New power amplifier purchased

FMIB

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2021
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Probably not the normal way for many to buy hifi, but on the spur of the moment, never hearing one or auditioning anything else, I purchased a NAD C298.

For years my power amp has been an Usher P1.5, which for those not familiar is a beast of a class A amp, based on a Threshold amp. Its an excellent bit of kit and for the money, hard to beat. Weighing some 40kg, over the years its always been a bit of a problem when you need to move it to clean around it or even plug something in and out.
This week, I made a mistake and decided to repaint my living room and this required unplugging and moving the hifi from the rack. Now in my 60's and some joint issues, easy handling of the amp was just beyond me, so there and then a decision was made that I need an amp that is smaller, lighter, uses less electricity with a sound that is equal or better.

Always being a bit impulsive when it comes to purchasing things like cars(although I always test drive), I applied similar thinking to my power amplifier. A few reviews read, a couple of videos watched, a decision was made and 24 hours later its plugged in and running and all I can say is wow.

Now that's 5 of my 7 major bits of hifi that have been purchased without an audition and it all sounds great. Maybe its a senior thing or that hifi has just got to such a good level that its hard to make a big purchase mistake
 

nn_in

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Feb 23, 2015
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Probably not the normal way for many to buy hifi, but on the spur of the moment, never hearing one or auditioning anything else, I purchased a NAD C298.

For years my power amp has been an Usher P1.5, which for those not familiar is a beast of a class A amp, based on a Threshold amp. Its an excellent bit of kit and for the money, hard to beat. Weighing some 40kg, over the years its always been a bit of a problem when you need to move it to clean around it or even plug something in and out.
This week, I made a mistake and decided to repaint my living room and this required unplugging and moving the hifi from the rack. Now in my 60's and some joint issues, easy handling of the amp was just beyond me, so there and then a decision was made that I need an amp that is smaller, lighter, uses less electricity with a sound that is equal or better.

Always being a bit impulsive when it comes to purchasing things like cars(although I always test drive), I applied similar thinking to my power amplifier. A few reviews read, a couple of videos watched, a decision was made and 24 hours later its plugged in and running and all I can say is wow.

Now that's 5 of my 7 major bits of hifi that have been purchased without an audition and it all sounds great. Maybe its a senior thing or that hifi has just got to such a good level that its hard to make a big purchase mistake
Very valuable insights.
 
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bigfish786

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Jan 29, 2013
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Honestly, I’ve never demo’d a single bit of hifi. Not one thing.
it’s never stopped me doing exactly what you did, read some reviews, Do a bit of YouTube and googl-ing and buy what you want.
enjoy.
 
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FMIB

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Dec 3, 2021
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Good to hear that I am not alone. I did listen to my speakers and CD player before buying, only really to be sure it was worth the upgrade. I would not bother to audition a CD player again, although I would try to hear speakers, but with so many reviews around, even that may not happen.
After completely knackering myself with the painting, an excellent day relaxing listening to all sorts of music to try the amp out.
Lots of stuff I have read about Class D amps, but this is seriously good.

The lesson for me here is not to repaint the room again.
Mind you, for the cost of the paint you can buy a pretty decent piece oh hifi.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
I’m sure the NAD will be a great choice. Like you, I’ve seen numerous great reviews, and the Purifi design is pretty much state of the art.

Funnily enough, for a couple of years I’d been using a class D Nord power amp, and recently bought a Pass Labs, so we have sort of transposed in our recent purchases! (For those aren’t familiar, Threshold was designed by Nelson Pass I believe)
 
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CheshirePete

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Oct 12, 2020
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I have just returned a NAD C 298 power amplifier after a week of use. I was hoping it was going to sound great with my KLH model 5's but it just didn't have the right synergy. I bought it through Sevenoaks online store and was able to return it to the shop get a refund, which was quite convenient.

My first impressions was that it didn't sound much different than the 268, but after a week of listening I found the 268 to be a touch rolled off in the higher frequencies compared to the 298. Class D may be the future, but I still like a system to have a touch of warmth, which you don't seem to get with class D.

I am sure with the right speakers it is an incredible amplifier, but my ears are a little sensitive to anything bright sounding, which was the case with my speakers.

I hope you enjoy it, and please don't be put off by my comments.

What speakers are you driving with it?
 

FMIB

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Dec 3, 2021
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Thanks for the comments, certainly not put off.
My system is certainly not bright, if anything it was a bit too warm for me. They say with age many slowly lose the ability to hear high frequencies, so perhaps now was the right time to add a bit more sparkle to the sound.
It sounds just right for me, very good base, tight bass, drums hit hard, nice detail in the mid range and a non fatiguing treble.
I do agree with you that with some speakers, it might sound bright.

I use a Parasound JC-2 pre-amp and the NAD drives Usher Dancer Mini 2, with the Diamond DMD tweeters
 
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Thanks for the comments, certainly not put off.
My system is certainly not bright, if anything it was a bit too warm for me. They say with age many slowly lose the ability to hear high frequencies, so perhaps now was the right time to add a bit more sparkle to the sound.
It sounds just right for me, very good base, tight bass, drums hit hard, nice detail in the mid range and a non fatiguing treble.
I do agree with you that with some speakers, it might sound bright.

I use a Parasound JC-2 pre-amp and the NAD drives Usher Dancer Mini 2, with the Diamond DMD tweeters
Nice set up, love those speakers
 

FMIB

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Dec 3, 2021
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Thanks, Usher are not so well known in the UK. They had quite a following in the USA and Asia(where I purchased mine) in their heyday. Usher still produce in Taiwan as well as expanding the range with some newer models. Having almost gone out of business some years ago, they now seem to concentrate only on their local market.
 
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Thanks, Usher are not so well known in the UK. They had quite a following in the USA and Asia(where I purchased mine) in their heyday. Usher still produce in Taiwan as well as expanding the range with some newer models. Having almost gone out of business some years ago, they now seem to concentrate only on their local market.
Yes quite rare. I had my eyes on a pair of BE718 Tiny Dancers years ago. Wish I had bought them back then....
 

FMIB

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Dec 3, 2021
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Yes, you should have snapped them up.
Great sound and superb build quality.
I had them first which lead to the upgrade to the Dancer Mini 2's
The upgrade justified to the wife was to gain a bit more low end, but in reality was more to do with getting fed up continually knocking the speakers around on their stands, leading to endless repositioning!
Blue tac was not very effective in the tropics and the loaded stands were so heavy, it was easier to go with floor standing speakers.
 
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amormusic

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Feb 24, 2016
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Glad you love your amp, it's always pleasing when you love your decision.

Ps - on a tangent, but if you have to paint again - the gamechanger I found for painting was a paint sprayer (mine is a Bosch PFS3000-2). You can literally paint a whole room in minutes! Crazy good bit of kit!

@FMIB oooh! Dancer Mini 2. Very nice. They also *look* really nice too. I seriously thought about buying a set of those that came up for sale 2nd hand a couple of years ago, but the stars did not align and I was skint. Still love to hear a set someday.
 

CheshirePete

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2020
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570
Thanks for the comments, certainly not put off.
My system is certainly not bright, if anything it was a bit too warm for me. They say with age many slowly lose the ability to hear high frequencies, so perhaps now was the right time to add a bit more sparkle to the sound.
It sounds just right for me, very good base, tight bass, drums hit hard, nice detail in the mid range and a non fatiguing treble.
I do agree with you that with some speakers, it might sound bright.

I use a Parasound JC-2 pre-amp and the NAD drives Usher Dancer Mini 2, with the Diamond DMD tweeters
Sounds like a good synergy, it certainly has the sparkle and is very transparent, shame it didn't work out for me.

Enjoy.
 

AndyCC72

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2021
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670
Honestly, I’ve never demo’d a single bit of hifi. Not one thing.
it’s never stopped me doing exactly what you did, read some reviews, Do a bit of YouTube and googl-ing and buy what you want.
enjoy.
Same, and have never bought anything I have actively disliked.
 

AndyCC72

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2021
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670
Probably because some people are content with what they get for their money even though auditioning further could have got them something even better?
You’re probably right, but I can safely say that my system sounds excellent and I’m very happy with it.

I plan to add a valve amp in the future but I won’t be moving on my current amp, I just want to try a valve amp. I’ll probably buy used and if I don’t like it I’ll move it one with little to no loss. I will of course research it to the point of exhaustion as I do for every purchase, but I appreciate that is all just ‘theory’ and you never know if you’ll truly like it until you get in situ and play it. Dealer demo’s to me are not great as your own room and sources play a huge part in how it’s gonna sound once home.
 
You’re probably right, but I can safely say that my system sounds excellent and I’m very happy with it.

I plan to add a valve amp in the future but I won’t be moving on my current amp, I just want to try a valve amp. I’ll probably buy used and if I don’t like it I’ll move it one with little to no loss. I will of course research it to the point of exhaustion as I do for every purchase, but I appreciate that is all just ‘theory’ and you never know if you’ll truly like it until you get in situ and play it. Dealer demo’s to me are not great as your own room and sources play a huge part in how it’s gonna sound once home.
demo in shops dealers to get a rough idea then insist on home demo period is the way to go.
 

FMIB

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Dec 3, 2021
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A couple of weeks on and I must say I have never listened to so much music for so many hours over so many days, which I think says it all.
This power amp gets a huge thumbs up from me.
 

RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
453
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I have just returned a NAD C 298 power amplifier after a week of use. I was hoping it was going to sound great with my KLH model 5's but it just didn't have the right synergy. I bought it through Sevenoaks online store and was able to return it to the shop get a refund, which was quite convenient.

My first impressions was that it didn't sound much different than the 268, but after a week of listening I found the 268 to be a touch rolled off in the higher frequencies compared to the 298. Class D may be the future, but I still like a system to have a touch of warmth, which you don't seem to get with class D.

I am sure with the right speakers it is an incredible amplifier, but my ears are a little sensitive to anything bright sounding, which was the case with my speakers.

I hope you enjoy it, and please don't be put off by my comments.

What speakers are you driving with it?
My experience with class D too. They are technically now up with the best but sonically left wanting in some areas.

Having said that, my experience was mostly with actives so the speakers obviously contributed.

Maybe in the future but as yet I stick to the better variants of old school A/B and G.
 
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FMIB

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2021
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70
I had better start with Oops I did it again!

Last few weeks I have had this itch to try different speakers. I don't really know why, apart from the Ushers are from my time overseas in a much larger living area and maybe not perfect in my now smaller living room.
Needed something to cheer me up a bit and any purchase would be veto'ed if the wife was around, so strike whilst the wife is away.
So I started looking at reviews of speakers with a number that I knew I could not really justify or afford, so with more thinking I came to a number that was still a bit mad, but probably more in line to my existing equipment.
It's a minefield out there with so many makes and models in just about all price ranges and to make it worse was the trend towards revamped 70's style speakers.
Without being able to easily audition such a vast number of options as most suitable shops are not within reach for me, the search for reviews and forum opinions intensified.
One of my main aims was to find a speaker that was a bit smaller and a bit more manageable to move around and hopefully buy something that sounded at least as good or better than my current.
I narrowed my search down to around 10 speakers, which did my head in. In the end I plumped for something that was not originally on my list and was a last minute thought.
Modern over vintage won out.
So nervously yesterday I placed an order and today a pair of gorgeous Monitor Audio Gold 5G 300's in piano ebony arrived.
So another un-auditioned purchase, they do sound quite different but in a very good way for my room size.
Super happy with my choice and result, but now I need to come up with a plan once the wife spots the new speakers, probably most likely from immediately seeing the old ones standing in the study.

Maybe time to start looking for new homes from some of the equipment that's starting to build up around the house, which might help please her.
 
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