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Nad c320BEE vs Arcam a65+

 

New member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-04
Hi there.

I have b&w 601S3 speakers and a nad c521i cd player. I was wondering how do these 2 int. amps compare? I know the arcam a65+ costs quite a bit more, but i don't mind paying more if it sounds that much better.

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
I think the Arcam is a bit politer and polished.
The NAD sounds "warm" too but more lively and dynamic.

I favour the Acam, just a little, because it has better control overall and sounds more mature.
But when you compare the Arcam with products in its pricerange, for example NAD C352 and Marantz PM 7200 it falls short.
In my opinion of course.
 

New member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 2
Registered: Nov-04
Thanks for the reply nout.

How much price difference is the nad c320bee over the arcam a65+? Is it worth that much price difference? I was also looking at the cambridge azur 540A or maybe the rotel RA-02. But i don't think the cambridge would suit the b&w dm303,601 s3. I am thinking to get either of these speakers. Its for my bedroom.

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
Hi Ken, where are you from the UK or the US?
NAD C320BEE costs around £179 ($300)
The Arcam A65+ around £300 upt to £350 ($500/$600).
That's a big difference.
The Marantz PM7200 wiil cost now +/- £225. (was £300)
NAD C352, Cambridge Audio Azur 640A and Rotel RA-02 you can find for +/- £275.
The Rotel RA-01 £180 is identical to the RA-02 but without remote control.
Cambridge Audio Azur 540 A the same price as the NAD C320BEE and Rotel RA-01.

I don't think the pricedifference between NAD C320BEE and Arcam 65+ is worth it.
For £300 (Arcam) you can get much better.

Disclaimer :-)
maybe your local hifi store runs different prices.
Good luck.


 

New member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 3
Registered: Nov-04
Hi nout.

Thanks again for the info. I am in australia, the price of the C320BEE is roughly the same here as in the UK but the arcam a65+ is quite a lot more. Any ideas why the arcam a65+ is almost double the price of the c320BEE? It has less power too according to specs. Also some people says the nad sounds better too...
The rotel looks nice but i heard not as good as nad c320bee?

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
Hi Kenn, I'm not from the UK either, I'm from the Netherlands.
I got the impression you were from the UK because you use Cheers as an greeting.
I suspect the Arcam to be better built and it will run difficult speakers at ease.
The Rotel is a nice looking amp and sound great too, but in my opinion the NAD sounds better.
The Rotel can sound a bit too bright, especially with the B&W S3 range.

Read these reviews on Stereohile too
NAD C320
and
Rotel RA-02
 

New member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 4
Registered: Nov-04
Hi Nout.

Yeah i read that review:-)Yeah australians use cheers as well:P Good one too. Yeah i guess its personal preference, the nad is quite a bit cheaper than the rotel too. The speakers i will run, will probably be b&w dm303 or b&w 601S3, u think the 601s3 will be a lot better? I don't mind spending that extra $$$
so i guess you have listened to the arcam a65+,rotel ra-01/02 and nad c320BEE?

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
By the way, don't think of me as an expert. I'm not
I haven't lived with these amps, I just heard them on occasion.
(I own the Marantz PM 7200 myself)
But the sound differences between the Rotel and NAD (the Rotel sounding brighter) are correct: I never heard or read someone stating that the NAD sounded too bright in comparison with the Rotel, always the opposite.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
I obviously posted -the By the way-post at the same time as yours:-)

so i guess you have listened to the arcam a65+,rotel ra-01/02 and nad c320BEE?

Yes, but I haven't lived with these amps.
I haven't heard B&W DM 303, but they seem to be pretty good.
From what I've read their treble performance is smooth, a bit rounded in comparison with B&W 601 S3.
I heard the 601 S3, nice smooth midrange, but the highs can be a bit agressive with some recordings.



 

New member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 5
Registered: Nov-04
Hi Nout.

Thanks for the reply. Hmm the DM303 is quite a bit cheaper than the 601S3, so you mean from what u have read the treble of dm303 is better?

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
Better I don't know, it depends on how you look at it.
The DM601's treble is more detailed, the 303's treble, as said, rounded.
But there's more in reproducing sound than treble alone.
I guess you have to listen to them yourself.

On Audioreview.com many people are extremely positive about the B&W 601 S3 speakers, not one of them dislikes them.
 

New member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 6
Registered: Nov-04
Hi Nout.

Oh ok i will go audition them. Yeah the budget int amp category is really hard to pick :-) By the way the NAD C320BEE i can use it as a preamp, now if i do, i can purchase say a NAD poweramp like C270? Will this method produce a better sound?:-) I am confused on preamps and poweramps compared to int. amps.

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

New member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 7
Registered: Nov-04
Hi Nout.

One more thing, do you have icq,msn,aolim?:-) If you do and you don't mind chatting there, i would appreciate it, if you don't its ok:-)

Regards.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
Hi Kenn, no I don't have AOL and MSN messenger. I do have Yahoo messenger but it failed to work untill now (haven't figured out yet what's wrong)
I really would like to chat further, trust me on that, but I must get some sleep right now: I have to get up early. It's here (in the Netherlands) 2.45 at night right now and I have to get up at 7 o'clock...3 hours left:-)
 

New member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 8
Registered: Nov-04
Hi Nout.
Oh hehe, you better go to bed then:-) Yeah chat later when u have time. Just wanna know regarding preamp,power amp etc:-)

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
Hi Kenn
Yes you can use Nad c272 as a poweramp with the NAD c320bee, but I haven't got any experience with seperate pre/poweramps.
So I don't know in which way it will improve the sound, you'll get more power for sure; therefore it will run speakers more easily and the sound isn't likely to distort at really high volumes.
But if the actual sound will change or better I don't know.
The pre-amp is supposed to reproduce the signal of the source and will add his own color to the sound. A poweramp is supposed to only amplify this (by pre amp colored) signal.
But there are good and better poweramps, poweramps which will do a better job with a certain pre amp etc. So I guess a power amp wil add something to the sound too.
But I'm afraid I got it all wrong here, so you better ask someone who really knows what he's talking about.

 

New member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 9
Registered: Nov-04
Hi nout.

Thanks for the explanation. Yeah or i could use the nad c320bee poweramp side and also add a different preamp to it right?:-)
Got your yahoo messenger to work yet:-)
actually msn messenger should be built into windows if you use it...

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
I use an Apple Mac, but I haven't in stalled OSX yet, maybe this is the problem.:-)

or i could use the nad c320bee poweramp side and also add a different preamp to it right?

Yes that's an option too.

But what's your roomsize? More power doesn't automatically mean better.
(many people use valve amps or pure class a amps with little power 2X20 watt )
2X50 watt is enough for a room sized 5X5 metres.
And do you like to play loud?
 

New member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 10
Registered: Nov-04
Hi Nout.

Yeah if you have a MAC OSX you need to install separately:-) Let me know if you do hehe.

Nope i don't play too loud. Maybe i thought if the power amp section of it is good, maybe thew bass definition is smoother and also midrange and treble. But i am probably wrong:P
My roomsize its: yeah probably maximum is 5MX5M probably a bit less than that.

p.s. have you compared the 320BEE to C352? The C532 has more power, are they basically the same except power? Also how about sonically?

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
Maybe i thought if the power amp section of it is good, maybe thew bass definition is smoother and also midrange and treble

Well maybe it is, as I said I don't know how it will influence the actual sound.

I compared the NAD C352 with the Marantz PM7200 (which I own) and the Rotel RA-02 when I was in a search for a good amp.
Later I heard the Rotel RA-02 and NAD C320BEE sise by side.
I never compared NAD C352 side by side with C320BEE.
But I am confident enough to say that NAD C352 sounds better than C320BEE (those names are really annoying to type:-) ).
It's a very dynamic and warm sounding ( slightly dark colored low midds) amp with a strong bass. The overall sound is bigger, stronger and has a better definition than the C320.

When I compared NAD, Marantz and Rotel I favoured the Marantz PM7200, but with some serious doubts: the NAD C352 has better dynamics and more drive, but in my set up (cd 5000 sounds agressive at times) the Marantz sounded smoother.
I am not saying the NAD sounds agressive or brash, but with some recordings, especially vocals the Marantz was more refined and gentle.
Objectively spoken the NAD C352 is the better amp of the two, I think (in comparison with Marantz PM 7200) Every audio magazine (German, English etc) considers the NAD C352 to be the best amp in its pricerange (with exception of Hi-Fi Choice).

But Kenn, you have to listen for yourself, maybe you don't hear that much difference between C352 and C320BEE and your choice will be easy.
I'm not an expert, these are just my opinions.


 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 11
Registered: Nov-04
Hi nout.

Yeah i will compare the NAD C352 and NAD C320BEE when i am ready to purchase:-) I will see if the price difference is worth it.

Is the C320BEE and C352 the same mechanically except the power supply is bigger for the C352? Just curious.

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
They are similair in built as far as I know, but I'm not that technical actually.
I never look at specs.
Only the sound counts for me.

The Marantz PM 7200 for instance isn't that nicely built, on the inside that is.(although it's quite heavy, which I like)
NAD looks much better on the inside. More cleaned up and orderly.
I don't care really, Marantz' sound is great.

 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 12
Registered: Nov-04
Hi nout.

Yeah sonically is the importance:-) Anyways i will go listen to the C352 and NAD C320BEE and see if the price difference is worth it....

So what kind of hifi setup you got at the moment?

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
Marantz PM 7200 ($499)
Marantz CD 5000 ($250)
Cheap crappy B&W DM 201i speakers (150 US$) which still sound pretty good.

For 4 months already I am thinking of buying a new cd player and speakers, have auditioned Marantz CD 7300 and NAD C542, but there isn't any need yet.
The sound isn't optimal, but many times I am completely satisfied and amazed about it.
So cheap and so good!

The room where I listen is quite small and I had to position the speakers in a strange way, not directed to me (to a so called hot spot) but semi-away from me. Excuse my poor English, I cannot explain what I mean, but it works very well.
In fact the level of depth and stereo image of the speakers, (due to the odd position of the speakers) I haven't heard anywhere else for less than $1000 a pair.
I'm dead serious.
A big improvement in sound you can get by positioning and roomacoustics.



 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 13
Registered: Nov-04
Hi nout.

Cool that is a unique way to place your speakers:-) By the way do you put it on your desk?
How do you think i should stand my speakers? As i have a fairly large computer desk where my computer is on, i don't have space to put them on the floor with stands. if i place it on a desk, what kinda stand should i get or don't get a stand at all?

Speakers are B&W DM601S3.

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
I use stands myself,.
In my opinion there aren't any rules about how; you have to experiment with it yourself.
If you find a proper place on your desk (which might be too high IMO) I wouldn't use stands.
I myself do not believe in spikes and special made stands.
I use stands because they take less space than the stools (not barstools)I had them placed on before.
I'm not deaf, I actually have a pretty good hearing but I couldn't hear a big difference between the speakers on the stands and the chairs.
But placing the speakers free in your room will definitely be better than placing them on your desk. You'll find a place for them, I did too, therefore I had to position them in a strange way.
Note that real audiophiles will laugh at me when I am saying that I don't believe in spikes and that I placed my speakers on stools...:-)

Hé Kenn, I'm going to sleep now. Have a nice day.
See ya later:-)

 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 14
Registered: Nov-04
Hi Nout.

hehe i see, yeah i will need to experiment around. Ok then have a goodnight or good morning:-)

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
if you find a proper place on your desk (which might be too high IMO) I wouldn't use stands

I meant not to use stands to place them with speakers and all on the desk, I don't see the point in that. (It'll have to be miniture-sized stands anyway if you'd like to put them with your speakers on your desk).
Trust your ears, what you like is all that matters.


 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 15
Registered: Nov-04
Hi nout.

Yeah my ears are most important:-) Yeah i think it will be too high on my desk if i use stands.

I can actually get the C320BEE in silver colour, do you think it looks better than the grey?:-)

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
Nope.
The silver (titanium) colour makes it look like any other brand, the grey finish gives it something special, exclusively used by NAD, very nice indeed.

 

Unregistered guest
Hi:
I have both the NAD 320BEE and the Arcam A65 Plus amp (a very recent addition). It's interesting, find myself agreeing that the NAD is more dynamic: the sense of surprise as the music goes from soft to loud happens more often with the NAD. The Arcam, incidentally, sounds "lightweight" in the bass: it HAS bass, but not with sense of authority. In the bass, the Aram is somewhat liked an inverted triangle: upper bass, defined but not tremendously dynamic (maybe that's the "lightweight sense: dynamics); midbass, lighter, but still defined and there and still not highly dynamic. Low bass (and I have a Carver True Subwoofer) seems good, but again, the sense of authority is okay, but not great. The Arcam however, has great low-level detail, has good soundstage depth (but not overly dimensional images) and width, and a good sense of ambience retrieval, equal to the NAD.
 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 16
Registered: Nov-04
Hi Macman.

Interesting:-) the arcam a65+ is a lot more expensive where i am compared to the nad c320BEE. So overall which amp did you like better?

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
Hé Kenn.

Listened to some amps yet? and what are your findings?
 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 17
Registered: Nov-04
Hi nout.

I have listened to the nad 320bee and 352, sounds similar to me heh.

Regards.
kenn.
 

MichaelHanan
Unregistered guest
I have listened to the Rotel RA-02, NAD C320BEE, and Arcam A65 Plus extensively. In fact, I have owned both the NAD C320BEE and the Arcam A65 Plus. I found the Rotel RA-02 (which is the same as the Rotel RA-01 with an added remote control) to be too forward for my liking. It lacked the warmth and musicality that both the NAD and the Arcam offered. The NAD was a great amplifier. I didn't have any maintenance issues with it and the sound was impressive. It sounded great at higher volumes and had very warm and mellow characteristics. However, I found that it was less dynamic and articulate than the Arcam and that its sound staging and imaging characteristics were less stellar. The Arcam is a refined piece. It has stunning dynamics and is extremely articulate. It has a warm and musical sound that has a very true timbre.

I would recommend the Arcam A65 Plus over the Rotel RA-02 (and Rotel RA-01) and the NAD C320BEE.

Those who have stated that the Arcam A65 Plus outperforms the NAD C320BEE and not the NAD C352 and C372 have made a foolish statement since the later two offer no improvements in sonic quality, simply the amount of watts supplied.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ellison

Post Number: 17
Registered: Mar-05
I agree that Nad 320Bee and 352 is just the same. It differs only in wattage.
The Nad 320 is better than RA-02 with regards to music making ability. RA-02 sounds bright to my taste. Nad 320 is involving and musical.

My system:
NAD320
NAD521
Mordaunt Short 914
Ixos6003 speaker cable
Vand DenHUL The Source Interconnect
ISo Bearing






 

nout
Unregistered guest
I heard differences, so call me a fool.
 

Silver Member
Username: Tevo

Chicago, IL USA

Post Number: 120
Registered: Feb-05
I do think a great deal of that depends on the speakers. I'd wager less sensitive/harder to drive speakers would not fare quite as well with the C320BEE as they would with a C352/C372.

Any wagers on whether the new RA-03 sounds exactly the same as the RA-02?

:-)
 

bumblebee
Unregistered guest
from NAD's website, an excerpt on AVGuide's review of the C352.

"If you have efficient speakers, NAD's own C320BEE offers similar sonic attributes and will save you a few hundred bucks. According to Mr. Stone, both units use the same "design platform," but the smaller sibling gives you less power and flexibility."
 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 21
Registered: Nov-04
hi nout.

guess what i didnt buy NAD at all:P in the end i bought a micromega minium int amp, its only 40WX2 but enough for me :-) I have it teamed up with a NAD C521i CDP but i am only using it as a transport as i am using an external DAC which is a micromega Duo BS2 PDM 1bit bitstream.

Any ideas if the NAD CDP has jitter reduction?

p.s. hows your audio system going?

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
Hi Kenn, great to hear from you again.
A Micromega amp, very exotic :-) I mean there aren't a lot of people who'd consider Micromega...it is mainly NAD, NAD, some NAD's and a few Cambridges and Marantz's and there you have it.
How does it sound? Great I suppose.

My system still runs great, I'm not considering something new, although I have the money for it. Why would I upgrade when I'm still happy with it?

Any ideas if the NAD CDP has jitter reduction?

What's jitter reduction? Do some cd players have them?
I never heard of a built-in jitter filter
 

Silver Member
Username: Sun_king

Leeds, West Yorkshire UK

Post Number: 189
Registered: Mar-04
MichaelHanan,

You say there is no difference sonically between the Nad C320BEE, C352 & C372????? The BEE sounds incredibly thin and lacking in bass weight next to the C372. As great an amp as it is for the money, the C372 slays it whether you require the extra power to drive your speakers or not. The C320BEE is plenty powerful enough for almost all speakers so do you honestly think Nad produce the other two amps just for the rare occasion that somebody might want to connect some earthmoving speakers to them? The circuitry is different in the BEE to the other two amps, it isn't just a power issue.
 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 22
Registered: Nov-04
hi nout.

yeah micromega is relatively unknown out there. you know what it is? is it rated higher than NAD? my fathers hi end hifi dealer thinks so. to my ears it is. i compared to the nad c352 and the micromega was better.

yeah i guess u don't need to upgrade if it sounds good to you:-)

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

nout
Unregistered guest
I heard of the name and seen a few, never listened to them however.
What type Micromega amp do you have? (I mean which range, number)
 

nout
Unregistered guest
What type Micromega amp do you have? (I mean which range, number)

in the end i bought a micromega minium int amp

ok, you said it already. I don't know this one and Google isn't helping me a lot also. It seems "minimun" is used as a range-name for their A/V amps, DVD and CD players players too.
 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 23
Registered: Nov-04
hi nout.

yep they made dvd players etc for the minium range too. looks like this one:
http://www.oslohificenter.no/prod/el/int/mic_int.html
 

nout
Unregistered guest
Looks great!, very minimalistic. that's why they're called minium, I suppose
 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 24
Registered: Nov-04
hehe yeah i think that is why the name is minium:-) i like the black look. makes the NAD C521i looks ugly heh. i wonder if i change to another transport similar pricing to my NAD if it will sound better:-) i am using external micromega dac.

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

conker
Unregistered guest
I congratulate you with a nice amp Kenn, much better than NAD shite and now get rid of the cd player.
 

Bronze Member
Username: K3nnis

Post Number: 25
Registered: Nov-04
hi conker.

you used micromega before? i can't afford a different transport yet, i am looking for a new transport when i have the money. I am using the NAD as my transport for now feeding it via digital coaxial to my micromega external DAC.

Cheers.
Kenn.
 

Greg Lie
Unregistered guest
Dear all,

I try to figure out to buy a new system as follow:
- B&W 303 S3 for front and rear
- B&W LSR3 for centre
- B&W ASW300 for subwoofer
- Denon 3805 for receiver

what you think
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