Reviewing NAD C 368

The design of NAD’s stereo amplifiers hasn’t altered much down the years.

For its Digital series, the Canadian brand strayed a little from its traditional blueprint of black, brown or grey boxes – the D 1050 and Award-winning D 3020 signalled a move to more compact, contemporary casings (think wireless router with a rotary dial) – but the full-width box returns for NAD’s new Classic series, of which the C 368 sits right in the middle.

They aren’t built on an ‘original’ model or any predecessors, instead the C 368 has been ‘designed from the ground up’ to deliver enhanced features and performance while reducing power consumption.

Features

 NAD has continued to improve its PowerDrive amplifier circuit, which is designed to optimise power delivery through a wide range of speakers. Here, the company claims an 80W per channel into both 4 and 8 ohm loads.

Packed with functionality, the NAD will sit confidently as the nucleus in any hi-fi set-up. Line-level inputs are the cornerstone of every stereo amp and the NAD has two, as well as a moving-magnet phono stage, to do its bit for the vinyl boom.

An eight-channel DAC chip, which runs in Dual Differential mode with four running on each side for improved resolution, allows for two coaxial and optical inputs apiece, while aptX Bluetooth, courtesy of a screw-on antenna, means music can be streamed from smartphone or tablet, or to a pair of wireless headphones.

Two slots at the rear can accommodate upgrade modules, whether that’s additional digital audio inputs such as a type-B USB for connecting laptops; HDMI sockets with 4K passthrough; or a Bluesound (NAD’s sister brand) one to add hi-res multi-room network streaming.

There’s also a preamp output to facilitate bi-amping for adding greater clout at a later date, a 6.3mm headphone output on the front panel, and two pairs of speaker outputs.