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rnd1x
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Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

Hi, It's my first post here. I recently purchased a NAD C320BEE (on closeout) and have noticed an issue with the 'tone defeat' switch. For those of you that aren't familiar with this amp, the switch is a single pole, single throw (w/ a latching action) type of switch.

If I push the button to defeat or engage the tone controls (while a source is playing) the volume momentarily spikes resulting in a quick, but noticeable, sound in the speakers. If I slowly move the button through its range of motion, I can find the one position (between ON and OFF) where the volume of the amp increases by about 25%. This increase in volume stays in effect as long as I maintain the button in this half on/half off position.

Now my question, is this a defective switch (i.e. shorted out, miswired, etc.) or a design flaw of some sort that other C320BEE's also exhibit?

If it's a design flaw, I can live with it considering the price I paid (and the fact that the button will always stay on the OFF position). But, if it is defective, I'm worried that it could mean something else is also wrong or that the problem could somehow manifest itself in other ways down the road - in which case I will try to swap out the unit for another one (its doable, but just a big hassle for me).

So does anyone have any insight into this? Or does anyone currently have this amp and can check to see if theirs exhibits this behaviour? Thanks!

Yiangos
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

Can you check if this happens even when the tone controls are in the "0" position?

rnd1x
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

Hey - thanks for the response.

Yes, it occurs when the tone controls both are set at 0 (or both at full +dB or both at full -dB or any other settings).

Buddha
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

Hi, it sounds more like a defective unit than a design flaw.

None of what you notice should be happening.

Time for a trip back to the dealer!

Best wishes.

Elk
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

I am not so sure it is a defect.

This reminds me of slowly switching from low beam to high beam in a car. There usually is an in between position where both the low and high beams are engaged and the lights are very bright. That is, both positive leads are connected while the single ground wire remains constant.

NAD may wire its tone defeat switch similarly. There may be an in between position where power is going through both the tone controls and through the straight wire by bypass, resulting in a louder sound.

Have you tried contacting NAD?

rnd1x
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

Elk,

Thanks - that's an interesting possible explanation.

If true, I should be able to start with the switch in the tone defeat 'ON' position and move the switch into this 'in between' position and hear the partial effect of the tone control section on the sound (if i were to simultaneously turn one of them) since I would theoretically be hearing some mix of 'clean' source with some 'tone modified' source.

I'll have to try this out later - but if so, it seems that it could still be due to a badly connected/defective switch as much as it could be due to just a sloppy design. But then again I know very little about electronic engineering.

As far as contacting NAD, I'm unsure how much customer service they'd give a guy who buys their one of their cheapest products.

Any more responses would be kindly appreciated!

ohfourohnine
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

I think that if you go around the dealer and talk/e-mail NAD, you'll find that they'll be happy to answer your quesions about any of their products.

Buddha
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

NAD is about as nice a company to deal with as I can think of. After all, who is more prone to move up to their more pricey stuff than someone who was a happy owner of their cheaper gear?

Back to the problem...that piece of gear should NOT have "in between" positions for a situation where there are discrete settings.

We can yammer all day, but in the end, your unit is not functioning correctly.

Cheers.

Buddha
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

You know, after I posted that, it struck me...I wonder if this discussion is a product of the Microsoft Age, where defective gear is all too easily forgiven, and we try to make due with flawed products.

It almost sounds like you are willing to live with a problem and consider it sort of an idiosyncracy of the company's design and implementation.

Buggy equipment may be OK in the new consumer arena, but NAD is old school. All their gear, at any price point should work flawlessly. Please expect alot from NAD, they are worth it.

Yiangos
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

Elk has a point here and was so curious,i pulled out my old NAD 3020B.Yes,the same thing occurs with mine but of course
this is does not answer your question.Is it a design flaw that happens to all NAD amps or is your(our)unit deffective.
Only NAD knows

Monty
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

Yiangos, I remember NAD used to have a feature in their integrateds designed for low volume listening. Depressing a button would attenuate the level to where you had to increase the volume pot to around 12 or so to get much sound. I'm sure their thinking was to get better channel separation for low volume listening. I wonder if your 3020 has this feature and you are attributing the increased volume to something different than what the thread poster is refering to? I tend to think his unit is malfunctioning.

Elk
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?


Quote:
Elk has a point here and was so curious,i pulled out my old NAD 3020B.Yes,the same thing occurs with mine but of course
this is does not answer your question.Is it a design flaw that happens to all NAD amps or is your(our)unit deffective.
Only NAD knows

Interesting.

I have no idea if this is how NAD's work or not. However, as others have stated, NAD is a great company and they will take care of you. Give them a call/email. LEt us know what they tell you; I'm curious.

Yiangos
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

Hi Monty
Long time no speak.No,my NAD doesn't have this feature.

Yiangos
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

ELK,i was reffering to the analogy you said regarding the headlights.There is a moment both the low and high beams are on.That is why i asked him if this occurs when the tone controls are in the flat posisition.If he played his NAD with the bass and treble say in the +3 db,whenever he press the tone defeat button he would get a sound decrease because the tone controls would revert into flat.You know what i am trying to say,don't you? Mine is working perfectly
It just has that (on-both-off)momentarily thing.

rnd1x
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

Well, the dealer is swapping it out with a new unit tonight. It will be interesting to see if the new amp does the same thing!

Thanks for everyone's help.

I especially liked Buddha's notion that some consumers have maybe come to expect less from manufacturers due to Microsoft's (and other companies) practice of using their customers as a free 'beta testing'resource.

I can see how I, being new to buying "better" audio gear, could have had the inital assumption that a client / manufcaturer relationship would not be in place that would allow me to just call up NAD and say "What's up with my amp?" and get any real answer.

And while I haven't actually called up NAD directly, it is encouraging to hear that audio companies that operate at this level are actually accommodating to their customers.

59mga
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?


Quote:
Well, the dealer is swapping it out with a new unit tonight. It will be interesting to see if the new amp does the same thing!

Glad to hear that you're getting a new device. A lot of good info above...heed it.

FWIW; last summer I auditioned a lot of equipment, while searching for a new system, and NAD was one of the brands I listened to. I heard all their integrated amps, the 320BEE was one, and specificallt played with the tone defeat switch. Not once did I experience the symptom you describe.
I'd venture to say it was a malfunctioning unit.

rnd1x
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

Ok - back from the dealer with a new NAD C320BEE and guess what?

The tone defeat button on this one does the EXACT same thing. Coincidence?

I tend to think it is a design flaw. A vestigial 'loudness' setting perhaps? Maybe I could use a bit of duct tape to hold the switch in the 'in-between' position whenever I need to implement this 'loudness' feature. NAD, WTF?

Elk
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

I don't know if it is a design defect. It may be that the alternative was a brief moment of no sound and a thump as it came back in.

Regardless, I wouldn't worry about it. NAD makes nice equipment. On the other hand, if it bugs you a great deal (it seems to) return the unit and get something else that you find more to your liking. We all have our little preferences.

cyclebrain
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Re: Is my new NAD C320BEE defective? or design flaw?

I understand the question as to how can the volume increase when selecting either bypass(straight through) or tone controls (same level as bypass when selected).
A possibility is that the tone control cicuit is in a feedback path and when the switch momentarily passes through an open condition, the feedback path is opened increasing the gain of the amplifier.
As for NAD, I have been happy with their 2 channel audio gear, but not so with their A/V stuff. Bought a T752 A/V receiver that kept locking up. Got a replacement but didn't like the sound. Decided to run some tests on it. Major lowend rolloff starting at 100Hz. Don't recall the exact rate. Thought it might be set to "small speaker". It wasn't, but switching between large and small made no difference in response. When I called NAD about it not meeting it's frequency response spec, they did reply.
The answer was that the frequency response spec was for the power amplifier section only and did not cover the front end portion. I would be ashamed to tell a customer that.

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