My NAD 3020 D proves your Class D tropes are wrong

I have a desktop integrated, the NAD 3020D which I use with custom near field monitors. It is being fed by Roon via a Squeezebox Touch and coaxial digital.

It is 5 years old and it sounds great. None of the standard myths of bad Class D sound exist here. It may lack the tube like liquid midrange of my Luxman, or the warmth of my prior Parasound but no one in this forum could hear it and go "aha, Class D!!" by itself, except maybe by the absolute lack of noise even when 3’ away from the speakers.

I’m not going to argue that this is the greatest amp ever, or that it is even a standout desktop integrated. All I am saying is that the stories about how bad Class D is compared to linear amps have been outdated for ages.

Great to see new development with GaN based Class D amps, great to see Technics using DSP feed-forward designs to overcome minor limitations in impedance matching and Atmasphere’s work on reducing measurable distortion as well but OMG stop with the "Class D was awful until just now" threads as it ignores about 30 years of steady research and innovation.

Showing 1 response by oldschool1948

I have four power amps: NAD M22v2 (Class D), PS Audio BHK 250 (Hybrid Class A), McIntosh MC 2600 (Class A), and Pioneer SPEC-4 (Class A).  My vintage Mac and Pioneer amps work well in my rec room, but not so much in my listening room.  In my listening room, I use the BHK with the NAD as my backup.  

The BHK 250 sounds the best in my main system; it is more musical than the NAD.  There is no harshness, and it is more detailed, has better imaging and sound stage, etc.  At twice the price, I would hope so.  

Having said all of that, the NAD sounds very good in my main system and in my rec room systems.  I could live with it if I had too.  Like the BHK 250, the M22v2 can be run in standby mode so it's quick to warm up.  I give both 30 minutes before doing any serious listening.  The M22v2 is OK by me.