NAD HybridDigital DAC Amplifier

NAD C 399 Front with BluOS display

NAD have launched the C 399 hybrid digital DAC amplifier employing nCore amplification, which until now has been available only on Masters Series amplifiers. The C 399’s digital section is built around a 32-bit/384kHz ESS Sabre DAC and the suggested retail price is £1799 (US$1999 / €1999 / CDN$2599).  

The C 399 also the first amplifier to incorporate the latest generation of NAD’s Modular Design Construction (MDC) technology: MDC2 which lets users add optional modules that provide functions such as BluOS Hi-Res multi-room music streaming, Dirac Live room correction and more.  The C 399 is specced to deliver 180 Watts per channel continuous power, and 250 Watts per channel instantaneous power. 

“As with every NAD amplifier, the C 399 gets the basics right: a precise volume control with accurate channel balance, low-noise circuits, and correct input and output impedances. The C 399 with its HybridDigital nCore output stage and high-resolution ESS Sabre DAC can reproduce all your digital and analogue sources to a level of excitement and refinement that is unprecedented in its class”, says Cas Oostvogel, NAD Electronics’ Product Manager. 

NAD C 399 with MDC card.jpg

In 2006, NAD introduced MDC, an architecture for adding new functions to existing components. Many NAD products have rear-panel slots for MDC modules that perform UHD (4K) support, HDMI switching, BluOS multi-room music streaming, Dolby Atmos surround processing, and other functions. MDC2 enables two-way communications between the module and host component. 

Equipped with Wi-Fi and Ethernet, the optional MDC2 BluOS-D module lets listeners play music from their favorite streaming services through the C 399, using the acclaimed BluOS Controller app for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. Like all BluOS Enabled products, the MDC2 BluOS-D has integrated support for dozens of streaming services including Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Tidal Connect. It also enables the MDC2 BluOS-D to stream music from local sources connected to the C 399 to BluOS enabled components in other rooms.

The Dirac Live function lets users to measure their room’s acoustics using a supplied microphone and app, and then upload correction curves to the MDC2 BluOS-D. By compensating for acoustic anomalies in listening environments, it performs Dirac Live room correction for all sources connected to the C 399. Which has two optical and two coaxial digital inputs, plus an HDMI-eARC port for playing audio from a connected TV, while controlling amplifier output with the TV’s remote control. Analogue inputs include two pairs of RCA line-level inputs, plus a MM phono stage. The phono preamp also features an innovative circuit that suppresses the infrasonic noise.


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