NAD has a distinct reputation for creating some of the best performing budget amplifiers of all time. The lineage is impressive, all the way from the 3020 of 1978 to the current C 328, with many “Best Amp” awards and five-star reviews along the way. The C 316BEE lived up to expectations. The C 316BEE V2 is the next evolution.
- 2 x 40W continuous power
- PowerDrive S provides high-current power
- Gold-plated RCA jacks
- Line level inputs and phono input for connecting a turntable
- Front panel input for portable media player
- Multi-way speaker binding posts
- Tone controls and bypass switch
- High-quality dedicated headphone output
- Large toroidal power transformer
User Manual (PDF)
"NAD has done very well to produce a pleasant and balanced sounding amplifier with a clean, articulate and fairly neutral sound character with hints of warmth. It has decent speed and reasonable bass weight for the modest power rating, and should drive most loudspeakers without stress to more than adequate volume levels."
Having garnered multiple accolades including an EISA award for ‘Best Product 2008-2009’ and top recommendations from the world’s leading audio publications, the first model C 316BEE set the bar. With the resurgence of vinyl, NAD decided to update the design by including their highly acclaimed RIAA phono stage. This sophisticated circuit combines low noise with high overload margins to eliminate noise and distortion. RIAA equalization is extremely accurate (a rarity at this price) and there is even an infrasonic filter to reject airborne vibrations that can cause parasitic feedback.
While the C 316BEE V2 has everything necessary for musical enjoyment, it is refreshingly limited to the essentials: six inputs, one set of speaker outputs, a headphone jack, and full function remote control. It has a compact size and a handsome yet understated exterior. It is essential NAD. While its bells and whistles may not be as extensive as the brand's more expensive offerings, the C 316BEE V2 is far from a “stripped down” product.
With five line-level inputs, an MM Phono Input, full IR remote control, bypassable tone controls and a front panel input for a phone or tablet, the C 316BEE V2 is fully equipped to be the control center for a high-performance music system. Continuous power is a conservative 40 watts, and dynamic power (more important for music listening) is impressively more than 100 watts! This is far more usable power on tap than other amplifiers at this price, and this power is available across the entire audible band with a THD level of 0.03%.
The sonic result of this high technology is a relaxed and inviting sound that digs out the subtle details in your favourite recordings and presents them across a panoramic stereo soundstage. The impressive dynamic power reserves make the C 316BEE V2 sound both articulate and alive. The silent background and low distortion gives a sense of solidity and presence to your music and brings out the best your loudspeakers have to offer
NAD’s PowerDrive Circuit has been proven to offer the high current, low-distortion drive needed for complex loudspeaker loads. By monitoring the precise operating condition of the power amplifier, PowerDrive uses this intelligence to automatically optimize the power supply settings for uniformly low distortion and maximum power in the real world of music listening.
As featured in NAD's top Masters Series models, PowerDrive uses a complex ‘analogue computer’ to determine the optimal settings. For the C 316BEE V2, NAD’s Director of Advanced Development, Bjorn Erik Edvardsen, developed a clever new computation circuit requiring fewer parts at a much lower cost without any reduction in effectiveness. All the hallmarks of NAD technology are present, from the generously sized toroidal power transformer and low ESR smoothing capacitors, to the multiple regulated secondary supplies, to the heavy duty discrete output transistors, the C 316BEE V2 is every bit as refined and sophisticated as other NAD amplifiers.
Amazingly, modern long life quartz light bulbs fit the bill more ideally. What NAD aims for in this design is to maximize available dynamic power (10-100ms short bursts) according to a typical music envelope for a given maximum output stage dissipation. The light bulbs have very low resistance (<1 Ohm) when cold so drop very little voltage on short peaks. At 7 V, after a few hundred milliseconds, the resistance rises to an ideal 4 Ohms
For short peaks of 5 milliseconds, the C 316BEE V2’s undistorted peak power is > 110W into 8 Ohms, 190W into 4 Ohms and 270W into 2 Ohms. This is huge, coming from an amplifier rated for 40W Continuous Power into 8 Ohms! This gain in usable dynamic power on music is very nearly equivalent to a conventional amplifier rated at twice the power handling.
Typically, using such a “soft” supply in an amplifier is very demanding on its ability to reject interference and distortion by power supply modulation and back EMF from the loudspeaker. As was the case with the 3020 model, careful engineering results in a supply rejection ratio that is very high (>75dB) across the audible frequency range ensuring tight bass and no measurable distortion from supply modulation.
The idling current is extremely tightly stabilised so kept constant with temperature and supply voltage changes. This eliminates the major limiting factor for Class AB amplifiers which is transient crossover-over distortion.
Over forty years ago, NAD’s 3020 amplifier redefined performance and value, and did so by keeping things simple and to the point. As time progressed subsequent generations of NAD amplifiers continued to raise the ante on the competition using technological innovation to continually improve the really important aspects of amplifier performance. PowerDrive S is one more step ahead for music lovers with a budget.
In 1972, a new kind of audio company was born. NAD took form when a large group of audio-industry importers in Europe, all music lovers, set out to develop products that cut through the industry hype. The goal of NAD was to prove that excellent sound quality and excellent value could exist together. It was a formidable goal – some of the most reputable electronics brands of the time were unaffordable to most, while the affordable spectrum of the market was dominated by poor quality imports from global electronics giants. NAD’s founders remained undeterred and their original vision led to an inspiring story of how a group of specialty audio mavericks took on the Goliaths of the audio industry to carve out a unique place of their own.
NAD are dedicated to innovation, performance, value, and simplicity in all their products.
LINE IN/HEADPHONE OUT
Clipping power (at 1 kHz 0.1 % THD):
IHF dynamic power:
Damping factor: >200 (ref. 8 ohms, 1 kHz)
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz (±0.3 dB, Tone Defeat ON)
Channel separation: >70 dB (1 kHz)