset that u bought an amp!!!!!!!!! Now the thread and all the interaction is dead. Consider some upgrade and start something similar. HAHAHA Hope all is well.
The Arcam A 18 will drive the 685 and the combo should be good though u would need a bit more juice to get the MAX out of the spaeker. This Arcam has a smallish sweet spot and then saturates.
Price of 1L for the A38, well i bought one at that price from my friends @ Boomerang
Rgds
 
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Asit

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Hi Asit,
Firstly i am pretty upset that u bought an amp!!!!!!!!! Now the thread and all the interaction is dead. Consider some upgrade and start something similar. HAHAHA Hope all is well.

I hope you will provide some z-class security at home, in case I consider some upgrade at the moment :D. However, it's true that I miss the interaction we had in that thread. So much interesting discussion was there, both in quality and quantity, it nearly became an obsession for me. Needless to say, I learned an enormous amount about the business of amplifiers from all you people in that thread.

The Arcam A 18 will drive the 685 and the combo should be good though u would need a bit more juice to get the MAX out of the spaeker. This Arcam has a smallish sweet spot and then saturates.

Thanks for your impression. Yah, what I thought was: the synergy may not be optimal, but since he got both the units at very very decent prices and in almost new conditions, and because individually each is decent, it may not be a bad combination. I suggested to him to take his amp (he bought the amp first) to audition with the speakers and try out different music at different volume levels. He was reasonably satisfied.

Price of 1L for the A38, well i bought one at that price from my friends @ Boomerang
Rgds

I just wish we had a store like the Boomarang here in Kolkata. Just yesterday, SKS quoted 1.5L to somebody (I heard from reliable sources) for the quad 99/909 pre-power combo when even the list price is around 1.3L and this combo usually goes at a 20% discount at the minimum over the list price. You can imagine the situation here. May be these guys will ask for 1L for the Arcam A28.

Regards.
 
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dinyaar

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Asit I am really glad that u got an amp and are happy. That was the GOAL and nothing else. We are all here to learn and help in whatever way we can and your thread was extremely informative to say the least.
The Arcam purchase was a year ago when the list price was 1.15L and i paid 1.02L to be precise. Presume they have upped the price. Please dont spend that kind of money/ or dissuade any friend who is keen on a quad combo as there are tons of used quads going (in bbay at least) for sensible money and 1.5L for the quad pre/power is criminal. A friend here is trying to sell his Quad mono blocks & Quad Pre (almost new) for 1.25L and is frustrated at the poor offers he gets. Another is selling the stereo amp + pre and is getting the best offer of about 60/65K.
SKS quoting 1.5L seems like mindless overpricing.
Gobble, Yes the preamp is the weaker of the two components in the Nad integrated. The power section is not great but good.
Rgds
 
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