first system-what to buy? (a newbee in need is a newbee indeed) [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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newbie justin
08-06-2004, 06:58 AM
Hi, I'm a complete beginner to hifi systems and was wondering if anybody could offer any advice on a decent first system.

I've read quite a few reviews on the net and I was thinking of getting the
NAD c350 bee amplifier.
According to the Nad website Its feature list includes:

60W x 2 Continuous Power (8 ohms)
135W, 190W, 240W Dynamic Power into 8, 4 and 2 ohms respectively
Impedance Sensing Circuit (ISC) topology
Soft Clipping
Full System Remote control including Stand-by/Off
12 volt trigger output
Relay Input Switching
Toroidal Power transformer
7 Line inputs, including two tape in/outs
All Discrete circuitry
Short signal path from input to output
All sockets Gold plated
Main-amp input & 2 pre-amp outputs
Tone controls defeat switch
Headphones socket
NAD Link

and as for speakers getting two Acoustic Energy Aegis Evo Ones

100 Watt max
frequency response +_ 6dB. 38Hz-22kHz
Sensitivity 89dB/W
Impedance 8 Ohm

Unfortunately I don't really have much clue what all of the specifications mean, but both the AE speakers and the NAD amplifier have recieved good reviews. Does anybody know if they would be compatible with each other?

I plan to hook the amp up to my computer and use it to play mp3s/cds via the computer, and probably hook it up to the television/playstation as well.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your time!

This Guy
08-06-2004, 07:37 AM
Only you can answer that question. Yes Energy and NAD are both very good brands, but you're going to have to listen to them first. Since speakers are the biggest factor in what you hear, it would be ok to listen to them on a different amp.

08-06-2004, 08:40 AM
Hi Justin,

I think you may have misunderstood the NAD website a little bit. The C350 (no BEE) is the discontinued predecessor of the current model, the C352. You may be able to get a
C350 on the used market or as a clearance item. If you wish to buy new then the closest current model is the C320BEE which is comparable in power and features and is a very highly regarded integrated amplifier. The C352 is also very good but is a little more expensive. As far as the specs go, they basically mean that NAD builds their products with good components. They are moderately powered with a large amount of dynamic power for musical peaks which is an NAD trademark. NAD amps usually outperform their specs and these amps are no exception. The most common alternative to NAD is usually Cambridge Audio (540A and 640A) which are comparably priced and considered very good as well. You might want to compare the two if you have some convenient local dealers.

The Acoustic Energy Evo Ones are really nice little speakers! The specs indicate that they are easy to drive and have more bass than you might expect for their size. I auditioned these speakers and I thought they sounded very good indeed and their price is outstanding. They have a nice, balanced, full sound which sounds good with all kinds of music. I think they would go very well with the NAD (or Cambridge). It would be a real good idea to listen to them together, if possible, so you can see if you agree with me. Your opinion is the one that really counts. One (among many) possible alternative to the Evo One's would be the new PSB Image T15. If you have a local dealer you might want to give a listen just to compare. There are quite a few good bookshelf speakers out there.

I hope this helps. I think that you are on the right track with NAD and Acoustic Energy. They are pretty impressive choices for a newcomer to the audio game. Good luck.

08-06-2004, 10:24 AM
Well, you could have a helluva lot worse equipment for your first system. Usually we get newbies looking at Kenwood receivers and the current speaker special at Best Buy.

Pretty much anything by NAD should give you years of enjoyment, the C320BEE is especially regarded as a solid buy.
You can generally find them on ebay or for decent prices.

Your speakers will give you the biggest differences in sonic performance. I'd recommend you decide on a budget (if you haven't already) and then listen to as many speakers within your budget as you can.
Nothing wrong with Acoustic Energy, but choosing speakers is like buying a car. Maybe harder considering most people around here probably put more effort into buying speakers. Everybody has preferences, it's a matter of finding out what exactly yours are, and which brand and model offers those to you at the best price.
Good luck.

newbie justin
08-06-2004, 03:05 PM
Thank you for your responses.

Actually they still sell the nad c350 at my local electronics/hifi store. I live in Holland and I guess we're a little behind the times...
Do you think it would it be better to get the c320 bee over the c350? How do the two compare?

thanks again...

08-06-2004, 03:41 PM
Hey Justin,

Looks like I'm the one who misunderstood! Sorry about that. As far as comparing the two units I may not be the best person to ask because I have not heard the C320BEE. I thought the C350 was very good when I heard it. Based on what I have read, I think most people would recommend the C320BEE because of the updated design and it's generally great performance. However, it looks to me like overall the two units are very similar in features and the C350 has a slight power advantage in RMS and dynamic power. First I would listen to both units and see if one were obviously better than the other in any way. The choice is then simple, I'd buy the better of the two. However, I wouldn't be surprised if they were pretty similar. That being the case, I think I would then buy the less expensive amp. I think you're in a win-win situation with these two amps simply because they're both quite good. Hope that helps.