The appearance of the NAD Electronics C 3050 integrated amplifier takes us back to the distant 70s, when no one thought to imitate real pointers using raster displays. Round knobs and buttons, a range of LEDs, and a wooden frame around the case perfectly match the style. But what is inside does not fit into the retro style anymore.
“The C 3050 may look like a throwback to the 70s, and of course this is by design,” said Cas Oostvogel, product manager at NAD Electronics, “but at the same time it outshines many modern amplifiers in terms of capabilities upgrades, performance and future features.
The amplifier is equipped with a HybridDigital UcD output stage (2 x 100 constant power and 2 x 135 W instantaneous peak power are promised) and a Texas Instruments PCM5242 DAC. On board is a separate headphone amplifier and a low-noise MM phono stage. Not forgotten is the HDMI eARC input, coaxial, optical digital and a pair of analog line inputs. Two switchable pairs of speakers, a subwoofer output and a preamplifier input are provided.
However, most of the description of the novelty is occupied by the capabilities of the proprietary MDC2 expansion slot on the rear panel. Adding the appropriate module will provide support for BluOS. A partial list of features includes high-resolution multi-room, Dirac Live room correction, Apple AirPlay 2, access to over 20 streaming services and local storage over Wi-Fi or LAN, and MQA rendering.
It’s all controlled from the BluOS Controller app for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows, although there’s also an IR remote control included. The amplifier itself has an IR input and a 12 V trigger. You can see and hear the novelty at High End 2023 in Munich this week, and sales will start shortly after the exhibition.
In the EU, the suggested retail price of the NAD C 3050 integrated amplifier is 1,600 euros.