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NAD D3045 Review (Integrated Amplifier)

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 11 4.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 56 21.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 162 61.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 34 12.9%

  • Total voters
    263

pablolie

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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.
I agree that the original D3020 was amazing value for the money. It set up 3-4 friends of mine into early audiophile status. It is absolutely enjoyable sound that reveals a LOT, and many people don't need more. My weekend cabin (which during covid became my main place for a year) was perfectly served by it, I just replaced it with a used D7050 because it allowed me to set the xover to the basic Yam sub. But I may just plug the D3020 back in. Brilliantly enjoyable paired with Totem Dreamcatchers and a Squeezebox Classic (SB3) and a Linux-powered Lenovo X200 music server.

Haven't heard the v2 or D3045, but my problem is I personally have zero use for phono or analog inputs, so that additional functionality is wasted on me. I think it's kinda contradictory to demand superb measuring SINAD and then throw vinyl into the mix... :)
 

laudio

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Has Bluetooth too right? Not my cup of tea because it looks like a wifi router or something, but lots of functionality and measures decent. Phono input is a big plus for anyone looking at a small amp who has a vintage table etc. kids these days :) $800 too much though.
 

Chrispy

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In looking at a unit like this while it has a somewhat decent feature set, altho a bit overpriced IMO, I just don't see a use for such a low powered amp in the long run. I don't work at a desk, tho.
 

JoetheLion

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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.
...no phono stage, better measurement results below the perception threshold, three external power supplies, six additional cables, no remote control, no HDMI, no five-year warranty. Not really better in my eyes.
 

HorizonsEdge

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1. Both D3045 and D3020v2 can run hot.
I tried the D3020v2. I wanted it to work for me because it was a high feature small footprint solution. Running hot was an understatement. I had to buy an infrared thermometer in order to diagnose what was happening. I used a DIY video to convert a PC case fan into an external fan. I even got a email thread between NAD and KEF support confirming that the Q150's could drop to 2.7ohm and that the NAD could not handle that; hence the heat. Ended up returning it in disappointment and unboxing the massive in comparison Yamaha r-s202 and losing most of my desk space . . . again.
 

Offler

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I tried the D3020v2. I wanted it to work for me because it was a high feature small footprint solution. Running hot was an understatement. I had to buy an infrared thermometer in order to diagnose what was happening. I used a DIY video to convert a PC case fan into an external fan. I even got a email thread between NAD and KEF support confirming that the Q150's could drop to 2.7ohm and that the NAD could not handle that; hence the heat. Ended up returning it in disappointment and unboxing the massive in comparison Yamaha r-s202 and losing most of my desk space . . . again.
Mine runs up to 40-45°C on the plastic cover, and it already survived hot summer, but the speakers dont go below 5 ohms.


But for sure I am concerrned about it and watching how it fares.
 

fricccolodics

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I tried the D3020v2. I wanted it to work for me because it was a high feature small footprint solution. Running hot was an understatement. I had to buy an infrared thermometer in order to diagnose what was happening. I used a DIY video to convert a PC case fan into an external fan. I even got a email thread between NAD and KEF support confirming that the Q150's could drop to 2.7ohm and that the NAD could not handle that; hence the heat. Ended up returning it in disappointment and unboxing the massive in comparison Yamaha r-s202 and losing most of my desk space . . . again.
Unfortunately there are (still) too many speakers with very demanding impedance drops around
 

HorizonsEdge

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Mine runs up to 40-45°C on the plastic cover
I was exceeding 60c before I added the makeshift fan x2 that dropped it to merely a 56C Fire hazard.
 

TheBatsEar

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Unfortunately there are (still) too many speakers with very demanding impedance drops around
Unfortunately there still are some weakling amps around.
Strong amps are plenty and cheap.
 
Last edited:

phoenixdogfan

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You could buy this, a pair of Sierra LX's, and a pair of HD 650's and have a complete high end headphone and nearly full range speaker based system for l.t. $3,000.
 

fricccolodics

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Unfortunately there still are some weakling amps around.
Strong amps are plenty and cheap.
as the speakers are calling the shots soundwise and as far as amp power is concerned, it is wiser to spend your money where the sound is and not waste it on useless watts
 

pablolie

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as the speakers are calling the shots soundwise and as far as amp power is concerned, it is wiser to spend your money where the sound is and not waste it on useless watts
We are assuming the users know their power needs for their particular use case. There are no universal truths there. I find the notion of speakers having to be full range or amps having to be 200W obsolete, personally.
 

Rottmannash

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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 wonder why the unit produces so much heat if it's Class D amplification...HDMI circuitry?
 

pablolie

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I wonder why the unit produces so much heat if it's Class D amplification...HDMI circuitry?
It is indeed strange - neither the D7050 nor the first gen D3020 and most certainly not the M22 ran anywhere near hot or even moderately warm. I have owned them all. The Benchmark DAC2 HGC ran warmer (but never worryingly so - but its power supply needed to be replaced after a few years, it started to emit a high pitched noise).
 

TheBatsEar

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It is indeed strange - neither the D7050 nor the first gen D3020 and most certainly not the M22 ran anywhere near hot or even moderately warm. I have owned them all. The Benchmark DAC2 HGC ran warmer (but never worryingly so - but its power supply needed to be replaced after a few years, it started to emit a high pitched noise).
Seems the further down the impedance goes, the worse the efficiency gets and you start to produce more and more heat. This is seen more in class D than in A/B, i believe.

Problem is, people find that out after they have bought their stuff.
There should be real numbers on speakers, 2 ohm instead of 4 ohm, and on amps, like 4 ohm minimum (which, to be fair, often is there, but not always).
 

JoetheLion

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I wonder why the unit produces so much heat if it's Class D amplification...HDMI circuitry?
I would be interested in that too. I own/have owned the NAD C 268 and T 778 (both Hypex NCore) and C 298 (Purifi). None of them get particularly warm, let alone hot. Maybe because the cabinets are just bigger?
 
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