NAD C 326BEE
Good sound with a variety of CD's, including the Smithsonian Folkways series. Drives our Thiel speakers easily.
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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.
Good sound with a variety of CD's, including the Smithsonian Folkways series. Drives our Thiel speakers easily.
Anonymous, Oakland, CA
Average Customer Review(s):
Good sound with a variety of CD's, including the Smithsonian Folkways series. Drives our Thiel speakers easily.
No bells, no whistles, just great sound.
Was looking for an upgrade to my old 80's Technics SA-203 receiver (not a hi-end Technics). I was looking for sound quality above all, but wanted many features too. Started with a Cambridge Topaz 20 which did *everything* really well, but thought I should try integrated amp to see if I could tell the difference in sound quality. I wanted line-level rc outs for recording to computer, sub-woofer out, tone defeat, and I decided that I would get a separate phono stage and separate DAC if I went this route. Well - turns out this unit had better sound (it was just more sound - soundstage? - don't know how to describe it) than anything I had tried before. Plus I like having knobs that have direct control instead of digital inputs. Put the Technics under it for now as my radio Tuner - works great! The NAD does run hot, make sure to give it adequate ventilation per the manual's requirements.
Pros: Clean sound, great warm bass Excellent headphone output Line out, subwoofer out Goobs of power Tone Defeat
Cons: Runs hot - needs good ventilation Would have preferred the analog inputs generically labeled (A1, A2, etc instead of CD, Tuner, etc)
Great amp , clean, clear, detailed, easy to listen to. Plenty of power to drive almost any speaker unless you need to shake the walls, which i don`t. Hooked to a eighteen year old NAD cd player which still sounds great. Pure simple 2 channel sound the way its supposed to be.
Pros: Clean detailed sound.
Excellent build quality. Pure 2 channel audio
Pros: Excellent build quality. Beautifully simplistic. Tone defeat a must for audiophiles. NAD never disappoints. Not quite the same a my kt120 driven primaluna but a great sounding system when coupled to NAD cd player and B&W floorstanders.
I've had a few reliability issues with NAD AVRs over the past few years, so I was a little hesitant to make this purchase. But, I love the NAD sound and this unit has been on the market for several years with positive reviews. I'm glad I decided to give it a try. While it's too soon to determine if there will be any reliability issues, the sounds, aesthetics ,and simplicity of this unit are fantastic. The instant I turned it on, my wife said "Wow!". Really fantastic sound and very easy to use.
Pros: Amazing sound quality Simple to use Nice size and appearance Good features
Cons: Would have been nice to allow both the internal amp and the pre-outs to function simultaneously. I have a pair of easy-to-drive speakers with enhanced low-mids and bass and a pair of Maggies that need the external amp. I like to run them together and blend their sound. As it is, we are just using the Magnepans and it still sounds wonderful.
Big improvement over my 1980s Yamaha Amplifier. Very tight bass and lots of reserve power. Absolutely quiet. I have used this amplifier for about 2 weeks. No complaints.
Pros: Clean sound. No distortion. Effortless power.
Cons: Runs hot. Plastic knobs and face-plate.
I was ready to retire my 18 year old surround sound receiver for something simple and more natural. Surround sound receivers filled with so many DSP settings it's hard to know what's the natural sound vs. Synthetic sound. This NAD brought my music back to being what it should be. My only regret is not having dumped that old receiver once I give up on surround sound.
Pros: Super easy to set up and due to the nature of this type of device the goal of having cleaner sound has been achieved
Cons: They stuck in a giant remote control with features for what looks like other types of components. I really wish it had a much smaller remote covering just the features of the preamp and the amplification
NAD has always offered intelligent & affordable products. This 5-star rating is based on performance per cost. The NAD design team aims for musicality rather than gimmicks. This basic integrated amplifier is no exception to that, enabling speakers to deliver the sound of the source material accurately. Crutchfield ships quickly & that is appreciated.
Pros: Great Sound Quality, Intelligent Design, Remote Control
Cons: None for me. For those who want to play vinyl, a separate phono preamp would have to be purchased.
The NAD C 326BEE replaced a Rotel integrated amp that I used as a pre-amp with a very powerful Rotel 2-channel power amp. We moved to a new home and the only option to connect a subwoofer was line level connections. The Rotel did not provide this. It's a shame because it is such a sweet little amp. After searching the Internet and speaking with a Crutchfield representative, I opted for the NAD. Although the NAD weighs much less than the Rotel, it performs just as well and I am very pleased. I would recommend it to a friend.
Pros: Very good value, works well as a pre-amp.
Cons: None whatsoever.
Great sound out of the box. Excellent amp for the price. Make sure to leave room between components so the little guy can breathe. It runs a little hot.
Pros: Plenty of power. 2 sub outputs. Simple to setup. Price.
Cons: No mute switch. Runs a little on the hot side. Wish it came in sliver. No Phono input.
I purchased this amp for a second system, after being thoroughly impressed with the NAD 375bee I have running in my main system. I must say, after about 10 hours of burn in, this amp sounds awesome. I've had it now for a few months, and remain thoroughly impressed. The 326 sounds every bit as good as the 375. The only difference, other than wattage that I notice, is the 326 is a tad warmer sounding. I even tried it on my power hungry Polk SDA1Bs, that I normally drive with the 375, and it performed wonderfully. Unless you regularly play your system to ear ringing levels, all you need is the 326. It gets my highest recommendation.
Pros: Sounds far more powerful than the rated 50wpc. Immaculate sound quality.
I recently started my audiophile journey with the NAD D3020; this was a short-lived mistake for my purposes. Just as a test, I bought the D3020 in conjunction with the Peachtree Audio DAC iTx. After painstaking blind tests and the like, it was easy to tell that playing TiDAL hifi streams from my Sonos Connect to the DAC iTx and then through the D3020's RCA (analog) connections was FAR SUPERIOR to running the Sonos Connect directly through the DAC of the D3020. The Peachtree's DAC offered more clarity, a fuller spectrum of sound, and the punch I expected from a moderately priced DAC. So I was happy for a week, using the Peachtree in conjunction with the D3020. After that week, I felt foolish for having 2 DACs, knowing that I would only use the one. I spent the next week reading up on entry audiophile integrated amps in the price range of the D3020. Long story short: I found the C 326bee, which was the exact same price as the D3020, but it is a Class AB amp (as opposed to the Class D D3020) with more real world wattage. I could go on, but the main thing: there is a night and day difference between the C 326bee and the D3020. It's not even really fair to compare them. Whether it's TiDAL hifi streaming through the Sonos Connect + Peachtree DAC or Hi-Res audio files from my laptop to the Peachtree to the amp, the C 326bee does a much more competent job of driving my DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY STUDIO MONITOR 350s + DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY PRO SUB 800. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS AMP!
Pros: Affordability. High end performance from a strong Class AB amp. Straight-forward, simple design.
The warmth and clarity that this amps gives classical music is amazing. I have it paired with the NAD C546BEE CD player and they are amazing together. The amp makes strings sound so much warmer but at the same time crisp. I listen at a rather high volume level, but the wattage is more than adequate with no clipping or distortion. Piano and woodwinds sound as if they are in the room with you and the definition is just unbelievable. I would recommend this amp/cd player combination to anyone who is a serious listener of music. Solo vocal and choral music is definitely front and center - singers' diction really comes through. A few reviewers commented that they thought the amp ran hot - I would disagree, I find it no warmer than the home theatre amp I have in my viewing room. I is just warm to the touch, definitely not hot.
Pros: Everything is positive about the amplifier - simple, straightforward controls, no useless functions or gadgets. Remote control also controls the NAD CD player.
Cons: I have not found any negative points.
I was upgrading from the NAD 315BEE so I wasn't sure if the NAD 326BEE would make a whole lot of difference. Well, it was a huge difference! I was shocked. This amp produces a very rich, full sound with great bass and crystal clear vocals. This amp is a much better match for my PSB Image T5s than the NAD 315 was. I found that if the cd or album recording isn't all that great then that's what you will hear - it won't improve it much. But a well recorded album on the other hand - lets just say you will be very, very impressed. I've heard things on The Wall that I never heard before. Looking to have this for many years. Love it.
Pros: Full, rich sound
Cons: None yet.
This is the first NAD I have owned and I am very happy with it. I have a pair of Bose 901s and the sound is crisp in every way. I purchased a NAD cd player to go along with it and am glad I did (but that's another review). I am also playing my tv through it (my wife appreciates the ease of use).
Pros: Great sound Simple to use
Cons: None so far.
When I recently became interested in upgrading/modernizing my stereo system I ended up at the Crutchfield site. As I was checking options on the different models I noticed a live help icon. I was almost instantly connected to a Customer service rep and he gathered up information on what I was looking for, what I was replacing, speakers, usage etc...He steered me to this model, and the price was in the range that I was comfortable with, so I purchased this. Two weeks later, I'm overall happy with this product but to be honest, it doesn't have the ability to separate and bring the music to life that my previous Amp had. Using it solely for CD playback, and it gets the job done, but if you are downgrading from a high end model you will notice a big sound quality difference. Not that the quality is bad mind you. Its just a shock to the system. As time goes on I'm getting used to it, and the product is great for the price. Its also a lot smaller than my previous. Modern technology lol
Pros: Small compact and more powerful sounding than it was rated at. Ease of use, simple connections and plenty of options.
Cons: It doesn't have the separation of instruments, clarity or boom that a high end stereo has.
Very nice amp. .Especially for the money. Sounds super with my Nad 545 cd player. Very clear, neutral sounding amp. Wish I had not waited so long.
Pros: Value, build.
Did not think 50 watts would be enough for me. Bought this because of the ability to hook up 2 sub woofers if I decided to and still be able to use my graphic equalizer. Did not want to have my speakers unable to play full range when using a sub either. Why NAD does not offer the same hookups on the more powerful amps is beyond me. I will be able to add a more powerful amp later and use this as a preamplifier. Funny thing is right after buying this unit I ended up with a pair of definitive technology bp 2004tl, now I don't use my subwoofer. I am happy with the 326bee.
Pros: Hookups and ability to expand later. Sounds good. Price.
Cons: None really.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||50|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||50|
|Minimum Impedance||4 ohms|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||100|
|Digital Music Features|
|Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)||No|
|High-resolution Audio Playback||No|
|Total Analog Inputs||7|
|Optical Digital Inputs||No|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||No|
|Preamp Outputs||Stereo, Sub|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
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.
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 verify what’s in the box, 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.
Based on our correspondence with Chance, it seemed like an adequate replacement for the original amplifier(no longer stereo!) [ Robert Apr 13, 2017 ]
NAD reputation. Wanted a good, basic integrated amp without lots of bells and whistles. Didn't need a built in phono preamp as I have a tube phono preamp. [ Manuel Mar 16, 2017 ]
Positive reviews. [ Rose Mar 06, 2017 ]
Proven AB amp technology. Power to drive 4ohm speakers at a reasonable price. [ InsanityCrow Feb 03, 2017 ]
Unable to talk to your rep. I had to choose this product myself from reading the product review. Hopefully I pick the right one. [ Hai Jan 12, 2017 ]
reputation of NAD. [ SAMMY Oct 08, 2016 ]
Great value and sound for the money! [ Jay_in_Columbus Aug 16, 2016 ]
Perfect for my listening room. Needed a sub output. [ Bill Jun 13, 2016 ]
I wanted a good stereo amp and after much review and auditioning , decided to get it from crutchfield. My advisor also help me decide between this and another brand that I was considering. [ Floyd Apr 14, 2016 ]
Replace late 80s-vintage NAD 3300 [ thomas Feb 16, 2016 ]
Had the features I was looking for. [ Malcolm Jan 30, 2016 ]
For just $100 more, you can pre-order the new NAD C338 which offers comparable wattage but adds built-in Bluetooth and built-in networking (with Wi-Fi): http://www.crutchfield.com/p_745C338/item.html I hope that helps. My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan Jan 06, 2017 ] Staff
I would go with the NAD C338, which is the newest integrated amp to come out by NAD. I recently purchased the NAD C388 and really love it. The Bluetooth is outstanding, as far as range and sound quality. I also have the NAD 326BEE, which I love, but I think if I were you I would try out these new hybrid digital amps by NAD. [ Dale Jan 04, 2017 ]
I would say it's somewhat sensitive but nothing that would cause reason for concern. I always prefer to control the volume with my hand instead of the remote. [ Dale Oct 24, 2016 ]
I have never used the remote but the volume control on mine is very smooth. [ murray Oct 22, 2016 ]
I've never noticed anything unusual in that respect and I have owned 2 NAD amps so far. No complaints from me evcer. [ Ralph Oct 22, 2016 ]
THE NAD C326 IS A 10 OUT OF 10. [ TOMMY L Oct 21, 2016 ]
it seems pretty normal to me. [ james Oct 21, 2016 ]
The volume control on the 326 increases very smoothly and can be easily controlled by the remote. The 326 is an excellent unit. It performs much better with modern speakers. [ DAVID L Oct 21, 2016 ]
It's a gradual increase. No sudden changes in volume. If it did there would be a risk of speaker damage. Hope that helps. [ GEORGE S Oct 21, 2016 ]
Hi Perry the 326bee power is equal to most 100 watt pieces you should not have any issues unless you listen to your music at ear ringing levels. hope that helps you. [ KEITH Jan 20, 2016 ]
Personally I would be very surprised if the 326 did anything less than absolutely exceed your expectations, unless you plan on listening at sustained ear ringing levels. My 326 serves daily in a bookshelf system, but I have auditioned it in my main system driving a pair of power hungry modified-updated Polk SDAs that are a difficult 4 ohm load, and normally driven by an NAD375bee at 150wpc. The sonic differences between the 326 and 375 are barely perceivable, at any comfortable listening level. It's only at ear ringing levels where the 375 pulls ahead, But don't expect the modern NAD amps to have the heavy warmth of tonality like some vintage gear. They produce a far more honest reproduction of the music, while still having a somewhat warm tonality. To sum up, I think you would be delighted with the 326bee [ DAVID L Jan 19, 2016 ]
Yes, I purchased the 326BEE last year. No buyer's remorse whatsoever. It is a beautiful sounding, powerful amp with lots of bass. I have it running a pair of PSB Image T5 tower speakers, plus 1 powered subwoofer. I have it in a smaller room and I can only get the volume up to about 1/3 without it being too loud for comfort. You can always exchange it for the 356BEE. I have all NAD equipment and I know I will never buy anything else. Good luck. - Dale [ Dale Jan 19, 2016 ]
i would say that I'm very satisfied with the power of the 326s. My speakers aren't super efficient at 89 dbs but the amp drives them at reasonably high levels. That being said, these 64 year old ears can't stand too much volume. It's a good piece. [ james Jan 19, 2016 ]
I use mine with NHT SB3's which are known to be power hogs (86 dB sensitivity). No complaints. Originally ordered the 356 instead but changed order after reading a review or 2 that indicated the 326 had a more euphonic sound. I'm in it for listening pleasure rather than analytical detail. 326 works for me. [ Douglas Jan 19, 2016 ]
This is the 4th NAD amp and I think you will be very pleased. The ratings on these amps are far superior to Sony, Yamaha, and others. The power is much bigger than what they show so they give very conservative numbers. Its an awesome product...do not be afraid. [ Mark Jan 19, 2016 ]
I'd probably recommend the extra wattage. I bought the 326 and when I try to crank it, it trips the internal protection circuits. I'm running Polk Audio bookshelf speakers with a Klipsch sub. I'm probably doing something wrong, but wish I had more top end. All I spin is vinyl. I've tried everything to debug except send it back in to Crutch. So mixed bag on NAD. Good luck and regards, cdb [ Charles Jan 19, 2016 ]
Hi, Yes i have found the amp can get a little hot especially for prolonged periods of listening. The best way I have found to alleviate this is to keep it well ventilated. I originally had it in a cabinet type set up and it would get a bit warm, but it now sits out on a desk. I have found this has reduced the heating substantially. Other than that this is a great amp have had it for a year now and am really satisfied. [ Joshua Oct 31, 2015 ]
Yea perry have not had any problems with amp running hot gets warm but that is normal with amps. dont set anything on top give it plenty ventilation. good little amp should not have any problems. [ KEITH Oct 30, 2015 ]
I have been running this amp for a timespan including two Colorado summers with one pair of speakers hooked up. Low volume and high, the amp consistently runs cool. [ NewItalian Oct 28, 2015 ]
The NAD C326BEE amp that I have needs a lot of space around it, at least 3 inches above the top in particular. Otherwise, it runs hot when the volume is turned past the 1000 position. [ STEVE G Oct 28, 2015 ]
Hello. I bought the amp one year ago and never ever had this problem nor any other. This is a very good product and I am happy with my purchase. If that can help you making a choice. Best [ Guillaume Oct 27, 2015 ]
I have had this amp for over two years and I have not experienced this problem ever. Seems entirely normal to me. [ Hampton Oct 27, 2015 ]
Mine only runs warm, but I seldom push it at high volume for long periods of time. Overall, very satisfied with the NAD- solid and uncluttered. [ Stephen Oct 27, 2015 ]
I've never had a NAD amp before. But the first one they shipped stopped turning on. They returned it no charge. The second one has run just fine for over 1 year + and it seems to maybe run "warm", but not super hot and I don't really have others to compare it to. [ Shane Oct 27, 2015 ]
I have not noticed any heat issue with this amp. My amp is not in an enclosed cabinet and has all sides open with at least 4* clearance above the amp.. If these reviewers are experiencing higher heat levels it may be caused by a confined enclosure. I hope this helps. By the way, I really like this amp! But, that's another review. [ GEORGE S Oct 27, 2015 ]
That has not been my experience. The amp is warm but not especially hot after several hours of run time. [ LEE Oct 27, 2015 ]
I have one, when running loud, it gets warm but not hit. It tells me it is working hard. I would be careful putting something on top, it needs the vents. Awesome sound. I have it hooked to Klipsch outdoir 650's. [ Mark Oct 27, 2015 ]
I would say so because the3020 focus is in the digital domain and the 326 is in the analog domain. [ KEITH Jan 20, 2016 ]
I suggest calling NAD or looking at their Web site. Very good customer Svc dept. That said, l absolutely love through D3020. HD tracks are the best I have ever heard. [ LAUREN Apr 15, 2015 ]
Hi Psmitty - Actually I upgraded to the 356dac from NAD, I needed the extra power for my Magneplaners as they eat watts. I liked the 326 but comparing it to the 3020 they are two different animals. The 326 has more analog inputs but no digital inputs. Consider your source of music. If it's strictly vinyl and tuner and some cps go for the 326. Very clean and has good punch. If you listen to mostly cps and mp3 type sources the 3020 is for you. It also has an optical connection to connect to your cd that will make it sound better than your rca connection. - I hope this helps [ William Apr 15, 2015 ]
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 ]
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 ]
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 ]