NAD M3 owners, your assistance is requested

I just bought an NAD M3 integrated amp. I hear a clicking noise when turning the volume control. NAD says this is normal and not audible more than a few feet from the speakers.

But my clicking can get quite loud. I sit 8 feet from the speakers, and the clicking can sometimes be audible over the music. If you turn the volume up via the remote, the clicking increases in volume in lockstep with the music.

I should say, that I can hear the clicking over the music from 8 feet away, only when there is just a single instrument or two being played, for example a bass solo, or quiet piano.

I'm thinking my unit is defective and I should get it replaced.

If you're an M3 owner, I was wondering if you could play a bass solo and check if you can hear the clicking from 8 feet away when changing the volume. If you can't, then I'd be more sure something was wrong with my M3.

If you can do this, I'd be most appreciative!

(If you live near me-- Los Angeles -- and I can come check out your M3, all the better)


PS: In case you're interested, the bass solos I've noticed this on are:
--opening of Track 1 "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" on "Wheelin' & Dealin" CD, John Coltrane
--opening of Track 1 "Yesterdays" on "Voyage" CD, Stan Getz
--opening of Temptations "My Girl"
The clicking you hear is probably coming from the fancy stepped attenuator volume control your M3 is equipped with. I just sold an M3 that I had for a year and mine did the same thing and is considered normal. The BAT integrated I have now does the same thing because it has the same type of volume control-the clicking is actually louder on the BAT than it was on the M3. The benefit of a stepped attenuator is potentially better sound because only one resistor of the volume control is in the circuit at a time-or something like that, I'm not a techie. The click occurs when your volume control switches from one resistor to the next. Read up on your M3's volume control in reviews and NAD literature and then maybe you'll appreciate the clicking. Great amp, by the way. Enjoy it.
Thanks for the reply!

I now understand some clicking is normal.

What I'm specifically wondering is, can the clicking be heard over music (for example a bass solo) from a listening position at least 8 feet away.

And as you raise the music volume with the remote, the clicking gets louder in lockstep?

Do you recall?
I own a Yamaha AS2000. It also features a stepped attenuator volume control, yet I hear no clicks at all. It is surperbly implemented.

Absolute worst clicking racket I ever heard was the Cambridge Audio AZUR 840A integrated. Just plain bad and a deal-breaker in my book.
Sonicbeauty, the volume control in your amp may indeed be superbly implemented but I've never seen it described as a stepped attenuator with discreet resistors but rather as "electronic" and "analogue potentiometer".
I have never heard clicking when adjusting the volume. I've had the amp about 3 years
Sonicbeauty, at first I was not impressed by the clicking of the attenuator of the 840E, and I described it in my review at as a "gatling gun" sound.

However, as with many things one can adapt if they wish. Now I use the unit in systems and it doesn't bother me at all. I would rather use a preamp I like the sound of which clicks when level is changed than one which is silent in operation and sounds poor. Now, one may have it all, but at what cost?
(no need to reply to that; rhetorical question).
I have a stepped attenuator in my Burson PI-160 integrated and the clicks and pops are normal. Sometimes I get a loud 'crack' and have been told that this is a normal by product of a stepped attenuator.

You're breaking a contact and making it anew every time you turn it up or down. And all of this with a signal running through it.
Keep in mind that stepped attenuators have the advantage of being 'hardwired' at every step. Any attempt to suppress the noise you get by resistors or the like will only dirty the sound.

I've gotten so used to it now that it doesn't bother me anymore as the sound I get is great
Bizango1 - Get your information right on the Yamaha !
Sonicbeauty, I didn't say it doesn't have a stepped attenuator, just that I couldn't find any literature saying that it does have one.
I didn't mean to put you on the defensive-this was about stepped attenuators clicking audibly-not how good your amp sounds. I think if it sounds good then it is good no matter what parts are inside. That said, here's some info from the brochure for your amp:

Parallel Volume and Tone Controls
To ensure ideal fully balanced operation, the
volume and tone control systems must be
extremely precise. Conventional analogue
volume systems suffer from gang error, and
cannot achieve sufficient accuracy, even when
using high precision parts. Therefore, for the
A-S2000 we developed a unique method:
canceling out slight precision differences by
the parallel operation of three high sound
quality digital volume ICs for each channel
and operating the system with an analogue

It says "digital volume IC's". I'm not a tech guy but I believe IC's are there instead of a bunch of resistors in a stepped attenuator. From what I've read these are very precise and can sound great and can be silent.

I have had an M3 since about 2008. Mine has never made extraneous noise(s)when changing volume.

It did start going into protection week before last and a local shop does not have the test cabling needed to repair it. I am replacing it with a used Classe' CP-500 and perhaps a Rotel 1582. Bought the 1582 but may return it due to some possible hardness in the mids/upper mids.

Good luck to the OP,