NAD C320BEE vs. T742


Ok, Hawk I need your brain, and experience.

I am sold on getting NAD. I like the way the company operates, and the reviews I have read all over the place point to good sound, at a good price.

Some background:
I currently have a A/V receiver made by philips. I got it because it was cheap, and has DTS/Dolby digital decoding..etc..etc..just for watching DVDs. I currently have a pair of Athena AS-B1s which I am happy with, even though I will be upgrading to axioms later..probably the M22s. I have a smallish apartment, so I don't need a huge amount of power, and I am going to stick with a bookshelf/sub combo.

However, I want a nice audio system. I will be using it probably 70/30 music/HT.

So here is the question for Hawk (or anyone else who has listened to both):

Is there much difference in sound quality between the NAD C320BEE and the T742 receiver?
I also plan on getting the new C521BEE CD player and probably the tuner as well. Keep in mind I want a nice quality audio setup that I can keep with me for a good amount of time.
If I get the 320BEE, when I watch DVDs, I will just power the fronts through the NAD, and route the other channels through my receiver. When I want to listen to music, I will simply run the NAD equipment.
However, if there is minimal difference in sound quality between the 320BEE and the T742, I may as well simplify and go with the A/V receiver.
On the other hand, there is something kinda cool about the thought of owning the BEE set. :)

Any input on this comparison is welcome. I may even consider the T752 if the sound is comparable...
Basically right now i'm strongly biased towards the 320BEE/521BEE..but I just wanted to see if a few people out there had actually compared these models.

Thanks in advance.

bumping in hopes someone will answer.

Hawk you out there?


One of the really interesting things about NAD is how so many of their different units interface and match each other. For example, a C270 amplifier is gain-matched with the C370 integrated amp so that you can bridge the 370 to drive one channel and use the 270 for the other channel. My point here is that the sound is very uniform across the spectrum of NAD's amplifier products. So the 320bee, the 742 and the 752 all sound very similar. Hence, the sound from the T 742 is very, very close to the sound from the C 320bee integrated amp. Now, the 320bee has some improvements over the 742 such as a slightly better power supply and the power drive circuitry which allows the 320bee to drive low impedence speakers, but it really doesn't appear you need these features.

I have listened to the 742 for music and I was knocked out by it. It was listening to music through the 742 that made me realize how much better I could do than my Denon. I also would recommend the 742 because it has a much better pre/pro section than your Phillips. I looked at all of the NAD receivers and it appears that they all share the same pre/pro section, using the same Crystal brand DSP and Delta-Sigma DACs from the 742 through the 762. That is very unusual. Denon, by comparison, won't even tell you what DSP and DACs it uses until you get to the 3803, leading me to believe that the lower units use lower grade chips based more upon price than quality.

So, I don't think the getting a 742 over the 320bee would cause you to sacrifice any sound quality in music playback, and I think it would offer you some significant improvement for DVD and surround music playback. Since it has 5.1 inputs, you have the option of DVD-Audio or SACD playback in the future.

I hope this helps.


Thanks for the input Hawk. That is just what I was looking for. :)

Unfortunately, I still have this urge to get the BEE set...for novelty maybe?..or just the fact that I have never really had components before..

Anyway, this will help me make the decision when the time comes. Thanks again.


You can always get a quality receiver like the 742 and later add an outboard amp, thus converting your receiver into a dedicated pre/pro. Thus, you would have a component system.

Just a thought . . .

Unfortunately, I have been reading about the M22s, and their brightness, which might not be the best fit for the NAD...Now I am thinking about magnepans..4 ohms.

Ok, so which speakers go well with NAD receivers/amps at around 400$ a pair?
I have a smallish space, so I want to stick with a nice bookshelf/sub combo.

Thanks again.

Actually, I would be willing to spend between $400-$600..but no more than that. I have read some good reviews on the Ascend bookshelfs, do they fit well with NAD?


Yes, I think the Ascends work very well with NAD receivers. I also recommend the NHT SB-3s, a two way bookshelf speaker about the same size as the Ascends. They are not ported like the Ascends, however, which makes them easier to mount on the wall or on a stand close to the wall (they are an "acoustic suspension" design). MSRP is $600 for the pair, but you can get them for about $450/pair from Kiefs (


I have the same "problem"; choosing the C320BEE or
T742. Prices; C320BEE 339 Euros, T742 689 Euros.

If the sound, power, etc are almost the same, then
the 742 (5.1) but it's a bit pricey.

Now, for the T742 and C321BEE for classic music,
what should I choose ? Kef Q1, B&W 602, JMLab Chorus S 706 or what ?

Thanks in advance..


Yes, they 320bee and the 742 appear to have similar power at first glance, but you are "comparing apples to oranges" (old American expression). Don't forget, the 320bee is 50 watts x 2, whereas the 752 is 50 watts x 5. The 742 has full surround capability, which the 320bee doesn't. Furthermore, the 742 is 60 wpc into 2 channels, not 50, with a dynamic headroom of 90 wpc into 2 channels. You are also getting a stereo tuner (if that is important) and the ability to playback either SACD or DVD-Audio with an appropriate player. The 320 doesn't do this, so the 742 offer a lot more options for the future.

Either way, I think either the KEF Q1s or the B&W 602s are an excellent match for an NAD amp. I don't think the JMlabs Chorus line is as clean as the other two, but I have not heard the new Chorus Signature line, so they may be better.


The C320bee has pre-amp out. I was hoping to be able to use this to route the sound through an audio processor and was expecting the output to be fixed at line level, taken just after the tape monitor area of the signal path for example.

Unfortunately it turns out that the pre-out is taken after the volume control, is this arrangement normal?

Hi All:

I also have some sort of strange, soul-felt attraction to the 320BEE. However, I own a T742 and it sounds fantastic. I use it about 80% for music, and I love it - it is head and shoulders above the silly Kenwood 5.1 DTS receiver I replaced it with. For movies it is great, too, and I just added a T562 DVD. The combination is amazing. I have never heard movie soundtracks sound so musical.

And don't underestimate the pre-out circuit, so you can add an external amp or two.

Either way, you will be happy, but if you think you like HT now, you will definitely love the 742.

Well, Just an update.

I went for the C320BEE and I am glad I did. I know the T742 is probably very similar, but this amp is incredible. I can barely get the volume past 10 oclock before my ears start to rebel.

I have a philips receiver that I will use to power the surround channels and center when I want to watch movies, while the NAD will power the front 2. And I will be getting the C521BEE soon, and that + the amp will serve as my music setup.

The only problem I am having is with finding a way to use a sub with both movies and music. I have a DVD player which does the decoding, so I use the 6 channel outputs from the DVD player, with the 2 fronts going to the NAD, and the center+ surrounds going to the reciever. But, I cant send the sub output straight from the DVD player to the sub, AND have it connected to my NAD for I am stuck. I have read that you should not have a sub connected to two sources at the same time. So right now I just run the sub in parralel with my main speakers from the NAD. I would like to use the LFE for movies, but I really dont want to get up and change the sub input every time I want to watch movies.

Anyone know how I can fix this?

Just to clarify my problem (I reread my message above and it seems unclear):

I have the sub connected through high level(speaker level) inputs to my C320BEE currently, running both mains and sub in parralel. However, if I want to use the LFE output from the DVD player for movies, I will have to unhook the speaker level inputs and then connect my DVD player to the sub using a subwoofer cable (RCA) line-level input.

Now, the problem is, I would like to be able to use the sub with my NAD equipment AND with the DVD player(for HT). I guess I need a switcher of some kind, but I have not seen a switcher that has both speaker level and line level inputs.
I could also use line level inputs to connect from the pre-outs of the C320BEE to the sub using Y cables, but again, I would need some kind of switch so that the sub isnt connected both to my amp and DVD player at the same time.

Again, if anyone could help, I would appreciate it.


I was having the same problem before and got the opportunity to auditioning both C320BEE and T742 driving PSB Image 2B. I was accompanied by 3 friends of mine during the auditioning and we all agree that C320bee sound much better than T742 and IT IS THAT OBVIOUS.

C320BEE sounds much cleaner and smoother, finally I bought the unit and pair it with Monitor Audio Bronze B2 and waiting for the CD player C521BEE.

I have to thanks to Mr. Hawk for knowledge in NAD products.

Currently I am saving for dedicated cheaper HT system since I got my stereo already

The NAD C320BEE , is a time tested model that works wonderfully! It has no noticeable problems, and has good resale value..........jmho.
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