NAD Electronics launches C 389 HybridDigital DAC Amplifier at High End Munich

At last week’s High End Munich show, NAD Electronics unveiled its C 389 HybridDigital DAC Amplifier, an ideal cornerstone for an audiophile-grade stereo system that combines high-quality sound with flexibility and value offered by NAD’s latest Modular Design Construction platform, MDC2.

Using NAD’s HybridDigital UcD amplifier design and the same ESS Sabre DAC used in the brand’s up-market Masters Series amplifiers, the C 389 has been engineers to deliver thrilling dynamics and transparent detailed sound.

The digital section is built around a 32bit/384kHz ESS Technology Sabre DAC chip renowned for its near-zero levels of clock jitter, wide dynamic range and ultra-low noise and distortion.

For the output stage, the C 389 uses a customised version of NAD’s HybridDigital UcD design, with multiple UcD amplifier modules in balanced bridged configuration and an innovative switch-mode power supply that can provide ample reserves of current on demand. Delivering 130W per channel of continuous power, the C 389 can produce real-life listening levels with any loudspeaker load, with virtually no distortion and noise through the audioband, as well as effortless reproduction of musical transients.

Compatible with any source components, the C 389 has a full suite of digital and analogue inputs, including an ultra-low noise phono stage and HDMI eARC interface. In addition to two sets of speaker outputs, the C 389 has two subwoofer outputs, preamp outputs, and a dedicated headphone amp.

The C 389 incorporates the latest iteration of NAD’s Modular Design Construction technology, MDC2, and with its two MDC2 expansion slots, the C 389 can adapt to technical advances and evolving user needs. Introduced in 2006, NAD’s Modular Design Construction futureproofing technology allows owners of MDC-capable components to add new capabilities by inserting an expansion module into an MDC slot on the rear panel. MDC2 was introduced in 2021 and features an all-new design that allows two-way communications between the expansion module and host component.

NAD’s first MDC2 module is the MDC2 BluOS-D, which features BluOS high-resolution multiroom streaming and Dirac Live room correction. The module connects to the home network via Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet. With the MDC2 BluOS-D installed, the C 389 can be part of a whole home music system with as many as 64 zones.

Controlled via the BluOS Controller app, listeners can play music from over 20 streaming services including TIDAL, Deezer, Qobuz, Amazon Music HD, Spotify, or from personal music libraries. Like all BluOS-enabled components, the MDC2 BluOS-D will bring MQA decoding and rendering capability to the C 389, as well as Apple AirPlay 2and control by popular voice assistants.

Users can also connect the supplied microphone to the MDC BluOS-D’s USB port and then run the free Dirac Live app on a smart device or personal computer. Dirac Live room correction compensates for acoustic problems like standing waves and room reflections.

The C 389 will be available early summer 2022 with an SRP of £1,299 / €1,499 / $1,499.