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Improving an award-winning design is always a delicate task. Adding performance and value to an already highly optimised design requires vision, talent, and expertise. Fortunately for our music-loving customers, all three are on clear display in the new C 356BEE. NAD fans already know that the initials “BEE” stand for Bjorn Erik Edvardsen, our Director of Advanced Development. BEE has once again applied lessons learned from our leading Masters Series M3 amplifier to the C 356BEE.
With the very high dynamic power and low impedance drive capability of our NAD PowerDrive™ circuit, the C 356BEE is able to accurately control difficult to drive loudspeakers while sounding musical, detailed, coherent and relaxed. Even at elevated listening levels, our exclusive Soft Clipping feature is there to save both your ears and your speakers from damaging clipping distortion.
The C 356BEE has the lowest levels of distortion and noise available in its price class and is easily capable of embarrassing far more expensive products. To prove it we use Full Disclosure Power (FDP), the most demanding criterion for performance measurement. FDP specifies distortion under the most extreme conditions of low impedance loads and frequency extremes rather than the simple and easy 1kHz @ 8 ohms test quoted by many of our competitors. We use this stricter performance criterion because it more closely matches the demands of real music and real loudspeakers. Maintaining specified distortion at 4 ohms and at 20Hz and 20kHz is a much more difficult achievement.
Musical performance is only part of the C 356BEE’s story. We have also included our upgrade-friendly Modular Design Construction (MDC) to allow the addition of our superb PP 375 Phono Stage and MDC DAC - USB Digital Analogue Converter or other yet-to-be-announced MDC Modules to enhance the capabilities of this affordable amplifier.
Since the C 356BEE is fitted with one MDC slot, if you are looking at add both of these functions, our recommended configuration is to install an MDC DAC and use an outboard-connected PP2 or PP3 for Phono. Recently, NAD has added a C 356BEE model that has the MDC DAC fully installed in the factory, called the C 356BEE DAC.
New improved speaker binding posts allow for two pairs of speakers with remote controlled switching. The C 356BEE makes exclusively uses sonically transparent sealed reed relay switches for all inputs (despite their added expense), including a front panel mini-jack to easily enjoy music from your iPod or other portable music player. This internal architecture minimises signal path length and keeps resistance extremely low allowing the subtlest details to emerge from your music. Musically satisfying tone controls allow necessary correction to your favourite music without adding colouration or distortion. Rather than design good tone controls, many competitors simply delete them; at NAD, we give you the option to bypass tone controls for those perfect recordings in your collection. The remote can also control other NAD products, like Radio Tuners and CD Players, giving complete system control.
A major goal in the design of the C 356BEE was to reduce energy consumption without sacrificing performance. PowerDrive™ already allows the C 356BEE to have the dynamic capability of an amplifier twice as powerful—and twice as power hungry. The C 356BEE offers <0.5W standby consumption and includes a convenient all off ‘vacation’ switch. We make every effort to reduce our environmental impact by manufacturing the C 356BEE without heavy metals and other hazardous substances, and by using recycled and recyclable materials where possible.
Able to drive the most complex loudspeakers to their full musical potential, the C 356BEE remains eminently affordable. In fact, we invite you to compare the C 356BEE to amplifiers costing two to three times more. With features like Preamp Out and MDC, the C 356BEE can grow with your needs and desires, enhancing both sustainability and value.