New Integrated or Older Power amp?

So I currently have a 20-yr old NAD 7240PE receiver and am trying to decide how to upgrade. I'm currently looking at replacing the receiver with a new C326BEE integrated or simply adding a used (~10-yr old) C270 power amp and keeping the receiver as a tuner/pre (for now). My question is, aside from the difference in power, which setup is going to give me the better sound quality - the C326BEE or 7240/C270?


That is a tough question. The 7240PE/C270 will definitely give you more power. Why not just try that combo and see for yourself. If it does not fly the way you want it, sell them both and get the C326BEE or the C356BEE for that matter. The C326BEE probably has better quality circuitry than the 7240PE, but does the amp section fall short? Demo and decide.

The old NAD stuff is impressive but the 326BEE is a giant killer. I was surprised by it. It reminds me of the Exposure 2010s I had. I tried a 355BEE and was unimpressed. Thought the 326 was much cleaner and more musical and the 355 was warmer and had a smaller stage. Your milage may vary. keith
Well, if you decide to keep the receiver, there are things you can do to improve the sound. I'd personally add the sep. dedicated amp and use the receiver for it's pre-amp/tuner sections. It will save you some $ and you could later add a seperate NAD pre-amp which should sound much better than the int. amp. (BTW, tuners are cheap and you then pick-up an older NAD to complete the system.) Good Luck!
The older power amp option would leave you more options in the future .
Good luck ether way .
Thanks everyone, for the good responses. Let me pose another question, as I'm something of a newbie at this. I get fatigue when listening to the 7240 receiver at higher volumes (starting around 10 o'clock). Is this more likely a function of the pre-amp or amplifier section?
IMO, it's more of function of the power amp. It's running out of steam. The more powerful an amp, the sound presentation will become "relaxed" esp. at higher volumn. The bass will become deeper and fuller. You may be shocked at how much better your spks. may sound w/a more powerful amp. This has been my experience. Right now I'm running a 50w Rotel RB-951 MkII amp on my main system and it sounds very good, but, I know if I were to exchange it w/a say 200w RB-990/991 the sound would become much better. (One time I introduced a Bryston 4B-ST in the system and the difference was night and day better.) Try adding an amp to your 7240 and see how things sound. The next step would be adding a dedicated NAD pre-amp. Used about $300. Add a little NAD tuner 1150/1155 or even an older 402 and you'd be pleased. BTW, I own the 402 tuner and it's a fantastic tuner. The 412 tuner is in the standard 17" width where as the 402 is 16 1/2". Bill
I've heard really good things about the C326 BEE and to be honest w/you I'm tempted getting one. A tough call. I remember one time I talked w/a high end dealer and they said the NAD C270/C162 was a really good combination. You'll spend less w/an int. amp/tuner and it will take up less space but I suspect the seperate amp/pre/tuner will be better. Also, the newer C326 may be a different colour than the traditional NAD grey, so if this of importance the matching tuner may have to be the newer colour to match. The cost for the tuner will be higher.