NAD 2600A Amplifiers

2600A

150 Watt Monitor Series Power Amplifier - Power Envelope - Bridging - Input Level Controls (1987-1991)

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
milosz   AudioPhile [Apr 09, 2011]

First off, note that the NAD Monitor Series 2600A power amp is the same as the power amp section of the NAD 7600 receiver. 7600 receiver is on of the best receivers ever made, great sounding tuner, good preamp and darn good discrete FET phono stage.

The "house sound" of NAD amps in the late 1980's was a slightly less strident high end on top of good mids and powerful, well controlled bass. What you'll notice with an NAD amp compared to many other solid state designs is that the highs sound less brittle, less harsh. The sound is definitely "poor mans high end." It's not as transparent or tube-like as a Nelson Pass class A design, but then it costs way less. And the bass is every bit as good as any amp out there. The "Power Envelope" design is a commutating power supply scheme that allows a very large, solid power headroom. I can't imagine you could run out of steam using this amp in a home setting. This amp is rated at 150 watts RMS / channel long term but they often actually measure more like 200 watts, and then on top of that they have a full 6 dB of headroom. That's 800 watts per channel at 8 ohms available for about a half second provided by the "power envelope" feature. The power envelope feature really does work, and since most extreme power or current requirements for music are for large transients- think bass drum whack- the ability to provide huge reserves for undistorted transients gives this amp a dynamic ability that few other amps can match, and certainly NO OTHER amps you can routinely buy for under $200 on eBay come anywhere NEAR this amp's sonics. They are also very stable into low impedance loads, I use mine to drive 2 ohms subs. DO NOT GO BELOW 4 OHMS IF YOU ARE USING THIS IN BRIDGED MODE. In bridged mode,each output stage sees 1/2 the load. That means if using a 2 ohm subwoofer array each output stage will be working into 1 ohm. That may be too much to ask in terms of long term reliability!

One problem that all older NAD gear can suffer from is intermittent speaker relay contacts. The contact seem to go bad. The parts are available, but replacing the relays is a bit of a chore. I've never tried using De-Ox-It to try to clean the relays, maybe that would work.

Build quality is not up to "audio jewelery" standards, but for mass market gear it is pretty good.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
shark777   AudioPhile [May 08, 2009]

I have a NAD C272 in my first system and wanted to upgrade my second system.I purchased a perfect cosmetic 2600A on Ebay for $150.The sonic upgrades were amazing after replacing my audiosource amp100 on my second system.A must buy if you find one in decent condition around $100-$200.I paid $699 for my NAD C272 and they are both 150 Watts per in 8 OMHS.The 2600A is equal in qulaity and sonics to the C272 in every way.I wish I thought of this before I plunked down the $699.Anyway this is a great amp with wonderful warm sound,nice bass, and soundstage.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bryndildaddy   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 30, 2009]

Originally I had purchased this amp as part of a subwoofer project, since it can deliver 250 watts in bridged mode. Instead, I rotated this amp into my system for a months time inbetween running a B&K 4420EX and McInthosh MC2125. Though it is kinda silly to expect the 2600a to match the build quality of those two units, it is quite sturdy and barely broke a sweat during usage.

I found this NAD to have a very forward, punchy sound, especially following the smooth, dark, analytical B&K. After dialling back mids and tweets I found the listening experience to be very enjoyable. This amp projects a massive sound stage, but ultimately lacks a certain amount of inner detailing. I can't imagine running short of usable power with it - this amp has really nice amount of head room and consistently ran cool. The adjustacle inputs were a nice touch, as well.

If your listening style and system leans to the analytical, I would probably recommend this as a backup, but otherwise, if you can find one cheap it has gobs of stable power, and can be bridged to 250.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
karister   Casual Listener [Mar 28, 2009]

This is an excellent sounding and vary stable, sturdy amp. I like the warmth, detail, broad and the deep sound-stage. I never had to crank it up more than 10-11 position and it's a very reliable peace of equipment. Like the fact the whole top part of the cover has plenty of ventilation and it won't heat up as some others do, due to lengthy operation. Though it's almost twenty years old, it can stand up to any amp within it's price range hands down. I think if one can get their hands on a nice amp like this on the used market in good condition, they should go for it and I'm sure you'll like it how good of a amp it is.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Con Dempsey   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 12, 2009]

I Have no idea when this amp was made but I'm guessing late 80s. I scored mine in a pawn shop for forty bucks without having listened to it at all, I then had to go out and get an old 70s Holman pre-amp ($350) oh they pair up sweet just turn on the supply by turning up this amp and you will hardly have to move your preamp a few positions up the volume nob to understand what kind of power your working with. You definitely need some banana plugs because the connections are poor in the back and this can cause the channels to cut out intermittently, spent the evening soldering and now I can really let this thing loose without worrying a bit about cut out. I might have to buy my neighbors some ear plugs or whiskey cause they'll be listening to my music clear as a bell if I'm not carefully. Bring on the power gonna need some spikes to hold my speakers Polk R 16. This is a value set up and will make as much clear noise as any sane person could want.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Nigelaudio   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 21, 2005]
Strength:

Honest, uncoloured sound. Will play anything anytime time and will involve the listener, demanding thier attention. Price. Easy to repair. Build and it's wieght (if you like heavy).

Weakness:

Age. Poor binding posts.

Firstly, thank you to all those who wrote on this site recommending this amp! I probably would not have bought it without you! This must this would have to be one of THE BEST hi-fi, a/v items I've bought. The sound is clean, honest, accurate, involving, enjoyable, etc. Words really do no justice. I bought the amp 18/7/05 and I think it has had a hard life as there are scratches and other marks on it's case. However, the internals looked great and solid. The binding posts were in bad shape, so that was my first job. Unfortunatly, I had to install brand new ones as the originals were beyond repair. While drilling new holes, the drill bit clipped a diode on the circuit. A little clumsy of me! The good news is that the base of the amp screws off which allowed easy acces to every part on the circuit! I just matched the good diode with a new one and soldered them in place. Easy! This amp will portray exactly what is on the source, so bad recordings will not be let off the hook. The good news is that good recordings will sound excellent. I could hear clearly Tori Amos' breathing patterns on several of her songs, this was a pretty good factor if you 'really' like Tori, as I do! The attack of Nirvana's 'In Utero' was really compelling. The soothing sublime voice of Sade was super cool! With Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds every instrument and voice can be heard in it's place. I highly recommend this amp as part of a hi-fi or home thearte!

Similar Products Used: About 4 different Yamaha a/v recievers. A Sherwood reciver. 3 different Rotel power amps.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
psonic   AudioPhile [Jun 23, 2004]
Strength:

Clarity, separation, bass output.

Weakness:

Heavy & large, but not bad by amplifier standards.

Very good amplifier for the money. Has tremendous output and bass yet all the detail is there, and all done with complete and utter ease. Transparency, soundstage, tonality, and yes even sweetness are there. This never sounds distorted or tired, just the opposite. I have never heard hip hop sound so good, and I usually listen to rock. Power is not just about loudness, it does so much more...

Similar Products Used: NAD ROTEL B&K ADCOM
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 16, 2003]
Strength:

Everything... Price, sound, clearity... Did I mention price?

I've had this amp for over year now and I'm still amaized every time I fire it up. The sound is so clean and crisp at any volume that I won't give this amp up for anything else, well perhaps a Krell or Mark Levinson, but this is a whole other league. This amp can't be beat. I'll put up against any Hafler, Carver or anything other solid state from the era.

Similar Products Used: NAD 2400 Carver M1.0T Adcom GFA series
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Craig   AudioPhile [Jun 24, 2003]
Strength:

Lots of amp for the money. Good build quality and parts quality.

Weakness:

Not made anymore. Can be hard to find a good one--many have been abused. Shop carefully.

An excellent value. To buy a new stereo amp of this quality you'll need to spend $3000+. Parts quality and build quality of Monitor Series components was very good for the money. With my PSB Silvers, the 2600A has a clean, warm, open sound with lots of bottom end. Very good soundstaging and lifelike imaging. Plenty of power--I've never been able to drive it to soft clipping in my large living room, and I often listen loud. Using this as just a subwoofer amp is a waste, in my opinion. For brute power, there are lots of fairly inexpensive choices. This amp has finesse, in addition to lots of power.

Similar Products Used: Carver M-1.0t NAD 2400 NAD 214 AR Amp NAD 702
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
nckempfert   AudioPhile [Feb 02, 2003]
Strength:

Individual channel level control!

Weakness:

Slight hum when there is no source component powered on...disappears when a source is powered up, though.

I bought the NAD amp as a temporary solution to a lack of power in my system, and was planning to upgrade shortly thereafter. However, after hearing the NAD on my Klipsch Reference series loudspeakers I realized that this amp is nothing to sneeze at! The power and punch is spectacular, for the price, it simply cannot be beat. I have never heard it distort in any way, and the amp handles everything I throw at it, from the blunt sounds of rock to detailed jazz steel guitar. Spectacular!

Similar Products Used: Pioneer DVD, K/K receiver
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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