NAD/Paradigm Equipment


New member
Username: Clarence_y

Illinois USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Apr-06
I'm looking at replacing most of my old audio equipment and a nearby dealer has suggested the following: NAD C162/C272 preamp/amp, NAD C542 CD, and either Paradigm Studio 60v3 or 100v3 speakers. My budget is between 3 and 4 thousand US dollars.

I have a wide range in musical interests from rock (both old and new with the exception of very heavy metal), jazz (both traditional as well as contemporary) to classical. I listen to vinyl as well as CDs so phono capabilities are also important (keeping my old turntable as it's still functioning and has been adequate for my needs). Room size that I will be placing equipment in to is approximately 23 by 19 feet. I have listed to the NAD equipment paired with Paradigm Studio 40v3 speakers (at the dealers) and liked the overall sound but felt the speakers lacked in the bottom end which is why the dealer suggested the 60s or 100s (not interested in a subwoofer). This setup will be for 2 channel music listening only.

I am attempting to explore other combinations of equipment; however, where I live shops are few and far between unless I want to travel 100-200 miles (not out of the question if necessary as dealer support is important to me). Any opinions on the compatibility of the NAD/Paradigm equipment as far as complimenting one another? Any other suggestions as to equipment combinations that I should be auditioning within my price range as I am completely open to other brands. I know that my ears will be the final judge but I'm hoping for some suggestions from those who might have more experience with quality and reliability of different brands. Thanks in advance for all suggestions and help.

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 901
Registered: May-05
The set-up the dealer showed you is a pretty good one. I've heard the Studio 60s and 100s with Anthem equipment and was incredibly impressed, although I preferred the 100s to the 60s but that's about $500 jump per pair. I'd try to get a listen to both on an A/B and see what you think.

In that price range, there are tons of speakers to listen to and it may be worth a drive into Chicago or someplace else close that has multiple options. But, I think you're looking at pretty good basic equipment. Good luck, Dave

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 786
Registered: Dec-03

You have a very reasonable budget, and there are A LOT OF CHOICES within your price range. Consequently, it can become easy to be confused. However, having said that, you would be hard pressed to come up with a better combination than the NAD equipment with the Paradigm 60s or 100s. I have heard that combination and I was floored by its warm, open sound. I gather you have heard the NAD with the 40s--other than the bass, did you like the system? Did it sound "right" to your ears?

Now, if I were to make any suggestion to improve it, it would be to change the speakers to Magnepan MG1.6s. Those are planar speakers that do not have a moving cone--instead, there is a large panel that vibrates. The result is a speaker that is very tall and very thin (only about 3" front to back). The Magnepans are a very difficult impedence load (approx. 3.6 ohms, but rated as 4 ohms), which is why you don't see them often, but the NAD amp is remarkable for its ability to accomodate difficult impedence loads (rated down to 2 ohms, only amp I know of that is rated that low). Magnepans are highly prized by audiophiles because they are so clean and accurate. They have much greater "air" to them than any typical cone based speaker system, a naturalness that, when listening, you would swear the perfomers were in the room with you. As Chris Izzo of Goodsound wrote:

'When I listen to the Magnepan MG1.6/QRs, I get the eerie sensation of being there with all the musicians who make me love music. That ability to "disappear" and take you right to the heart of music is what makes them such a great joy to listen to, and such a superb value in the audio world.'

You have the room to accomodate them, as well. Here is a link to the manfucturer's website that will tell you about them and you can locate a dealer:

On that page are links to some of the many highly favorable reviews they have received as well. If I had the room to accomodate them, I would have them myself. Ther are better than any other speaker I have ever heard, and that includes the $85,000 JMlabs Utopia Be system.

I hope you can listen to them . . .

New member
Username: Clarence_y

Illinois USA

Post Number: 3
Registered: Apr-06
I appreciate the input Dakulis and Hawk as all suggestions are helpful to clear my new found confusion. I have been a faithful 2 channel music listener for many years but my old trusty equipment has finally seen its better days and its time to retire them.

Reviewing these forums has proved quite enlightening to the various options available in today's market (separates versus high quality integrated amps), latest speaker technology and CD options all from some manufacturers that I am not even familiar with. Over the next several weeks I hope to locate more shops where I can listen to as many combinations as possible and as Dakulis has suggested I may have to widen my range in order to find those options.


I did like the overall sound from the 40s with the exception of the low end. I'm not a room thumping kind of guy so I don't need to shake the plaster on my walls but I did feel there was a lack of fullness and accuracy down low especially on some of the classical tracks that I listened to. The dealer doesn't have any 60s to demo but he said he does have some 100s so I'm going to give them a listen to. I've also located another nearby shop that has NAD/Rotel/PSB/B&W equipment that I'm going to give a listen to. I had not even thought about planar type speakers so I'll give them a listen if I can locate a dealer.

Thanks again all

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1146
Registered: May-05
Clarence -

The brands you mention are very good and they match quite well with one another. NAD & PSB and Rotel & B&W make great combos. I think they work the best paired that way. Paradigms however work pretty much equally well with Rotel and NAD.

They all sound different. Their's no one best combo. The only way to determine which you like most is listening to them.

New member
Username: Lasermark4

Post Number: 2
Registered: Apr-05
It's interesting that the transitions that Hawk spoke about was almost the identical path to my current HT (did we both end up at the high end Audio on Colorado Blvd near Cherry Creek in Denver??).

I first heard NAD T163/T973 with Studio 100's, and I was impressed! I then did a side by side comparison with a much more expensive Anthem, and quite frankly, I saw little difference and actually liked the NAD. Then I put the Maggies with the NAD and thought I had found bliss. Anyway, a long story short, I bumped into a Martin Logan dealer who had the NAD's, and is a huge improvement and new sound like I had never heard. New music clarity, detail, and fidelity like none other. And with HT, they are fantastic. I wanted to go with the Odyssey or Ascents, but settled on the Aeon i's, Aerius i's, and Theatre for the center in my smaller dedicated HT (13 x 18).

Finanally, if you liked the Maggies, you owe it to yourself to check out ML's.

And the NAD set?? I just can't say enough good about this combo-- they ROCK! Tons of power, pure musical, NEVER get even warm to the touch, and with the Aeons going as low as 1.3 ohms, these guys will deliver whatever you throw at them. I picked up a brand new A stock set for $2K-- a real steal! I can only imagine their new Master Series will take it up yet another notch.

Mark S.

New member
Username: Finchna

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-06
I own 60v2s and an nad pre(160) and power(218) amps. I'm 2 channel with musical interests that seem similar. It all sounds wonderful. A couple of years ago I added a hsu vtf-3 sub and it makes quite a marvelous difference in the listening experience from rock to classical (Saint-Saens organ symphony is far more like a concert hall experience with the sub--as is most all music)-- I'd encourage you to try that at some point.

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz


Post Number: 568
Registered: Nov-05

I have the C542/C162/C272 components matched with B&W 602S3 standmounts and everyone who hears this system says the sound for the money is outstanding. As for me, I just love the way these components disappear and allow the music to be the focus. I highly recommend this set-up, but do allow a reasonable running in time for speakers and cdp. Good luck.

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