CEDIA EXPO 2006, DENVER, CO., Sept. 14, 2006 – NAD, the highly regarded manufacturer of high-performance audio components, exhibits two new stereo separates the C 325BEE Integrated Amplifier and C 525BEE CD Player during CEDIA this week in Denver.
Separate components have always been the audio enthusiasts preference and occupies the highest tier of performance for consumer electronics products. Embracing this philosophy NAD releases two brand new stereo separates that together form the perfect system for even the most demanding audiophiles.
C 325BEE Integrated Amplifier
NAD has developed several patented amplifier innovations under the direction of Bjorn Erik Edvardsen (aka BEE) such as the proprietary PowerDrive technology that is employed on all NAD amplifiers, including the C 325BEE. PowerDrive adds huge reserves of dynamic headroom without adding cost by ingeniously matching the amplifier to the speaker load. This is fully automatic in operation and adjusts the power supply parameters of the amplifier to best cope with the actual musical signal and specific speaker loading characteristics.
The C 325BEE delivers 50 watts of continuous full disclosure power with both channels driven at rated distortion (.02%) into 4 or 8 ohms. The use of the PowerDrive ensures remarkably dynamic and distortion-free performance, such as a remarkable 220 watts of IHF dynamic power into 2-ohms.
The C 325BEE is the latest in a long and distinguished line of amplifiers. Making the C 325BEE better than the C 320BEE it replaces was a tall order. However, by “trickling down” several innovations from NAD’s new state-of-the-art Masters Series it was possible to make the C 325BEE with less distortion, less noise, and a more detailed rendition of the musical recording. Some of the innovations incorporated into the C 325BEE were:
• A new DC Servo that eliminates sound coloring capacitors in the signal path, improving musical detail and eliminating harmful loudspeaker ‘offset’.
• Patented distortion canceling circuit uses both feedback and feedforward to reduce distortion and improve amplifier stability.
• Highly optimized circuit layout lowers internal impedance, improves grounding, and eliminates subtle magnetic distortions. Lower noise and distortion, and improved channel separation are a direct result of this optimization.
• Surface mount (SMD) technology shortens signal paths and lowers distortion in NAD’s proprietary Class A gain modules.
• The BEE Clamp improves HF stability when driving difficult speakers.
• Volume Control has minimum volume cancellation circuit to increase attenuation by 10dB.
• Tone controls are hand trimmed for perfect response characteristics.
• A new idling current circuit is more accurate with less unit-to-unit variation.
• A more rigid chassis that improves mechanical integrity.
• MP Input for easy connection of iPod, MP3 and other Media Players employing 3.5mm headphone sockets.
• 12 V Trigger, IR Input and IR Output for integration flexibility
The BEE Clamp is a new answer to an old problem endemic to all transistor amplifier designs. When the output transistors produce heat faster than it can be dissipated, the amplifier becomes momentarily unstable. This happens when the music has rich high frequency content and the speaker has low or difficult impedance. The BEE Clamp employs sophisticated real time monitoring of the output transistors’ load and drive, then “clamps” the base drive to prevent saturation when necessary, improving amplifier stability and waveform fidelity. The result is the C325BEE can instantly recover from overload, reducing both the amount and the duration of distortion, regardless of load impedance.
The Soft Clipping circuit eliminates the harsh sound that occurs when an amplifier is overdriven. This feature also protects sensitive loudspeaker tweeters that can be easily damaged by the high frequency distortion caused by clipping.
The technical precision and musical involvement offered by the C 325BEE sets a new benchmark against which all other affordable amplifiers will be compared.
C 525BEE CD Player
Also bearing the initials of Bjorn Erik Edvardsen the C 525BEE is the perfect companion to the C 325BEE integrated amplifier. The C 521BEE was one of the best selling CD Players in NAD history with several 5 Star reviews and awards, so it is understandable that NAD didn’t want to make major changes to such a successful design. However, the engineers at NAD are always looking to add any additional performance that is possible no matter how subtle.
For instance, NAD’s engineers fine-tuned the circuit that reads and tracks the CD to improve performance with the latest copy-protected and hybrid CDs. They also improved the audio performance by upgrading the OP Amp to lower distortion and improve musicality and detail. To meet the strictest environmental standards in the world, the construction of the C 525BEE is completely lead-free.
As always, sonic performance is the first priority at NAD. Even the most critical music listeners will appreciate the fluid dynamics, spacious sound, and refined harmonic textures the C 525BEE extracts from their favorite CDs. To achieve this level of performance, a 20-bit Burr-Brown Sigma Delta DAC chip was chosen for its excellent low-level linearity and detail retrieving capabilities. Separate power regulators for the digital and analog sections isolate the two electrically, reducing interference. Furthermore, careful layout of the PCB tracks around the DAC helps to contain RF radiation and interference.
Not all digital outputs are equal. In the case of the NAD C 525BEE, careful attention has been paid so that best use can be made of the ever-increasing number of products now available with digital inputs (CD, MD recorders, computer sound cards, outboard D to A converters, etc.). The coaxial output is buffered and isolated by a transformer from the converter itself and the output impedance has been carefully tailored to produce a precise 75 ohms impedance to ensure perfect matching. This attention to detail reduces the timing errors (jitter) that could otherwise distort the digital data stream.
Metal film resistors and polypropylene capacitors are used in key areas to ensure a highly accurate frequency response. High quality Burr-Brown op-amps are used instead of the much lower grade and type normally found at this price level. Apart from the single film type output capacitor, capacitor, no other capacitors are used in the signal path. The output impedance is very low at 300 ohms, making the NAD C 525BEE less sensitive to cables and other components in the system.
The Electro-Luminescent backlit display provides clear and understated, yet comprehensive information such as the track number, elapsed time and total number of tracks on a disc.
The C 525BEE comes supplied with the CD-6 full function remote control, which provides direct track access and programming features. Up to 20 tracks can be programmed into the handset. It is possible to delete tracks without using the program function by simply using the delete key. Other features include Random play of all the tracks on a disc, Repeat allows repeat playing of either the entire disc, or individual tracks. Individual tracks can be quickly accessed using the SKIP function (Forward and Back), and the SCAN function (Forward and Back) allows the listener to reach specific sections of the track.
The NAD C 325BEE Integrated Amplifier will sell for a US MSRP of $399, while the C 525BEE CD Player will sell for a US MSRP of $299. Scheduled to ship in 4th Qtr. ’06, both stereo separates can be seen with NAD’s other fine products in booth #122 at the Colorado Convention Center during the CEDIA EXPO 2006.