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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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Item # 745C165BEE

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About the NAD C 165BEE

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
  • 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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Crutchfield response

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More details on the NAD C 165BEE

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Signal to Noise Ratio 108
THD 0.001%
Number of Inputs 7
USB Connections None
Ethernet Connections None
Phono Inputs 2
Preamp Outputs 3
Network Streaming Services None
Bluetooth No
AirPlay Compatible None
Width (inches) 17-1/8
Height (inches) 3-7/8
Depth (inches) 14-1/8
Weight (pounds) 13.23
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

Crutchfield asked: Why did you buy this?
To replace an aging Sansui AU-999 pre-amp section [ S  Jun 17, 2019 ]
My ancient preamp gave out, I already have a new NAD CD player, and this preamp has exactly the right amount of inputs and outputs. [ James  May 18, 2019 ]
it matches my amp and my old pre-amp died. [ Christopher  Apr 28, 2019 ]
I've purchased it before and I'm very satisfied with this product. [ Gil  Mar 31, 2019 ]
Lots of places to plug in our various separate components. [ Izzy  Mar 09, 2019 ]
To compliment our existing NAD equipment , all of which was purchased from Crutchfield ! [ Timothy  Mar 06, 2019 ]
Its Just what I needed to complete my vinyl set up. [ TIMOTHY  Jan 23, 2019 ]
Quality, versatility, perfromance [ Robert  Oct 09, 2018 ]
Replacing a NAD C162 that finally died. [ A A  May 19, 2018 ]
I have a NAD CD player that I am happy with. [ john m.  May 16, 2018 ]
Brand reputation, design of controls, appearance, customer reviews, price, specs [ christopher  Apr 05, 2018 ]
Only pre amp that is for a real stereo and not a dam "home theatre" also great reviews. My Onkyo 304 never really performed on bass, now i can sell the sub woofer! [ Matthew  Jan 03, 2018 ]
Replacing a Preamp/Tuner with some issues. Would have preferred McIntosh but not ready for a second mortgage! Hopefully NAD lives up to my expectations. If it does a NAD CD player may added. [ George  Dec 07, 2017 ]
This is the only preamp still manufactured which has a tape monitor loop. [ Douglas  Dec 01, 2017 ]
It seemed a versatile preamp [ SERGIO DA  Jul 05, 2017 ]
Reviews and specifications, and have owned other NAD products. [ Albert  Jun 05, 2017 ]
NAD IS THE ONLY COMPANY THAT STILL MAKES ANALOG preamps that sound great and you do not have to take out a second mortgage to own. plus you can also hook up a EQ ,to this preamp [ Daniel  May 11, 2017 ]
I check this preamplificador many times before I buy it. I buy before a preamp with XLR connections. Not with you guys. And the USB port doesn't work and soo expensive. I put it back and at the time I get my money back I buy my NAD preamplificador with you guys. And I love it. At the first time I was unsure if I keep it or not. But a couple days later I decide keep it. I have a marantz amp, pair of Klipsch Reference speakers and a Martin Logan Dynamo 500 sub. Sounds great [ FERNANDO MONTAN  Mar 23, 2017 ]
All analog, switched and un-switched convenience outlets, stereo subwoofer capability, remote control, size, tone defeat, phono stage. [ GG  Dec 23, 2016 ]
You get what you pay for with NAD and it is a good quality replacement preamp for two channel with a lot of inputs and outputs. [ William C.  Dec 08, 2016 ]
It has tone controls, unbalanced outputs for both my power amp and headset amp, and a subwoofer output. I need all three capabilities. The Cambridge would have been my first choice, except for having only one unbalanced output. [ G  Nov 15, 2016 ]
Best fit to my needs. [ Russell  Nov 10, 2016 ]
Feature set, price, NAD reputation [ Mike  Sep 02, 2016 ]
Great reputation since I can remember. The quality lives up to my expectations. [ Heagan  Jun 15, 2016 ]
price and features [ brad  Jun 04, 2016 ]
very clean [ Brian  Jun 03, 2016 ]
Surprisingly favorable reviews, given the price. [ Stephen  Dec 31, 2015 ]
A lot of positive from user reviews. [ KHUONG  Dec 09, 2015 ]

5 questions already asked

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  Sep 24, 2019 ]
I don't believe so from NAD.
[ JOEY M  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  May 26, 2018 ]
[ Robert  May 26, 2018 ]
[ Richard  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  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.
[ KHUONG  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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