Hey RGA or anybody who knows amps...NAD C 370
I did a home demo of the NAD C 370 and the C320BEE at home recently.The speakers are wharfedale diamond 8.4 floorstanders.Musically both sound almost identical but with my speakers, the 320bee sounded slightly more involving.But the behaviour of the amps at higher volumes had me stumped.I can rotate the volume control of the c 370 to its entire limit and still it does not sound distorted.But the c 320 bee reaches its max undistorted sound at around 2 o' clock position .I could discern something like a 25 percent power increase in the c 370.I expected more.The 320 bee is rated at 50 watts amd the c 370 at 120 watts.
What is the trip here?Is the additional price of the c 370 justified?
Running out of power
The smaller one simply runs out of power and distorts, the larger one does not run out of power and seems to be the better match for the speakers. If the 50 watter is loud enough for you at 2 o'clock or louder than you need it to be, maybe it's all you need.
This is the perfect example of what I'm usually yammering about. You heard what it's like to run out of power and the difference that can be made by adding more. I'm not a fan of running out of power.
PS, sorry, I'm not RGA but this is an easy one and he'll have to agree that this is what you heard.
To bad in wasn't a 125 wpc amp!
Because no one ever uses that amount!
I would say this is a little bit of proof when it comes to an amp and their relationship to speakers. But they don't make a big difference, RIGHT !?!
Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
Let your ears decide for you!
OK, a couple of things worth noting;
Originally Posted by hertz
1) There's seems to be a major difference in the sensitivity of these amps. This has nothing to do with the absolute loudness they can play.
2) The C370 seems like it's not up to snuff. There should be no way you can turn the volume to maximum without going into distortion.
I can turn the volume to full on my preamp without pushing my amp into clipping, but only if I leave it in PASSIVE mode. With an active preamp, you should be able to drive almost any amp into overload. I think either the preamp section of the C370 is not working correctly, or something else is going on with your setup. I know that NAD uses a proprietary "soft clip" circuit, perhaps this was engaged on one amp, and not the other?
I haven't heard either of these amps, but your speakers @ 86dB per watt are not that efficient. My speakers are about the same, and I use a 400 watt amp. Even then, most of the time I'm using less than 10 watts, as that's about what it takes to drive my speakers to 95dB. About as loud as I listen to now.
The choice for you is pretty easy. If you intend to listen to music at higher SPL than the 320BEE can produce with your speakers, you will need a higher powered amp.
Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,
I will check with the dealer about this...Thanks
Thanks guys for the input.
Even I have a feeling the c 370 was faulty in the preamp section.The soft clipping was off in both amps.The c320 bee achieved almost 85 percent power of the c 370 at the 2 o' clock positon.And the c370 had to be cranked to the max to achieve the same power.I will check with the dealer about this.
This is faulty?
I'll take an amp that I can turn all the way up without distortion any day over one that I can't. I would call it unusual in that it could go all the way up but I wouldn't complain about it or call it faulty.
Hertz said he noted about a 25% increase in power from a 50 watt to a 120 watt amp. Well, sort of, since 3db in spl increase requires twice the power, this is what he found. Seems perfectly normal to me.
First ignore the volume control they mean virtually nothing. Sugden for example because it has less power has a higher than normal gain. They have fixed that up, but the idea was that because the A21a only has 25 watts when you got to the 10 or 11 oclock position you would get a very high volume level...higher than most competitors with 100 watt ratings. Of course the Sugden's maximum would probably be around the 12 o'clock position and that's it.
The difference between the 120 NAD and a 50 watt NAD will be roughly a 3db gain in volume. It would be exactly 3 db gain if this was 100 watts versus 50 watts. a 3db gain is barely audible.
Indeed, you can get a 3db gain by buying a speaker with an 89db sensitivity versus the 86db sesnitive speaker.
My set of Wharfedales at 95db will achieve the same volume with 10 watts that someone with an 85db speaker can get with 100 watts. Consider that MOST speakers can only handle 200 watts and you'll note how loud my Wharfedales will play versus the 85db speaker. Indeed the guy who owns a big 105db Klipsh will get the same volume with 1watt. It takes 10 times the power to get a doubling of percevied volume level increase.
It's not the watts that matter by themselves. It's the amps ability to handle Real speaker loads not a test bench resistor, and the speaker you use with the amp.
MORE grainy power is not better than less quality non grainy power. Many people like the SOUND of the 320 BETTER even though it has less power. However, you want a fairly efficient speaker. 86db is average...it is not that difficult. If the speaker's impedence doesn't drop below 4ohms it is probably pretty amp friendly.
There are excellent high power amps...Nad C370 is a very powerful integrated capable of instantaneous 1kilowatt bursts into 1ohm. So if you're driving a very difficult speaker and you're on a budget the C370 is a very good unit. If you don't require such power I would rather buy an integrated with a better sounding preamp stage and a less gritty overall sound. That is why NAD has several amps all around the same general price ballpark. Most speakers simply don't need more than 25 watts.
That is why the Sugden A21a is the longest running Integrated amp on the market all the way back to the 1960s. Most speakers today re around 89db+ and if the impedence swing is not ludicrously difficult the Sugden will keep selling for another 4 decades.
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