NAD’s C 399 HybridDigital DAC Amp Brings Refined Muscle to the 2-Channel Game


(September 22, 2021) Born from technologies celebrated in NAD’s elite Masters Series, the all-new C 399 HybridDigital DAC Amp delivers big-time bang for the buck. On top of that, its modular design allows owners to add key functions such as BluOS streaming and Dirac Live room correction.

The heart of the C 399, NAD’s new flagship Classic Series integrated amp, is a HybridDigital nCore amplifier previously held exclusively for the company’s Masters Series gear. The amp flexes 180 watts per channel continuous power (250 watts per channel of instantaneous), allowing the C 399 to handle dynamic musical tracks with ease. Adding to the overall presentation is an ESS Sabre ES9028 DAC, which is also borrowed from the Masters Series. According to NAD, this DAC is heralded for its wide dynamic range, ultra-low noise and distortion, and near-zero levels of clock jitter. Considering both components, the C 399 can drive demanding, low-impedance speakers with a cleanliness and precision at the highest of listening levels.

Connectivity-wise, the C 399 presents two optical and two coaxial digital inputs, an HDMI eARC port for TV audio, two pairs of RCA inputs with low-noise buffer amplifiers to prevent sonic degradation, and a Moving Magnet phono stage. The phono preamp features an innovative circuit that suppresses the infrasonic noise present on all LPs, without compromising bass response.

The C 399 has two sets of speaker outputs, dual subwoofer outputs, and a built-in dedicated headphone amplifier with low output impedance and high output voltage capability. It also ships with two-way aptX Bluetooth for 24-bit streaming from mobile devices and high-quality output to Bluetooth-enabled headphones. In addition, C 399 features all-new MDC2 modular architecture that enables two-way communication between an add-on module and a component. Owners can add the MDC2 BluOS-D module for streaming from dozens of services along with support for Apple Airplay 2, Spotify connect, and TIDAL Connect. The module also allows for streaming from local sources connected to the C 399 with BluOS enabled components in other rooms.

Dirac Live room correction is also offered as an add-on module.

Priced at $1999, the C 399 is expected to begin shipping in time for the holidays.

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