NAD C 298 Class D Power Amp Review

December 12, 2021 § Leave a comment

With less dramatic recordings, or those without extravagant low-end heft, the C 298 did sound more pedestrian, although its knack for creating a spacious, unmuddied soundstage, and emphasising musical detail, was still in evidence. I kicked back with Patsy Cline’s gentle country ballad ‘I Fall To Pieces’ [The Complete Releases 1955-62; Acrobat Music ACTRCD9064] and the experience was way more than pleasant – the C 298 brought a plump feel to the walking bassline and the clear, transparent nature of its sound allowed me to focus on Cline’s despondent lyrics.

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.

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