NAD drops C 389 integrated amplifier

NAD has introduced its C 389 HybridDigital DAC amplifier, which the company describes as: “the perfect cornerstone for an audiophile-grade stereo system combining exceptional sound quality with the flexibility and the long-term value offered by NAD’s latest Modular Design Construction platform, MDC2”.

Featuring the same ESS Sabre DAC used in the brand’s up-market Masters Series amplifiers, the C 389 boasts a digital section built around a 32-bit/384kHz ESS Technology Sabre DAC chip and for the output stage it uses a customised version of NAD’s HybridDigital UcD design, with multiple UcD amplifier modules in balanced bridged configuration and a switch-mode power supply. Delivering a claimed 130W per channel of continuous power into 8/4ohm, the company claims the C 389: “can produce real-life listening levels with any loudspeaker load, with virtually unmeasurable distortion and noise through the audioband, and effortless reproduction of musical transients”.

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 most source components and, in addition to two sets of speaker outputs, it has two subwoofer outs, preamp outputs and a dedicated headphone amp.

With its two aforementioned MDC2 expansion slots, the C 389 has been designed to adapt to technical advances and evolving user needs. The first module is the MDC2 BluOS-D, which features BluOS hi-res multi-room streaming and Dirac Live room correction. It connects to a home network via wi-fi or wired Ethernet and allows the C 389 to be part of a whole-home music system with as many as 64 zones. Controlled via the BluOS Controller app, available for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows, listeners can play music from over 20 streaming services including Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz, Amazon Music HD or Spotify, or from their 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 Apple AirPlay 2 and control by the most popular voice assistants.

Simply 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 for simple setup.

Available to buy now for £1,300, you can find out more about the C 389 here.