NAD 116 Preamplifiers

116

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
LPCAUDIO   AudioPhile [Nov 28, 2009]

If you have the oppurtunity to come accross this pre-amp, then consider your-self very fortunate. Excellent piece of electronic engeneering. This one of a kind device will bring out the most subtle detail of any media you decided to run through it. The best part, XLR Balanced outputs!
I have mind hooked up to a RANE ME60 EQ, and then through a RANE AC23. After that it breaks up into 4 Carver PM series amplifiers. The highs are handle by (2) Carver PM-300 bridge to provide fully balanced audio signal output for Left and Right channels. The Mids are handle by (2) Carver PM-600 bridge to provide the same fully audio signal output for Left and Right channels. The Lows are handle by (2) JBL E250P on each Left and Right Channel in addition to also (2) M&K 76 that are assinged to the Left and Right channel also. All audio interconnects between devices is purely Balanced/XLR. As far as power filtration and stabalization a Monter Power HTS 3500 is at the heart of everything.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
hyperpsyched   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 12, 2007]
Strength:

Sound staging... both width and depth.
Great phono section.

Weakness:

Some input cross talk at dangerous, neigh, obscene volume levels.

First, the MSRP listed here is a joke. If you find this unit used for that price then you have made out like a bandit!

This preamp replaces the preamp section on a NAD 306 that itself replaced a RC 980 BX preamp. I can only really compare it to the sound of the preamp section of the NAD 306. The NAD 306 preamp section itself was far better than the RC 980 alone. The 316 is, comparatively speaking, fantastic. Clear wide sound stage and the transparency and depth is the best I have yet heard. I am a vinyl lover so a good phono section is important and the 316 does NOT disappoint. I have found that the phoho section on NAD units has always been a strong point and this is even more true of the 316. Quiet and capable of pulling great detail out of my vinyl. Sounds very natural and open compared to the pinched harshness of the RC 980's phono section. Quite often I find the speakers just disappear into the soundstage, a trick the Rotel could never pull.

I have noticed some tuner and cd bleed through into but ony at volumes that would shred by power amps (bi-amping two Rotel RB-03's) and probaby cause tweeters in my speakers to burst into flames. Not a problem. Though to be honest this is one problem I did not notice with the RC 980. But the Rotel always produced some white noise, even at 0 volume.

There was also a striking difference in bass reponse. Whereas my speakers always seamed anemic in the bass department with the Rotel they came alive with the NAD. This I discovered when spinining Bullet in the Head by Rage Against the Machine. Deep controlled bass. The mid-range is also very nicely articulated. Higher frequencies such as cymbal strikes are never harsh, but then my speakers have never been bright. However they seemed harsher with the Rotel in the chain.

To summarize, I find the NAD 316 much more musical and less fatiguing then the RC 980 BX which the NAD 316 replaced. This is only my highly subjective opinion of course. That said, I recommend the 316 if you can find it.

Similar Products Used: ROTEL RA 712
ROTEL RC 980BX
ROTEL RA 921
NAD 3249PE
NAD 306
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
LowHighEnd   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 28, 2004]
Strength:

Clean and detailed. Good frequency responce.

Weakness:

Selectable tone controls. I don't want them there but my neighbours would surely love them.

Bought this preamplifier, after been using my C320 as such, driving one NAD2400. (later on upgraded to two NAD2400, one 2400 bridged amplifier per channel. ) I wasn’t surprised that I would sound better when using a separate preamplifier setup, but this little thinge is SOOOOO good. Clean, sparkling and detailed sound. I can only agree with all the good words in the other reviews. (Slight tuner bleed thru at highest volume, but in my system using the dual NAD 2400 this volume level would be bizarre and Hazardous.) If you spot this amplifier second hand, buy it!! It’s woth every penny!

Similar Products Used: C320(as preamp.), NAD240, NAD 3020.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Art J.   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 21, 2000]

Very clean and neutral.The other reviews talk of this so I won't repeat.What I can add is,If you experience a hum in the headphone jack it is because the wires to the headphone jack were bundle tied to the power transformer wires.DUHH (The China connection?)Just cut them free of the bundle and move them aside.NAD may be lowering its standards,the 317 is a real HUM-dinger.Keep an eye on them in the future,but THIS product is a real good one.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Deepak Krishnankutty   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 31, 2000]
Strength:

Neutral, balanced sound.
Performance far exceeds the price.

Weakness:

Can have better feet; the plastic ones are tacky.
That's it !

The fact that the 116, like many NAD components, is not manufactured in the UK anymore, does not diminish it's design and quality.
This preamp is spot-on for those who want a more refined sound without spending too much. It performs exceedingly well with the NAD 218 power amp (225wpc) and will drive most speakers comfortably. It's remote provides source switching too, which is a nice feature.
Good balanced cables do make a distinct improvement in the overall sound of this amp.
Good buy - highly recommended !

Similar Products Used: Arcam, Rotel
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Lee Smith   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 16, 2000]

The 116 preamp is an excellent example of what NAD is famous for...top of the line performance for a reasonable price. This unit is very musical (spelled uncolored). The very quiet phono preamp is a real plus for those of us who still have real records to play. Balanced and unbalanced outputs are provided along with a slick remote control. I used to own an NAD authorized service center, and unlike some, I have always admired NAD. These products have been the best bargain in stereo for 20 years and, in my opinion, they still are.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Keith   Audiophile [May 10, 2001]
Strength:

Clean sound. No pointless tone controls, penty of gold plated inputs/outputs. Balanced outputs. Precise volume control. Quiteter than a mouse. Simple topology. Revealing. Good quality components on the inside. Dedicated headphone amp. Clean styling.

Weakness:

None - the best value I've experienced to date.

I can't say enough good things about this preamp. There's no need for tone controls when running this with an amp of reasonable power such as NAD's own 208 or 218THX. Try to find a better value. The price I paid was a steal for a brand new unit. Funny thing is that the model which replaced this gem (Model C 160) hasn't gotten as good of reviews. And they plagued it with pointless tone controls.

Similar Products Used: NAD 917, Adcom GTP 500II, Adcom GTP 450, NAD 110.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Marc Petrillo   an Audiophile [Jun 29, 1998]

The NAD 116 Pre-amp($799.00 US) Is probably the best buy in an audiophile quality pre-great balance in sound quality from bottom to top, no harshness or graininess like some others. It's Moving coil phono section is easily worth half it's price, plus it;s got a full function remote, to boot.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Eric Mitchell   an Audio Enthusiast [Jan 19, 1999]

I've owned the 116 for a little over a year. For the money, its pretty hard to beat, and I didn't pay anywhere near $799 for it. Its available mail order at discount.
To my ears, its a very nuetral pre-amp, lending little or no color to the music I listen to, to the extent that it can expose weaknesses elsewhere in a system. There are no bells and whistles. Just quality components and a the necessary feature set.

Subjectively, I replaced a NAD Dolby Pro Logic pre-amp and was MUCH happier with the sound. I've swapped in various Rotel and ADCOM units and still prefer the 116.

The addition of a good phono stage is a boon for anyone into LP's on a budget. I haven't used it yet so I must reserve comment in terms of sound quality. I've 'heard" from others thats its quite nice.

Of course, any system is a synergy, and mine is as follows:

NAD 214 amp (next piece to be replaced...)
NAD 514 CD (very happy with this unit)
B&W 601 speakers (bi-wired)
Straightwire Chorus speaker cable

I'm sure there is better sound to be had if the finances permit, but for this price point you might be hard pressed to beat it.

It's really about 4.5 price/performance, but I'm rounding up. Someone else can do us a civic duty and round down next time :-)

Highly recommended. Enjoy.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Antti   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 07, 2000]
Strength:

Very good sounding. Excellent bass. Nice finish. Very good signal/noise ratio.

Weakness:

Complex, ugly remote.

I sold my previous pre-amplifier (Rotel rc-972) and bought this at same price. The difference in sound _is_ clear. Nad 116 has excellent signal/noise ratio. Different sound sources do NOT sound thru even if volume is at max. Rotel didn't perform so well with this one.

Nad also delivers great, deep bass. I myself find it an excellent for computer based music.
With natural music Nad performs very well too. Stereo image is good also(but not so clear as rotel rc-972).

Only drawback in NAD 116 is the remote. It looks ugly, and isn't very good in use either.

NAD 116 is a great product.

My system:
Nad 116 pre-amplifier
Rotel rb-981 power-amplifier
JVC XL-F216 CD-player
Pioneer F-204RDS Tuner
Or 260Hi Speakers

Similar Products Used: Rotel rc-972
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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