NAD 325 vs 326

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by maransansui, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. maransansui

    maransansui Active Member

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    Hi, does anyone have an experience comparing these two models? audioreview has over 20 reviews for the 325 and only one for the 326- all of them very positive. my common sense tells me to go with the new and the improved 326 but the distortion rating for it is .006% while 325 has a thd of mere .02% which suggests to me that it should sound more 'tubey' like the vintage amps of late 60s. any thoughts? also, 325 has a better damping factor and is rated 10w higher. something else to consider, i guess. cheers :)
     

     

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  2. Mr. Lin

    Mr. Lin Lunatic Member

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    Well, I've been satisfied with my 326BEE, especially considering the price. I don't use it in a main music system currently, but what music-listening I have done with it has been very nice. You'll find at least one other member (Art.K) who got one and seemed to really dislike it - but you have to keep in mind he has experience with amps that are vastly more expensive.
     
  3. maransansui

    maransansui Active Member

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    would you happen to remember on which thread he criticizes 326? I'm having no luck with the advanced search. I put in his name and keywords 326/325bbe and get nothing :(
    I think the picture's becoming a little more clearer, though. the general consensus seems that 326 is a neutral amp where as 325 is mostly reviewed as a warm sounding unit, and also with a bit less control in the bass than 326. It seems that the THD rating is holding true with the Nads (haha) and 326 is a more refined sounding model than it's predecessor.
     
  4. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    Oh I didn't really dislike it. I unfairly compared it to my Sonneteer and it came up lacking...sorely. I also took issue with Paul Seydor claiming it would be a good buy even at 4 times the price as that is utter hogwash. It is however a great $500 amp and does nothing offensive or wrong and with gear that is appropriate it can sound wonderful. My wife's setup with a C325BEE and Era Design speakers sounds very nice.
     
  5. maransansui

    maransansui Active Member

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    i'm leaning heavily toward the 325. i'm still worried that i might not be satisfied with this downgrade. In the past I have used sansui 919, nad 2200, and various chinese brand tube amps which were all in a different league than the vintage SS amps altogather. I can't imagine 325/326 being as good as the sansui but if they're anywhere around the NAD 2200's performance, I guess i could call it a good deal. My source is a modded LITE DAC60 from pacificvalve and an entry grade turntable setup, materialized through a pair of diy 3way monitors that should give any high end speakers for their money, i hope :)
     
  6. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    I have kept my C326BEE and will find an application for it.
     

     

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  7. Mr. Lin

    Mr. Lin Lunatic Member

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    The thread happens to be titled in my honor. :D

    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=335654

    Sorry Art.K if I exaggerated your feelings about the 326BEE. To the OP, if you're going to get one of these, get the newest one, the 326.
     
  8. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    No problem, Dave. I think it was I who originally exaggerated. Both the 325 and 326 are very nice amps. Dave is right though, if you have a choice take the newest it's a bit more flexible and sounds a bit more refined.
     
  9. maransansui

    maransansui Active Member

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    i'm hesitant about choosing 326 because of this reason- in china, where i currently stay, it's actually about $20 cheaper than 325. this tells me that either A) the chinese ones are outsourced with cheaper components (maybe the 220v transformer being made with lesser material) or B) they're fakes. anyways, I don't trust it... and having downgrading from the likes of sansui 907limited and mingda mc34ab, i doubt i'll be impressed by the refinement i find in 326 over 325. what i'm looking for most is musicality and warmth. and I'm still thinking that 325 might have an edge in those areas.

    Great review btw, Art. After reading it, I'm thinking that 325 is not the amp for me. From the way you compare the 325 to the Sonnteer, it sounds like the NAD is decisively SS amp and Sonneteer a tube emulating one. I'm a tube man myself who favor micro-dynamic and musicality over frequency extension and that general hifi-ness that most mainstream brands seem to focus on. I also had the pleasure of listening to a Unison research and a mcintosh side by side and I must say, those two are different breeds and the unison research soars much higher in the musicscape to my ears. sadly I can't afford anything high end and I refuse to touch another chinese made one due to their unreliability. I was under the assumption that 325 was a tube-like amp from a reviewer at audioreviews but your better review has convinced me otherwise. so now i'm looking at nelson pass aleph mini clone or couple vintage mosfet amps.

    In fact, I had bought an Onkyo A-919 last week and returned it. It's arguably one of the best integrate Onkyo has ever made and their most famous mosfet amp to date, and sounded just sweet melodic. I could've sworn it could be mistaken for a push pull tube amp on certain songs. But the seller had decided to spray the whole amp with some kind of toxic metal degreaser that was going to stink up my house for however long it would take to evaporate. So I had to return it. I wasn't even surprised. China being the world's 3rd most polluted country has not been the news to me for a while now :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  10. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    The C326BEE now has an Absolute Sound Golden Ear award and Absolute Sound Budget Component of the Year award to it's credit FWIW.
     
  11. Mr. Lin

    Mr. Lin Lunatic Member

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    Rumor is they did that just to irritate you. :D
     

     

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  12. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    Damn 'em anyway!:smoke:

    No, it's pretty cool that an inexpensive unit gets that much attention.
     
  13. Mr. Lin

    Mr. Lin Lunatic Member

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    Well if you'd read the current TOL thread you'd know they only did that because NAD advertises in TAS. :thmbsp::thmbsp:
     
  14. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    I ignore the conspiracy theorists. It's better for my blood pressure.
     
  15. Enthusiast2

    Enthusiast2 Well-Known Member

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    Basic math. :scratch2:
     
  16. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    Which is better the 326 or 325.

    OK, I spent the weekend listening to the C326BEE, yeah it's better, alot better.

    The C326BEE has a warmer sound than the older C325BEE which will not suit some folks. That is the last place where the 325 outperforms the 326. The 326 is more detailed and has much better timing. I've been surprised all weekend at how good the timing is with this integrated. I'm using it with Wharfedale Diamond 9.1's, a Panasonic BD player and Blue Jeans cables. Obviously, source is the weak link.

    I would say that if you are looking for the best sounding integrated that I've heard this side of a grand look no further than the C326BEE. Do be warned though, if you like a brighter sound this amp is not for you.

    [​IMG]
     

     

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  17. Urizen

    Urizen Lunatic Member

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    This thread has been cleaned up to remove off-topic and attitude filled posts. Let's remain on topic and help the OP with his questions.

    Thanks.
     
  18. dnewma04

    dnewma04 The Healer Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

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    It's probably best to completely ignore THD numbers as they don't correlate to perceived sound quality. It's possible that an amp with .05% distortion could sound decidedly worse than one with 5%. With simply a THD number, there is nothing you can predict about the sound the amp will produce. If they were to publish the individual distortion components, then you'd have something that would allow you to predict perceived sound quality to a significant degree. Basically, your guess that one will sound more like a tube amp more than likely would be a false assumption, or at the very least, quite flawed.

    You can also virtually ignore damping factor on just about any solid state amp. Unless it's extraordinarily low, it won't have an audible effect in most real world scenarios.

    The extra 10w is probably also inconsequential as it's just going to give you a fraction of a dB of extra output before clipping would occur.
     
  19. Negotiableterms

    Negotiableterms Administrator Staff Member Admin Subscriber

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    For many years, the great goal was to lower distortion to 0.1%. It was widely believed that no one could hear anything less than that. Both amps in question show less than half that, so it seems unlikely to me that that difference between them is significant.

    I have the impression that NAD doesn't change models routinely. Rather, their units remain in production until there's a reason to change. Thus, I would think the 326 should be a significant improvement over the 325. This is only speculation, as I've heard neither unit.
     
  20. Mr. Lin

    Mr. Lin Lunatic Member

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    That's Art K.'s conclusion.
     

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