NAD C 388
Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC and Bluetooth®
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Our take on the NAD C 388 by Crutchfield's Deia Z.
Power and flexibility
At 150 watts per channel, NAD's C 388 integrated amplifier fills your room with detailed, virtually distortion-free sound and brings out the best in all your music. Connect digital or analog music sources and stream music via Bluetooth from your computer or a compatible mobile device. You can also stream audio from connected sources to a pair of Bluetooth headphones. NAD's smart, future-proof Modular Design Construction (MDC) lets you upgrade the C 388 to include features like wireless multi-room music and 4K video pass-through.
Clean amplification for your speakers and headphones
The C 388 uses an advanced Class D amplifier design for consistent performance. Its highly efficient power supply provides a noise-free foundation, generating huge power with negligible distortion — up to 1000 watts instantaneously to faithfully reproduce the energy and excitement of all your favorite music. A built-in high-performance headphone amplifier can drive even the most demanding studio monitor headphones.
Innovative customization options
Two MDC upgrade slots let you add or swap modules on the back of the unit so you can tailor the C 388 to your exact needs.
Available upgrade modules include:
DD BluOS: This module adds Wi-Fi® and Ethernet network connectivity with decoding for all major digital music formats, including high-resolution audio (up to 24-bit/192 kHz). It lets you access your personal music library as well as streaming music services. BluOS lets you set up a wireless multi-room music system and distribute high-resolution music to Bluesound speakers throughout your home.
DD HDM-1: This module adds three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output. It supports video resolution up to 1080p and two-channel PCM audio with 24-bit/192 kHz resolution.
DD AP-1: This module adds a balanced and single-ended line input and a MC/MM phono input, with high-quality 24-bit/192 kHz DAC audio.
DD USB-2: This module adds additional asynchronous USB and SPDIF coaxial and optical digital inputs.
DD HDM-2: This module adds three HDMI inputs and one output with support for 4K video resolution and two-channel audio with 24-bit/192 kHz resolution.
- 150 watts x 2 channels into 8 or 4 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.009% THD
- 4-ohm stable for use with a wide range of speakers
- Class D Asymmetrical PowerDrive amplifier design
- 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter for high-performance playback of digitally connected sources such as a CD player
- built-in Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from a compatible device or wireless headphone listening
- supports the aptX® codec for wirelessly streaming CD-quality sound
- independent built-in high-output headphone amplifier
- 2 MDC (Modular Design Construction) slots for adding additional capabilities and features
- remote control
- compatible with leading third-party control systems like Control4, Crestron, RTI, and URC
- 4 digital audio inputs (2 optical/2 coaxial)
- 3 stereo RCA audio inputs, including a phono input (for use with a moving magnet cartridge)
- stereo RCA preamp output for connecting a separate amplifier or powered subwoofer
- RS-232C port for use with external controllers
- IR in/out and 12-volt triggers
- full-size headphone jack
- 2 pairs of binding post speaker connectors for A and B speakers
- USB port for service only
- detachable power cord
- signal-to-noise ratio: 95 dB
- 17-1/8"W x 4-3/4"H x 16-5/8"D (6-3/8"H w/antenna)
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier
- 6' AC power cord
- Bluetooth antenna
- Remote control (SR 9)
- 2 "AA" batteries
- Quick Setup Guide
- Warranty Information
Crisp highs, solid lows. Couldn't ask for more in an integrated amp in this price range. Using this with Monitor Silver 5i speakers and a Hsu subwoofer. Audio source is a PC with a LynxStudio E22 sound card. I've used NAD equipment for years and never been disappointed. The C 388 is no exception.
David, St Petersburg, FL
NAD C 388 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||150|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||150|
|Minimum Impedance||4 ohms|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||95|
|Digital Music Features|
|Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)||Yes|
|High-resolution Audio Playback||No|
|Total Analog Inputs||2|
|Optical Digital Inputs||2|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||2|
|USB Input||Service only|
|Preamp Outputs||Stereo RCA|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
Hybrid Digital Amplification: NAD has moved away from the old-fashioned power-hungry linear power supplies and Class AB output stages that waste nearly half of the energy consumed and produce heat rather than sound. Instead, NAD has developed even better performing circuits based on switch mode power supplies and Class D output stages. Once thought to be inferior to traditional topologies, this new Hybrid Digital Amplifier design is very linear over a wide bandwidth and provides consistent performance into all speaker loads, providing a dramatic advancement over previous Class AB and Class D amplifier designs.
- Customized Hypex UcD Output Stage: The C 388 uses a customized version of the proven Hypex UcD output stage operating in a fully balanced bridge configuration. This allows for massive power with nearly un-measurable distortion and noise in the audible range. Every detail of this design has been carefully planned and perfectly executed to deliver every last drop of performance.
- Sophisticated Power Supply: The C 388's power supply is capable of 400 watts continuously and over 1,000 watts instantaneously to allow for short-term musical transients. It can operate with any AC mains voltage from 100 to 240 volts and provides pure DC power to all the various stages of the C 388. This highly efficient supply also provides near perfect regulation of voltage across a wide range of conditions and provides a solid noise-free foundation for the amplifying stages.
Full Disclosure Power (FDP): NAD uses Full Disclosure Power (FDP), the most demanding criterion for performance measurement. FDP specifies distortion under the most extreme conditions of low impedance loads and frequency extremes, rather than the simple and easy 1kHz @ 8 ohms test quoted by many of other manufactures. NAD uses this stricter performance criterion because it more closely matches the demands of real music and real loudspeakers. Maintaining specified distortion at 4/8Ω and at 20-20kHz is a much more difficult achievement. The benefit of NAD's Full Disclosure Power is the total elimination of audible distortion at any listening level. This provides pinpoint imaging and realism with music and movies alike.
- Continuous Power: 150 watts x 2-channel (@ 20-20kHz, into 4Ω or 8Ω, at 0.009% THD, with both channels driven)
- IHF Dynamic Power: 400W into 2Ω / 350W into 4Ω / 250W into 8Ω
Binding Post Speaker Outputs: The amplifier features A & B speaker terminals to power two pair of loudspeakers. The speaker terminals consist of eight binding posts that will accept single banana plugs (single only), pin connectors, spade lugs, and bare wire (up to 10AWG). The amplifier supports 4Ω speakers when only one pair is connected, however, when two pair of speakers are connected a minimum impedance of 8Ω is recommended.
Discrete Headphone Amplifier: The NAD C 388 incorporates a discrete headphone amplifier with low output impedance and very high output voltage capability, enough to drive even high impedance studio monitor headphones. Connecting a set of headphone to unit's front-panel 1/4" jack will mute the speaker outputs. Volume, tone, and balance controls are all operable during headphone listening.
Line Outputs: The C 388 features a low impedance line-level stereo output that can connect to another other amplifier or powered subwoofer to extend the hybrid digital DAC amplifier's versatility.
Tone Control: The NAD C 388 hybrid digital DAC amplifier lets you adjust Bass (60Hz) & Treble (20kHz) from -7 to +7dB, as well as Balance between the left & right speakers (L10 to R10).
Filters: Filters provide easy bi-amplification or subwoofer integration by adding the required filters to redirect bass frequencies to the subwoofer. Select High Pass or Full Range. When High Pass is selected, low pass audio signals within the 40Hz to 200Hz are sent to the C 388's subwoofer preout and high pass audio signals are sent to the C 388's amplifier section and speaker outputs. Select Full-Range to deliver audio signals with the whole frequency spectrum to the C 388's amplifier section and speaker outputs.
Bluetooth Music Streaming: You can wirelessly pair and connect instantly to the C 388 with Bluetooth (4.0), allowing you to stream stored music and music apps wirelessly from your Bluetooth-enabled source device; like your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. The high performance Bluetooth aptX codec is fully supported for true CD-quality sound from aptX-compatible Bluetooth devices (like Android OS 4.0+ smartphones & tablets). There is no control or song/artist info display from the C 388.
Note: If the optional MDC BluOS module (sold separately) is installed, Bluetooth as Source will be defeated or not selectable. Use the Bluetooth option included in the MDC BluOS module.
Digital Inputs: The NAD C 388 is equipped with two optical (toslink) digital inputs and two coaxial (RCA) digital inputs. These digital inputs will support 2ch PCM audio up to 24-bit/192kHz (not compatible with Dolby Digital/DTS).
Analog Inputs: The NAD C 388's stereo RCA inputs (2 Line/1 Phono) can accommodate all kinds of analog source components by offering ideal input impedance characteristics with linear ultra-low-noise buffer amplifiers to prevent any sonic degradation caused by inappropriate loading of the source device.
MM Phono Stage w/ RIAA Equalization: The NAD C 388 hybrid digital DAC amplifier includes an MM Phono stage with precisely accurate RIAA equalization, high overload margins, extremely low noise, and an innovative circuit to suppress infrasonic noise that is present on all LPs - all without affecting bass response.
Modular Design Construction (MDC): Modular Design Construction (MDC), an exclusive feature of NAD, allows you to customize the NAD integrated amplifier with additional capabilities and features, now or in the future. The two available MDC slots can accommodate a variety of upgrade modules (all sold separately) including 4K video capable HDMI switching, additional Digital Inputs, and one of the most advanced Hi-Res Audio multi-room wireless systems available, the BluOS music management system developed by Bluesound.
- BluOs Module: By simply adding the optional BluOS MDC Module(745MDBLUOS, sold separately), the C 388 becomes part of the BluOS wireless multiroom music ecosystem. The BluOS module connects to your network via a wireless (WiFi) or wired (Ethernet) connection, and is controlled via Apple iPod touch/iPhone/iPad, Android smartphone/tablet, Windows PC, or Mac computer. BluOS supports streaming of internet radio, select online music services, and Hi-Res audio files. The BluOS module also includes dual USB (type-A) port for music file playback from USB mass storage class devices, like a thumbdrive or digital portable audio player. In addition the BluOS module offers built-in Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from a Bluetooth source device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
- Balanced/Unbalanced & Phono MM/MC Module: The DD AP-1 module (745DDAP1, sold separately) adds a balanced and unbalanced analog line-level input, plus a MM/MC compatible phono input.
- 4K HDMI Module The MDC HDM-2 (745HDM2, sold separately) adds HDMI capability with three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output for video plass-through. Based on the latest 6GHz HDMI chip, the MDC HDM-2 includes full support for UHD (4K) video pass through to a video monitor, plus support for 24-bit/192kHz 2Ch PCM (not compatible with Dolby Digital/DTS).
- 1080p HDMI Module: The DD HDMI-1 module (745DDHDM1, sold separately) adds three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output for video pass through. Full 3D Video support with video resolution up to 1080p/60. Supports 2 channel PCM audio with 24-bit/192kHz resolution (not compatible with Dolby Digital/DTS).
Note: These MDC modules are all sold separately (not included with the C 388). You can add up to two MDC modules.
NAD Remote App: Power, volume, source selection, and device settings are all controlled using the intuitive interface of the NAD Remote App (for Apple iOS 9.0+ and Android OS 5.0+) from your compatible Apple iOS or Android OS device.
IR Remote: The included IR remote control handles the key functions of the C 388. The IR remote can also be used to directly command other NAD products that respond to applicable common remote control codes. This includes other NAD Stereo Receiver, Integrated Amplifier, and Preamplifier models. It has additional controls to remotely operate NAD CD Players, AM/FM Tuners, and dedicated AM/FM/DB Tuners. It will operate up to a distance of 23'. The remote requires two "AA" alkaline batteries (included).
Remote Connections: The NAD C 388 is fitted with a 12V trigger input/output, an IR input/output, and a RS-232 port for custom integration and advanced remote connectivity
- 12V Trigger In/Out: The +12V trigger output (3.5mm) lets you turn on/off another device along with the C 388. The integrated amp can also be turned on/off by another device using the +12V trigger input (3.5mm).
- IR In/Out: The IR input (3.5mm)is used to control this unit using an optional infrared repeater or the IR output of another component. The IR output (3.5mm) can be used for control of another NAD component.
- RS-232 Port: The RS-232 port allows connection to a compatible PC or external whole-house control system. NAD is a certified partner of Control4, Crestron, RTI, URC, AMX, Savant, & Elan.
Auto Standby: The C 388 can be setup to automatically go into standby mode if there is no user interface interaction and no active source input for 30 minutes.
Auto Sense: The Auto Sense feature enables the C 388 to wake up from standby mode when triggered by an active source input with an audio signal.
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.
Why did you buy this?
I have old Infinity speakers that I really like. They need a lot of power. This unit also has optical and coaxial inputs. [ Ronald Jul 08, 2018 ]
Advice of Crutchfield associate. [ Vance Mar 14, 2018 ]
replacing an NAD M3, so am familiar with manufacturer. Also this provides a technological update. [ Jaime Feb 25, 2018 ]
recommended [ ROBERT Feb 13, 2018 ]
Reputation [ Tim Feb 11, 2018 ]
replacement for a rotel [ D Sep 27, 2017 ]
Well I was looking into building a 2.1 channel HiFi system and I needed something that had enough power to run 4 Klipsch Rb-81 II. With a 150 watts rms at .009 THD I believe this will have the power I am looking for. I was also looking for something that is dual voltage as I currently live in Germany and dont want to use power transformers. Plan on ordering 2 Klipsch Reference R-112 subwoofers to reinforce the low end in a couple of months. This is going into my 12' X 15" man cave. [ Todd Dec 20, 2016 ]
6 questions already asked
Hi MI, The best people to answer your question are the Crutchfield advisors. I had a similar question and they told me to try it with both methods separately and see which method gave me the best sound. A lot of it depends on your computer. As for converting from USB to RCA, I got my adapters on amazon. [ MJSpock Aug 17, 2017 ]
I do not play SACDs so I do not know the answer. I do have a CD player and a blu-ray player connected to the C388. The sound is excellent from both players [ MJSpock Jun 22, 2017 ]
Easiest way is to use the remote. [ Dale May 13, 2017 ]
a flick of the button [ ERIC May 13, 2017 ]
Not difficult - Using the Set-Up Option or the connectors on the back. [ Robert May 12, 2017 ]
yes [ ERIC Apr 13, 2017 ]
Yes. They are accessed through the digital interface. Takes a little getting used to but after that it's a snap. [ Dale Apr 06, 2017 ]
Yes. [ Robert Apr 06, 2017 ]
Both. Accessible from face panel and remote. [ Tom Apr 06, 2017 ]
2 answers Are my Bose 901 series VI speakers compatible with the NAD C388 Amp? My current power source is a Yamaha Receiver rated at 100 watts per channel and am looking for an amp with lots more beef. What would be the preferred method to hook up the 901's equalizer to the amp? [ Cowboy Feb 17, 2017 ]
There is no tape loop, so I think you're out of luck. [ Tom Apr 06, 2017 ]
Sorry, no. The NAD C 388 does not offer the required "monitor loop" needed for connection of your Bose 901 EQs. The NAD C375BEE model offers robust power and the required monitor loop for your Bose 901: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_745C375BEE/item.html I hope that helps. My Bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan Mar 02, 2017 ] Staff
Thanks for your question. Yes Crutchfield ships within the U.S. and U.S. Territories, as well as APO/FPO addresses. Hope that helps. [ Kenny Dec 16, 2016 ] Staff
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