Night Time Listening with the NAD C316 BEE

As my bio says, I am a big lover of America, but also a big lover of music. Shocking, since I have never really written anything pertaining to music until the other day when I saw Coldplay. My other big passion that is mated with music is the fact I am becoming more and more of an audiophile thanks to my dad, Jeff. I would say that he has spent upwards of 50,000 dollars on his system, and the sound is absolutely incredible.

*Warning: This one is kind of dense for you non audiophiles so please bear with me!*

Circling back to my system of hand me downs from father Jeff. I use to have a Fisher Studio Standard that was my grandfathers from about 45 years ago. My dad actually remembers my grandfather purchasing it with a matching radio tuner which I still use for my system. It is an absolutely gorgeous piece of vintage equipment with the brushed stainless steel finish and solid state components that had enough wattage to drive my Now Hear This (NHT) bookshelf speakers. The aforementioned speakers were also a hand me down from Jeff who know has just stunning Harbeth speakers (to the tune of 7K).

The ol’ Fisher was beginning to give me some left channel issues to the point where listening to analog or digital formats of music became frustrating. I knew it was time to buy a new amp and after some helpful research from Jeff, I happily purchased NAD’s C316 BEE, and boy have I been a happy camper ever since! I was able to document the unpacking on Snapchat thanks to the help of brother Ben. It was a glorious day to burn in my new amp. I quickly hooked it up to my VPI Traveler turntable and started playing demanding tracks right away. The first song I listened to was Dave Matthews Band’s “#41” off of their Live Trax Vol. 4 from Richmond, Virginia. The NAD C316 BEE unleashed elements of the music that I was really missing with listening to the same song on the Fisher. The outdated technology and poor connections of the Fisher really were making me miss out on the depth and warmth of the live recording.

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Next was Dave Matthews Band’s Crush which was pressed from the original studio tapes. The sound was just outstanding. At the end of Tripping Billies Dave says something to the effect of, “Now that’s fuckin’ right!!!” Something you never will hear on any of the digital recordings (I played the same song on iTunes, cranked up hoping to hear someting and I didn’t), and it was something I never heard with the Fisher tagged in. With the NAD it brought a whole new element of the recording to life.

Next was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The first three seconds of the album had stuff going on I had never heard before. That classic Pink Floyd, really far out, synth shit. I was absolutely shocked at how the C316 BEE was able to produce such amazing sound at all volume levels. My VPI is hooked into a ProJect Phono Box DS to boost that sweet sound the VPI picks up. On the Fisher, I would have to turn the DB level down to 50 instead of 60, but now I can have it turned up to 60 DB to really expose everything that the VPI cartridge is picking up (output power, in decibles). Dark Side of the Moon has been the most incredible album I’ve listened to on my system yet, mostly because Pink Floyd really knew how to hone in on expansive music that hits all the highs and lows of every tone imaginable. The trick is having a system that exposes all of these elements. I’d say for spending less than 500 dollars on an integrated amp (it’s incredibly easy to spend upwards of 10 grand on one amp alone), I’ve achieved success.

I am really looking forward to bringing my system to the next level even more with the purchasing of AudioQuest’s Golden Gate analog cables for all my peripherals (phono amp to amp, DAC to amp, and CD player to amp). More to come with the sound of the DAC, CD player, and turntable with AQ’s cables carrying the weight of the music to the C316 BEE!

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