The C 399 employs NAD’s Hypex HybridDigital nCore amplifier circuitry, which until now has been available only on Masters Series amplifiers. Its digital section is built around a 32-bit/384kHz ESS Sabre DAC, the same chip used in NAD’s acclaimed M10 and M33 Masters Series amplifiers.
The C 399 is the first amplifier to incorporate the latest generation of NAD’s Modular Design Construction (MDC) technology. MDC2 lets users add optional modules that provide functions such as BluOS multi-room music streaming and Dirac Live room correction.
Trickled down from NAD’s Masters Series, the C 399’s HybridDigital nCore amplifier can deliver 180 Watts per channel continuous power, and 250 Watts per channel instantaneous power. Highly efficient and remarkably powerful, the HybridDigital nCore amplifier can produce musical transients effortlessly. The design is renowned for its wide bandwidth, flat frequency response, clean clipping behaviour with instant recovery, high current capability, and stability into demanding low-impedance speaker loads. Noise and distortion are vanishingly low under all operating conditions. The minute levels of harmonic distortion are dominated by sonically benign second and third harmonics. The Hypex nCore design enables the C 399 to produce neutral, distortion-free sound even at very high listening levels, with exquisite detail, superb portrayal of space, and thrilling dynamics.
Also trickled down from the Masters Series is the ESS Sabre 9028 high-resolution DAC, a design noted for near-zero levels of clock jitter, ultra-low noise and distortion, and wide dynamic range. This premium DAC enables the C 399 to reproduce all your digital sources with amazing musicality, stunning clarity, and precise soundstaging.
In 2007, NAD introduced Modular Design Construction, an innovative architecture for adding new functions to existing components. Many NAD products have rear-panel slots for MDC modules that perform HDMI switching, BluOS multi-room music streaming, Dolby Atmos surround processing, and other functions.
The C 399 is the first product to feature NAD’s new MDC2 architecture. By enabling two-way communications between the module and component, MDC2 opens up the future for new upgrades.
Equipped with Wi-Fi and Ethernet, the optional MDC2 BluOS-D module lets listeners play music from their favourite streaming services through the C 399, using the acclaimed BluOS Controller app for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. Like all BluOS-enabled products, the MDC2 BluOS-D has integrated support for dozens of streaming services; and supports Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Tidal Connect. Two-way communications also enable the MDC2 BluOS-D to stream music from sources connected to the C 399 to BluOS-enabled components in other rooms.
The Dirac Live function lets you measure your room’s acoustics using a supplied microphone and intuitive app, and then upload correction curves to the MDC2 BluOS-D. By compensating for acoustic anomalies in your listening environment, Dirac Live dramatically improves bass clarity, imaging, and timbral accuracy. Thanks to its two-way architecture, the MDC2 BluOS-D performs room correction for all sources connected to your C 399.
The C 399 can accommodate all your digital and analogue sources. Its MM phono stage delivers ultra-precise RIAA equalization, extremely low noise, and high overload margins. The phono preamp also features an innovative circuit that suppresses the infrasonic noise present on all LPs, without compromising bass response. There are two sets of line-level line inputs, with low-noise buffer amplifiers to prevent sonic degradation. The C 399 has two optical and two coaxial digital inputs, plus an HDMI-eARC port for playing audio from a connected TV, while controlling amplifier output with the TV’s remote control.
In addition to two sets of speaker outputs, the C 399 has preamp output jacks and dual subwoofer outputs. Two-way apt-X HD Bluetooth allows 24-bit streaming from mobile devices, and high-quality output to Bluetooth headphones. Also built-in is a dedicated headphone amplifier with low output impedance and high output voltage capability, enabling the C 399 to drive demanding high-impedance studio monitor headphones.
A Timeless Classic
As with every NAD amplifier ever made, the C 399 gets the basics right: a precise volume control with accurate channel balance, low-noise circuits, and correct input and output impedances. But it goes far beyond the basics. With its HybridDigital nCore output stage and high-resolution ESS Sabre DAC, the C 399 can reproduce all your digital and analogue sources with a level of excitement and refinement that is unprecedented for a Classic-series integrated amplifier.
Thanks to NAD’s innovative MDC2 platform, the C 399 will keep pace with future developments. Essentially, MDC2 makes obsolescence obsolete. The C 399 can serve as the hub of a world-class music system today, and for years to come. With NAD’s C 399 HybridDigital DAC Amplifier, the legend continues.