NAD has an enviable reputation for creating some of the best performing budget amplifiers of all time. The lineage is impressive, all the way from the 3020 of 1978 to the current C338 that concentrates on delivering the right balance of performance with a host of 21st century features.
The NAD C338 hybrid digital integrated stereo amplifier packs a lot more punch than you might expect from its so-called 50-Watt-per-channel power rating. That's because the power rating is both conservative and based on a continous basis, not a short FTC rating as used by mass market brands. It's advanced technology also contributes to a dynamic and lively performance. NAD has moved away from the old-fashioned and power-hungry linear power supplies and Class AB output stages that actually waste nearly half of the energy consumed producing heat rather than sound. Instead, they have developed even better performing circuits based on switch mode power supplies and Class D output stages. Once thought to be inferior to traditional topologies, NAD’s advanced work over the last decade and as featured in their Master Series has created some of the best performing amplifiers regardless of basic design principle. These new designs are very linear over a wide bandwidth and provide consistent performance into all speaker loads and are now trickling down to the classic series so definitely a step forward for NAD. A good comparison is the advances in renewable energy compared with the traditional use of fossil fuels which have made amazing advances in recent times.
The power supply is capable of 160 Watts continuously and over 300 Watts instantaneously to allow for short-term musical transients. This highly efficient supply also provides near perfect regulation of voltage across a wide range of conditions and provides a solid noise-free foundation for the amplifying stages. The C338 uses a customised version of the proven Hypex UcD output stage. This allows for massive power with nearly unmeasurable distortion and noise in the audible range. Every detail of this amplifier has been carefully designed and perfectly executed to wring out every last drop of performance.
Connected & Smart: The NAD C338 integrated amplifier lets you connect digital, analogue, and even wireless music sources. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you connect it to your home network so you can easily access your digital music library and stream internet radio. Support for Spotify Connect and Google Cast gives you near limitless music options. You can also stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device, and even stream audio from connected sources to a pair of Bluetooth headphones. NAD's remote app gives you convenient control over your system from your compatible phone or tablet.
The C338 offers only two line-level inputs but with all the digital connectivity this will be adequate for most consumers. Thes offer ideal input impedance characteristics with linear ultra-low-noise buffer amplifiers to prevent any sonic degradation caused by inappropriate loading of the source device. Surprisingly the C338 has a dedicated phono stage - of which NAD are famous - which allows you to enjoy vinyl to any level you wish. Also included is a separate headphone amplifier with low output impedance and very high output voltage capability – enough to drive even high impedance studio monitor headphones. Low impedance line outputs that can connect to subwoofers extend the versatility of this well thought out amplifier. These are not just "fluff" to make the amp look good on paper but are all details you can hear with your ears.
The NAD C338 offers superior performance with all the latest 21st century features in a very affordable package and for many there will never be a need for another amplifier. It is surprising how many seemingly advanced products in the market today often miss many of the most basic requirements for satisfying performance. Low noise circuits, precise volume control action, accurate channel balance, proper input and output impedance characteristics, high overload margins and stability with difficult speaker loads. NAD starts by getting these things precisely right and advances from there. The 'C338 certainly ties together all the critical elements of a top performing music system; music sources past and present, while providing a deep reservoir of power that allows your speakers to reveal every nuance of musical detail. This advanced amplifier includes many cutting-edge technological breakthroughs developed by NAD over decades of creating affordable ultra-high performance audio components. Add a NAD CD player or Turntable and some good interconnecting cables, the right speakers and you're in business to sit back and enjoy the pleasures of great music.
- Design: Stereo Integrated Amplifier.
- Power Output: 50 x 2 Watts Continuous Power into 4 Ohms and 8 Ohms (at rated 0.01% THD, 20-20kHz, both channels driven)
- Signal-To-Noise Ratio: 92 dB
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 65kHz
- Wi-Fi: The C338 is enabled with network streaming of music services, internet radio, and support for Google Cast and UPnP
- Bluetooth: Equipped with Bluetooth ADP4 with aptX supported
- DAC: 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analogue converter for high-performance playback of digitally connected sources such as a CD player
- Speaker Terminals: Heavy Duty Speaker Wire Binding Posts - Accepts 'banana' plugs.
- Tone Controls: Via app control
- Optical Digital Inputs: 2
- Coaxial Digital Inputs: 2
- Line-Level Inputs: 2
- Dedicated Phono Input: Suits MM (Moving Magnet) type cartridges
- Headphone Amp: Independent built-in high-output headphone amplifier
- Headphone Socket: Yes
- Subwoofer Output: Yes
- Remote Control: System remote control.
- Free App: NAD control app for iOS and Android lets you use your compatible mobile device as a remote control
- Power Cord: Detachable IEC power cord which can be easily upgraded.
- Stand-By Consumption: 0.5 Watt.
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 435 x 72 x 302mm.
- Nett Weight: TBA.
- Warranty: 2-Years
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE.