Video Review - Click on the Video Tab Above
Features a Built-in High-Resolution DAC
NAD’s C 356DAC integrated amp is a highly capable performer that’s ready for both analog and digital sources. Boasting 80-watts-per-channel RMS power delivery at 8 ohms and 145-watts-per-channel peak power, the 356DAC takes maximum advantage of NAD’s PowerDrive™ circuit. As a result, it is able to accurately control difficult-to-drive loudspeakers while sounding musical, detailed, coherent and relaxed.
Speaking of control, even at elevated listening levels, NAD’s exclusive Soft Clipping feature is there to save both your ears and your speakers from damaging clipping distortion. So put on your favorite music and feel free to crank up the volume!
Modular Design Construction
The heart of the C 356DAC is NAD's critically acclaimed C 356BEE integrated amplifier. NAD fans already know that the initials 'BEE' stand for Bjorn Erik Edvardsen, NAD's Director of Advanced Development. BEE has once again applied lessons learned from its critically acclaimed Masters Series M3 amplifier to the C 356BEE.
The C 356DAC is identical to the C 356BEE and retains all of its specifications and features. The only difference is that the C 356DAC adds a high-resolution DAC module that's already installed into the rear-panel. Thanks to NAD's Modular Design Construction, you can add even more capability to the 356DAC by adding other modules as they become available, such as NAD's superb PP 375 phono stage.
DAC with Optical and Asynchronous USB Inputs
We love streaming computer music, especially 24/96 studio master tracks. But most computer sound cards are not designed for music production and end up ruining the sound while popular music streaming devices like Apple TV, Squeezebox and Sonos follow a similar poor quality path. Plug any of these devices into the C356DAC with built-in DAC and you will be blown away by what you hear! Listen to the details and dynamics reproduced from the original recording rather than the noise and distortion of an inadequately designed audio stage.
Thanks to a technique known as 'asynchronous USB', NAD has eliminated poor computer sound and lets your music flow freely. USB is a computer standard for high-speed data transmission (good news for 24/96 quality music) but it has a feature set skewed for PC use, not music. USB sends info in 'data packets' making the system very robust. There is also a traffic manager that can vary the size and sequence of the packets. This is good for PCs, bad for music. These timing variations create a condition called 'jitter' – small variations that create a harsh distortion. However, by using the MDC DAC's high precision clock and built-in NAD customized software to control the PC, this distortion can be eliminated.
The asynchronous USB input boasts 32 kHz to 96 kHz sampling. The C 356DAC also has an optical digital input with 32 kHz to 192 kHz sample rate, giving you even more flexibility.
Lowest Levels of Noise in Its Price Class
The C 356DAC has the lowest levels of distortion and noise available in its price class and is easily capable of embarrassing far more expensive products. To prove it NAD uses Full Disclosure Power (FDP), the most demanding criterion for performance measurement. FDP specifies distortion under the most extreme conditions of low impedance loads and frequency extremes rather than the simple and easy 1 kHz @ 8 ohms test quoted by many manufacturers. NAD uses this stricter performance criterion because it more closely matches the demands of real music and real loudspeakers. Maintaining specified distortion at 4 ohms and at 20 Hz and 20 kHz is a much more difficult achievement.
New improved speaker binding posts allow for two pairs of speakers with remote controlled switching. The C 356DAC makes exclusively uses sonically transparent sealed reed relay switches for all inputs (despite their added expense), including a front panel mini-jack to easily enjoy music from your iPod or other portable music player. This internal architecture minimizes signal path length and keeps resistance extremely low allowing the subtlest details to emerge from your music.
Musically satisfying tone controls allow necessary correction to your favorite music without adding coloration or distortion. Rather than design good tone controls, many competitors simply delete them. NAD gives you the option to bypass tone controls for those perfect recordings in your collection.
The included wireless remote can also control other NAD products, like tuners and CD players, giving complete system control.
A major goal in the design of the C 356DAC was to reduce energy consumption without sacrificing performance. PowerDrive™ already allows the C 356BEE to have the dynamic capability of an amplifier twice as powerful, and twice as power hungry.
The C 356DAC offers <0.5W standby consumption and includes a convenient all off 'vacation' switch. NAD makes every effort to reduce its environmental impact by manufacturing the C 356DAC without heavy metals and other hazardous substances, and by using recycled and recyclable materials where possible.