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Crutchfield

NAD C 326BEE

Stereo integrated amplifier

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  • NAD C 326BEE

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  • NAD C 326BEE

 

Our take on the NAD C 326BEE

by Dave Bar
NAD

Everything you always wanted in a stereo receiver, except the radio

An integrated amplifier is essentially a receiver without a built-in AM/FM tuner. You get power to drive your speakers, audio controls, and inputs for music source components. Connect an iPod, a computer, a network music player, or any other device that can play Internet radio, and you may find you have no need for an AM/FM radio.

The C 326BEE integrated amp packs a lot more sonic punch than you might expect from its modest price and 50-watt-per-channel power rating. That's because NAD puts the focus on careful design and premium-quality internal components — rather than bells and whistles — ensuring powerful, dynamic sound. This amp makes a perfect choice for music lovers with smaller systems who demand top-notch performance.

Advanced technology for stunning sound
The C 326BEE employs many of the same high-end features found on NAD's top-of-the-line Master Series components, including NAD's exclusive PowerDrive™ technology. This unique circuit automatically senses your speaker's impedance, then optimizes the amp's power supply settings to deliver the most dynamic power possible. This allows it to easily drive low-impedance loads, including many of today's high-end speakers, which often run closer to four ohms than eight. Plus, a patented distortion-canceling circuit in the amps output stage ensures your music stays clean and pure.

Connections and convenience
This amp offers ample flexibility for hooking up your gear. You get seven audio inputs, plus a handy front-panel connection for a portable music player. Separate preamp input/line-level output jacks let you use the C 326BEE as an independent power amplifier or preamp for future system expansion. Two separate line-level outputs let you easily add a powered subwoofer. And the included remote gives you easy control of the amplifier and the other NAD audio components in your system.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • 50 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.009% THD
  • 50 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.009% THD
  • 4-ohm stable for use with a wide range of speakers
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 100 dB
  • PowerDrive™ circuit with automatic speaker impedance sensing delivers maximum dynamic power output regardless of speaker load
  • switchable Soft Clipping™ circuit gently limits amplifier power output to reduce risk of speaker damage due to prolonged high volume operation
  • distortion-canceling circuit for high-accuracy sound
  • toroidal power transformer
  • rotary bass and treble controls with defeat switch for tone control bypass
  • 7 RCA audio inputs including 1 tape in/out
  • front-panel minijack input for connecting a portable music player
  • preamp-out/main-in loop for system expansion
  • 2 preamp-level subwoofer outputs
  • full-size headphone jack
  • one pair of speaker binding post terminals
  • RS-232 port for operation with third-party controllers
  • 12-volt trigger output
  • IR input/output
  • detachable AC power cord
  • remote control
  • 17-1/8"W x 4-9/16"H x 14-9/16"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)
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50
Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)
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---
Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)
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50
Frequency Bandwidth
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20-20k
THD
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0.009%
Minimum Impedance
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4 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio
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100
Number of Inputs
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7
Phono Inputs
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No
Preamp Outputs
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4
Width (inches)
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17-1/8
Height (inches)
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4-9/16
Depth (inches)
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14-9/16
Weight (pounds)
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15.21
Parts Warranty
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2 Years
Labor Warranty
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2 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Integrated amplifier
  • 6.5' Power cord
  • Wireless remote control (SR 8)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 2 Pre-out/Main-in jumpers (installed)
  • Owner's manual (English/ French/ Spanish/ Italian/ German/ Dutch/ Swedish/ Russian)
  • Warranty information

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Controls
Connections
Specifications

Features

Soft Clipping: NAD's Soft Clipping circuit gently limits the output of the C 326BEE to minimize audible distortion when the amplifier is over-driven. While Soft Clipping can be left on at all times to reduce the likelihood of audible distortion from excessive volume settings, you can also turn the circuit off for critical listening if you prefer.

Tape Monitor: If you own a 3-head tape deck, the tape monitor loop allows you to monitor recording quality as the recording is made.

Front Input: A 3.5mm mini-jack input on the front panel is labeled MP (Media Player); there is also an RCA MP input on to rear panel which is automatically disconnected when the front panel input is used.

Pre-out/Main-in Loop: Factory jumpers connect the main amplifier input to the full range preamp outputs. This offers the flexibility of inserting an equalizer, surround processor (when using multiple amps), or another type of processor between the two stages.

Remote Control: The SR 8 wireless remote will control the C 326BEE and NAD CD players and Tuners.

Controls

Front Panel:

  • Input: six individual buttons to select input (MP, CD, Tuner, Disc, Aux, and Video)
  • Tape Monitor: engage/disengage the tape monitor loop
  • Tone Defeat: bypass the bass and treble controls
  • Bass: rotary bass adjustment; +/-8dB @ 100Hz
  • Treble: rotary treble adjustment; +/-5dB @ 10kHz
  • Balance: rotary left/right balance
  • Volume: rotary volume control

Rear Panel:

  • Soft Clipping: turn the Soft Clipping circuit on/off
  • Power: master power switch

Connections

Rear Panel:

  • Speakers: the speaker binding posts will accept single banana plugs, pin connectors, spade lugs up to 0.475" wide, and bare wire up to 12 gauge; there are two speaker outputs (left and right)
  • Inputs: stereo RCA input jacks for MP (Media Player), CD, Tuner, Disc, Aux, Video, and Tape Monitor
  • Record Outputs: stereo RCA output jacks for the Tape Monitor
  • Sub Out: two mono RCA outputs; connect to powered subwoofer(s)
  • Pre Out: stereo RCA preamp outputs; jumpers to the main amplifier inputs are factory installed
  • Main In: stereo RCA preamp inputs; jumpers to the Pre Out 2 outputs are factory installed
  • IR In: 3.5mm mini-jack input, used to control this unit using an optional infrared repeater or the IR output of another component
  • IR Out: 3.5mm mini-jack output, used to control another NAD component
  • 12 Volt Trigger Out: turn on/off another device along with the C 326BEE; the +12 volt trigger output is a 3.5mm mini-jack; the maximum output is 50 mA
  • AC Input: 2-pole IEC power input for use with included cord (or optional upgraded cord)

Front Panel:

  • Headphone: Standard 1/4" headphone jack
  • MP: 3.5mm mini-jack Media Player input

Specifications

Amplifier Section:

  • Continuous Power: 50 watts x 2 into an 8Ω or 4Ω load, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, no more than 0.009% THD, both channels driven simultaneously
  • Dynamic Power:
    • 8Ω: 100 watts x 2
    • 4Ω: 150 watts x 2
    • 2Ω: 200 watts x 2
  • Rated THD (Total Harmonic Distortion): <0.009% (driving both channels 20 Hz - 20k Hz simultaneously at 8Ω)
  • Signal/Noise:
    • >100 dB (A-weighted, ref 1 watt)
    • >117 dB (A-weighted, ref 50 watt)
  • Damping factor: >100 (ref 8Ω, 50 Hz and 1 kHz)
  • Frequency response:
    • +/- 0.1 dB: 20 Hz-20 kHz
    • - 3 dB: 3 Hz-70 kHz
  • Input impedance: 20 kΩ + 1 nF
  • Input sensitivity: 630 mV (ref rated power)
  • Voltage gain: 29 dB
  • Headphone output impedance: 68 Ω
  • Channel separation:
    • 1 kHz: >80 dB
    • 10 kHz: >70 dB
  • Tone control:
    • Bass: +/-8dB @ 100Hz
    • Treble: +/-5dB @ 10kHz
  • Power Requirement: AC 120V 60Hz
  • Power Consumption:
    • At Rated Power: 290W
    • Standby: <1W
    • Idle: <35W
  • Weight: 15.2 lbs (6.9kg)
 
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NAD C 326BEE Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Nice Amp

Written By Franklin O, Pittsburgh, PA on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very nice amp for 50x2 ..mp3 playback is almost good as CD quality does everything I need this amp to do subs , CD , EQ ..if I decide to ever add one plus has hookups for a external amp ..inched everything I could think of to find a fault ..all I can say is this amp is pure quality , best I've ever owned
Pros:
Power at 50 watts , sound is amazing sounds more like a 100 watts
Cons:
None I can see or think of
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Huge step up from the 316BEE

Written By David, Sleepy Hollow on Friday, January 10, 2014
 
I generally agree with the other positive reviews here regarding the quality and the power of this amp. I did however want to add my own experience so that someone researching/debating about which amp to get might benefit.

I originally purchased the NAD C 316BEE looking for an affordable high quality amp - and it is. I had it driving a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.2s and while the pairing definitely sounded sweet, at higher volumes in my 10'x20' listening room, the 316 was really reaching to the top of its output capacity.

One thing I love about NAD amps is that generally the noise floor is ultra low (high S/N). I mean basically dead silent - you would not even know the amp is on and fully cranked waiting for a signal. That said, the 316 had a very tiny bit of buzz or hum or hiss when cranked up (at rest). Nothing serious at all, just a little something there on the speaker when you held your head close. So much is said about an amp's character and power and so little about it's self noise, but the S/N is something that is important to me too. Compare S/N specs on similar Cambridge Audio units for instance (not just wattage).

After a couple of days of listening, I decided that I wanted a little more headroom and the ability to add a sub, so I exchanged the 316BEE for the 326BEE (thanks Crutchfield!). The 326 is actually a HUGE step up from the 316 in a number of crucial areas: I/O, wattage, and S/N (100dB A-weighted). Right now I am a very happy camper.
Pros:
Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 + NAD C 326BEE = ? I am a little tired of reading reviews of audio gear talking about how such and such a unit performs above its price range. All of that is poppycock. This amp is great and it is priced appropriately. The thing I like about it the most is that it is just an amp: no DAC, no phono, just a super clean, very low noise power amp. Awesome.
Cons:
Like another reviewer mentioned, 2 sets of speaker bindings would be an ideal addition, but whatever.
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

beautiful amp

Written By jimbob, Indiana, pennsylvania on Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This amp does all a NAD amp is supposed to do..... And does it well at a good price. My last NAD amp was good for almost twenty years of quality listening and I expect the same from this one. So far it is superb.
Pros:
Quality sound at an affordable price. Great looks. Easy setup.
Cons:
Two sets of speaker connections would have been nice.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Fabulous Amp!

Written By Rusty, Baton Rouge on Saturday, September 07, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased the NAD 326 BEE and a set of PSB B5 speakers to replace an old Onkyo receiver and a slightly abused set of Paradigm Titans. The NAD is awesome. My Onkyo was rated at 100 watts and I was worried that the 50 watt NAD would sound weak in comparison. It doesn't. In fact, the Onkyo sounds one dimensional in comparison. The NAD has the ability to push harder during dynamic passages giving much more depth to the music. I returned the PSB B5's ( They were fabulous, I simply needed something larger for the room) and got the PSB B6. The 50 watt continuous NAD has zero problem pushing those speakers hard, and for hours on end. I listen to rock, classical, and jazz and this amp/speaker combo handles it all very nicely. I did lots of research before purchasing and would highly suggest this product.
Pros:
Great value.
Cons:
A built in phono pre-amp would be nice.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Another great NAD amp

Written By Larry, St. Petersburg, Fl on Monday, June 10, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is my second NAD amp, as I have the NAD Bee 275 amp and 165 preamp combo in another system.I was looking for an all in one receiver for mostly FM music and for 2 channel sound for the TV. I originally got a 80 watt receiver, but was not sold on the sound and some quirks of the unit. I returned that and got this amp along with the NAD tuner and am much more satisfied.This is rated at 50 watts ,but sounds more robust, fuller and delicate than the 80 watt receiver I returned. I have this paired with PSB Imagine-mini speakers and a REL sub and am very happy with the results. Very happy with this purchase.
Pros:
Build, compact size,sound, separate treble/bass controls, tone defeat switch
Cons:
Lack of optical input
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

A serious little amp

Written By Peter, Washington DC on Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I had purchased a Marantz PM5004, which is a neat product but a little bright sounding - like my speakers. Crutchfield kindly let me return it for the NAD. The NAD is darker sounding, with more body to the sound and seemingly more extended bass. It mates better with my DQ12 speakers, albeit for an extra $100 and no phono section. I'm quite impressed with this NAD and think you could put together a high end system around it. It sounds better than my old NAD receiver, which sounded a bit bland. It does run hot, but a lot of ambitious designs do that - it's a price you pay for faster response to the signal. Crutchfield was extremely easy to work with on the return. They know how to build consumer confidence.
Pros:
Excellent, full-blooded sound. Subwoofer outputs. Relatively compact and affordable.
Cons:
No phono, only one set of outputs, runs hot; but these aren't really cons since in return you get a superior sounding amp for the outlay.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

incredible amp!

Written By Jeff M, Colorado on Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is my first NAD amp. I just got it connected today and it's great. It has A LOT more power than I expected. I'm using Kipsch main speakers and a Def Tech subwoofer. I love the crisp highs. I tested it on Imogen Heap Frou Frou and to me the ultimate test I've used for the past 20 years on all my systems - E. Power Biggs Toccata & Fugue in D Minor.
Pros:
Compact size, powerful, great sound reproduction over the full range
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great sounding Integrated amp

Written By Patrick, Pleasant Hill, MO on Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I Initially ordered an AV receiver, but I changed my mind. This amp has good punch on the low end and good clarity on the high end. I'm glad I decided to split into two systems. Using with PSB Image B6 speakers.
Pros:
Great sound, Simplicity
Cons:
Maybe a phono pre amp, built in
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

awesome budget amp

Written By pericp, San Diego on Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I really love this amp! I had NAD amps before and this one is really great! Amazing sound...
Pros:
Not expensive and really stable amp
Cons:
none
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Brighter than expected...

Written By k2k, poconos, PA on Monday, February 18, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
As advertised, this is a really clean amp, with more actual power than other amps rated at 50 wpc. I found it to be a litlle too bright for my ears. Was hoping it would be a little warmer, especially in the lower end. I had to turn the bass tone control to max to get some satisfactory low end.. I'm sure a powered subwoofer would handle those needs. I have two 12 yr old JBL floorstanding speakers (JBL S3810 II) that I use for my 2 channel stereo. Evidently, these speakers aren't a good match for the NAD.

My inputs to the NAD were all analog: 1) TV cable set-top box, 2) DVD/CD player, 3) iPod touch. The biggest problem with the NAD and my speakers was with the TV audio. The dialog on TV shows was over powered by the back ground noise, (music, traffic, explosions etc) so much so, that I had to constantly adjust the volume control up and down to hear what people were saying. When playing normal music on the other inputs, the vocals were also understated.

Thanks to Crutchfield's great customer service and return policy, the return went over without a hitch. I replaced the NAD with the Onkyo S9050 which is a better match for my speakers and components.
Pros:
Good build quality, plenty of power, clean sound, front input for iPod, well built remote.
Cons:
insufficient bass, no phono input, only one set of speaker terminals.
5 out of 13 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Makes Me Smile Every Time

Written By Jim B, Atlanta on Friday, February 08, 2013
 
I really wanted a tube amp. I thought it would be the nirvana of music, and wouldn't settle for anything less. Then I heard a NAD at a local shop and was torn. How could something so inexpensive sound so good? After weeks of tireless reading, pondering, agonizing, I decided on the 326BEE. I thought it would be "good enough," and I'd have money to buy some good B&W speakers, a turntable, cables, etc. Six months later the only regret is I didn't buy it sooner. Paired with Bowers & Wilkins 685Bs, this system brings music to life like I never thought possible. Sure, if I spent $10,000 on a system, it might sound better. But I wouldn't guarantee it. NAD has a customer for life. Not that I'd replace this, though... it's much better than it should be, especially at the price.
Pros:
EXCELLENT sound; simple controls; plenty of power; simple design; decent remote; AFFORDABLE!
Cons:
More inputs; a phono input (I bought one after the fact); a built-in DAC option
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Amp

Written By Pharoah, Ohio on Monday, December 31, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
very nice amp ive had it about 6 months or so now.im running this amp with 4 ohm infinity rs6 kappa speakers.i have no clue why people claim this amp overheats and shuts down.ive cranked a concert on bluray at insane levels for 2 hours.guess what no shutdown.i also use its subwwofer outputs.this is currently part of a pc system,and runs about 16 hours a day.ive not had any issues with it at all.
Pros:
netral sound very clean and undistorted. soft clipping is a great feature if you get carried away with the volume control.
Cons:
none really maybe its heart of darkness look like another reviewer said.
2 out of 6 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

I don't get it?

Written By DaveD, Mint Hill, NC on Thursday, November 29, 2012
 
Maybe I was expecting too much? After getting the C326BEE, I did a comparison with a 10 year old, bottom of the line, 50 watt Onkyo receiver, that cost $120 new < I had it set up so I could switch back and forth, and could tell no difference between the cheap receiver and this amp, at any volume. After reading complaints online about these C326BEE amps running hot and going into protection mode, with no one being able to fix it, it was a no-brainer, I returned it. Don't get me wrong, it sounds OK, but no better than OK.
Pros:
Preamp in and outputs and sub woofer outs. Crutchfield's excellent return policy.
Cons:
Mediocre sound.
6 out of 26 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Love NAD for 30 years

Written By BadgerMan, Broomfield, CO on Monday, September 24, 2012
 
I bought this for my bedroom using an old set of B&O Beovox S75 speakers (4 ohm) and a sub-woofer. I am more than pleased. I wanted to have stereo and not home theater and being an NAD user for years this was an easy decision. Playing jazz, blues, classic rock, and classical is awesome. Back in the mid 80's I matched my B&O's with both a Rotel receiver against the NAD 7175PE, the NAD was night and day superior, its 4 ohm circuitry was excellent. I still use the NAD 7175PE, one reason I have remained a faithful NAD user. I have even a better experience with the this new NAD model. Love it and will recommend it to anyone.
Pros:
Sound quality, simplicity, quality construction, and superior components. Very well engineered.
Cons:
Nice if NAD would produce a smart-phone app for remote control.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

anize!

Written By thehov, Portland, OR on Thursday, September 13, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Nice little amp! I was a little worried that the 50 watts wouldn't drive my 901s adequately, but it seems totally fine. I previously tried the Harmon Kardon 3490 which I didn't like at all with my speakers. Very impressed overall with the sound NAD produces. Bass is pretty tight and mids are lovely.

I've heard other people say this thing runs really hot. Mine does not. Amps in general generate some heat and this one seems totally normal in that regard.

I would give build quality an 8 out of 10. Volume knob feels too light and cheap. I know this is a lower end model for NAD, but still at this price range it would be nice to see a little more fit and finish.

Remote seems fairly directional. I have to aim it pretty much straight on for it to register. Remote is nice overall though. Nice size. Wish there was a single power button and not separate ones for on/off. Seems superfluous.
Pros:
Great sound! No obnoxious digital display. Looks nice with my other equipment. Fairly compact unit.
Cons:
A little expensive.
6 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

nice little amp

Written By Rodger, denver, CO on Monday, July 02, 2012
 
I read a few message board reviews where people said their amp over heated and had few vents. Mine seems to have lots of vent holes and does not seem to be running hot. I am guessing they changed the design. Moreover mine is in the open with lots of ventilation.

Previously I was running a tube amp I bought over seas. It sounded amazing but had developed a hum due to the step down transformer. The sound from my NAD is much much cleaner than my old amp, and has lots and lots of excess watts. However I do miss the sound from my old tube amp. This amp has plenty of bass and power, however a feel like the sound is a little too bright, and can wear on my ears. This may just be an issue with my speaker (polk) and amp combo. I do think some day I will turn this amp into a dedicated preamp, and buy a tube amp. However at the moment I don't have $5000 for an amp. Overall I love this amp. I think my main issues with the amp are due to the fact that I prefer tube amps.
Pros:
Clean, simple
Cons:
A little to bright for my taste but I think I am just used to using a tube amp.
5 out of 6 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Nad goodness

Written By Jim, Ny on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Got this amp paired with some psb t5 towers. The sound is rich with the mids and high end a standout. Wish bass was more prominant, so might exchange for the t6 psb. Super dynamic detail, tons of reserve power. 50 watts never sounded so strong. Buy this piece!
Pros:
Build quality, warm sound
Cons:
Runs a bit warm, doesnt add much bass but mids are a beauty
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

NAD C 326BEE

Written By Matt, Clyde, OH on Monday, March 26, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very nice amp. I purchased the C 316BEE and returned it for the C 326BEE; thank you Crutchfield for the 60 day return policy, I'm very happy with the upgrade. A big step up from the C 316BEE. It has the SR 8 remote, the C316BEE has a basic and tiny remote, while this model's remote is the same as the higher priced models. The remote is compatable with other NAD components. I see alot of other people like this paired with bookshelf speakers. But I use mine to power B&W towers (4 ohms) and the amp drives them to nice sound levels. Good detail and imaging. Buy a good power line conditioner and you'll be very impressed. Great entry level for novice audiophiles. Great price for the performance and features .
Pros:
Soft clipping switch, two sub outputs, tone defeat, 2 ohm stable, 1pre output, 1pre input, 1 tape loop, good heat dissipation on power down-cools quickly after long and loud play
Cons:
No phono inputs or dac. But if your serious about vinyl your more than likely looking at higher priced amps. I really can't complain about the phono or dac for what NAD gives you for the price. Heck, no other company can give you the price or performance and include those two cons.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

NAD 326BEE amp

Written By Ron, San Antonio, TX on Thursday, March 22, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have owned NAD equipment for over 25 years and recently gave my system to my son to take to college. He went to college with a pair of Energy ESM-4 speakers a 50 watt per channel system and a great big smile on his face. I in turn purchased without shopping other equipment the 326BEE to support my Energy 22 Pro speakers. I have not been disappointed with the product or the decision. It is what I expected and has at this point been a great product with it responsiveness with my speakers. We listen to a vast range of music from Andrea Bocelli to Led Zeppelin and this equipment handles all of our sound quality needs. Having the right speakers is key to enhancing the performance of this equipment. What makes it the best is the affordable cost for the quality of the product.
Pros:
Simplistic sleek design with all the options need to listen to quality music with unmatched sound. Great response with clean crisp tone. I worked for many years in the electronics manufacturing industry and can say NAD builds and designs equipment made with exceptional quality standards. They design their equipment to meet true Watt ratings - if they say its 50 watts per channel it is a true representation of the specification.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

NAD 326BEE amp

Written By Ricky B, Kitty Hawk, N.C. on Friday, February 03, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I had an NAD unit from the mid 80's which was amazing and I'm glad they are still making quality 2 channel amps. This unit shows they are still doing the right thing with music quality 30 years later. It's all about the sound quality, not the latest consumer cravings. I have been concerned for years that not enough people still appreciate quality 2 channel music for companies like NAD to still be making this kind of unit. This amp connected to my two small B & W bookshelf speakers sounds much better than any surround sound system I have heard in houses, and I have heard alot, some so bad I walked away.
Pros:
Simple, pure, quality build, clean sound. No extra useless features or buttons. 2 channel instead of multi-channel.
Cons:
none. Just keep doing what they are doing.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Extremely happy that I chose the NAD C 326BEE

Written By Steve, Northern Calif. on Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I was looking for a good preamp with a remote to use with my power amp, but decided an integrated amplifier with pre-out would be less expensive, plus I'd get its power amp as a bonus. I was somewhat concerned with the 50W power rating of the 326BEE, but it powers my old Acoustat Spectra 11's, (electrostatic panel with conventional woofer), to very loud levels in the bedroom. The sound of the 326BEE's 50W power amp was preferable to the old 100W power amp when using the 326BEE as its preamp. The old power amp seemed less detailed and darker. Its additional power didn't appear to provide any benefit over the 326BEE used alone, so I plan to use the NAD by itself.
I also tried a pair of my son's ported bookshelf speakers, and they also sounded very nice with the 326BEE, but although they had a bunch of bass, they lacked the low bass of my floor standing speakers, so they could have used a subwoofer. The 326BEE does provide line-level subwoofer outs, which is great for someone planning on using mini-monitors or smaller bookshelf speakers.
Excellent soundstaging/instrument placement, and instruments placed well past the outer edges of the speakers on some recordings. Overall, I'm very blown away by how remarkable the 326BEE sounds for everything from heavy metal and classic rock, to new age and vocals.
I recommend that you audition one in you home, and think you'll keep it ... I'm keeping mine, and glad that I didn't pay more.

7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Entrey Level?

Written By dan, C-ville on Thursday, September 09, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The amazing thing about this integrated amp is that it is considered an entry level audiophile amp. Granted, there are no bells and whistles. But, the idea is that you don't need them. Just use tone direct to bypass any equalization and let the recording do the talking. I paired this with Polk Audio RTI A3s and the NAD 515 CD player. Power has not been a problem yet in a moderately sized living room (roughly 15X18). I haven't even begun to push the limits on the NAD.

The combination of the NAD and Polk really goes a long way for Beatles, choral music, orchestral music, blue grass, and 90s rock. I never thought that Pearl Jam could sound so freaking good. The clarity on the low end and mids is really impressive. I will say that some modern rock/pop--i.e. highly compressed music--does not sound as good. You need to roll back the highs to avoid the fatiguing effect of listening to compressed sound waves.
21 out of 23 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

NAD C 326BEE

Written By Anonymous, Kansas City on Sunday, June 13, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
A great integrated amp that won't win any beauty contests for it's Heart of Darkness looks but delivers audiophile level sound far above it's relatively low budget price. I think it's quickly established itself as a benchmark entry level piece of equipment because of its accurate all-round performance and warm visceral sound.

I'm using my 3rd Gen. 32GB iPod Touch hooked up to a NAD IPD2 dock as the primary audio source playing a wide variety of music from Miles Davis to Wilco to Mozart Horn Concertos in files ranging in size from 192 kbps to Apple lossless. I'm also taking advantage of the i-Touch's Wi-Fi capabilities to run Pandora (I upgraded bit rates by subscribing), LastFM, and some of the NPR apps that feature live streaming of stations from around the country.

One thing that that should be pointed out is how critical it is to match your speakers to this amp. The NAD really brings out the sonic personality of your speakers...eg, speakers that have an inherent forceful qualities turn into fatigue inducing monsters when run thru the NAD 326. I went through a variety of bookshelf speaker combinations (mostly British brands) and finally settled on what sounds like a Goldilocks middle ground choice...not too hot, not too cool - but finding "just right" seems like a task that is more compromise and happily living with it rather than arriving at an ultimate perfect solution.
17 out of 19 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

NAD C 326BEE

Written By Bob, Middleburg, PA on Friday, March 05, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Agree with Steve E.; don't know of any other integrated amp in this price range that comes close. Exceptional audiophile performance for the price.
5 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

NAD C 326BEE

Written By Steve, Everett, WA on Thursday, February 04, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
A straight forward, no nonsense amp that's small on frills and big on performance. Plenty of power for my apartment with a clean warm sound, wide dynamic range, and lots of headroom. One of the best price/performance amps on the market today.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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3 questions already asked

The unit has sub 1 and sub 2 line outputs in the rear. Are they true left and right channel outs? Or are they summed outs? [ Rohit  Apr 07, 2014 ]
4 answers
  • HI Rohit D, Unfortunately, I haven't use them yet so I am not sure. The unit provides excellent bass response through my vintage Advent Loudspeakers though. Extremely low definition. I almost feel like I don't need a sub at all! This technical question would probably be a good question for the manufacturer. Good luck! Scott [ JEREMY S   Apr 08, 2014 ]
  • These are definitely both "mono" subwoofer outputs, or "summed outs" in your terminology. As far as I know, all subwoofer outputs on amps are like that. [ WALTER F   Apr 08, 2014 ]
  • Rohit- There is a pre out and a sub out. You can connect to an external amplifier and a subwoofer or two subwoofers and ther are left and right channels. - Bill C [ William   Apr 08, 2014 ]
  • The manual is unclear on this point but I believe they are summed. Separate L and R would force the user to use two subs or blend the outputs. Also, they are not labeled L and R but just SUB1 and SUB2. Separate subwoofer channels are pretty unusual, so my bet is that they are summed. Sorry I can't give you a definitive answer. [ PETER   Apr 08, 2014 ]
I listen to music either from my iPod or from Pandora (using an older computer as the source); no records, no tape. Is it worth the $ difference between this and the NAD 316 since my sources are not high-end/originals? [ Zigy  Feb 07, 2014 ]
7 answers
  • Both are great amps. Difference is in power and lack of a digital input on the lower price amp. [ CRAIG D   Feb 10, 2014 ]
  • I haven't tried the 316, but very happy with the 326 for both sound and power. Highly recommended [ greg   Feb 08, 2014 ]
  • Sorry Sigy, I am not that knowledgeable to answer the question. I have yet to figure out the DAC but the amp is dynamite!! [ James   Feb 08, 2014 ]
  • You can get high-res files onto an iPod can't you? Anyway, I don't think you would hear any difference unless you are an ultra-critical listener. The main thing is that the 326 has two subwoofer outputs and the 316 has none. So if you want that option it might be worth paying the extra. I see Crutchfield ihas a deal with a wireless USB DAC with either model so this would be a good time to buy! If your speakers are really weird in terms of impedance e.g. certain older models you might want to get a second opinion from someone who knows electronics well - which isn't me(-; [ PETER   Feb 07, 2014 ]
  • I got the 326 because it had a sub out and the 316 did not. I also felt I needed more power since I am using a lower output cartridge on my turntable. I am really impressed by the sound quality of this NAD amp. Had the 316 had the sub out feature I'm sure I would have been pleased with that as well. [ james   Feb 07, 2014 ]
  • If you combine this amplifier with good speakers and use the NAD wireless DAC, you will experience amazing sound from your streaming sources. Not as great as playing cds and vinyl through a quality cd player or turntable, but I enjoy the improved sound from mp3 files. [ Hampton   Feb 07, 2014 ]
  • Probably not. The main issue is whether the amp is a good match for your speakers. I bought the NAD C 326BEE instead of the 316 solely because I have 4-ohm speakers that are low to moderate in sensitivity. I think either amp would be great in terms of handling the sources you mention. [ William   Feb 07, 2014 ]
compare vs yamaha s500? [ jose a  Jan 04, 2014 ]
6 answers
  • I replaced my Yamaha receiver -- an older model mind you -- with the NAD. I've always been a fan of NAD's aesthetic and pure sound. Yamaha makes a good product, too -- I do think NAD offers a lot of value for the money and has a bit of cache to the name. [ CRAIG D   Jan 29, 2014 ]
  • I don't know yamaha s500. [ AXEL   Jan 06, 2014 ]
  • I cannot compare these two, but can tell you that the NAD is a monster!!!!! Very nice piece of equipment. I love it. [ James   Jan 06, 2014 ]
  • difficult to turn on, have to hit power button several times until it catches. Once on sound quality is very good. Now it wont turn on at all. Going to return. [ greg   Jan 06, 2014 ]
  • Hello, I don't know about the Yamaha but my Nad 326Bee is fantastic. I simply love it! My brother has been a recording engineer for 40 years & he says NAD amps are the best out there bar none. This amp has very powerful bass & treble. This doesn't have all the bells & whistles compared to others. NAD concertrated with putting full power on this amp. NAD underrates the power output of their amps. My brother tested total output on this amp & it exceded 75+ watts!. Of course you have to figure in the rest of your equipment. I have a pair of Klpisch Reference tower speakers rated at 250 watts per channel, Klipsch subwoofer, Analysis Plus Oval 9 bi-wire speaker cables, Analysis Plus Digital Crystal Interconnects & Analysis Plus sub oval cable. I use to have a EQ with my old system but with my setup now i didn't need it. My brother says the EQ will just mess up the output signal & man was he right. I'm talking total raw power here!. This amp makes my music sound like a concert! No kidding! Overall i couldn't be happier with the amp. It is hands down the best amp i have ever owned! PERIOD! You will not be disappointed! Hope this helps. [ RONNIE   Jan 05, 2014 ]
  • They have about the same power if you factor in the different design philosophies. The NAD has a second subwoofer output but no ipod dock, though the Yamaha's requires a Yamaha ipod. The NAD only has one set of speaker outputs but they are large and easy to hook up. The NAD is a very good sounding amp with a warmish balance. I have no idea how the Yamaha sounds. NAD is thought of as an 'audiophile' brand if that matters to you. [ PETER   Jan 05, 2014 ]

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