Answered Hoping for in depth advice about matching appropriate speakers to integrated/analog amps.

Ohmy God

Novice Member
I've often spent hours reading things on this site, but I finally have my own issues. I hope someone could help me out.

I got an entry level rega turn table last week, and based on what I think might be some bad advice I also got an NAD 3020 V2 as an amp to get the sound out of it. I haven't bought the speakers yet, but I think they will be Q Acoustic 3020is. For the size of the room (im moving into a fairly small 1 bedroom apartment), I think these speakers will be perfect.

The issue is the amp.

It says that it's rated for 2x30 watts, but there are actually several different power ratings listed depending on the ohms and something I think they call dynamic drive.

Basically, as I was leaving the store I was looking at some other amps and a salesman tried to up-sell me to an analog receiver because he said it would drive the sound out of my great turn table better.

I'm not a rich guy and I've zeroed in on 2 other analog amps that could apparently be better and yet still affordable:

Sony strdh190
Yamaha RN303

People are basically saying awful things about the NAD 3020 V2, and I think the sales guy just wanted to make commission.

I figured if there is any place I could get some answers, this is it :)

PS...I won't be able to test the components together until early March; which is well past the 30 day return/exchange mark. So I wanted to see what people here think?
 

xmb

Well-known Member
The trouble with Hi-Fi is what you like the sound of and what someone else likes the sound of will never be the same, as no two ears are alike.

This is why auditioning any prospective purchases is essential to at least get something that sounds acceptable in the store. Again, this sound may change when placed in your own environment.

If the NAD sounds good to you with your chosen speakers then I am sure it will be fine. I listened to the 3020i against the Monitor Audio Bronze 1 and Dali Zensor 1. I preferred the sound of the Bronze 1 and Zensor 1 over the 3020i. In the end I went for the Zensor 1, but the Bronze were a close second.

So only listen to general advice but in the end make up your own mind from what your ears and wallet like.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
I can't say directly which is better from your list. The nad is well specced, tidy and gets very favorable reviews.

Q acoustic speakers at this price are in my opinion fabulous.

If it we're me I'd look close at the marantz pm6006 also, like said above your preference may vary but likely from your list there is no "bad" buy
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
In Nads usual style, they’ve built the amplifier to cope. Very well.

It has Nads usual ability to provide bursts of power when the speaker and music signal need it, so it is effectively a much more powerful amp than it looks or than the bare specs suggest.

NAD D 3020 integrated amplifier Measurements

Some useful measurements here. And there’s praise for the phono stage of the V2 flying about too.

As for speakers. Always best to hear them somewhere if you can. Just to rule out any horrors that your ears may object to.

As it’s a small room, you might consider these as well.

DALI OBERON ON-WALL - Slim, discreet and surprisingly powerful on-wall speaker

I wouldn’t let the slimness pit you off. I’ve had a brief listen to them in RS and they sound wonderfully large, with a surprising and engaging bass despite the slimness. No doubt the wall reinforcement helped.

Very impressive.
 

Ohmy God

Novice Member
View attachment 1103169

Ps, take a look at the Nads real world capability for speaker driving.

No problems here.
This is actually where I'm struggling. When you say "real world", which part is that? Because I'm a little lost figuring out which part is the actual power rating per channel. Because it's rated at 30x2 but up to 150x2?

I really appreciate all the input. Thanks everybody.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
It simply means that when the impedance drops, ie when the speakers varying load characteristics and musical signal present a need for serious current, then the Nad can easily provide what is required.

The 30W rating is largely irrelevant. It is the current that an amp can supply under duress ( that is when greater power is momentarily required) that will decide how realistic the appropriate levels will sound.

A claimed 80W amp that cannot appreciablely increase the power available when the ohms drop will not sound as real or ‘big’ as a 30W with plenty of power in reserve.

The Nad has that power.

It delivers 30W into an 8ohm load but can double that power into the same load when the music requires it to do so.

It can then whack out 100W for peaks into 4ohms and 150W into a 20hm load.

These are very respectable figures.


So any speakers it is ever likely to be paired with will not be short changed.
 

Ohmy God

Novice Member
It simply means that when the impedance drops, ie when the speakers varying load characteristics and musical signal present a need for serious current, then the Nad can easily provide what is required.

The 30W rating is largely irrelevant. It is the current that an amp can supply under duress ( that is when greater power is momentarily required) that will decide how realistic the appropriate levels will sound.

A claimed 80W amp that cannot appreciablely increase the power available when the ohms drop will not sound as real or ‘big’ as a 30W with plenty of power in reserve.

The Nad has that power.

It delivers 30W into an 8ohm load but can double that power into the same load when the music requires it to do so.

It can then whack out 100W for peaks into 4ohms and 150W into a 20hm load.

These are very respectable figures.


So any speakers it is ever likely to be paired with will not be short changed.
Fantastic!

So one last question, just to bring it full circle:

What kind of specs should the speakers I'm buying have to pair well with the NAD? I'll definitely have a closer look at those Dali Oberons, but wondering just exactly what I should look for?

I do really appreciate you taking the time. Thanks!
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
No problem. We’re all happy to chip in here :thumbsup:

I wouldn’t worry about specs at all. In fact ignore them.

The specs offered by manufacturers are largely simply not useful.

Any of the speakers you’ve mentioned and just about all that I can think of up to around the £500 to £600 mark will not faze the Nad.

You might find the need for even more power, if you were having teenage type parties everyday.

In a field. Or a castle type banquet hall.

But in a normal home any speakers you buy will work very well with the Nad.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Pps, I don’t know if you can get them in Canada for this kind of price, but a pair of ‘refurbed’ Rega RX1s at near half price would be an excellent buy.

Brand new though.

REGA RX1 SPEAKERS, BLACK ASH, BOXED, EXCELLENT CONDITION, AUTHORISED DEALER! | eBay

Or a pair of used Rega RS1s would also be an excellent buy.

I mention them because I love them. I had the RS1s for years. They are delightful speakers.

And because they are a more sensitive than an average speaker too. So the Nad will sound even better driving them.

This listing claims to post worldwide. I doubt your money can buy a better speaker.

Rega RS1 Speakers - Mint condition - Piano Black Colour (Very rare to find) | eBay
 

Ohmy God

Novice Member
Ps, do you know the dimensions of your new listening room?
Haha definitely no parties in fields.

I'd say the room is about 10m x 5m, a slightly imperfect rectangle. Regular 3m ceilings.

Yeah, those speakers are fantastic, but with customs and everything, they would be restrictively expensive for me.

My top two right now are:

Elac debut b6.2
Q Acoustics 3020i

Both are fairly inexpensive and seem to perform incredibly well. Sadly, I can't find a single retailer that has them on display so I could test them out.

In university I had my dad's old missions that were incredibly clear despite being very small and weak. So I'm keeping my eyes pealed for something great but definitely affordable in this range, like Boston Acoustics HD5s. Which I've found for around 250 CAD with shipping.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
10m by 3m???

That is not ‘fairly small’ by our standards.

In that case I’d be tempted to go for a pair of speakers with at least a 6” driver.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The NAD 3020 V2 is an OK amp, it is very compact, and uses low energy. But, it is £350 at Seven Oaks. For £350, assuming you have room, you could have done much better.

For example -

Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver, 80w/ch, Network Streaming, 2xDAC, Bluetooth, Phono-In, Sub-Out, ... - £320 -


Yamaha RN602 Networked Stereo Receiver - Superfi

R-N602 - Overview - HiFi Components - Audio & Visual - Products - Yamaha - UK and Ireland

The NAD 3020 V2 is an OK amp, just make sure you understand what it does, and whether that is specifically what you need. The Standard Power Rating is Both Channels Driver to 8 Ohms, you can use that to compare amps. "What HiFi?" gave the NAD 3020-V2 a very solid review, but again, it is a small lower powered compact amp for about £350. You could have the full sized Yamaha RN602 for less.

Home review

NAD D 3020 V2 Integrated Amplifier / DAC

The question isn't - Is it a good amp. The question is - does it do what you need done at a price your can afford, and does it offer the best value? Only you can answer that.

If you are really desperate for a very compact amp, and want to save money, then consider the Yamaha WXC-50 Network Streamer/Amp with 50w/ch and Network Streaming built in. Though being very compact, it has a limited number of inputs -

Yamaha MusicCast WXA50 Networked Amplifier - Superfi

MusicCast WXA-50 - Overview - Wireless Streaming Amplifiers - Audio & Visual - Products - Yamaha - UK and Ireland

But notice it is actually a bit more money than the RN602, though it is much more compact.

So, you have a range of options, you just have to pick which best serves your Needs and your Wallet.

As to the Speakers, the New 3020i are very good, but limited for bass, though in a small apartment or flat that might not be such a bad thing. I use a pair of these on my computer and reviewed the older 3020 models. It might even be possible to get the older 3020 (not "i") at deep discounts if you can find them. They sound very good. But that said, the Dali Zensor 1 and the Monitor Audio Bronze 1 are good sounding speakers too as are the New Wharfedale Diamond speakers. All roughly a similar price.


Q Acoustics Q3020i Bookshelf Speakers - Superfi

Monitor Audio Bronze 1 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Dali Spektor 2 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Assuming it does what you want and fills your needs. There is nothing wrong with the NAD 3020, but there are higher value options out there.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Ohmy God

Novice Member
The NAD 3020 V2 is an OK amp, it is very compact, and uses low energy. But, it is £350 at Sever Oaks. For £350, assuming you have room, you could have done much better.

For example -

Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver, 80w/ch, Network Streaming, 2xDAC, Bluetooth, Phono-In, Sub-Out, ... - £320 -


Yamaha RN602 Networked Stereo Receiver - Superfi

R-N602 - Overview - HiFi Components - Audio & Visual - Products - Yamaha - UK and Ireland

The NAD 3020 V2 is an OK amp, just make sure you understand what it does, and whether that is specifically what you need. The Standard Power Rating is Both Channels Driver to 8 Ohms, you can use that to compare amps. "What HiFi?" gave the NAD 3020-V2 a very solid review, but again, it is a small lower powered compact amp for about £350. You could have the full sized Yamaha RN602 for less.

Home review

NAD D 3020 V2 Integrated Amplifier / DAC

The question isn't - Is it a good amp. The question is - does it do what you need done at a price your can afford, and does it offer the best value? Only you can answer that.

If you are really desparate for a very compact amp, and want to save money, then consider the Yamaha WXC-50 Network Streamer/Amp with 50w/ch and Network Streaming built in. Though being very compact, it has a limited number of inputs -

Yamaha MusicCast WXA50 Networked Amplifier - Superfi

MusicCast WXA-50 - Overview - Wireless Streaming Amplifiers - Audio & Visual - Products - Yamaha - UK and Ireland

But notice it is actually a bit more money than the RN602, though it is much more compact.

So, you have a range of options, you just have to pick which best serves your Needs and your Wallet.

As to the Speakers, the New 3020i are very good, but limited for bass, though in a small apartment or flat that might not be such a bad thing. I use a pair of these on my computer and reviewed the older 3020 models. It might even be possible to get the older 3020 (not "i") at deep discounts if you can find them. They sound very good. But that said, the Dali Zensor 1 and the Monitor Audio Bronze 1 are good sounding speakers too as are the New Wharfedale Diamond speakers. All roughly a similar price.


Q Acoustics Q3020i Bookshelf Speakers - Superfi

Monitor Audio Bronze 1 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Dali Spektor 2 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Assuming it does what you want and fills your needs. There is nothing wrong with the NAD 3020, but there are higher value options out there.

Steve/bluewizard

Steve!

Thanks for taking the time too!

So I bought the NAD for £260 (it was a boxing day sale). But have since learned that there are other amps in the range that could do a better job.

That's kind of where I'm lost.

After some earlier discussions here I'm much more positive about the NAD.

But, I wonder if just going for an older analog or one of the Yamahas/Sonys would be a better bet.

This receiver would be 70% vinyl and 30% films and shows. I really can't blast it too loud because of my neighbours, so the loudest stuff I would be playing would be jazz and classic rock.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Steve!

Thanks for taking the time too!

So I bought the NAD for £260 (it was a boxing day sale). But have since learned that there are other amps in the range that could do a better job.

That's kind of where I'm lost.

After some earlier discussions here I'm much more positive about the NAD.

But, I wonder if just going for an older analog or one of the Yamahas/Sonys would be a better bet.

This receiver would be 70% vinyl and 30% films and shows. I really can't blast it too loud because of my neighbours, so the loudest stuff I would be playing would be jazz and classic rock.
I'd say stop reading any sh##e about what may or may not be better, you bought a very highly respected amp at a great price, sit back, throw on a record and enjoy
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Thanks guys!!

I'll let you know how it sounds once I've got the speakers!

Appreciate all the input :)
Just try get speakers with a reasonably high sensitivity to ensure you'll never even need to push the amp
 

muljao

Well-known Member
I'd probably look for something 87db or more, what's your budget? Do you want floorstanding or standmount ones?
 

Ohmy God

Novice Member
I'd probably look for something 87db or more, what's your budget? Do you want floorstanding or standmount ones?
I'd rather bookshelf speakers, unless I can find a reasonably priced floorstanding.

Budget is about 500 Canadian.
 

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