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NAD PP 2e Phono Stage Review

Rate this phono stage:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 39 28.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 70 51.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 23 16.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 4 2.9%

  • Total voters
    136

DSJR

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It was a very modest system but my first one with "good" quality. I saved a lot of money to be able to buy the amp and loved it very much.
I used a 3020A on my turntable set-up bench for sixteen or so years and the only thing that went wrong were the phono sockets needing to be re-soldered due to excessive use! No idea of its eventual fate, but yeah, it was a goodie... Speakers were Boston A40's which sounded fine to me and were well able to reproduce aspects of setup although reviewer Martin Colloms wasn't that enamoured.
 

BeeKay

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Still got the predecessor stored away in the basement. Along with a Pro-Ject Debut TT. Was ok'ish at the time. Thanks for the reminder. Need to put this on eBay sometime.
 

dtaylo1066

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There's no excuse for an audio company, especially one with scale such as NAD, to produce a product with a lousy power supply. Transformation, rectification and smoothing at this voltage level are just not difficult or expensive things to design and execute well, nor is SMPS. Yet we see it again and again. Booooooo.
 

Toni Mas

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I dont think that the noise injected by the crappy PSU is really an audible issue. The rest is fine, so i voté fine.
 

Dimitri

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It seems that every time I read a NAD review, the results are never flattering.

When I was in my late teens and twenties, NAD had the reputation for being a premium manufacturer with state of the art products.

Was I (we) snookered all along or have they completely lost their way?
I don't know to what extent NAD ( or any other company that became part of an investement groups' portofolio) bares or is supposed to bear any resemblance to the company that existed in the seventies and eighties.
Other than being a recognizable name.
You can throw Harman, JBL, Denon, Marantz , Klipsch, and McIntosh into the same bucket.
It's the opposite of "a rose by any other name....",







 

French Meloman

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Changing the power supply of this preamp would make it significantly more efficient. The RIAA stage performs well according to Amir's measurements. However, there is still the difference in performance between the two tracks, which is unfounded. The overall performance of the device is not worthy of the brand's reputation. Too bad...
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Maybe the capacitors are a bit old or the rectifier is defective. I think it would be fair to test a brand new device and see if this changes anything.
This is not a vintage product. If it has such a short life, then that is another strike against it.
 

martin900

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Do not buy, will die. C-tier capacitors.

These things can only be reliably reviewed if the example is less than 2-3 years old at max.
 

MC_RME

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@amirm: You might have a universal wall wart power supply lying around which comes with a set of DC plug adapters. The one used here is always included (for charging telephones). With that adapter you might be able to attach your lab ps.
 
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There's no excuse for an audio company, especially one with scale such as NAD, to produce a product with a lousy power supply. Transformation, rectification and smoothing at this voltage level are just not difficult or expensive things to design and execute well, nor is SMPS. Yet we see it again and again. Booooooo.
I share a similar sentiment. Power supply noise was worked out decades ago and this leaves me wondering how that much hum and buzz can even exist in an audio product today.

Sometimes I feel like customers are guinea pigs in a testing ground for lower and lower product standards.
 
Last edited:
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amirm

amirm

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@amirm: You might have a universal wall wart power supply lying around which comes with a set of DC plug adapters. The one used here is always included (for charging telephones). With that adapter you might be able to attach your lab ps.
I have a set which I tried but none were as skinny as the ones used here. I do have a much larger set but couldn't find it.
 

JSmith

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Looks like the PP2 & PP4 were better in the noise department;
Thanks for the test results @amirm.


JSmith
 

Lambda

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Maybe the capacitors are a bit old or the rectifier is defective. I think it would be fair to test a brand new device and see if this changes anything.
I think this make it especially realistic.
But yes it would be interesting to see if devices like the can "age" in a bad way
 

beefkabob

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Funny how these companies are so incredibly inconsistent in their engineering. If you're going to have a junior engineer design the thing, at least have somebody experienced check the design first before going to production.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Funny how these companies are so incredibly inconsistent in their engineering. If you're going to have a junior engineer design the thing, at least have somebody experienced check the design first before going to production.
That's a good point. Likely this is a project for an intern or new hire.
 

Thomas_A

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One comment/question; is it possible to put all phono stage reviews under the "Turntables, Phono Amplifier, Cartridges Review" subheading? Easier to search/find.

 

Haskil

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I EXACTLY know what you 're talking about :)
:):)
Ah! Ah! I have a collection of boxes of incredible screwdriver bits... that I never find when I need them...

The latest... wanting to reconnect my chromecast audio in order to check if the sound cuts had been adjusted by Roon, I could no longer find the mini toslink adapter...

I went to buy one... for myself realizing when I got home that I had left the old one connected without the cable to the Chromecast so as not to misplace it!!!
 

anmpr1

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When I was in my late teens and twenties, NAD had the reputation for being a premium manufacturer with state of the art products.
Interesting perception. Mine was that their products were intended as 'value propositions'--> decent value for the dollar, but nothing special. However it was/is, market perceptions don't necessarily correlate with either value or electronic goodness. We all know that.

Shame that a cheap wall wart is the problem. If it's typical of QC, it shows how much NAD cares.

A quick search shows that everyone and his brother sells 'em. And they all use the same blurb:

The PP 2e Phono Preamplifier offers superb performance in a clean and simple package...

Well, at least the box it comes in is clean and simple. If packaging is important then they've got that covered. :facepalm:
 
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