Ls50 NAD d 3020 upgrade to what?

timspoon

Member
I have some ls50 speakers which i want to keep.

Had a NAD d 3020 which i really liked the sound of but has now broken (costs too much to repair).

Been looking at reviews comments for over a week now.

Tried a Yamaha and Denon pm-600ne and neither sounded very good.

Finally decided to try the Cambridge Audio CXA-61 at home.

The sound quality is excellent especially at low levels.

However the sound signature and overall feel for the music just isn't doing it for me.

I listen for a while and am relieved to turn it off. Guess that's what people mean by fatiguing.

The CXA-61 has made me appreciate how a more powerful amp can give to the ls50's.

What other amps will be like the nad 3020? Or should i just get another?

room is about 9 x 7 feet and i like all sorts of music.
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
Nad m10
 

gibbsy

Moderator
For a pure analogue amp which will drive and suit the LS50s very well indeed then look at the Rega Elex-R.
 

ItsNotAllSnakeOil

Active Member
What budget are you looking at? I'd potentially look at the following:

1. Rega Elex-R
2. Quad Vena 2 - Don't be put off by the 45wpc
3. Cyrus ONE HD
 

ItsNotAllSnakeOil

Active Member
I can go up to about £1000
Good. Pretty much covers all of those. If you can audition then great. If you are in the UK then Richer Sounds usually have both the Quad and Cyrus. These both have good Sabre DAC's and are very well reviewed. I personally have the Quad and the sound is lovely, certainly not fatiguing at all. I'm sure some others will come up with other suggestions, maybe Rotel etc. Good luck.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
The Rega's a great amp. Love mine. Drives my Neats beautifully.
My previous amp was a Cyrus One. I found it a bit bright and so, guessing as I've not heard the combo, it might be a bit much with the Kefs.
 

ItsNotAllSnakeOil

Active Member
The Rega's a great amp. Love mine. Drives my Neats beautifully.
My previous amp was a Cyrus One. I found it a bit bright and so, guessing as I've not heard the combo, it might be a bit much with the Kefs.
Yeah I had previous Cyrus 8vs2 also and found it incredibly detailed but with the wrong speakers could give a problem. Quad is a lot warmer but less theoretical power, however seems to deliver it well.
 
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andycc72

Active Member
I have some ls50 speakers which i want to keep.

Had a NAD d 3020 which i really liked the sound of but has now broken (costs too much to repair).

Been looking at reviews comments for over a week now.

Tried a Yamaha and Denon pm-600ne and neither sounded very good.

Finally decided to try the Cambridge Audio CXA-61 at home.

The sound quality is excellent especially at low levels.

However the sound signature and overall feel for the music just isn't doing it for me.

I listen for a while and am relieved to turn it off. Guess that's what people mean by fatiguing.

The CXA-61 has made me appreciate how a more powerful amp can give to the ls50's.

What other amps will be like the nad 3020? Or should i just get another?

room is about 9 x 7 feet and i like all sorts of music.
I ran the LS50's with the Cyrus One, it drove them with ease and it's a combination I would recommend. Not overly bright as some (the vast majority of whom have never listed to the combination) might suggest.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Hi,

I haven't heard the NAD D3020, but currently use the D3020 v2 in a PC setup. The newer version has a nice (to me), warm sound signature, and if you like that warm sound and how it combines with the LS50s, perhaps another warm sounding amp would suit you?

The Denon PMA600ne is very, very warm and laid back. I owned one for a while and enjoyed it, but there are better amps in the sub-£600 price range. I found a lot of the fine detail was missing and the soundstage and imaging were blurry.

The newer D3020 v2 is perhaps a little underpowered to get the most out of the LS50s. In the budget area, there is the Cambridge Audio AXR100. It has a nice, warm sound, and plenty of power (100w per channel). There is also a less expensive 85watt version (AXR85).

Stereo amps by Marantz may be worth exploring too. I've heard 3 of them and they all had a lovely, warm, but detailed sound. There are some great ones for under £1000, depending on the features you want.

Good luck :)
 
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Mark Merry

Novice Member
I have some ls50 speakers which i want to keep.

Had a NAD d 3020 which i really liked the sound of but has now broken (costs too much to repair).

Been looking at reviews comments for over a week now.

Tried a Yamaha and Denon pm-600ne and neither sounded very good.

Finally decided to try the Cambridge Audio CXA-61 at home.

The sound quality is excellent especially at low levels.

However the sound signature and overall feel for the music just isn't doing it for me.

I listen for a while and am relieved to turn it off. Guess that's what people mean by fatiguing.

The CXA-61 has made me appreciate how a more powerful amp can give to the ls50's.

What other amps will be like the nad 3020? Or should i just get another?

room is about 9 x 7 feet and i like all sorts of music.
I have a NAD D3020 in the classifieds reasonable if you are interested sorry if i'm not allowed to do this but as it was in your title i dint think it would hurt
Cheers
 

Mark Merry

Novice Member
Thanks, I think I'd rather buy new.
What did you upgrade to?
No problem i picked up a Cambridge CXA 80 really happy with it i had floor stander Rega Juras with it and it was a bit underpowered otherwise i would have kept it quality amp
Cheers mate
 

karlsushi

Active Member
Depends on how convoluted you are willing to go for great sound, but if I had £1k to spend on an amp, I would take a different route than a straight-up integrated.

Each to their own and I appreciate the simplicity and reduced hassle that an integrated from one of the main brands can offer, but my personal preference would always be to experiment with slightly more boutique products. It can take longer and it's not without risk (especially as you can't always demo this type of stuff), but I find it much more rewarding in the end.

A little also depends on your source, as a turntable complicates things a bit more, but for a straight-up digital source and only buying new, for £1k I would go:
I think this 3 box solution would give any sub-£1k integrated a serious run for their money and gives you plenty of flexibility for tweaking and upgrading in the future.

The Power Amp in particular would blow away the power section in any sub-£1k integrated from one of the main manufacturer brands and would drive those LS50's with absolute ease.

The Tisbury on its own as a preamp would also be more revealing and transparent than anything from the main brands too, but passives without a buffer can run the risk of being a bit 'fatiguing'. The tubes just add that weight and body to the sound and help with a more impactful bass. Plus, you can then tube roll with the buffer to your tastes, which is great fun for tuning the sound.

Like I say, not how everyone would go about this, extra boxes, a lack of demo options and higher risk if something goes wrong, but I'd be surprised if anything mentioned above sounds better.

So many options, but that's what makes the hobby interesting...

Good luck.
 

karlsushi

Active Member
The Nord power amplifier looks stunnin
And they sound even better than they look!

Of course Nord aren't the only company using the Hypex modules nowadays, but they are probably the most reasonably priced offering and the casework is of a high standard for what is essentially a DIYer gone commercial.

Appollon in Slovenia sell essentially identical amps, but I'm guessing since Brexit the extra price wouldn't be worth it. I have to admit, I actually prefer the styling of the Apollon amps, but no doubt the Nords are nice looking too.

Nord also do an amp with the latest Purifi Eigentakt modules which incidentally are the same modules used in the top of the range NAD amps now.

Just note the initial pricing on the website is without VAT, so you need to add 20% which appears at checkout.

Colin at Nord will technically allow demoing at his premises (I think in Gloucestershire), but when I spoke to him about it he's not really that keen. I guess he's trying to avoid behaving like a traditional supplier to keep costs down.

Well worth considering though if you're brave enough to step away from the mainstream manufacturers.

Think he does an integrated using Hypex modules now too.
 

timspoon

Member
Been using a powernode 2i for the last month and quite pleased with it.

But last week managed to get a NAD M10 second hand for £800, its much clearer sounding
and big improvement in my room.
 

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