NAD C 389 HybridDigital DAC Amplifier
Power and Performance
For over 50 years, the NAD brand has been synonymous with performance and value, and the C 389 HybridDigital DAC Amplifier continues that tradition. Its output stage is based on a customized version of NAD’s efficient HybridDigital UcD design, with multiple UcD amplifier modules in balanced bridged configuration and an innovative switch-mode power supply that provides ample reserves of current on demand. The C 389 can deliver a staggering 130W per channel continuously, with virtually unmeasurable distortion and noise through the audioband, and up to 350W per channel of instantaneous power, for effortless reproduction of musical transients.
The digital section features the same 32-bit/384kHz ESS Technology Sabre DAC chip used in NAD’s award-winning Masters M33 amplifier. Renowned for its exceptionally wide dynamic range, ultra-low noise and distortion, and near-zero levels of clock jitter, the ESS Sabre 9028 DAC enables the C 389 to deliver astonishing clarity and near-holographic imaging on all sources.
In 2006, NAD introduced Modular Design Construction technology, which lets users add new features by inserting an expansion module into an MDC-capable component. In 2021, NAD introduced MDC2, a next-generation future-proofing platform that enables two-way communications between the expansion module and host component.
The C 389 has two MDC2 expansion slots, so that it can stay current with new developments in A/V technology. NAD’s first MDC2 module is the MDC2 BluOS-D, which features BluOS high-res multi-room streaming and Dirac Live room correction.
The MDC2 BluOS-D connects to your home network via Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet. Using the BluOS Controller app on a smart device or personal computer, you can play music from your favourite streaming services and personal music library through the C 389. BluOS has integrated support for more than 20 services, including several that offer lossless and high-res audio, such as Amazon Music HD, Deezer, Idagio, Qobuz and Tidal. Like all BluOS-enabled components, the MDC2 BluOS-D has MQA decoding and rendering capability, for high-res streaming from Tidal. It also supports Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect, as well as Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant voice control. With the MDC2 BluOS-D installed, the C 389 can be part of a whole-home music system with as many as 64 zones.
By counteracting common acoustic problems like standing waves and room reflections, Dirac Live room correction transforms your listening experience. 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. Dirac Live will play test tones through your speakers, analyze the results, then transfer compensation filters to the MDC BluOS-D. You’ll enjoy deeper, more textured bass; more precise imaging; greater midrange clarity; and more accurate tonal balance. Thanks to MDC2’s two-way architecture, the MDC2 BluOS-D delivers these benefits on all sources connected to the C 389.
The C 389 can accommodate all your analogue and digital source components. Connectivity options include two optical and two coaxial digital inputs and two sets of RCA line-level analogue inputs. The analogue inputs have ultra-low-noise buffer amplifiers for greater sonic purity.
For vinyl enthusiasts, the C 389 features a precise MM phono section with accurate RIAA equalization, high overload margins, and extremely low noise. The phono section incorporates an innovative circuit that suppresses the infrasonic noise that is always present during vinyl playback, without affecting bass performance.
For movies and television, the C 389 has an HDMI eARC input so that you can play TV audio from through your high-fidelity speakers while controlling volume with the TV’s remote. Dual subwoofer outputs enable the C 389 to serve as the hub of a 2.1- or 2.2-channel system for music and movies. With the MDC2 BluOS-D installed, you can set crossover frequency with the BluOS app, for a seamless blend between the subwoofers and main speakers.
For private listening, the C 389 has a dedicated headphone amplifier with low output impedance and very high voltage output capability, making it a good match even for demanding studio headphones. The C 389 also features two-way wireless Bluetooth, with support for Qualcomm’s aptX-HD codec, for 24-bit streaming from your smartphone or tablet, and wireless playback through Bluetooth headphones and speakers.
Building on five decades of innovation in amplifier design, NAD’s C 389 HybridDigital DAC amplifier offers audiophile-class performance, flexible connectivity, class-leading upgradability, and long-term value. Thanks to its precise volume control, ultra-low-noise circuitry, and cutting-edge amplifier design, the C 389 can deliver wonderfully refined sound at lifelike listening levels through virtually any loudspeaker. Thanks to NAD’s next-generation MDC2 future-proofing technology, you can update your C 389 with exciting features like multi-room music streaming and automatic room correction. With the C 389 HybridDigital DAC-Amplifier, the NAD legend continues.
Preliminary Features & Details
- Customized HybridDigital UcD amplifier in fully balanced bridged configuration
- Continuous Power: 130 Watts per channel into 8/4 ohms
- Instantaneous Power: 210 W into 8 ohms, 300 W into 4 ohms, 350 Watts per channel
- Vanishingly low harmonic and intermodulation distortion
- Nearly unmeasurable noise through the entire audioband
- Dual MDC2 ports for expanded functionality
- Optional MDC2 BluOS-D module adds BluOS Hi-Res multi-room music streaming and Dirac Live room correction
- Jitter-free 32-bit/384kHz ESS Sabre 9028 DAC
- Ultra-low-noise MM phono stage with infrasonic filtering circuitry
- Two optical, two coaxial digital inputs
- HDMI-eARC input
- Two pairs of line-level analogue inputs with ultra-low-noise buffer amplifiers
- Two sets of speaker outputs
- Two-way Qualcomm aptX HD Bluetooth
- Dual subwoofer outputs
- Dedicated headphone amplifier
- CI-Friendly – IR remote, 12V Trigger in/out, IR in/out, RS-232 Serial port
- Seamless integrations with smarthome control systems such as Control4, Crestron, RTI, URC, Lutron, and Elan