NAD C338 Hybrid Digital Integrated Amplifier Review
January 6, 2022 § Leave a comment
To my pleasant surprise the onboard DAC proved to be a very fine reproducer and I found little difference between the dual Wolfson DACs in the Cambridge unit (one per channel) and the single Burr Brown DAC onboard the C338. There was a very slight loss of ultimate definition and air, but little else of note. The digital inputs, like the phono input, seem very robust and offered extra definitional insight into the music when compared to the two line level inputs. I was immediately impressed and thought this would bode well for the ‘streaming phase’ of the review which requires a separate set-up discussion.
What is really noticeable is that on all inputs the NAD Class D design allows you to really open up the volume control. I am not used to listening at thundering levels, but the clarity of the amp keeps begging you to push the volume levels up to really high marks. As the volume increases so does the PRaT. Rhythm and timing are a bit underwhelming at low volume levels but as the volume levels rise the NAD C338 comes on strong and shakes your booty. I think this is because the Class D design, while able to deliver 50 watts (8 and 4 ohms) continuous, has the potential to deliver up to 150 watts of dynamic power and 300 watts peak. So my message is that if you like to ‘let her rip’ then this could be your amp