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Stereo preamplifier

Item # 745C165BEE

The NAD C 165BEE offers many of the performance advantages of far costlier stereo preamplifiers — detail...

The NAD C 165BEE offers many of the performance advantages of far costlier stereo preamplifiers — detail...

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Discontinued item
11 questions - 54 answers

Item # 745C165BEE

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Since 1974

Years of experience making people happy.

About the NAD C 165BEE

Dave Bar
The NAD C 165BEE offers many of the performance advantages of far costlier stereo preamplifiers — detail resolution, bass control, and extension — for a price that won't break the bank. Its premium-grade circuitry and sturdy construction deliver realistic, lifelike sound that puts the musicians right in your room. This preamp also includes a versatile phono stage so you can enjoy your music collection on vinyl, and a top-notch headphone amplifier for high-quality private listening. Match it up with NAD's potent C 275BEE power amp and a high-performance NAD CD player to create a beautiful-sounding stereo system.

The NAD C 165BEE offers many of the performance advantages of far costlier stereo preamplifiers — detail resolution, bass control, and extension — for a price that won't break the bank. Its premium-grade circuitry and sturdy construction deliver realistic, lifelike sound that puts the musicians right in your room. This preamp also includes a versatile phono stage so you can enjoy your music collection on vinyl, and a top-notch headphone amplifier for high-quality private listening. Match it up with NAD's potent C 275BEE power amp and a high-performance NAD CD player to create a beautiful-sounding stereo system.

Advanced design and top-notch construction for better sound
Thoughtful engineering and high-quality construction are hallmarks of NAD audio components. The C 165BEE's sophisticated circuit design uses the shortest, cleanest signal paths possible for noise-free operation. This also helps preserve the lowest-levels of musical detail for sound that remains remarkably pure and transparent. A heavy-gauge steel chassis adds to the C 165BEE's durability and vibration resistance. NAD even employed an interference-canceling toroidal transformer in the preamp's power supply for punchy, dynamic performance.

Connections and convenience
This preamp offers enough inputs to connect seven audio components, including your turntable. Two preamp outputs let you use the C 165BEE to drive two independent power amplifiers. A mono subwoofer output makes it easy add a powered sub. And the included remote gives you easy control of the preamp, and the other NAD audio components in your system.


Product highlights:

  • 6 line-level RCA inputs, including 1 tape monitor loop
  • phono input with selectable moving magnet or moving coil settings
  • 2 line-level RCA preamp outputs, including one variable output
  • 1 line-level RCA subwoofer preamp output (for connecting a powered sub)
  • frequency response: 3-70,000 Hz (-3dB)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 108 dB
  • phono signal-to-noise ratio: 78 dB
  • phono input sensitivity: 14 mV (moving magnet), 0.8 mV (moving coil)
  • separate resistive and capacitive loading for MM and MC inputs for precise frequency with different phono cartridges
  • toroidal power transformer
  • rotary bass and treble controls with defeat switch for tone control bypass
  • full-size headphone jack with independent, built-in headphone amplifier
  • 12-volt trigger output
  • IR input/output
  • detachable AC power cord
  • 2 AC convenience outlets (one switched, one unswitched)
  • <1W Standby Power Consumption
  • free of lead and other environmentally dangerous substances
  • remote control
  • 17-1/8"W x 3-7/8"H x 14-1/8"D
    • Crutchfield's in-house depth measurements are made with all relevant cables in place
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # C165BEE

What's in the box:

  • Stereo Preamplifier
  • 6' Power cord
  • Wireless remote control (SR 8)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 4' RCA patch cord
  • Owner's manual (English/ French/ Spanish/ Italian/ German/ Dutch/ Swedish/ Russian)
  • Warranty information

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More details on the NAD C 165BEE

Stacey B.

Features & specs

RCA Inputs 6
XLR Inputs 0
3.5mm Inputs 0
Phono Inputs 2
Phono Input Type Moving Magnet/Moving Coil
Optical Digital Inputs 0
Coaxial Digital Inputs 0
Digital XLR Inputs 0
USB Type A 0
USB Type B 0
Ethernet Port No
RCA Outputs 2
XLR Outputs 0
Optical Digital Outputs 0
Coaxial Digital Outputs 0
Digital XLR Outputs 0
Subwoofer Outputs 1
Discrete Sub Outs No
Headphone Output No
Audio Features & Specs
Frequency Response 20-20k
S/N Ratio (Phono) 78
S/N Ratio (Line) 108
THD 0.001
DAC Bit Depth N/A
DAC Sample Rate N/A
Home Theater Bypass No
Wireless Features
Bluetooth N
Bluetooth Formats Supported N/A
Wi-Fi N/A
Frequency Bands N/A
Apple AirPlay No
DTS Play-Fi No
Chromecast built-in No
Roon No
MusicCast No
BluOS No
Music Services
Amazon Music No
Apple Music No
Pandora No
Qobuz No
SiriusXM No
Spotify No
Tidal No
TuneIn No
YouTube Music No
Apple Control App No
Android Control App No
Amazon Alexa No
Google Assistant No
12 Volt Trigger Out
IR Control In/Out
RS-232 No
Other Specs
Width (Inches) 17.125
Height (Inches) 3.855
Depth (Inches) 14.08
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research



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.

Phono Input: The phono input has two sets of stereo RCA jacks; one for moving coil and one for moving magnet cartridges (only one or the other is used, not both). There is also a ground terminal.

Dual Preamp Outputs: The second set of preamp outputs is convenient for bi-amping speakers.

Subwoofer: The single RCA subwoofer output is crossed over at 100 Hz.

Remote Control: The SR 8 wireless remote will control the C 165BEE and NAD CD players and Tuners.


Front Panel:

  • Input: six individual buttons to select input (Phono, CD, Tuner, MP, Aux, and Tape 2)
  • Tape Monitor: engage/disengage the tape monitor loop
  • Tone Defeat: bypass the bass and treble controls
  • Bass: rotary bass adjustment; +/-5dB @ 100Hz
  • Treble: rotary treble adjustment; +/-5dB @ 10kHz
  • Balance: rotary left/right balance
  • Volume: rotary volume control

Rear Panel:

  • Power: master power switch
  • Volume: rotary dial; adjusts volume of Pre Out 2 (relative to Pre Out 1)
  • MM/MC: select moving magnet or moving coil phono input
  • MC Load: choose the resistive load that most closely approximates the value of your specific MC cartridge
  • MM Load: choose the input capacitance optimized for your specific MM cartridge


Rear Panel:

  • Phono Inputs: stereo RCA inputs for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges
  • Phono Ground: ground terminal for the turntable input
  • Line Inputs: stereo RCA input jacks for CD, Tuner, MP (Media Player), Aux, Tape 2, and Tape Monitor
  • Record Outputs: stereo RCA output jacks for Tape 2 and Tape Monitor
  • Pre Out 1: stereo RCA preamp outputs
  • Pre Out 2: stereo RCA outputs for feeding another amplifier, a rotary dial beside the outputs adjusts the volume relative to the Pre Out 1 jacks
  • Subwoofer: single RCA preamp output
  • 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 165BEE; 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)
  • AC Output:
    • Switched: 120 watts max
    • Unswitched: 360 watts max

Front Panel:

  • Headphone: Standard 1/4" headphone jack


  • THD (Total Harmonic Distortion): <0.001% (20 Hz - 20k Hz, 2 volt output)
  • Signal/Noise:
    • >108 dB (ref 500 mV in/500 mV out)
    • >106 dB (ref 2 volt out, maximum volume)
  • Frequency response:
    • +/- 0.1 dB: 20 Hz-20 kHz (tone defeat on)
    • +/- 0.5 dB: 20 Hz-20 kHz (tone defeat off)
  • Preamp output impedance: 75 Ω
  • Line input impedance: 100 kΩ + 320 pF
  • Line input sensitivity: 158 mV (ref 500 mV output)
  • Headphone output impedance: 10 Ω
  • Maximum input signal: >9 volts
  • Maximum output level:
    • Preamp: >10 volts into 600 Ω
    • Tape out: >10 volts into 10 kΩ
    • Sub out: >7 volts into 1 kΩ
    • Headphones: >5 volts into 600 Ω/>2 volts into 32 Ω
  • Channel separation: >80 dB (ref 1 kHz and 10 kHz)
  • Phono input:
    • Impedance:
      • MC: 40,100.6 kΩ + 1 nF
      • MM: 47 kΩ + 220 kF
    • Input sensitivity:
      • MC: 0.15 mV (1 kHz, 500 mV output)
      • MM: 2.63 mV (1 kHz, 500 mV output)
    • Signal/Noise:
      • MC: >78 dB
      • MM: >86 dB
    • Infrasonic filter: -3 dB at 10 Hz, -14 dB at 5 Hz
    • Channel Separation: >60 dB (1 kHz, 10 kHz)
  • Tone control:
    • Bass: +/-5dB @ 100Hz
    • Treble: +/-5dB @ 10kHz
  • Power Requirement: AC 120V 60Hz
  • Power Consumption:
    • Normal Operation: 21W
    • Standby: <0.8W
  • Weight: 13.23 lbs (6 kg)

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Customer Q&A

11 questions already asked

Can I use the Ashly KLR 3200 with my NAD C162 preamp to power my Klipsch Cornwall speakers for home listening?
[ STEPHEN  Sep 04, 2022 ]
1 answer
This should be possible using an dual RCA to 1/4" TS adapter. Our advisors are happy to with picking the accessories you need. Please give us a call at 1-800-324-9695.
[ ZACHARY  Sep 04, 2022 ]  Staff
Can the bass & treble be adjusted using the remote control?
[ DAN  May 13, 2022 ]
3 answers
Not as far as I can tell. But what a nice piece of equipment.
[ JERRY  May 14, 2022 ]
No. What the remote does is to switch between tone defeat (a flat response, blue light on) and tone enabled (blue light off). When enabled, you have to manually adjust the bass & treble knobs. Once you have adjusted the tone controls where you like them, you simply switch between the two modes via the remote.
[ MICHAEL  May 13, 2022 ]
There is a "Tone DFT" button which presumably will defeat an altered bass or treble and take the preamp back to flat. The remote does not have individual bass and treble controls.
[ JAMES  May 13, 2022 ]
I have willsenton r8 integrated tube amp.Can this nad improved my base/bass I'm looking to improve it more the willsenton do have but I want a bit more?
[ CARLOS  Apr 30, 2022 ]
6 answers
I owned a Harmon/Kardon 730 twin powered receiver unit prior to buying my NAD component units but I've never felt receivers or amps improving bass - I have an Equalizer from the 80's which I use specifically for my NAD amp and it gives me more punch with bass and high treble - it seems like Equalizers are hard to find now and not manufactured - so this would be my answer to this question
[ RICHARD  May 15, 2022 ]
I don't know if the NAD will increaae bass response but maybe, just MAYBE, inserting an equalizer betwee the NAD (or another pre-amp) and the Willsenton pre-in might help.
[ GREGORY  May 02, 2022 ]
My 165 drives a nad 268 , lots of bass thru my klipsh horns, you might try a new amp instead of preamp
[ REIN  Apr 30, 2022 ]
Hi, Carlos, What speakers are you driving with the R8? I would advise that you look into bass response of the speakers first- even some top-rated speakers are a little thin at the bottom end for some listeners and/or music styles. If you don't already have a subwoofer, a good sub might be the answer for you. I'm very happy with the NAD preamp, but you might have a solid preamp in the R8 already, and be needing to spend the price of a good preamp at the other end of your system instead. Hope this is helpful. -Mike
[ Michael S.  Apr 30, 2022 ]
This unit replaced a 43 yr old Phase Linear 4000 Series 2 pre-amp that was connected to a Carver 4.0t amp driving a pair of Altec 811B/416 speakers in 8 cu ft enclosures. The Phase had more base but also had a built in base equalization giving 8db boost @50hz, in addition to the normal base control. I always left the base boost on hence more bass. (The Caver was $795 back in 1978) Your amp set up indicates you are also seriously concerned with bass quality. The NAD, with the carver,seems to open up the base register. Bass violins tend to sound more as individual instruments rather than just a single large instrument. I've been playing around with audio since I was 15 yrs old (1961), and one thing I have learned is the importance of speaker placement. I would try experimenting with speaker location first. I would then call Crutchfield for their advice. They have a 60day satisfaction policy and an extensive selection of high end pre-amps that your taste and set up deserves
[ ROBERT  Apr 30, 2022 ]
The NAD preamp is designed to produce a very flat response curve. You can boost the bass using the tone control but I don't think this will solve your problem. You need a subwoofer.
[ EDWARD  Apr 30, 2022 ]
NAD C 165BEE can I plug in a Smart TV into this preamp and listen to my tv through my sound system?
[ PAUL T  Aug 30, 2021 ]
7 answers
You can not directly connect unless your smart TV has RCA output jacks, which most new models do not. If your TV comes with Toslink, coaxial, or USB outs, you can run those to a DAC that is equipped with RCA outs. This will be an improvement to sound quality as well. There are many DAC's to choose from, but for a modest price, I suggest the Cambridge DAC Magic 100. Your sweet NAD pre amp will do the rest. I also suggest using this DAC with your other line source components, as you will enjoy the sonic improvements, and your friends will marvel at your awesome set up.
[ JEFF  Aug 30, 2021 ]
Yes, one way is patch through the headphone output into the AUX stereo input on the 165.
[ Fred  Aug 30, 2021 ]
You should be able to depending on your TV. I have to use the Optical Digital Audio Output from my LG to a DAC (Digital Audio Converter) and then use audio cables from that to the AUX input on the preamp. Audio cable and DAC are relatively cheap depending on your budget. My setup works great for me.
[ TIMOTHY  Aug 30, 2021 ]
I don't know for sure on a smart t.v. but I plugged a regular t.v. into one of the non phono inlet and it does work for that.
[ GREGORY  Aug 30, 2021 ]
Yes if the tv has a pair of analog audio outputs (left & right). Plug into the aux or any of the other inputs except the two phono inputs.
[ PAUL A.  Aug 30, 2021 ]
I believe so assuming there is an audio-out on your TV, which I'm sure there is. If the TV has RCA for audio out, you can go straight into one of the unused inputs of the preamp, such as Aux or one of the Tape-in. If the TV only has optical audio out, you might need a D/A converter in the middle.
[ JOHN  Aug 30, 2021 ]
Yes you can listen to audio out from the smart tv to aux in on the preamp. I have an LG and you have to toggle the audio setting for audio out. I have mini headphone jack on the tv with a patch cord to left and right RCA connectors to the aux jacks on preamp.
[ RICHARD  Aug 30, 2021 ]
I noticed this has a tape monitor loop. Is this for using an equalizer like the old school receivers had?
[ BRAD  Jun 06, 2021 ]
8 answers
You could use the tape loop for eq but you don't need to, it has pre out and in rca jacks, thats how I connected my eq
[ REIN  Jun 06, 2021 ]
No, what I would have done was to connect tthe "out" from the pre amp to the "in" on the equalizer, then connected the "out" from the equalizer to the "in" of whatever I was using for a power amp. I hope this helps.
[ GREGORY  Jun 06, 2021 ]
Brad, Yes this circuit can be used for typical pre-amp outputs like the old tape monitor loop.
[ Fred  Jun 06, 2021 ]
[ PAUL  Jun 06, 2021 ]
You can put an equalizer in the tape monitor loop and use it to alter your sound
[ EDWARD  Jun 06, 2021 ]
Yes, you can use your equalizer.
[ ERICK N.  Jun 06, 2021 ]
my tape machine
[ DAN  Jun 06, 2021 ]
Yes. It can be used for either a tape deck or an outboard processor such as a frequency equalizer. I use it for that purpose.
[ PAUL A.  Jun 06, 2021 ]
Will a Samsung smart TV remote control the volume on this preamp?
[ ROBERT  Aug 03, 2020 ]
3 answers
The NAD C 165BEE comes with it's own remote control. I have no idea if other manufacturer remote controls will work.
[ ROBERT J  Aug 04, 2020 ]
No idea. I have both components but never tried/experimented with that, and I would have no need to do that anyway.
[ ROBERT  Aug 03, 2020 ]
I do not think it will. But give it a try.
[ MICHAEL J  Aug 03, 2020 ]
Is there a model like this with a Bluetooth capabilities?
[ John  Sep 23, 2019 ]
4 answers
I'm unaware of such a model. To work around this insufficiency in the NAD line, I also purchased from Crutchfield a Yamaha WXC-50 MusicCast preamp that is designed to receive and amplify Bluetooth and WiFi signals. Its output is plugged into the Auxiliary input ports of the NAD C 165BEE preamp. The Yamaha preamp cost about $350.00 and works very nicely with my system.
[ HUGH  Sep 24, 2019 ]
Yes. Copy and paste this link in a browser to see other models with Bluetooth and other streaming functionality.
[ ROBERT J  Sep 24, 2019 ]
I don't believe so from NAD.
[ JOEY  Sep 23, 2019 ]
I don't believe so. This style preamp is pure analog, so there is also no onboard DAC. You would have to make the jump up their Masters series preamp with the addition of the BluOS module.
[ Shane  Sep 23, 2019 ]
is there a 'line out', i.e. constant level pre-amp output jack?
[ paul  Jan 14, 2019 ]
7 answers
Hi Paul and Crutchfield, Sure, glad to answer, and hope this helps. The NAD C 165BEE has two tape recorder connections, one of which provides a tape monitor function too, the other is just a normal tape output and input. Each of these tape recorder connections consists of L and R RCA connector output jacks, which are line level outputs to their respective tape recorders. Both are unaffected by the volume or the tone controls. So, either Tape 1 Out or Tape 2 Out Left and Right pairs should provide what Paul is asking for. Good luck. And it's a great preamp, by the way. Yours, Albert Manfredi
[ Albert  Jan 16, 2019 ]
There is no "Line Out" per se, but the Tape 2 and Tape Mon outputs can be used for the same function. The selected preamp input (except for "Tape") is routed to the tape outputs unaffected by the preamp tone and volume controls.
[ Geoffrey  Jan 15, 2019 ]
I don't really understand the question. The C165 IS the pre-amp. It has two output jacks for two amplifiers, one for a subwoofer, and two for tape monitors. What I don't understand is what you mean by "constant level."
[ William  Jan 15, 2019 ]
There is a tape monitor path that you can use for constant level
[ David  Jan 15, 2019 ]
I have this Preamp with NAD c275BEE, 150 Watts per. Teriffic duo, and use Definative 5 Sub. Lots of power and all the bass you could want. Highly recommend.
[ Tony W.  Jan 15, 2019 ]
Yes, just a single RCA type connector on the right side end of all the connections. It's marked "SUBW". That's what your looking for to connect a powered subwoofer or the like.
[ Tony W.  Jan 15, 2019 ]
There are 2 Preamp outputs on this unit.
[ Gil  Jan 15, 2019 ]
Does this unit have a remote?
[ TED  May 25, 2018 ]
6 answers
Yes, and although a generic unit intended for multiple NAD products, and thus, not every button on it is applicable to the 165BEE, it works well, and I use it to control my preamp every day. It selects inputs, volume, and on/off. Does a good job. By the way, the 165 is a quiet, very capable beauty of a preamp that I highly recommend.
[ NORMAN J  May 26, 2018 ]
[ Robert  May 26, 2018 ]
[ RICHARD J  May 26, 2018 ]
Yes it does.
[ CHRIS  May 26, 2018 ]
[ Harold  May 25, 2018 ]
[ JEROME  May 25, 2018 ]
Will this preamp work with my vintage Dynaco ST 70 or Counterpoint NP 100?
[ Miles  Oct 21, 2015 ]
4 answers
Don't see why not. A preamp controls input to the power amp. This unit does just that.
[ NORMAN J  May 26, 2018 ]
don't know
[ Lonnie  Oct 22, 2015 ]
I'm not familiar with the amps referenced, but my pre amp is hooked to a Haffler DH-500 and so far works and sounds great after a few months of burn in.
[ MIGUEL  Oct 21, 2015 ]
Yes,great combo for warm and clear analog through Dynaco ST 70 tube amplify,but you must use preamp between them to control the volume up and down.
[ HOANG  Oct 21, 2015 ]
I want a pre-amp that puts all the power to the speaker systems. I have seen some that seem to split the deep bass out of the normal output and into a subwoofer output. This unit has a sub jack. Does it split the bass out of the regular output channels? If so, this is not the unit for me.
[ Wendell  Feb 13, 2014 ]
5 answers
Naw. It works great. I do not use the preamp's subwoofer output, instead I connect a powered subwoofer via the amp's speaker outputs. And I can tell you, all the deep bass is there.
[ Albert  Jan 16, 2019 ]
It does send the full signal through all of its outputs. There is no dedicated sub output with low frequency only.
[ PETER  Dec 08, 2015 ]
[ Wendell  Mar 03, 2014 ]
I have no idea if it splits the base but this is just a low-cost, excellent system for a small room and not in the category of a complete amplifier which has more options. I don't use the SW
[ RICHARD  Feb 26, 2014 ]
We have not received any answers from other customers on your question. I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They should be able to help answer your question.
[ Jeff  Feb 17, 2014 ]  Staff

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