NAD C 298 Class D Power Amp Review
December 4, 2021 § Leave a comment
I’ll not fall into the ‘but it’s a Class D amplifier’ trap. There’s no elephant in the room here, just a relatively compact black box sat on a kit rack. Yes, NAD’s C 298 might not bring the mug-of-cocoa warmth and smoothness one might expect (or demand) from a hot-running transistor or tube amp but that’s because it’s voiced for a very direct sound, presenting the music without gloss. In this instance there’s no fear the experience becomes clinical or dry, turning listening from a relaxed pleasure into something more demanding. There’s so much excitement to be had from its exuberance, power and rhythmic ability that any craving for something mellower doesn’t last for long.
I finished with The City Of Prague Philharmonic’s performance of Elmer Bernstein’s ‘The Magnificent Seven’ [100 Greatest Film Themes; Silva Screen Records SILCD1309]. Here, the brass instruments and rat-a-tat snare drums emerged from silence with the speed of an Old West sharp-shooter, but there was a light touch to the proceedings too. The C 298 didn’t overstate its power, and the sweeping string notes that followed were writ both large and lush. The amp also let the piece’s warmth and energy shine through. Magnificent? At this price, I’d say so.