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Amp/Preamp Asylum: REVIEW: NAD D 7050 Integrated Amplifier (SS) by Les Anderson

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REVIEW: NAD D 7050 Integrated Amplifier (SS)

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Model: D 7050
Category: Integrated Amplifier (SS)
Suggested Retail Price: $999
Description: All Digital Integrated
Manufacturer URL: NAD
Model Picture: View

Review by Les Anderson on March 08, 2015 at 12:24:28
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for the D 7050

I purchased this unit last week and am ready to share some thoughts. The D 7050 is a 100% all digital unit, much like the Nuforce DDA-100. There are no analog inputs, and conversion to analog is essentially done at the units binding posts.

The build quality is lackluster. The volume and input selection knobs feel super cheap. There is a slight wiggle in all direction.(by design) The volume up/down on the front panel knob tracks terribly, it is slow and sometimes jumpy. If you need to turn the volume down fast, you really can't. Hopefully a software update will address this. Binding posts are adequate, nothing more. Display is nice, but not very informative. Track info for example does not show, only the input itself with volume level. Remote is cheap, but has a very nice feel due to a heavy application of soft touch paint. It is a fingerprint magnet, but most are these days. Volume does track well and fast from the remote handset. The remote will also allow track forward, track backward, input and play/pause. There is also a decent apple/android app that will allow control via a smartphone connected to the same LAN. The unit has a plethora of digital inputs, wifi, Ethernet as well as an analog rca pre out that has a variable digital xover that can also be defeated to provide a full-range pre-out.

I opted for this unit due to a recent update that enabled Spotify Connect. This feature allows the unit to be fed 320 Kbps ogg vorbis streams directly from the Spotify cloud. You can control and choose tracks from a smart phone or tablet but you don't actually stream from these devices, the NAD itself receives the stream over its network connection directly from Spotify which is super nice. All that is required is an Internet connection, you dont need to be on the same LAN. This also enables volume control for the NAD from within the Spotify app. The whole thing works very well and it is super slick.

My company issued windows 7 PC recognized the NAD instantly as a USB sound card with no fiddling or configuration necessary. The only way I could see getting the NAD added to my wifi network was to use WPS which worked fine. (iDevice apparently have an even easier method) Surprisingly, firmware updates are manual and done from logging into the device via its LAN IP address and then uploading a file that must first be download and unzipped from NAD's site. For a device that attempts to be so modern in so many ways, I would expect firmware updates to be downloadable directly to the device. Also, considering they built in a web interface for this purpose, it would have been nice to be able to control the device from it, volume, input, etc. But no.

I use this device at work, on the desktop- powering a pair of Anthony Gallo Strada and a Gallo TR-1 powered subwoofer. Traditionally I have powered the TR-1 via high level speaker inputs but the option of having the digital xo relieve the NAD from sending a full range signal to the Strada's was too much to pass up on. Also, the crossover is variable, and can be changed via the iphone/android app making experimentation and adjustments super easy. This is a great bonus as the XO is 100% transparent to my ears.

The sound is good. Open, airy, transparent, uncolored. The mid-range while not lush is full and natural sounding. Bass delivered via RCA to the Gallo sub seems punchy, deep and full. High frequencies are indisputably pure, shimmering and often times remarkable sounding. Whether or not these qualities change over time is yet to be seen, but what I have not like in past with other amplification in this system is a thin quality through the midrange, which this NAD does not suffer from.

This unit is specified as having 50 wpc into 4 ohms. It easily plays like a "real" 75 wpc unit. As long as you are realistic, it should work well in most applications.

It is fairly amazing to have a single box that does so much. Nothing else is needed to access Spotify's 20m song library, and features like the digital xo, full network support, USB, Airplay, etc are the icing on the cake. I am willing/happy to overlook the units other shortcomings.

Product Weakness: No analog
Product Strengths: Good sound, good price, good feature set

Associated Equipment for this Review:

Amplifier: NAD D 7050
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): NAD D 7050
Sources (CDP/Turntable): NAD D 7050
Speakers: Anthony Gallo Strada
Cables/Interconnects: None needed
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Rock, jazz, pop, classical, rap, electronic
Room Size (LxWxH): 20 x 18 x 14
Room Comments/Treatments: none
Time Period/Length of Audition: 1 week
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): Chang Lightspeed CLS3200
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: NAD D 7050 Integrated Amplifier (SS) - Les Anderson 12:24:28 03/8/15 ( 8)