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NAD C 268

Stereo power amplifier

Item # 745C268

Accurate channel balance, proper impedance, and low-noise circuits combine for a top-notch listening experience.

Accurate channel balance, proper impedance, and low-noise circuits combine for a top-notch listening experience.

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10 questions - 28 answers

Item # 745C268

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About the NAD C 268

Deia Z.

A flexible amplifier that puts music first

The C 268 is packed with what NAD calls "music-first" features: accurate channel balance, proper input and output impedance characteristics, and low-noise circuits all combine to give you a top-notch listening experience.

A flexible amplifier that puts music first

The C 268 is packed with what NAD calls "music-first" features: accurate channel balance, proper input and output impedance characteristics, and low-noise circuits all combine to give you a top-notch listening experience.

In designing the C 268 stereo amplifier, the engineers at NAD chose the most essential features based on their knowledge of how amplifiers are commonly used. Its line inputs, both balanced XLR and single-ended RCA, can accommodate all kinds of analog source components. This amp also includes a trim control, which is useful for matching with other components, or bi-amping speakers. A stereo preamp output lets you connect a separate amplifier or powered subwoofer, and a bridge switch turns the C 268 into a powerful monoblock amp. An auto-sense feature with selectable threshold is perfect for automating complex systems, or for hiding the C 268 in a cabinet.

Clean amplification

The C 268 uses an advanced Class D amplifier design for consistent performance. Its highly efficient power supply provides a noise-free foundation, generating clean power with negligible distortion, to faithfully reproduce the energy and excitement of all your favorite music.


Product highlights:

  • 80 watts per channel into 8 or 4 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.003% THD with 2 channels driven
  • 300 watts x 1 channel into 8 ohms in bridged mode
  • 4-ohm stable for use with a wide range of speakers
  • Class D Asymmetrical PowerDrive amplifier design
  • stereo balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs
  • stereo RCA preamp output for connecting a separate amplifier or powered subwoofer
  • binding post speaker connectors
  • input select switch
  • 12-volt in/out triggers
  • detachable power cord
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 110 dB
  • 17-3/16"W x 3-15/16"H x 15-3/8"D
  • weight: 16.1 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • MFR # C268

What's in the box:

  • Stereo power amplifier
  • 6' AC power cord
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Warranty Card

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More details on the NAD C 268

Stacey B.

Product Research


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 268 stereo power amplifier 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.
  • PowerDrive Technology: The power supply of the C 268 is capable of nearly 200 watts continuously and over 500 watts instantaneously, allowing for short term musical transients. NAD's innovative asymmetrical PowerDrive fully utilizes every last watt available with its vast reserves of dynamic power available to accurately reproduce the most demanding music without distortion or compression. It can also operate with any AC mains voltage from 100V to 240V, and provides pure DC power to all the various stages of the C 268. 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:
    • Stereo: 80 watts x 2-channel (@ 20-20kHz, into 4Ω or 8Ω, with 0.03% THD, both channels driven)
    • Bridged: 300 watts x 1-channel (@ 20-20kHz, into 8Ω, with 0.03% THD, one channel driven)
  • IHF Dynamic Power:
    • Stereo: 120W into 8Ω / 200W into 4Ω / 250W into 2Ω (@ 1kHz with 1% THD)
    • Bridged: 500W into 8Ω / 560W into 4Ω (@ 1kHz with 1% THD).

Stereo or Bridged Mode: The NAD C 268 can be used as a two channel amplifier in Stereo mode or a mono channel amplifier in Bridged mode. Low impedance speakers (under 8 ohms) are not recommended when using Bridge Mode as these may cause the amplifier's thermal cut-out to operate if played at high levels.

Balanced & Unbalanced Inputs: The NAD C 268 stereo power amplifier is equipped with balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs. It can accommodate all kinds of analog source components by offering ideal input impedance traits with linear ultra-low-noise buffer amplifiers to prevent any sonic degradation that may be caused by the source device's output impedance. The balanced XLR connectors use this configuration - Pin 1: Ground, Pin 2: Positive (signal live), and Pin 3: Negative (signal return).

Binding Post Speaker Outputs: The speaker output terminals consist of four binding posts to connect a single pair of loudspeakers in Stereo mode or only one speaker in Bridged mode. The amplifier supports 4Ω to 8Ω speakers in Stereo mode and only 8Ω speakers in Bridged mode. These binding post terminals will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana plugs (single only). You'll need to remove the plastic inserts within the binding-post terminals to connect banana plugs.

Stereo RCA Line Output: The stereo RCA line output allows "daisy-chaining", so more than one amplifier can be used to add speakers to the same channel.

Controls: The NAD C 268 stereo power amplifier features Input Select switch, Input Level knob, and Auto Sense Level switch on the rear-panel.

  • Input Select: Use the Input Select switch to change the C 268 to a "Fixed" or "Variable" output. With a "Fixed" output, the C 268's audio output level is control by an external preamplifier. With a "Variable" output, the C 268's audio output level can be adjusted using the Input Level control knob on back of the power amp.
  • Input Level: With the Input Select switch set to "Variable", the Input Level control knob can be used to adjust the audio output level of the C 268.
  • Auto Sense Level: The Auto Sense feature instantaneously turn the C 268 to "Operating" mode from "Standby" mode if it senses a specific input signal level applied to either the balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA inputs. There are three Auto Sense levels - Low (0.85mV), Mid (1.7mV), and High (3.7mV).

12V Trigger In/Out: The NAD C 268 is outfitted with a 12V Trigger Input and Output, each consisting of a female 3.5mm jack. The 12V Trigger Input allows the C 268 to be switched On remotely from Standby mode by a preamplifier with a 12V Trigger Output. The 12V Trigger Output switches on a connected external device that features a 12V Trigger input when the C 268 is powered on.

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Customer Q&A

10 questions already asked

How do I bridge a 3020 using as a preamp, to the nad c268?
sanford  Mar 18, 2023
1 answer
In order to connect the NAD D 3020 to the NAD C 268, it would be necessary to use a 3.5mm-to-dual RCA stereo cable adapter.
zachary  Mar 19, 2023 (Staff)
Does it handle 220-240V power?
javier  Jul 04, 2022
1 answer
This NAD C 268 is a beast, it can handle practically anything you throw at it Javier! Per NAD the C 268 comes supplied with two separate mains power cords, which is rare nowadays! All you need to do is select the mains power cord appropriate for your region, and let it rip! NAD also states that you will need to make sure that the C 268 is plugged-in to a grounded AC wall outlet.
bo  Jul 05, 2022 (Staff)
I have a pair of KEF floorstanders 150W 4ohms. Is this amplifier a good choice?
rp  Feb 08, 2022
9 answers
C268 has a lot of head room and can handle momentary peaks without clipping. My corner horns are95 db with my 165bee pre amp at 11 o'clock.
rein  Feb 09, 2022
Don't know if I can be of any help. Bought this amp to power my old Bose 901's. Has more bottom end than the old Carver it replaced. Quite happy with it.
edwin b  Feb 09, 2022
Does KEF say 150W Max or RMS? What is impedance of those speakers?
ramon  Feb 08, 2022
Yes. But you may want to step it up to the NAD C 275BEE stereo power amplifier. If you can. Or the C298 NAD C298 stereo power amplifier. Will truly bring your KEF floor standers to life!
anthony  Feb 08, 2022
I ended up with a different setup than you. I bought a Marantz SR 6014 amplifier to pair with two Klipsch 3502 floor speakers and a Klipsch RC-52 II, with a SVS SB 2000 Pro subwoofer. The Marantz cranks out more than enough nice clean power to make these speakers perform well.some movies such as Armageddon sound very multidimensional. Try whatever amplifier you are looking at out with your speakers and other equipment including the room to see how well it fits your sound needs. You may find that some things that theoretically would work well together simply do not, but the folks at Crutchfield can probably help you to find the right combination.
will  Feb 08, 2022
Should be. I r have Martin Logan 60xti's, 4 ohm and considered a tad power hungry, but I have plenty of headroom with the NAD amp.
bennett  Feb 08, 2022
I think a fantastic choice. I am amazed by the amp. I replaced a 200w mcintosh stereo amp and although a different sound i felt it absolutely held Its own. Great great sound for the money. Will push ure kef w beautiful ease
jonathan  Feb 08, 2022
Hello . In my 2.1 system I drive a pair of NHT 100 watt bookshelfs paired with a sub. I have the volume of my Freya pre amp at about 1 o'clock (with the 12db gain on ) and it is pretty loud . I don't have a large room and I'm inclined to say that with floor standers the amp may be a little anemic. I would consider maybe a little more power like Rotel RB-1552 MkII. My plan is to get two and run mono if I find a need to go with bigger speakers. I hope this helps. Chris
chris  Feb 08, 2022
Generally yes. At 4 ohms this amp has about 200W of dynamic power which would be fine for your KEF 150W speakers. Give this amp about 40 hours of break in time before you judge it. New, it will sound very bright. give it some time.
d b  Feb 08, 2022
can rca inputs be used for phono and cd?
dave  Mar 07, 2021
4 answers
You could, though the RCA inputs are L-R so you'd need to use a mixer or receiver as the source so you could switch between multiple sources. Also, the amp isn't really made to quickly switch back and forth between the inputs, so you have to reach behind it and flip the two dip switches (one on each channel) to choose XLR or RCA.
john  Mar 07, 2021
You could but you would not have reasonable volume control
paul w  Mar 07, 2021
Do not think so. Definitely no phono input. Need preamp
patrick  Mar 07, 2021
No, this is just a power Amp. You need a receiver to be able to use phono and CD.
douglas  Mar 07, 2021
Would this amp be overkill to use to power the surrounds and rear surrounds? I have klipsch RP-502S and klipsch RP-600M. And if this amp is good for them, would I need two of them? one for the rear and one for the surround rears?
anson  Dec 07, 2020
4 answers
Wish I could help, I bought this to replace my 47 yrs old Carver. Has way more bottom end than the old Carver ever had. A nice little amp.
edwin b  Dec 16, 2020
Hey. I use the C 268 in my stereo system to drive a pair of Martin Logan 60 XTi's. These are power hungry speakers and the NAD serves them well. Don't know how it would go for a surround setup.
bennett  Dec 07, 2020
I think this would be overkill. It is superb for my front RF35s and probably for the Cornwall 4s I plan to get. I would look for a multichannel and can get away with less wattage with the kilos he sensitivity.
patrick  Dec 07, 2020
Yeah, it would be. Your Klipsch speakers have a sensitivity of 95db and 96db respectively. They don't need much power to get loud. Your AVR should suffice for power. And this amp is only 2 channel so you'd need 2 to power 4 speakers.
adam  Dec 07, 2020
How do you bridge these amps to mono?
dennis  Sep 14, 2020
4 answers
Set BRIDGE MODE switch to the "ON (MONO)" position and connect the speaker to the terminals marked "L +" and "R-" ensuring that the "L+" is connected to the "+" terminal of your speaker and the "R-" is connected to the speaker's " - " terminal. More on page 8 of the owner's manual, link to the PDF is on Crutchfield's C 268 product page.
vincent  Sep 14, 2020
There's a "Bridge mode" switch. Set it for mono. Only left input will be in use. Attach speakers across the L and R "+" terminals. The graphics on the back are very clear. HTH.
paul  Sep 14, 2020
First you use the left input only, since it's mono. Next you flip the Bridge Mode switch on the back to "On". Then wire your speaker to the right channel negative (-) and left channel positive (+) - it is actually labeled this way under the speaker terminals.
paul a.  Sep 14, 2020
The Amp comes with instructions on how to do it. More or less you set the switch to "mono", and use the two designated terminals to power your single speaker. Very easy. I'm using it to power my subwoofer.
douglas  Sep 14, 2020
Is the NAD C 268 amp a class AB amp?
jlsimpson  May 24, 2020
2 answers
No. Class D as stated in the Product highlights.
jinchung  May 24, 2020
No, it's a class D amp. I bridged the two channels (following the instructions) and use it for my subwoofer. So far, I like it.
douglas  May 24, 2020
Would this NAD C268 be better than the NAD D3045 for KEF LS50 speakers?
ethan  Apr 12, 2019
1 answer
Ethan - This will depend on whether you need the DAC, Bluetooth and various inputs on the NAD 3045 such as the phono preamp. I suspect the NAD C268 is a better amplifier, being dedicated to that function at a good price. But it is only an amplifier, with an array of line inputs and a line level pass-thru for a powered sub or second amp. If you only need to drive your KEFs, the C268 is excellent. I used it to upgrade an NAD C720BEE receiver, a great unit with a deficient power amp. I have been very pleased with the sound of my Focal Chorus VI speakers since I installed it. Much better imaging, smoother frequency response and no sense of compressed dynamics; very open sound. Form factor may be an issue for you as well - the C268 is sized to stack with traditional components. I am a big NAD fan and have a number of their products in use including a 30 year old Model 1600 tuner/preamp and C272BEE in my recording studio. HTH.
paul  Apr 12, 2019
can this amp be used with the Niles SSVC-6 to power 5 pair of speakers? Or what would you recommend? Thanks
jorge  Dec 10, 2018
2 answers
I have my Series 38 Cerwin Vega speakers hooked up and it never goes above "2" lest my windows start rattling and the neighbors complain. If you daisy-chained them, I'm certain it would handle the load.
dan h  Dec 23, 2018
The Niles SSVC-6 is rated to handle up to 100 watts per channel from the connected amplifier so, yes; it will be compatible. For additional assistance and personalized recommendations, feel free to contact us directly by phone or through our online chat service:
ryan  Dec 22, 2018 (Staff)

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