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★★☆☆☆

“showing its age”

Written on: 21/01/2020 by drhoward (2 reviews written)

I recently bought a NAD C320BEE amplifier from ebay cheap so i expected problems,on switching on and selecting CD function it sat there doing nothing for about 2mins before the relay clicked,then it came time to listen and it sounded like a bag of spanners(hard and clattery), also if it was turned up to around half volume it would switch off into protection mode needing it to be switched off and back on again.
On removing the lid it was immediatly obvious the cause of the problem which was the two main power supply capacitors were bulging to the point of splitting no doubt caused by being only 50v and placed touching the two main heatsinks on the psu board.
At this point it is worth noting that smoothing capacitors need to have a voltage rating of at least 20% above the intended output voltage which in this case is 46v which would mean the 50v rating of the output capacitors was around 10v below what it should be.
I replaced the main power supply capacitors with 63v kemets which have a ripple current rating of three times that of the originals and the three other capacitors with high quality Panasonics also 63v.
it was then time to turn to the protection circuit luckily there was loads of info on the net and it became obvious that the culprit was a 85c 4.7uf capacitor which was sited touching a heatsink i replaced all three capacitors in the protection circuit with Panasonics of the same value but rated at 105c.
I then switched on and pressed the CD button and very quikly the relays clicked and it sprang to life, the difference was immediatly apparent the hard sound had turned into a smoother sound i kept it running on low for a few days to allow the capacitors to run in.
I have been running tha amplifier for a few weeks now with a Marantz CD Player and Quad 12L2 speakers and i am very impressed with its performance, the sound stage is wide open with a smooth treble, superb mid band and a full bass.
I am very impressed with the sound of this amplifier and would advise anyone to take a listen, however as the only way to get one of these Amps now is to buy second hand and due to the age of the Amp it will need a bit of work and not forgetting £25-£30 pounds worth of high quality components.

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