Time to upgrade my Nad3020e ?


Been thinking of replacing my old Nad 3020e amp with the newer Nad 320bee.
Should i expect a good improvement in sound ?
I already have the cambridge audio 640C Azur player which i love .
Also about to upgrade my speakers to either

Monitor audio bronze 4 or
Heybrook HB4's

My feeling is the heybrooks may be better suited to this amp.
I love the monitor audios but think they may sound too aggressive with the Nad320bee.
Any Ideas ?


Bronze Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 25
Registered: Sep-04
Erm.... I would. I mean, I have a 3020i. Lovely little amp - really rich and powerful for it's age and the price at the time.

A friend who deals in 2nd hand Hi-Fi has recently sold me a 3225PE. An older amp, but much newer than the 3020i. PE stands for 'Power Envelope'. It's a posh way of saying: a more sophisticated power supply. They claim that the newer amps, such as the BEE you're looking at, contain an improvement upon the earlier 'Power Envelope' principle. The output wattage has gone up a lot too. I seem to remember the 3020s gave out 25-30wpc....? They still sound great to this day.

It might be also worth a mention, that I own a Cambridge Audio A5 which, although a few steps down from the Azur amp, shows me that the newer generation of amps do have better overall internal components, power management and cabling. The result being that they display a smoother sound. That's the only way I can describe it. If you go for a 320BEE I think you'll be matching the qaulity of your Azur player to that of the new NAD - so the answer is yes - it's a worthwhile upgrade in my opinion. I've also heard that the NAD, at their current level of development, will pretty much outperform any Cambridge - but that is for your EARS ONLY to decide and not for anyone else to tell you.

You might like to hang onto it if you do upgrade - the 3020 series does certainly have a lovely character all of it's own and may even become collectible in years to come. The first 3020 is actually looked upon with great nostalgia by NAD afficionados, even though it's re-sale value isn't all that great. Who knows - in years to come....?

Any Hi-Fi dealer worth his salt should let you take your time choosing by way of audition. Contact your dealer first, to make sure they have run-in pairs of both Monitor Audio's and the Heybrooks for you to try with them. Take your player and cables with you, if possible, too.

Yeah - go on.... Treat yerself to an audition! I would!



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