Integrated Amplifiers

NAD C 390DD Direct Digital Integrated Amplifier

ARTICLE INDEX

Conclusions about the NAD C 390DD Direct Digital Integrated Amplifier

The NAD's arsenal of superlatives merits it serious consideration for any high-end system. Indeed, the overall impact and scale of the C 390DD's presentation never ceased to amaze me, and for the price, astonished me. My one reservation involves what I found to be the superiority of my reference components' handling of vocals. If I was deciding between the two, it must be said the NAD showed itself as the better overall value and is sure to flatter most speakers, but the extra money does buy you something. The slight, yet noticeable upper midrange and treble dryness of the NAD did not ultimately suit the Focal's ultra-resolving Beryllium tweeters. These are tweeters capable of letting you hear things you have probably not heard before. I recall marveling at such things as how moist a singer's lips are, which one listen to Nina Simone's To Love Somebody on 180 gram LP puts well on display. Since I don't get to listen to music nearly as much as I would like, qualities like this have become critical to me because they elevate the listening experience from something passive to something that engages both your audiophile brain and your music-loving soul and I just don't know how to put a price on that.

Associated Equipment:
Focal JM Lab Electra 1008 Be, Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2, Oppo DV-980H, XBOX 360, Clearaudio Concept Turntable (Concept MM cartridge), Musical Surroundings Phonomena II Phono Pre-amplifier, signal cables by DH Labs and Synergistic Research, Power cables and conditioning by Synergistic Research.