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NAD 2200 Vintage Amplifier Review

Snarfie

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I'm not sure I understand exactly what you mean but I'll try to answer based on what I think you are asking.

The ageing process of capacitors is largely based on a combination of heat exposure and time.

In the datasheet for a typical capacitor, the life expectancy will usually be cited as 'x' hours at 'y' degrees (F or C).

For larger power supply capacitors, the ripple currents will also need to be taken into consideration.

Therefore, in the same circuit (or rather on the same PCB), different capacitors will likely have differing lifespans, depending on exposure to heat and ripple effects, voltage across it etc.

Depending on the location of the capacitors in a circuit, there can be quite some considerable deterioration before it becomes audible.

A relay on the other hand, can last forever - but - relay contacts are typically destroyed by the interruption of a large current which will cause arcing on the contact surfaces, which in turn increases the contact resistance which in the case of an amplifier protection relay, will introduce distortion.
Worst case scenario is that the relay contacts can actually weld themselves together which of course then defeats the object of having one in the first place!
Thanks for your fast response it's about the NAD C370 speaker protection replay https://www.norwegiancreations.com/...ier-the-slow-start-protection-module-problem/

The capacitors are losing their value eventualy because of the wrong placed zenner diod whiche causes a delay time in starting up. But if that is all you can wait for several minuts an it will eventulay start up so no need tot replace those dried out capasitors. I can't image that eventulay this Will have no consequenses.
 
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Snarfie

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Capacitors can leak, taking out anything that they leak upon. My question is that if you are in the AMP anyway, why would you not spend a few $'s on replacing everything that is needed at that time. Rather than wait, have them go bad (they don't always just have deteriorating sound), and possibly take out other things in the circuits as well). You save money, time anguish (worrying what if, in what way & when they are going to go bad) and money by doing it if you are already doing things inside an amp. If something is already 30-35 years old and you don't know if it was stored in the heat of an attic in Key West, Florida at some point, why would you take a chance? If it just quits, then you have to go through the time, effort & expense to fix it (if it can be fixed). But what if the amp catches fire & burns your place down? Because a few bucks worth of work wasn't done. Would it be worth the savings of even $100 if that happened.

In this topic i wrote some months ago that i have no problems whatsoever with my NAD C370. Guess what about 5 weeks ago the delay problem starting up the amp began. After 2 weeks it was something like 1 minute. I also was under the (subjective) impression that my sound was not so bright / precise anymore became more dull slow. Again quite subjective. I decided to replace the capacitors an replaced the zenner diode to the other side. When using the amp with the new capacitors it sounded more precise at least that was mine subjective impression. I really don't know if that has to do with the change of capacitors or my imagination but what the heck I'm an happy listener now. However I was curious what would happen if I leave it as it was got my self quite some answers thanx.

ps. solder work is done by a proffesional Robbert van den Eijnde in Haarlem who builds custome made tube amplifiers
Only thing that i did was dismanteling the back of the amp.
https://www.dendaudio.nl/winkels/van-den-eijnde-audio/
Uj66PNt.jpg

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Willem

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My sadly deceased audio service engineer's policy was to replace all capacitors and resistors in one go and even a few other bits. These days component cost is low and labour cost is high so working in one sweep and getting the amplifier ready for the next 20 years or more is the most economic strategy. Also, good modern components are often of better quality than what was available in tbe past.
 

DualTriode

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@ Snarfie,

I am glad that your upgrades/repairs are working out for your listening pleasure.

I bought the NAD 216THX to have some fun with. I hooked it up to the analyzer made the repairs and there was a huge improvement in distortion and noise on the analyzer. I never have connected speakers to the amplifier.

I will hook up NAD 216THX to the passive monitors on my bench and report how the amplifier sounds.

Thanks DT



Just hooked up the NAD 216THX to the speakers, no hum no hiss, sounds good, as good as an amplifier that cost 20 times as much.
 

EJ3

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@ Snarfie,

I am glad that your upgrades/repairs are working out for your listening pleasure.

I bought the NAD 216THX to have some fun with. I hooked it up to the analyzer made the repairs and there was a huge improvement in distortion and noise on the analyzer. I never have connected speakers to the amplifier.

I will hook up NAD 216THX to the passive monitors on my bench and report how the amplifier sounds.

Thanks DT



Just hooked up the NAD 216THX to the speakers, no hum no hiss, sounds good, as good as an amplifier that cost 20 times as much.

I am happy to see that someone else has resurrected an NAD & finds it "Good 'nuf". I am using a pair of resto-modded Apt/Holman Pre-amps with my NAD 2200 "Triplets" (one of which is the one Amir tested here) for my tri-amped system and it is likely that I couldn't be much happier with the sound. Congratulations in getting over the naysayers (who are all about trying to get you to spend more money to enjoy what can be done for not so much because they created a so called 'high end' audiophile clique by spending lots of money for products of sometimes questionable benefit).
 

restorer-john

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anyone happen to know of a parts list to rebuild a 2600 ?

Rebuild...mmm.

What is wrong with the 2600 you have? Fix any problems before even considering blanket 'parts lists' and even then, don't.
 

gentlejax

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Rebuild...mmm.

What is wrong with the 2600 you have? Fix any problems before even considering blanket 'parts lists' and even then, don't.

the amp works right now. didnt say it was broke. I have the speaker relay replacements. either I use them or its wasted money on them. if in there you guys keep saying to change out the caps ...

its a 30yr old amp. you telling me the original caps are still good?
 

Angsty

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anyone happen to know of a parts list to rebuild a 2600 ?

You should probably start with a schematic to identify devices that could be most prone to aging issues.

I’ve had some electronics training, but I lack the repeated experience to be an expert. I sent my NAD units to Quirk Audio, too, and have discussed the appropriate component replacements with Peter.
 

EJ3

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You should probably start with a schematic to identify devices that could be most prone to aging issues.

I’ve had some electronics training, but I lack the repeated experience to be an expert. I sent my NAD units to Quirk Audio, too, and have discussed the appropriate component replacements with Peter.

I do the same, as it is a much more efficient use of my time and because Peter at Quirk Audio has intimate current knowledge of the NAD's (as well as other vintage electronics) due to it being his job to do so. He knows the right questions to ask. He also has the testing ability to find things that are out of spec. I find that is usually better to do maintenance/upgrades before things go bad and take out other circuits in the process. That's why I have email with him about each of my various components every several years and send my components to him every so often. Otherwise it's like having a car & never doing the maintenance.
The time between cycles is a lot longer than with cars but the principle is the same: My 2012 Lexus has only 15K miles on it, I do annual maintenance and every few years it goes to the dealership (or a specialty car shop) for a good checkup though their $50K+ of diagnostic equipment that I don't have. Hopefully this will catch things before something happens while you are using the equipment in question.
 

EJ3

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the amp works right now. didnt say it was broke. I have the speaker relay replacements. either I use them or its wasted money on them. if in there you guys keep saying to change out the caps ...

its a 30yr old amp. you telling me the original caps are still good?

First test it compared to it's specs. If it is out of spec, it may or may not be because of the caps. (yes, it is likely a number of caps are due). The technology available of many caps has given ones that may be better for certain purposes (not talking so called "audiophile" caps here) just the appropriate things for the circuit. There are other things inside than just caps that may or may not be on the edge of their life. Testing is in order.
 

gentlejax

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I have decided to use the time and funds on other projects but thanks for the input all !
 

DualTriode

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I have decided to use the time and funds on other projects but thanks for the input all !

First replace the relays for the most bang for the buck.

If while you have the amplifier open replace the power supply Capacitors next.
 

outlookrt

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35 years. :)

Topology is completely different. The M22 is Hypex OEM NC400 Class D. The 2200 is a commutating rail through-hole dinosaur from the mid 1980s, but, as you can see, not only is it still working, it's repairable and not too bad looking for a NAD, and it still performs very well.

There's no way on earth the SMPS powered M22 will last 35 years. It's chock full of microcontrollers and SMD lead-free componentry. But, it is new and some people want that. I get it.

Again, it's a tough call. You either find a classic monster power amp from the past and throw some restoration dollars at it (not just some capacitor-jockey with a bag of parts and a plumber's soldering iron) and it will last another 35 years, or you get a shiny new modern amplifier and expect 5-10 years before total replacement. All we can hope is the tougher (!) new European regulations on repair-ability and parts will improve the situation which has been going downhill for decades.

I'd like to see young restorers down the track, still able to get parts and keeping some of these wonderful products from the past alive. I'll gladly donate all my parts and gear to some young whipper snapper when I can no longer read resistor color codes or my hand is too trembling to solder. Hopefully that is decades away...

Great post. I'm currently in the market for a power amplifier to pair with my Minidsp SHD. I'm torn between performance and reliability within my limited budget (let's say <1K£ for now). Brain says get a recent class D offering (hypex, Icepower etc) pre-built or DIY, but I have concerns over longevity and serviceability. Heart says get something tried-and-tested that could be a 'forever' purchase or at least very long term. Say a secondhand Bryston, big Quad, Naim, with any restoration needed to keep it ticking for a couple decades (all offer direct service on their older products). Based on this review seems like the performance hit may not be as great as I thought?

Was looking at Neurochrome modules in a DIY build as some way of maybe meeting in the middle? Seems to have near SOTA performance with the reliability and repairability if a linear PS is used?
 

Angsty

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I know there's people looking to find this amp after this review. Here's some NAD power amps that should be good alternatives to this model (if found in good condition): 216 THX (125W / 8Ω), C270 (120W / 8Ω), 214 (80W / 8Ω), 218 THX (200W / 8Ω).
These are models made between the 2200 and the C320BEE (both measured very well).
I have a C272 and it is working well. Nonetheless, due to age alone, I sent it to Quirk Audio for a component update since I was sending in another older NAD, too. With this expertise becoming rarer, I thought I’d strike while the (soldering) iron was hot. ;)


Also, there are other vintage models, like the 2600, which are equal or better than a vintage 2200. But you have to be careful because some models have more parts compromises to reach targeted retail price points.
 

Angsty

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I have a C272 and it is working well. Nonetheless, due to age alone, I sent it to Quirk Audio for a component update since I was sending in another older NAD, too. With this expertise becoming rarer, I thought I’d strike while the (soldering) iron was hot. ;)


Also, there are other vintage models, like the 2600, which are equal or better than a vintage 2200. But you have to be careful because some models have more parts compromises to reach targeted retail price points.
I got my C272 back from Peter at Quirk Audio earlier this month. After break-in and getting it fully warm, I must say that whatever fairy dust he sprinkled into the reviewed NAD 2200, he saved some for my C272! It went from “meh” to “Wow!” in my main system. I had always preferred it in my second system, previously.

It now competes neck and neck with my main system Bryston 4B-ST; perhaps a wee bit better in the mid-range. I was amazed at the improvement. I’ve owned the C272 for 14 years and it has never sounded this good. Of course, this is all subjective as I don’t have the test measurements from Peter, but I’m fairly certain that it measures at least as well as the reviewed 2200.
 
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murraycamp

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sdeclama

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I own a 2200 Power Envelope which I bought new and sat in my basement for 20 years up until about 6 months ago. I have not had looked at, but seems to play well. The amp is driving a pair of Vandersteen 2CE Sign 3 and 1 Rel T/9i. Vandersteens are not efficient and love power. One option is to acquire another 2200 PE to bridge and land around 400 WPC but not sure how much it would cost to service/upgrade. A decent 2200 PE will set be back around $500.00 USD. The other option is get a set of Schiit Vidar (https://www.schiit.com/products/vidar) for about the same power, but at a cost of about $1,400.00 USD.

Any comments or advice on this would be appreciated.
 

Angsty

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I own a 2200 Power Envelope which I bought new and sat in my basement for 20 years up until about 6 months ago. I have not had looked at, but seems to play well. The amp is driving a pair of Vandersteen 2CE Sign 3 and 1 Rel T/9i. Vandersteens are not efficient and love power. One option is to acquire another 2200 PE to bridge and land around 400 WPC but not sure how much it would cost to service/upgrade. A decent 2200 PE will set be back around $500.00 USD. The other option is get a set of Schiit Vidar (https://www.schiit.com/products/vidar) for about the same power, but at a cost of about $1,400.00 USD.

Any comments or advice on this would be appreciated.
Does the soft clipping light come on when you play it at your highest volume? If not, it likely has sufficient power for the Vandersteens and just may need a recap to bring it fully back to spec.

My restored NAD C272 sounds fantastic and plays at least as well as my vintage Bryston 4B-ST on my Thiel CS6 speakers. Actually, the NAD has displaced the 4B-ST for everyday listening.

My restoration cost with Quirk Audio was about $300 with $100 in shipping round trip.
 
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