I have tried many solid state integrateds in your price range. My favorites were: Bryston B-60(still own), REGA Brio, and Arcam 65 watt model. All of these would work well in your system.
12 responses Add your response
A used Musical Fidelity a3.5 integrated should work well for you. I had the a3.2 and a308 in the past and they sounded great with jazz. I listened to an a3.5 when they first came out and it was markedly better than the a3.2 to my ears. It would be a noticeable upgrade from your NAD and would be an amp to build future upgrades to your speakers and/ or source should you desire.
I see there are two for sale now on Audiogon. I have no connection to either seller.
I have not owned a Nad 320BEE but I have owned a B 60 and of all the integrateds,tuners and separates I have owned that sounded the best wih one exception. I have owned a Musical Fidelity 3.2 preamp which I used with a Bryston 4BSST as well as a Magnum Dynalab MD 208.The best unit I have had is the Nackamichi TA-3A. It is a Nelson Pass design which was modified by Stephen Sank. In its modified state it is the best sounding unit I have ever had. It has a huge sound stage, deep base, superb mid-range and a wonderfully clear (not harsh) upper range. I was tickled pink when I received it. Though it is not an integrated, but a receiver with an an above average tuner, the integrated part of it can compete with the very best ones I have heard. The best part of it is that I paid 495.00 USD. I have bought other things from him which have been equally superb and reasonable. He is, in my opinion one of the very best sound engineers around. If you are interested you may approach me for details.
Thank you all for the suggestions! I'll start looking into some of them - esp. the Cayin and Music fidelity. Here's a strange question though I suppose -- is it really worthwhile to spend less than $1000 on an integrated? In other words, should I stick with what I have for now and when I can move up to the next price level, go for that? Is the improvement over the NAD really going to be noticable for under a grand? I suppose this is a subjective question, I know.
If you like the Musical Fidelity sound, I can also highly recommend the A300 which was the model above the A3. It delivers a very sweet 150 w/ch and can be had for under $1k 2nd hand. I previously had it driving $6k Mordaunt-Short Performance 6 speakers and it was in no way outclassed. It now resides in a 2nd system with Usher Be-718s. A super amp.
I've owned the NAD C320BEE (used it in my office system) and I thought it served the purpose quite well. Given your current system, I would spend the money on a subwoofer instead of electronics. And unless you're running out of power with the little NAD, I wouldn't expect significant improvement from an amp. You'll get much bigger bang for your buck with speakers than electronics.
Having said that, if you still want new electronics and you don't need remote volume control, I'd consider an ATI amp and an NHT passive volume control.