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Hybrid Digital Integrateds - any good?

Discussion in 'audio' started by pianoman, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. pianoman

    pianoman pfm Member

    Hi all,
    I'm seriously wondering about trying one of these, and I notice there are a few contenders, probably headed by the Nad D 3045, Quad Vena and Audiolab 6000A. These all offer more or less what I'm after connectivity-wise, and all seem around the same power rating. I just wondered if there are any users on any of these out there to share thoughts, experiences etc. I can't really try any so would have to plunge in, and at the moment the Nad tops it because of flexibility (on its side..!) but just weighing up the pros and cons. Any views?
  2. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    have a read what Joe said about his nad ,

    "I’ve owned a couple on your shortlist and I can confirm the Creek 100a and Cambridge Audio are amazing. The Evolution replaced my Naim Supernait 1 with HiCap DR and with just a tweak of the tone controls delivered the sound I always felt was missing. Interestingly, once I’d set the tone controls on an album I knew intimately, I never needed to touch them again. All my albums sounded fabulous. Same for the Cambridge, true high end bargain.

    One missing off your list which is a really incredible is the NAD C388. 150w per channel/tone controls/stunning MM phonostage/DAC on board/ It’s a compelling listen, I love the drive it has and the way the background is inky black silence."

    they seem to get excellent reviews
  3. Barbapapa

    Barbapapa pfm Member

    I posted my (positive) experience with the Quad Vena here and
  4. formbypc

    formbypc pfm Member

    I have a Vena in the TV room, mainly used for broadcast TV and DVD/BR viewing, but occasionally pressed into service for Bluetooth streaming from mobile devices, and for music playback through DVD/BR machines. It feeds a pair of Quad 11L speakers.

    I like it a lot.

    However, it did need to go in for warranty repair in the first year, when the logic circuits for input selection went awry, and it became unusable.
  5. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    The Quad Vena II is excellent and the internal phono stage is very good.
  6. simon g

    simon g Older, wiser but no longer retired

    In what way are any of these amps 'hybrid digital'? Most are Class D, one is Class A/B, all have digital inputs. Having digital inputs does not make them Hybrids.

    The Audiolab would be my choice, dependent on the load presented by your speakers and your sound preferemces.
  7. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Be aware that the presence of class D, SMPS, digital inputs, logic selection of inputs, digital vol controls etc will make these virtually non repairable by anyone other than the manufacturer, who would usually just fit a new board.
    Could be an expensive door stop a few years down the line... applies to most stuff that's "modern" in a digital, SMD kinda way...
  8. John

    John Rack’em Up!

    IOW, they provide no future business for you.
    drummerman and The Chronicals like this.
  9. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    What a cynical **** you are....
  10. Minio

    Minio Not flakey and never soggy ...

    So. To make a hybrid digital integrated you need a plain old integrated amplifier and you stick a dac in it?

    Et voila! Cest nouveau et fantastique. Je ne connai pas!?
  11. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader From the Dark Side

    Of course not and nor anyone else even the manufacturer. There was such a class D doorstop up for sale on PFM as it had been to a repair shop that reported a blown power supply and a dud channel but they couldn't (or wouldn't?) repair it. Most likely its only value is the casework and some of the hardware such as switches/knobs etc.

    I wanted to have my DAC upgraded with a USB port and was quoted £1600. When I queried this I was told that "no" the manufacturer doesn't upgrade the kit but throws out the old mother board and just replaces the whole thing.


  12. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    according to the bumpf the nad is a hybrid digital

    A prime example of what NAD stands for, the C 388 Hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier is at the top of its class in the world of affordable amplification. An incredibly powerful amp, the C 388 employs NAD technologies like Asymmetrical PowerDrive™ to ensure that even the most demanding speakers can be driven to life-like listening levels without dynamic compression. Thanks to its advanced preamplifier circuit, the C 388 gives low noise at all volume settings, ensuring that you’ll be able to listen to your music without any distractions. Another technology that’s available to the C 388 is the BluOS™ module, a music management system that can stream your music library wirelessly across your home Wi-Fi network. You can also instantly connect to the C 388 with Bluetooth® giving you access to various streaming services. With the ability to accommodate a variety of sources both past and present, the C 388 is a remarkably flexible product that will become a core addition to your home audio system.
  13. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader From the Dark Side

    I wouldn't call this approach hybrid rather some amps have analogue in and then converts to digital via an ADC and after processing its converted back to analogue via a DAC for class A/B or maybe directly into a class D output stage.


    Minio likes this.

    DAVEDWACK pfm Member

    Well I’ve been using a Nad D3020 for the last couple of years as my desk top amp outputting to decent speakers and headphones, it’s never missed a beat. I’ve been very happy with it but recently sold my Kef LS50s for the active Kef LXs making it surplus to requirements.

    It’s up for sale in the classifieds, should you be interested! (Blatent plug, I know but nothing ventured.....)

  15. pianoman

    pianoman pfm Member

    Thanks for some interesting observations...
    davedwack, I did notice your 3020 and admit mulling it over, it's just that the new 3045 is out now and more powerful. It would have to drive ProAc D15s, so hence me thinking about the higher power rating. But still, I'll give it some thought, certainly price-wise...

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