Published On: 24 Jan 2023Categories: Industry Channel News

Building on five decades of innovation in amplifier design, NAD’s C 389 HybridDigital DAC amplifier offers audiophile-class performance, flexible connectivity options, class-leading upgradability, and unmatched value.

The C 389 employs NAD’s proven HybridDigital UcD amplifier design and the same ESS Sabre DAC used in NAD’s acclaimed M33 BluOS streaming amplifier.

With a full suite of digital and analogue inputs, including an ultra-low-noise phono stage and HDMI eARC interface, the C 389 can accommodate all your source components. In addition to two sets of speaker outputs, it has two subwoofer outputs, pre-amp outputs, and a dedicated headphone amp. The C389 incorporates MDC2, the latest iteration of NAD’s Modular Design Construction technology, so owners can add exciting features like BluOS multi-room streaming and Dirac Live room correction.

From input to output, every aspect of the C 389 has been engineered to deliver thrilling dynamics and transparent, detailed sound. The digital section is built around the same 32-bit/384 kHz ESS Technology Sabre DAC chip used in NAD’s award-winning Masters M33 amplifier. Renowned for its near-zero levels of clock jitter, exceptionally wide dynamic range, and ultra-low noise and distortion, the ESS Sabre 9028 DAC enables the C 389 to deliver astonishing clarity and near-holographic imaging on all sources.

For the output stage, the C 389 uses a customized 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. This enables it to produce real-life listening levels with any loudspeaker load. The C 389 can deliver 130 watts per channel continuously, with virtually unmeasurable distortion and noise throughout the audio band, and up to 350 watts per channel of instantaneous power, for effortless reproduction of musical transients.

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 future-proofing technology lets owners of MDC-capable components add new capabilities by inserting an expansion module into an MDC slot on the rear panel. Starting in 2021, MDC2 is 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-res multi-room streaming and Dirac Live room correction.

The MDC2 BluOS-D connects to your home network via Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet. With MDC2 BluOS-D installed, the C 389 can be part of a whole-home music system with as many as 64 zones. Listeners can play music from their favorite streaming services, or from their personal music libraries, under control of the BluOS app, which is available for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows.

The BluOS Controller app has integrated support for more than 20 services, including several that offer lossless and high-res audio, such as Amazon Music HD, Deezer, Idagio, Qobuz and Tidal. Like all BluOS-enabled components, the MDC2 BluOS-D has MQA decoding and rendering capability, for high-res streaming from Tidal. It also supports Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect, as well as Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant voice control.

Dirac Live room correction compensates for acoustic problems like standing waves and room reflections. Connect the supplied microphone to the optional MDC BluOS-D’s USB port, and then run the free Dirac Live app on a smart device or personal computer. Dirac Live will play test tones through your speakers, analyze the results, then transfer compensation filters to the MDC BluOS-D.

The results are transformative: you’ll enjoy deeper, more textured bass; more precise imaging; and improved timbral accuracy. Thanks to MDC2’s two-way architecture, the MDC2 BluOS-D delivers these benefits on all sources connected to the C 389.

NAD’s C 389 has all the inputs you need to accommodate your audio source components. These include two optical and two coaxial digital inputs and two sets of RCA line-level analogue inputs. The analogue inputs have ultra-low-noise buffer amplifiers for greater sonic purity.

Vinyl fans will appreciate the C 389’s precise MM phono stage, which provides accurate RIAA equalization, high overload margins, and extremely low noise. The phono section incorporates an innovative circuit that suppresses the infrasonic noise that is always present during vinyl playback, without affecting bass performance.

For movies and television, the C 389 has an HDMI eARC input so that listeners can play TV audio from through their high-fidelity speakers while controlling volume with the TV’s remote. With its two subwoofer outputs, the C 389 can serve as the hub of a 2.1-or 2.2-channel system for music and movie playback. With the MDC2 BluOS-D installed, users can set crossover frequency with the BluOS app, for a seamless blend between the subwoofers and main speakers.

The C 389’s dedicated headphone amplifier has low output impedance and very high voltage output capability, so that it can be used with demanding headphones, including low- and high-impedance studio headphones. The C 389 also features two-way wireless Bluetooth, with support for Qualcomm’s aptX-HD codec, for 24-bit streaming from your smartphone or tablet, and wireless playback through Bluetooth headphones and speakers.

For over 50 years, the NAD brand has been synonymous with performance and value. The C 389 HybridDigital DAC Amplifier solidifies this reputation even further. With its precise volume control, ultra-low-noise circuitry, and cutting-edge amplifier design, the C 389 will deliver thrilling dynamics and exquisite detail from all your musical sources. With NAD’s next-generation MDC2 future-proofing technology, C 389 owners can add exciting capabilities like multi-room music streaming and automatic room correction. The NAD C 389 can serve as the cornerstone of a high- performance audio system now, and for decades to come.

The NAD C 389 is expected to arrive March this year with a retail price of R32 990 Vat Incl.

Cinema Imports (Pty) Ltd t/a AV Imports / / 082 571-6568


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