Integrated Amplifiers

NAD C 390DD Direct Digital Integrated Amplifier

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Introduction to the NAD C 390DD Direct Digital Integrated Amplifier

NAD launched its first direct digital amplifier, the M2, almost three years ago. As we have come to expect in audio and technology generally, however, it is never long before the state of the art trickles down to more modestly-priced products. Such is the case here, as NAD claims the $2600 C 390DD is a direct descendent of the $6000 M2 and even includes some advanced features, such as room equalization (available by the time you read this), not available on the M2.

NAD C 390DD DIRECT DIGITAL INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER SPECIFICATIONS

  • Design: Integrated Stereo Amplifier
  • Output Power: 150W @ 4 or 8 Ohms
  • Frequency Response 45 Hz - 40 kHz (-3dB)
  • Dimensions: 5.2" H x 17.1" W x 15.3" D
  • Weight: 17 Pounds
  • MSRP: $2,600 USD
  • NAD
  • SECRETS TAGS: NAD, Digital, Integrated, Amplifier, Audio

While digital amplification itself has been quite common for a number of years, direct digital goes one step further, eliminating all analog stages in the signal path, including the preamplifier functions, which allows the signal to stay in the digital domain all the way to the speaker. In this way, direct digital amplifiers such as the C 390DD, function more like powered DACs. This technology has interested me for several years and I was an early adopter of pure digital amplifier designs, having owned products from Tact, Lyngdorf, and even two budget receivers from Panasonic (XR45 and XR70). I owned the Tact almost ten years ago, but even today, pure digital is still considered somewhat esoteric and only a handful of manufacturers offer such products.