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NAD C 326BEE

Stereo integrated amplifier

48 Reviews | 8 questions - 47 answers

Overview

Our take on the NAD C 326BEE

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.

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.

Modest price, tremendous value. This centerpiece of my smaller 2.1 listening system delivers just what I'd expected at a pretty unbelievable cost. I'd put this up against similar gear 2 or 3 times more expensive. NAD wins again.

Ed, Indianapolis, IN

What's in the Box:

  • 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

Product 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
Reviews

NAD C 326BEE Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(48 Reviews)
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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Performance Specs
Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms) 50
Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms) Not given
Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms) 50
Frequency Bandwidth 20-20k
THD 0.009%
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
Bluetooth No
Wi-Fi No
Connections
Total Analog Inputs 7
Phono Input No
Optical Digital Inputs No
Coaxial Digital Inputs No
USB Input No
Preamp Outputs Stereo, Sub
Headphone Output 1/4"
Dimensions and Warranty
Width (inches) 17-1/8
Height (inches) 4-9/16
Depth (inches) 14-9/16
Weight (pounds) 15.21
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research

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)

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 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.

Accessories
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Replacing 28 year old Adcom GFA-535 amp (which still works great) and GTP-400 preamp (which as developed some issues). This NAD unit provides equivalent power for my needs, more inputs, ability to add subwoofer, input for mp3 devices and remote. Recommended to me by other owners. [ CRAIG  May 09, 2017 ]
Basically the long standing good reputation of NAD products going back through the years and positive reviews from a number of sources. It's also been on the market for a while without replacement, generally a good sign for audio products.(I used to work for Willi Studer, and there is still a demand for products built 30 - 40 years ago) [ Samuel  May 08, 2017 ]
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. [ William  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 ]

8 questions already asked

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 ]
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