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NAD D3045 Review (Integrated Amplifier)

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 11 4.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 60 21.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 171 61.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 36 12.9%

  • Total voters
    278

DWI

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I had one of these for a while and thought that it sounded pretty good for what it is. However, as others have commented, now that we can buy the Topping E50 + L50 + PA5 + cables for about the same price…the value proposition is a bit of a struggle. Of course, the stack lacks a phono stage, so there's that.
Add a basic Rega Phono MM £110 and the total in the UK would be £960 plus cables. The D3045 costs £600. That’s not about the same to me it’s over 50% more and a mess of components and cables.

I‘ve owned a few of these type of things and it looks like a good offering to me.
 

TheBatsEar

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Fine :cool:
 

voodooless

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The Marantz SACD also had a NOS filter as the default one and AFAIK both brands have this reputation of having a "warm" sound...
The Marantz filter is even more idiotic :facepalm:
 

beagleman

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The Marantz SACD also had a NOS filter as the default one and AFAIK both brands have this reputation of having a "warm" sound...

I am not sure I would relate "Warm" sound to a minor roll off that far up though. As far as I know, changes that far up make the graphs look not flat, but audibility is extremely doubtful.
 

DSJR

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Warmer sounding amps with basically flat frequency response in-band may well lack distortion artefacts in the upper hundred to lower kHz range. I know one brand in the past with 'borderline' 3rd and 5th order distortion (lower 70's as measured at the time which was regarded as 'good' then, believe it or not) and the hard forward tone used to set it apart (youthful ears often regarded it as 'exciting').
 

xaviescacs

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I am not sure I would relate "Warm" sound to a minor roll off that far up though. As far as I know, changes that far up make the graphs look not flat, but audibility is extremely doubtful.
I didn't realize that the roll-off started at 20 kHz, I supposed it was a typical NOS, but it's not. :D
 

PeteL

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The Marantz SACD also had a NOS filter as the default one and AFAIK both brands have this reputation of having a "warm" sound...
I think NAD’s warmth is more of an historical thing, in any case not sure if’s true today but it is certainly not about their DAC having slow filters. NAD is not a DAC manufacturer generally speaking, and it’s certainly not their DAC implementation that make this reputation. I have to say tough, I do have a NAD 2400 kicking around and it does sound warmer than my NC500 amps. I’d like to see where in the measurments it can be demonstrated but it’s audible, yes even in blind test.
 

Offler

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I own NAD d3020v2 which is smaller cousin. The amplifier itself seems to have identical Hypex UcD102, and i would like to see it being reviewed here, but DAC and other components seem to be different

1. Both D3045 and D3020v2 can run hot.
Its a passive design and I highly recommend to keep both amps standing and not overload them.

2. Speaker VS phones jack output
When I measured my D3020v2 i used speaker output and when I check the graphs here, those are quite similar. I would not expect that direct measurements from DAC to speaker output might be better.3. What about SPDIF inputs?

3. Service port might be moody and not accept all USB keys/Card readers.

Thanks.
 

pma

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My son has NAD D3020V2. It works, for someone who uses it for “background music”, no critical listening, it is just fine. Runs quite hot after a while. I can recommend it to someone who has not very high requirements on music reproduction (= common user), but if someone seeks for high sound quality, go elsewhere.
 

NTTY

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This almost looks like a custom filter of sorts. Shame as it has a slow roll off causing severe issue in high frequency signal creating ultrasonic noise:
Thank you for this very interesting review.
You're showing the difference with a sampling rate of 192k, with better results.
Did you force the device to over sample or did you have to feed it with a higher sampling rate via the USB?

If that's the latter, does it mean we would need to oversample with the computer before sending to the DAC to prevent the slow roll off filter issue?

I've rated it "Fine" because the list of features in such small box is really nice, and all measurements are decent enough to satisfy me. My only concern is with that filter, as I still love to use my old Orpheus drive to listen to my CDs, in which case I can't ask it to oversample before sending to the DAC.
 
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Keened

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My son has NAD D3020V2. It works, for someone who uses it for “background music”, no critical listening, it is just fine. Runs quite hot after a while. I can recommend it to someone who has not very high requirements on music reproduction (= common user), but if someone seeks for high sound quality, go elsewhere.

The issue from what I found (and now see) is trying to use it for moderate power nearfield listening. If you crank it a bit (so either a moderate volume playing in a large room or 'loud' in a small room) it's fine. The headphone out though is good enough to replace nearfield if you can afford to sacrifice that extra flexibility.

It does run rather hot I agree though, but it only becomes problematic if you try to sit it sideways. The cutouts for passive air flow just aren't large enough if you're taking away 50% of the surface area and/or the heat distribution internally may not be equally favorable to which side you place downward.
 

Offler

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The issue from what I found (and now see) is trying to use it for moderate power nearfield listening. If you crank it a bit (so either a moderate volume playing in a large room or 'loud' in a small room) it's fine. The headphone out though is good enough to replace nearfield if you can afford to sacrifice that extra flexibility.

It does run rather hot I agree though, but it only becomes problematic if you try to sit it sideways. The cutouts for passive air flow just aren't large enough if you're taking away 50% of the surface area and/or the heat distribution internally may not be equally favorable to which side you place downward.
I am also using d3020v2 in nearfield scenario with DBR62s. The best input on it is SPDIF and in such situations its very good solution even for critical listening.

This combination is perfect for people who want stereo computer speakers, above average, but not straightforward audiophile. Small, convenient, with low power consumption, usually not more than 15 Watts. And for the 500 Euro, its good for combination of DAC and AMP.
 

Keened

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I am also using d3020v2 in nearfield scenario with DBR62s. The best input on it is SPDIF and in such situations its very good solution even for critical listening.

This combination is perfect for people who want stereo computer speakers, above average, but not straightforward audiophile. Small, convenient, with low power consumption, usually not more than 15 Watts. And for the 500 Euro, its good for combination of DAC and AMP.

One of the few bits of 'hard' information I could find on the 3045 from the usual hi-fi review suspects was a near unanimous agreement that the 3045 sounded 'different' from the 3020v2. None went so far as to call it bad, but they certainly danced around it a bit. Given that the 3020 has a lower rated power level but potentially the same amp modules, I wonder if a lot of it can be chalked up to the 3020 being driven 'harder' in normal usage and pushing the amp into a better operating envelope.

I thought I'd end up using it for far field as well in the room (and wanted the better BT, USB DAC option, and hi-pass) so I made the jump. I would like to see a 3020v3 that has the features of the 3045 but the power of the 3020, that would probably be the ticket.
 

F1308

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Poor performance for me.
Vote casted.
I approached this equipment long ago and the specifications didn't match my goals at all.

Went PA-5 and loving it !!!!

Addicted to Fun and Learning, and also to the Very Best.
 
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volvo

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Had a D3045 for a little while. I though it did okay apart from standby power consumption.
It is supposed to be < 0.5W. However I could not get it to go below 27W (yes 27 Watt).
The amplifier was noticeably warm after being on standby overnight.
I spoke to customer support and we went through all the settings, did a factory reset and on.
No change. Finally they (HiFi Klubben sweden) said "return it".
I figured faulty unit. So I asked if they could verify that other units lived up the to < 0.5W spec.
From that point on I got no response.
 

ivayvr

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I can't comment on NAD D3020V2 since I never had a chance to hear it but I had the original (no phono) and in my situation, 3.5X4.5 meter room it was absolutely suitable for critical listening and played with authority with both Martin Logan LX16 and Focal Aria 905 speakers.
For years it was in a group C (borderline B) of Stereophile recommended components (and that will probably earn it some demerit points). At that time I can't even think of any other amplifier with the same feature set and sound quality at anywhere close to the price.
I wish I could find a link to some Australian audio magazine review with very comprehensive set of measurements and most were better than what NAD was claiming.
 

beefkabob

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Had a D3045 for a little while. I though it did okay apart from standby power consumption.
It is supposed to be < 0.5W. However I could not get it to go below 27W (yes 27 Watt).
The amplifier was noticeably warm after being on standby overnight.
I spoke to customer support and we went through all the settings, did a factory reset and on.
No change. Finally they (HiFi Klubben sweden) said "return it".
I figured faulty unit. So I asked if they could verify that other units lived up the to < 0.5W spec.
From that point on I got no response.
Warm? Was it also moist?
 

Xyrium

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Not bad at all for a small package that can fit on a desktop.

Headphone output impedance?
 
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