Is new hifi always better than the original?


Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
With my latest purchase a Nad C316BEE V2 i no have 2 of the same amps but different age, atleast it should be.

Not like the one from 1978 and 20-25 years older but the model from the early 1990's and the 2017 model

Is the tru modern version of the 3020 the C316BEE or D3020?

The earlier almost 10 year old Nad C316BEE had no phono stage, now it does (havn't tested it on the V2) even for the same price and still with a remote control as the older 3020(a.b.e.i) didn't have.

How do they sound ?

Both have for there size and price lots of power and a to the darker side of neutral sound with a good bass, one thing i notice is that they won't flatter you with a bright extreme open,clear needle sharp in your face sound, sort of, i could listen to music for hours with no listening fattigue with the nad amp.

It's the budget amp choice of steve guttenberg

Nad D3020 vs 3020

The old 3020 (i know, steve guttenberg again)

So back to my question,reason for creating a new topic

Is new hifi always better than the original? Shouldn't most people assume that the new Nad C316BEE V2 is a better amp than it's more than 25 year+ brother,sister, alone because of the age difference? (not so much if the old amp works which mine does and there for won't sound like crap because it's old and used)

Mostly something like the nad 3020 vs the D3020,C316BEE or the old technichs sl-1210 turntable vs the new one, the kef, roger ls3/5a vs one of the many look a likes,rebrands from chartwell,harbarth, im shure there is a few other look a likes rebrand of the classic BBC ls3/5a monitor.

Could also have been something like an older porsche 911 vs a new 911 or the old rolling stones vs the new rolling stones (personally i do prefer the old queen over the new queen and i do like the old deep puple, how ever pink floyd and ac/dc is always good no matter how old it is)

Which would you prefere the original or the new version? (no particular model,product, just a would you prefer the old original og the new version)


New member
Mar 3, 2010
It's a good question. I remember listening to the 3020e in about 1988 when it was £119 new, which let's not forget is about £300 now. Disregarding wear tear and degredation of critical components over 30 years, I guess you're asking how would a 3020 compare to something modern in the NAD stable at the £300 mark, which probably would be the C 316BEE. The answer is I'm not sure. Personally I don't think hifi quality has improved as much as we're led to believe when you factor in inflation. Budget speakers perhaps have, due to computer-aided design, automated constructon and cheaper overseas labour, but things like amps? Really not sure. There were some darn fine amps.

It would make a good ABX test.


Well-known member
Dec 29, 2012
No not always better, I think much is less reliable and not so well built. After a long time I did some demos, I was surprised how poor many budget items were, even well reviewed ones and had to push my budget up considerably.

Why are you buying amps if you have active speakers?


Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
Wedding in gb and they are now married so i could do something else.

I still have my nad 3020i so why not compare ít to my nad 316BEE v2, put it on my nad 316BEE v2 and used the cable from my pc and with bfa plugs (open bananplugs) it was easy to change amp.

1991 nad 3020i and 2018 nad C 316BEE v2, shouldn't be fair to the old 3020i Right?

Theres a few but noticeabel differences.

Theres noticeable difference in level input (right word ?), as i remember the old one only needed 150mw for max power the new one 200mw, the nad 3020i would play noticeable louder at same volume setting (but shouldn't be louder at max power) .

No crosstalk from the inputs on the 3020i but there is on the 316BEE v2 and only white noise from the phono input on the 3020i, where the 316BEE has something that sounds like static click noise.

Another thing is the old amp have proper (real) bass control,eq 50hz at 10db the new one 100hz at 8db, treble 10khz 5 and 7db.

Soft clipping and impedans selection that the 316BEE v1 and v2 doens't have, properly doens't make any difference worth mentioning but it's there on the old 3020i and with main in and out you can upgrade pre amd or power amp or just connect a pair of active speakers.

The volume knob i also have to mentions since the old one is sooooooo much lighter,smoother, i definitely prefer that feeling over the 316BEE v1 and v2.

The new model as wel as the old v1 (the v1 didn't have a phonostage until the last periode where they made a version of the first nad 316bee with a phono stage) both have a remote control, that is nice to have but nothing you need to have.


What i noticed first besides the fact that the 3020i sounds louder, is that it also sounds slightly brighter, more forward a bit more sparkle, more details im not shure, a brighter sound often tend to give that impression.

Just switched to the 316BEE v2 playing Status Quo's album in the army on tidal hifi and im instantly hearing a difference in clarity, theres no sparkle in the highs and it's not interfering with the midrange in the same slightly brighter more open way the 3020i does (does it effect the details in the highs, mabye, but it shure makes it more easy to listen to, also at high levels), after half an hour or so with the old amp i kind of miss the slightly more open sound with more sparkle, it did have (3020i) a tendency to sound more metallic,agressive,intrusive in the high at high levels than the 316BEE v2.

Not much difference in bass unless you use the bass eq (50hz for the old one vs 100hz).

Both are loud, the 3020i just sounds louder and more open, where the new 316BEE V2 sounds af if it was made for listening to music for longer time since it's more soft in the highs, it more neutral than the 3020i with no real focusing on the highs,mids and lows.

If you like an open ,clear sound and can find one in good condition go for a 3020i and you won't be disappointed. if not (bright sound) go for the new 316BEE v2, these 2 amps should be able to play any genre with any speakers you could think of pairing with one of these amps.


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