The original 3020 stereo amplifier made NAD famous, and they have built on that legacy for several decades, producing many excellent stereo and surround sound amplifiers. Their work on high-end digital amplification was rewarded with the big M2 being cited as Product Of The Year 2010 by The Absolute Sound, and given the TAS Editor’s Award in 2012. That amplifier remains a Class A Recommended Component by Stereophile in 2013’s lists.
The new D3020 recalls those beginnings while bringing the recent experience with digital amplifiers to bear on the evergreen “entry level” stereo integrated amplifier class. Digital amplifiers are efficient, clear-sounding and able to accept a variety of digital inputs – all of this with the proviso that they are properly designed and built! NAD’s new direction is not just about the digital aspect, but also addresses the physical reality of today – combining the latest in audio, digital storage and streaming, and then making it fit on a desktop adjacent to whatever computer you’re using. The same approach has been emerging in respect of add-on DACs, and once again NAD have heeded this trend with the D1050 DAC.
At 30w x 2 into 8 ohms, the D3020 is powerful enough to drive most common types of speaker, although those with efficiency rated at 89dB or higher are to be preferred. There’s a DAC built in, capable of using sampling rates up to 24bit/96kHz. Inputs include an asynchronous USB, Bluetooth, Analogue Stereo, Optical and Coaxial digital. Apart from the speaker outputs there’s a headphone output as well.
(For a larger integrated amplifier with even more connection possibilities, see the D7050
30 watts x 2 into 8 ohms• Compact, low-profile design; vertical or horizontal orientation for placement flexibility• 24-bit/96kHz digital-to-analog converter for playback of high-resolution digital music• Asynchronous USB input for connecting a computer• Bluetooth wireless connectivity for streaming music from compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers• AptX® encoding provide high-quality music streaming from compatible devices• 1 pair of analog stereo (RCA) inputs• Miniplug analog input for connecting an iPod or other portable player• Can also be used as an optical input for Macbook laptop computers; miniplug-to-Toslink adapter included for use with an optical cable• Standard Toslink optical digital input• Coaxial digital input• Stereo binding-post speaker terminals• Dedicated mono RCA output for powered subwoofer• Built-in headphone amplifier with 3.5mm minijack output• 12-volt trigger output• Remote control• 59 x 187 x 219mm (whd - standing vertically)• weight: 1.38kg.