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.
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.