This was news last week but it is nevertheless a really interesting development from NAD, from whom I bought my first ever amplifier, the 3020e in 1985 (roughly). Similarly, the NAD C 399 has lovely clean lines like the 3020e but that is just about where the similarities to the classic 1980s version I had end. The 3020e had about 20W per channel and was pure analogue but this new NAD C 399 has a claimed 180W/channel into 4/8 Ohms and it has a digital stage with a ‘jitter-free’ 32-bit/384kHz ESS Sabre ES9028 high-resolution DAC.
Where my 3020e is now a relic to the side of my desk, this current generation of amplifiers features NADs Modular Design Construction Architecture that is basically a bunch of slots to the rear that can future proof the amplifier for generations with slots for hardware to be included. I saw this with the M33 earlier this year and it is impressive and a bold statement about the future of NAD Electronics.
The NAD C 399 appears to me to have the lot with two optical and two coaxial digital inputs as well as two pairs of RCA line-level inputs and a MM phono stage. There is built-in aptX HD Bluetooth and a dedicated headphone amplifier as well.
Cas Oostvogel, NAD Electronics’ Product Manager says;
As with every NAD amplifier, the C 399 gets the basics right: a precise volume control with accurate channel balance, low-noise circuits, and correct input and output impedances. The C 399 with its HybridDigital nCore output stage and high-resolution ESS Sabre DAC can reproduce all your digital and analogue sources to a level of excitement and refinement that is unprecedented in its class. Ever since the launch of the legendary 3020 integrated amplifier in 1978, the NAD brand has been synonymous with value and performance. The C 399 takes that reputation to a whole new level. Thanks to NAD’s innovative new MDC2 architecture, the C 399 can serve as the hub of a world-class music system today, and for many years to come.”
The NAD C 399 is retailing in the UK at the suggested retail price of £1799.
About NAD Electronics
Founded in 1972 and now sold in over 80 countries, NAD Electronics is renowned for its award-winning line of high-quality components for audio, home theatre and custom installation applications. Since the beginning, NAD’s commitment to four core values – innovation, innovation, simplicity, performance, and value – have earned it a cult-like following that catapulted it to becoming a household name amongst audiophiles and music lovers alike. To this day, the brand continues to design and manufacture some of the most acclaimed and affordable hi-fi components that include modern features and technologies meant to appeal to a new generation of audiophiles.