NAD C 388 Hybrid Digital DAC Stereo Integrated Amplifier

Brand: NAD Electronics
Product Code: C-388
$2,499.00 $2,299.00
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NAD's New Classic Amplifiers. Intelligent. Powerful. Efficient.

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. Connect to the C 388 instantly with Bluetooth® to give 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.

Expansive Power with Unprecedented Flexibility

The C 388 ties together all the critical elements of a top performing music system; music sources past, present, and future, in addition to providing a nearly unrestricted reservoir of power that allows your speakers to reveal every nuance of musical detail. This advanced amplifier includes many cutting edge technological breakthroughs developed by NAD over decades of creating affordable ultra-high performance audio components.

Getting the Basics Right

It is surprising how many seemingly advanced products in the market today often miss many of the most basic requirements for satisfying performance. NAD starts by getting these things precisely right and advances from there. We include an MM Phono stage with precisely accurate RIAA equalization, high overload margins, extremely low noise, and an innovative circuit to suppress infrasonic noise that is present on all LPs – all without affecting bass response. Our line inputs can accommodate all kinds of analogue source components by offering ideal input impedance characteristics with linear ultra-low-noise buffer amplifiers to prevent any sonic degradation. We include a separate headphone amplifier with low output impedance and very high output voltage capability – enough to drive even high impedance studio monitor headphones. Low impedance line outputs that can connect to other amplifiers or subwoofers extend the versatility of this well thought out amplifier.

Future-Proof Modular Design

This NAD exclusive feature allows you to customise your NAD amplifier with additional capabilities and features, now or in the future. The two available MDC slots can accommodate a variety of upgrade modules including 4K video capable HDMI switching, additional Digital Inputs, additional Analogue and Phono Inputs, and one of the most advanced Hi-Res Audio multi-room wireless systems available, the BluOS® music management system developed by Bluesound. BluOS connects to your network and is controlled via smartphone, tablet, or desktop device to manage your music collection and connect to a growing list of high-quality streaming music services.

Connected and Smart

Connect instantly to the C 388 via Bluetooth® aptX® to allow you to stream music wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled device with true CD-quality sound. Bluetooth can also be used to listen to other sources connected to the C 388 via wireless headphones such as NAD’s own HP70. There is also a control app that allows your mobile devices to control all functions of your C 388. Add the optional BluOS Module to provide access to your local area network via Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet connection and adds Hi-Res Audio streaming. The BluOS Module also makes the C 388 a single-zone streamer in a complete multi-room wireless music system that is fully compatible with BluOS Enabled music systems and wireless speakers.

Sophisticated Power

NAD has moved away from the old-fashioned power-hungry linear power supplies and Class AB output stages that waste nearly half of the energy consumed and produce heat rather than sound. Instead, we have developed even better performing circuits based on switch mode power supplies and Class D output stages. Once thought to be inferior to traditional topologies, NAD’s advanced work in this area has created some of the best performing amplifiers regardless of basic design principle. These new designs are very linear over a wide bandwidth and provide consistent performance into all speaker loads, providing a dramatic advance over previous models.

The power supply is capable of 150 watts continuously and over 250 watts instantaneously to allow for short-term musical transients. It can operate with any AC mains voltage from 100 to 240 volts and provides pure DC power to all the various stages of the C 388. This highly efficient supply also provides near perfect regulation of voltage across a wide range of conditions and provides a solid noise-free foundation for the amplifying stages.

The C 388 uses a customized version of the proven Hypex UcD output stage operating in a fully balanced bridge configuration. This allows for massive power with nearly immeasurable distortion and noise in the audible range. Every detail of this design has been carefully planned and perfectly executed to produce out every last drop of performance.


Key Features

  • 150W x 2 continuous power into 8 or 4 Ohms
  • Bluetooth A2DP with aptX supported
  • MM phono input
  • Analogue line inputs
  • USB port for service purposes
  • SPDIF coax and optical inputs
  • Speaker A, Speaker B
  • Preamp/subwoofer out
  • Headphone amplifier
  • MDC slots for future upgrades
  • IR remote
  • Smartphone control app
  • 12V trigger in/out
  • IR in/out
  • RS-232 serial port for control
  • Control4, Crestron, RTI, URC, AMX, Savant, Elan certified
Line Input, Pre Out
THD (20Hz-20kHz) <0.005% at 2V Out
Signal to Noise Ratio >106dB (IHF; A-Weighted, 500mV Out, Unity Gain)
Channel Separation >80dB (1kHz); >70dB (10kHz)
Input Impedance (R and C) 22 Kilo Ohm + 100pF
Maximum Input Signal >4.5Vrms (ref. 0.1% THD)
Output Impedance Source Z + 240 Ohm
Input Sensitivity 93mV (Ref. 500mV Out, Volume Maximum)
Frequency Response ±0.03dB (20Hz-20kHz)
Maximum Voltage Output – IHF Load >4.5V (Ref. 0.1% THD)
Tone Controls Treble: ±7.0dB at 20kHz / Bass: ±7.0dB at 60Hz / Balance: -10dB
Phono Input, Pre Out
THD (20Hz-20kHz) <0.01% at 2V Out
Signal to Noise Ratio >84dB (200 Ohm Source; A-Weighted, Ref. 500mV Out) / >76dB (MM Cartridge Source, IHF; A-Weighted, Ref. 500mV Out)
Input Sensitivity 1.44mV (Ref. 500mV Out, Volume Maximum)
Frequency Response ±0.3dB (20Hz-20kHz)
Maximum Input Signal at 1kHz >80mVrms (Ref. 0.1% THD)
Line Input, Headphone Out
THD (20Hz-20kHz) <0.005% at 1V Out
Signal to Noise Ratio >110dB (32 Ohm Loads; A-Weighted, Ref. 2V Out, Unity Gain)
Frequency Response ±0.3dB (20Hz-20kHz)
Channel Separation >60dB at 1kHz
Output Impedance 6 Ohms
Line Input, Speaker Out
Continuous Output Power into 4 Ohms and 8 Ohms (Stereo) >150W (At Rated THD, 20-20kHz, Both Channels Driven)
IHF Dynamic Power 8 Ohm: 250W / 4 Ohm: 350W / 2 Ohm: 400W
THD (20Hz-20kHz) <0.02% (250mW to 80W, 8 Ohm and 4 Ohm)
Signal to Noise Ratio >95dB (A-Weighted, 500mV input, ref. 1W out in 8 Ohm)
Clipping Power >160W (At 1kHz 0.1% THD)
Peak Output Current >20A (In 1 Ohm, 1ms)
Damping Factor >150 (Ref. 8 Ohms, 20Hz and 6.5kHz)
Frequency Response ±0.03dB (20Hz-20kHz)
Channel Separation >75dB (1kHz) / >70dB (10kHz)
Input Sensitivity (for 80W in 8 Ohms) Line In: 490mV; Digital In: 24% FS
Sample Rate Up to 24 bit/192kHz
Frequency Band 2.402G-2.480G
Maximum Transmit Power (dBm) 7dBm ±2dBm
Power Consumption
At Auto Standby ON and Network Standby OFF 0.5 Watts*
At Auto Standby ON and Network Standby ON 1.2 Watts**
OFF mode (Power switched OFF) 10.1 kg

* After 20 minutes of no user interface interaction and no active source input.

** With established wireless Bluetooth connectivity and 20 minutes of no user interface interaction and no active source input.

NOTE: Bluetooth connectivity is always live when configured.

Weight & Dimensions
Gross Dimensions (W x H x D)* 435 x 120 x 390mm
Net Weight 11.2 kg
Shipping Weight 13.6 kg

* Gross dimensions include feet, extended buttons and rear panel terminals.

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