Integrated Amplifiers

NAD D 3020 Hybrid Digital Stereo Amplifier

ARTICLE INDEX

Conclusions about the NAD D 3020 Hybrid Digital Amplifier

If it isn't already obvious, I was supremely impressed by the D 3020. Its ability to drive a pair of large four-ohm speakers as stoutly as a 75-pound Emotiva amplifier is nothing short of astounding. It may only be rated at 30 watts per channel but it might as well be 130 given the results I experienced. And to achieve that level of fortitude, while retaining full detail, at only $500 is even more amazing. Granted, I'm not running a super-expensive rack but the D 3020 still undercuts the cost of my boxes by $2900!

I did wish for the inclusion of AirPlay, but wait! You can get that on the D 7050 (the tall one next to the iPad), which has 50 watts per channel. Of course, that'll double the price of entry. Value-wise, the D 3020 is pretty much unbeatable.

And that's what made the original 3020 such a ground-breaking product. For around $220, you got a small integrated amp that just killed its higher-priced competition. You didn't need to lust for expensive separates once you put one in your rack. While today's D 3020 bears no resemblance electronically to the original, its function is the same. It accepts digital and analog sources and will drive pretty much any pair of speakers you care to connect. And it will sound amazing. And it only costs $500. What's not to love?

After bringing my head out of the clouds long enough to write this review, I give the NAD D 3020 my absolute highest recommendation as it now fills a more permanent role on my desktop!