NAD has announced a new integrated as the flagship amplifier in its ‘Classic’ range of hifi products. The C 399 puts 180wpc (into 8/4 Ohms) of the Canadian company’s HybridDigital (Hypex) nCore amplification into a full-width chassis that additionally hosts a 32bit/384kHz-capable ESS Labs Sabre ES9028 DAC circuit.
From the press release: “The HybridDigital nCore design is renowned for its wide bandwidth, flat frequency response, clean clipping behaviour with instant recovery, high current capability, and stability into demanding low-impedance speaker loads. Noise and distortion are vanishingly low under all operating conditions. The minute levels of harmonic distortion are dominated by sonically benign second and third harmonics. These refinements enable the C 399 to produce neutral, distortion-free sound even at very high listening levels, with thrilling dynamics, exquisite detail, and superb portrayal of space.”
On connectivity, we get 2 x coaxial, 2 x TOSLINK, HDMI eARC, two-way aptX Bluetooth, two line-level inputs and an MM phono input plus a ‘low impedance / high voltage’ headphone amplifier, twin subwoofer outputs and two sets of loudspeaker binding posts.
“The phono preamp features an innovative circuit that suppresses the infrasonic noise present on all LPs, without compromising bass response. The line inputs have low-noise buffer amplifiers to prevent sonic degradation”, says the press release.
The ace up the C 399’s sleeve is its modular design — a feature found in many NAD amplifiers designed after 2006. However, the C 399 introduces us to NAD’s second-generation modular system. The first module compatible with that new system is the MDC2 BluOS-D that offers support for BluOS (hello Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect and Roon Readiness) as well as Dirac Live (hello room correction). Just slide the MDC2 BluOS-D into one of the two empty slots on the back of the C 399, screw it into place and you’re up and running.
Back to the press release: “Equipped with Wi-Fi and Ethernet, the optional MDC2 BluOS-D module lets listeners play music from their favourite streaming services through the C 399, using the acclaimed BluOS Controller app for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. Like all BluOS Enabled products, the MDC2 BluOS-D has integrated support for dozens of streaming services”.
Pricing on the C 3999 comes in at US$1999, £1799 or €1999. The MDC2 BluOS-D module will run you an extra US$549, £449 or €549.
Further information: NAD Electronics