Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Remember the NAD 3020.

I bought my first 3020 in 1979, and have owned at least 3 different standard 3020s, a 3020a, which had no tone controls and a moving coil phono section, a 3020e (a 3020 in a slightly prettier case with no power amp/preamp links), and a 3140 (more powerful, but less refined).
The 3020 caught audiophile's attention when Stereophile magazine wrote that it was as good as their then current reference system. It launched a new niche in the market: low price, high end , no frills. It was recommended for use in systems with very high end turntables, tonearms and fancy moving coil cartridges because it can reveal the detail they produced, and today it can do the same with CDs and high end players as well.
It still sounds great! I'm listening to Freddie Hubbard's Red Clay on a 3020 through Mission 770s and it's beautiful!
The amp is well made on the inside where it counts, very plain (but cleanly designed) on the outside. It is a high current design and really sounds (and behaves) like a more powerful amp when driving real speakers in the real world. The pre out/power amp in jacks make it very useful, and a great upgrade stepping stone on the way to your ultimate audio dreams.
People considering modestly powered receivers, like Marantz ( 2215, 2220, 2226 ) with their funky looks and lights, and others (Pioneer, Yamaha) should consider the 3020 too, especially when Marantz prices get silly, which they sometimes do.
Listen to one soon, and don't accept less from your amp or receiver!
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