• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Help choosing speakers for NAD C338

Speakers for NAD C338 (Hypex Universal Class D, 50 wpc) recommendation

  • Klipsch RP-600M

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Elac Debut Reference DBR-62

    Votes: 12 75.0%
  • KEF LS50 Meta

    Votes: 4 25.0%

  • Total voters
    16
OP
B
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
36
Likes
17
Thread Starter #21
Any updates on it? Really looking into the C338 as my first amp/all-in-one.
Do you think C338 is better than something like an amp+dac+streamer in the same price range?

Did you find the ELACs to be a good match? They're in my top3 alongside with wharfedales 12.1/12.2 and the Monitor Audio Bronze 100. To go on my 16sqm (3m x 5,5m), for a "relaxed listening".
Having A LOT of doubts because stores are closed due to COVID, so can't listen them before buying :(
Hi! Just got the stands on Friday and was finally able to test the Elac with my C 338 this weekend. I think they are a great match for the bedroom, which is about the same size as your room. I have a weird room setup. There is a bed asymmetrically placed between my listening position and the speakers. And there are bookshelves between the speakers. The left side has the door recessed about 1.5 m from the wall, the wall is concrete and has the TV on a console. While the right wall is about 70 cm from the speaker and has the windows, curtains, and headboard on this side. So it's very uneven. I'm still trying to figure out the optimal speaker placement. Would welcome recommendations to try.

When I tried the setup in the living room, which is larger, the comments from others above are spot on. In the bedroom, the dial is pretty much on -29 to -24 dB for my listening volume of choice, which I think is "relaxed" listening. In the living room, I had to set it up to -18 dB to make the speakers sing at the same listening volume. But oh boy do they sing! The Elacs are a different beast when played at high volumes (gain?). I'm very new to this, but I've never experienced this kind of music before. The NAD was able to keep up with the demand. But as an experiment, I switched the NAD C 338 with my old Kenwood amp (85 wpc at 8 ohms) connected to a streamer (Chromecast Audio/toslink/Topping E30) and, as expected, the Kenwood just had more ease at playing at the same volume compared to the NAD, although the speakers lose a little clarity.

Yeah it's very hard to buy stuff in this pandemic. I had the same problem as you with auditioning gear. And I'm very grateful to all the folks here in ASR. If I'm allowed to try something different, I would get a cheaper class A/B amp like the NAD C 316BEE V2 and connect my Chromecast Audio/toslink/Topping E30 streamer to it. Replace the Chromecast Audio with an Rpi4 and that would be at the same price as the C 338. (I actually have and RPi3 with ropieee. I prefer the sound coming out of the CCA via toslink to that of RPi3 via USB.) I would listen to the difference and if it's any better, I would choose between that and the convenience of having a one-box solution that the C 338 offers. Also, the remote is very useful with Roon and Spotify Connect.

Room setups (modes?) below:
IMG_2943.jpeg

IMG_2944.jpeg
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
10
Likes
1
#22
Hi! Just got the stands on Friday and was finally able to test the Elac with my C 338 this weekend. I think they are a great match for the bedroom, which is about the same size as your room. I have a weird room setup. There is a bed asymmetrically placed between my listening position and the speakers. And there are bookshelves between the speakers. The left side has the door recessed about 1.5 m from the wall, the wall is concrete and has the TV on a console. While the right wall is about 70 cm from the speaker and has the windows, curtains, and headboard on this side. So it's very uneven. I'm still trying to figure out the optimal speaker placement. Would welcome recommendations to try.

When I tried the setup in the living room, which is larger, the comments from others above are spot on. In the bedroom, the dial is pretty much on -29 to -24 dB for my listening volume of choice, which I think is "relaxed" listening. In the living room, I had to set it up to -18 dB to make the speakers sing at the same listening volume. But oh boy do they sing! The Elacs are a different beast when played at high volumes (gain?). I'm very new to this, but I've never experienced this kind of music before. The NAD was able to keep up with the demand. But as an experiment, I switched the NAD C 338 with my old Kenwood amp (85 wpc at 8 ohms) connected to a streamer (Chromecast Audio/toslink/Topping E30) and, as expected, the Kenwood just had more ease at playing at the same volume compared to the NAD, although the speakers lose a little clarity.

Yeah it's very hard to buy stuff in this pandemic. I had the same problem as you with auditioning gear. And I'm very grateful to all the folks here in ASR. If I'm allowed to try something different, I would get a cheaper class A/B amp like the NAD C 316BEE V2 and connect my Chromecast Audio/toslink/Topping E30 streamer to it. Replace the Chromecast Audio with an Rpi4 and that would be at the same price as the C 338. (I actually have and RPi3 with ropieee. I prefer the sound coming out of the CCA via toslink to that of RPi3 via USB.) I would listen to the difference and if it's any better, I would choose between that and the convenience of having a one-box solution that the C 338 offers. Also, the remote is very useful with Roon and Spotify Connect.
Regarding to room size and display, we're actually pretty close to being the same, without me having a bed on the middle of my living room, obviously LOL. I posted about all my doubts here and on that post I actually posted this picture of how my room looks like and where the speakers are going to be.

Where I'm from there actually a couple of shops doing very decent discounts on everything, but they're ending today/tomorrow, that's why I wanted to press the trigger ASAP.

I actually thought about going for a Class D amp because I won't have that much room for it to breathe and for the heat to spread - and that worries me a bit.

But yeah, going for an amp+topping E30+ALLO DigiOne is also one of my options.

Some of the best bundle discounts available are:
- Rega io + Monitor Audio Bronze 100 for 669€ both (instead of ~950€)
- Cambridge Audio CXA60 + iFi Zen Blue (supports LDAC) for 577€ instead of ~950€ also
- Marantz PM6006 + QAcoustics 3030i for 669€ instead of 998€
- Marantz PM6006 + Monitor Audio Bronze 100 for 749€ instead of 1054€
- Marantz PM6006 or PM6007 + Monitor Audio Bronze 2 for 799€ (both options) instead of 1080€

And then everything is also discounted buying as separate pieces, so even speakers/amps that aren't on that list (but are on my post) have around 20% off retail.

So many options without being able to try them is killing me!
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
10
Likes
1
#24
It would help if you could write country you are coming from, maybe members know about some local deals.
Don't know if you're replying to me or to the OP, but if it's me, I'm from Portugal. Can buy from the whole Europe, excluding UK due to "brexit fees".
The deals I talked about are from a spanish shop called "supersonido", that currently huge deals. I think that the best ones are the bundles with Rega io + speakers, but there aren't many options.
Besides the "bundle deals", they have NAD 338/NAD C 316BEE V2, or any Cambridge Audio or Marantz amp with decent discounts also. And those ~20% discount is also applied to any speaker.
 
OP
B
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
36
Likes
17
Thread Starter #26
Regarding to room size and display, we're actually pretty close to being the same, without me having a bed on the middle of my living room, obviously LOL. I posted about all my doubts here and on that post I actually posted this picture of how my room looks like and where the speakers are going to be.

Where I'm from there actually a couple of shops doing very decent discounts on everything, but they're ending today/tomorrow, that's why I wanted to press the trigger ASAP.

I actually thought about going for a Class D amp because I won't have that much room for it to breathe and for the heat to spread - and that worries me a bit.

But yeah, going for an amp+topping E30+ALLO DigiOne is also one of my options.

Some of the best bundle discounts available are:
- Rega io + Monitor Audio Bronze 100 for 669€ both (instead of ~950€)
- Cambridge Audio CXA60 + iFi Zen Blue (supports LDAC) for 577€ instead of ~950€ also
- Marantz PM6006 + QAcoustics 3030i for 669€ instead of 998€
- Marantz PM6006 + Monitor Audio Bronze 100 for 749€ instead of 1054€
- Marantz PM6006 or PM6007 + Monitor Audio Bronze 2 for 799€ (both options) instead of 1080€

And then everything is also discounted buying as separate pieces, so even speakers/amps that aren't on that list (but are on my post) have around 20% off retail.

So many options without being able to try them is killing me!
I also had those options. The NAD was the first thing I bought. I just really wanted a one-component solution that can play Roon. (As you can see from the pictures, I have nowhere to put components on. I had to negotiate with the wife to let me put the C 338 on top of the bookshelf.) I read and watched some reviews (notably 1, 2, 3). I also considered the reviews of the 328 the same as the 338, the latter having Chromecast built-in as the only difference. On Crutchfield for example, if you sum up all the reviews of the 338 and the 328, it's 4.3. So after a week of research, I judged the 338 to fit my needs so I got it. As I said, given the chance to try out other things before buying, I would have tried an A/B amp and stream with an Rpi or Chromecast Audio with my Topping E30. That Marantz PM6007 bundle looks good. I also had my eye on that. whathifi gave it a 5/5. I would have tried that, too.

As for the speakers, all things almost being equal in terms of reviews (they have more or less the same good and bad reviews everywhere), I went with the objective measurements from Amir and the advise of folks here in ASR. That's why I went with the Elacs.

Good luck!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
10
Likes
1
#27
How can I buy from here? Can't really understand what is this. Is it a marketplace that the MediaMarkt store is using to sell those speakers?
Am I supposed to message them asking how much would it cost to ship them to me?
Thanks in advance. DBR62 for 332€ the pair is just a huge deal.
 

nemanja_t

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
81
Likes
121
Location
Vienna, AUT
#28
You could try writing them with your address to see if they will ship it to you. After that, you need to make a bank transfer as on the invoice that you will receive. I have already bought few items from that store, so no worries on that side.
 
OP
B
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
36
Likes
17
Thread Starter #29
Regarding to room size and display, we're actually pretty close to being the same, without me having a bed on the middle of my living room, obviously LOL. I posted about all my doubts here and on that post I actually posted this picture of how my room looks like and where the speakers are going to be.

Where I'm from there actually a couple of shops doing very decent discounts on everything, but they're ending today/tomorrow, that's why I wanted to press the trigger ASAP.

I actually thought about going for a Class D amp because I won't have that much room for it to breathe and for the heat to spread - and that worries me a bit.

But yeah, going for an amp+topping E30+ALLO DigiOne is also one of my options.

Some of the best bundle discounts available are:
- Rega io + Monitor Audio Bronze 100 for 669€ both (instead of ~950€)
- Cambridge Audio CXA60 + iFi Zen Blue (supports LDAC) for 577€ instead of ~950€ also
- Marantz PM6006 + QAcoustics 3030i for 669€ instead of 998€
- Marantz PM6006 + Monitor Audio Bronze 100 for 749€ instead of 1054€
- Marantz PM6006 or PM6007 + Monitor Audio Bronze 2 for 799€ (both options) instead of 1080€

And then everything is also discounted buying as separate pieces, so even speakers/amps that aren't on that list (but are on my post) have around 20% off retail.

So many options without being able to try them is killing me!
Oh, by the way, I don't do vinyl. It seems the C 338 is not that good for that.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
10
Likes
1
#30
You could try writing them with your address to see if they will ship it to you. After that, you need to make a bank transfer as on the invoice that you will receive. I have already bought few items from that store, so no worries on that side.
They don't ship outside Austria :( just messaged them and they replied that.

Oh, by the way, I don't do vinyl. It seems the C 338 is not that good for that.
Yeah, neither do I, and I really don't plan to do it in the future, also. Maybe CD's. And that's because I mostly listen to hip-hop/rap and A LOT of more underground rappers only release music to YouTube or CD, so I end up buying some of my fav music on that format to avoid listening to regular YouTube quality, from those who don't release their music on Spotify/Tidal/Qobuz/Soundcloud.

And that being my most listened genre it's also a big concern regarding the speaker choice. That and the 16sqm asymmetrical living room that "forces" me to have the speakers kinda close to the wall (closer than the 50+cm that many people recommends).


Also, Dali's, Wharfedales and Monitor Audio are kinda common (and cheaper) in Europe. Really sad that the "king" Amirm doesn't have measures and reviews on those. MA Bronze 100, Dali's Oberon 3 or Wharfedales 11.2/12.2 are the ones that are on my choices vs. the DBR62.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
10
Likes
1
#33
Andrew Robinson just released a review about the C338.
Too bad he didn't really talked much about the differences between the sound you get using the different inputs (coax/optical/chromecast/bluetooth).
 
OP
B
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
36
Likes
17
Thread Starter #34
Andrew Robinson just released a review about the C338.
Too bad he didn't really talked much about the differences between the sound you get using the different inputs (coax/optical/chromecast/bluetooth).
"It's one of those very not offensive amplifier. It sort of keeps to itself in a way..." sums it up for me, too. Although I only have two other integrateds to compare to.
I tried the line level input and indeed the DAC on the C 338 is a touch warmer compared to Topping E30.
 

MrPeabody

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 19, 2020
Messages
573
Likes
659
Location
USA
#35
Hi! Just got the stands on Friday and was finally able to test the Elac with my C 338 this weekend. I think they are a great match for the bedroom, which is about the same size as your room. I have a weird room setup. There is a bed asymmetrically placed between my listening position and the speakers. And there are bookshelves between the speakers. The left side has the door recessed about 1.5 m from the wall, the wall is concrete and has the TV on a console. While the right wall is about 70 cm from the speaker and has the windows, curtains, and headboard on this side. So it's very uneven. I'm still trying to figure out the optimal speaker placement. Would welcome recommendations to try.

When I tried the setup in the living room, which is larger, the comments from others above are spot on. In the bedroom, the dial is pretty much on -29 to -24 dB for my listening volume of choice, which I think is "relaxed" listening. In the living room, I had to set it up to -18 dB to make the speakers sing at the same listening volume. But oh boy do they sing! The Elacs are a different beast when played at high volumes (gain?). I'm very new to this, but I've never experienced this kind of music before. The NAD was able to keep up with the demand. But as an experiment, I switched the NAD C 338 with my old Kenwood amp (85 wpc at 8 ohms) connected to a streamer (Chromecast Audio/toslink/Topping E30) and, as expected, the Kenwood just had more ease at playing at the same volume compared to the NAD, although the speakers lose a little clarity.

Yeah it's very hard to buy stuff in this pandemic. I had the same problem as you with auditioning gear. And I'm very grateful to all the folks here in ASR. If I'm allowed to try something different, I would get a cheaper class A/B amp like the NAD C 316BEE V2 and connect my Chromecast Audio/toslink/Topping E30 streamer to it. Replace the Chromecast Audio with an Rpi4 and that would be at the same price as the C 338. (I actually have and RPi3 with ropieee. I prefer the sound coming out of the CCA via toslink to that of RPi3 via USB.) I would listen to the difference and if it's any better, I would choose between that and the convenience of having a one-box solution that the C 338 offers. Also, the remote is very useful with Roon and Spotify Connect.

Room setups (modes?) below:
View attachment 109787
View attachment 109788
Congratulations on your new purchases. Your new Elac speakers look very nice.

If your two amplifiers genuinely do sound noticeably different, this would most likely mean that one of them is in need of repair. Assuming that they genuinely do sound different. The difference wouldn't be explained by the difference between 50 Watt vs. 85 Watt. This difference is only 2.3 dB, which is barely enough to notice, and the only way you would notice it is by a very slight difference in how loud the volume can go before you start to hear clipping distortion. And this difference, weak as it is, is most likely the only appreciable difference between the two amplifiers. This is just how it is with amplifiers generally. You bought the Nad for particular features, evidently, and this is the best reason for the purchase of a new amplifier, except for when the old one needs a doctor and for whatever reason you don't like it enough to pay the doctor to fix it.
 

skunkybiker

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
10
Likes
11
#36
I see. Yeah, would have to toss the KEFs out of the choices. I don't think I can get my wife to agree to purchase a sub soon after buying the KEFs. And I feel like I need better electronics to make those purchases, KEFs and a sub, to be worth it. I'm just really looking something to pair with my NAD C338 that images well.

From the comments here, it might be better to move this system to the bedroom. It's roughly 4.5 m x 4.5 m. After setup, listening distance could be about 2.5-3 m.

Thanks again.
I have had the C338 for a year in my home office (~ 3m x 3m) and run it with a sub and Kef Q150's with plugged ports. I tried Diamond 225's, Klipsch RP160, Monitor Audio RS1 and JBL Studio 530. Sources are Rega P2 (stock cartridge, LPGear upgraded stylus) and the internal DAC for CD, computer and Chromecast streaming. The Q150's are my favorite by a long shot. No data to support the choice, just my subjective impression that nothing seems to be missing or distorted. I find the combo to do a great job and playing loud without feeling like it is loud or grating.

I'd love to have the LS50's to try, but agree a sub would be required. DBR62's probably would be great, the obviously measure very well. The Klipsch will be loud per watt but to my ears they can make Coltrane sound like a wounded and angry goose.
 
OP
B
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
36
Likes
17
Thread Starter #37
Hi guys, just an update on my NAD C 338 + ELAC DBR-62 setup.

I've been having issues with gapless playback using Roon when casting to the built-in Chromecast–sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's been driving me nuts! So I tried a Raspberry Pi 4 loaded with ropieee and connected it via USB to my Topping E30 DAC (which I use with the L30 for head-fi listening at my desk) and connected that to a line-level input (Streaming) of the NAD. First of all, the gapless playback issue disappeared–I suppose it's one of the advantages of RAAT. And secondly, the ELACs sounded better! The bass was deeper and faster. The mids and highs were crisper. I was really surprised! I wondered if it was just not volume-leveled and that the RPi4/E30 was just playing louder. So I went back to the built-in Chromecast/DAC of the NAD and even after increasing the volume by a few of dBs, I couldn't reproduce the punch and detail I was getting from using the RPi4/E30 as source. It's safe to say that I'm going this route from now on. I have an order of another E30 on the way from China.

The one problem I had going this route is that, when I upgraded to ropieeeXL and enabled librespot for Spotify Connect, I kept getting random pauses and stops in Spotify. Weird. I guess that means I still get to use the built-in Wi-Fi/Spotify Connect of the C 338.

To those who stumbled upon this thread while researching the C 338, my final comment is this: knowing what I know now and if I was allowed to have another go at it, I would get the NAD C 328 (or even the venerable C 316BEE V2) instead and use the $100 saved for the purchase of a Raspberry Pi 4 and an E30. Whew! That was very hard to say, considering I wanted a one-box solution in the first place. I would eventually have to find a more stable Spotify Connect solution via different RPi OS. Also, I would still definitely purchase the ELAC DBR-62's. They're awesome!

6D4BB74F-6D6B-47AB-A7A1-ED782BD1B824_1_105_c.jpeg
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
26
Likes
15
#38
Hey man, did you manage to reach out to NAD with the above issues? Would it be possible to fix your issues with a firmware update? The thing with this kind of technology-based equipment is the product support in terms of firmware update. If there is no longer support, I would assume that the product is obsolete.

I am really interested in this amplifier that meets my use case; Chromecast streaming, streaming line, enough volume for a mid-sized room.
 
OP
B
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
36
Likes
17
Thread Starter #39
Hey man, did you manage to reach out to NAD with the above issues? Would it be possible to fix your issues with a firmware update? The thing with this kind of technology-based equipment is the product support in terms of firmware update. If there is no longer support, I would assume that the product is obsolete.

I am really interested in this amplifier that meets my use case; Chromecast streaming, streaming line, enough volume for a mid-sized room.
Hey man! Yeah, I did. They said there are no plans to update the firmware at the moment. But you'd be glad to know that after updating to Roon 1.8, I haven't noticed gapless playback issues. So maybe it was a Roon issue rather than the Chromecast. While using Spotify Connect, there are no issues at all with this amp. So maybe I'll remove the external DAC from the signal chain in the future. It's just a happenstance that I found that I prefer the E30 sound over the built-in DAC. But you can choose not to do this. The DAC on this NAD is more than capable and decent sounding.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
26
Likes
15
#40
Hey man! Yeah, I did. They said there are no plans to update the firmware at the moment. But you'd be glad to know that after updating to Roon 1.8, I haven't noticed gapless playback issues. So maybe it was a Roon issue rather than the Chromecast. While using Spotify Connect, there are no issues at all with this amp. So maybe I'll remove the external DAC from the signal chain in the future. It's just a happenstance that I found that I prefer the E30 sound over the built-in DAC. But you can choose not to do this. The DAC on this NAD is more than capable and decent sounding.
Thanks, man! Guess I'll pull the trigger on this one. This amp is currently on a deep discount.
 
Top Bottom