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Saturday, March 19, 2016

NAD refurbished at Spearit Sound

I had a really great experience this past week buying a refurbished NAD C326BEE integrated amplifier online from Spearit Sound.  I took the opportunity to ask some questions about NAD refurb in general, and Mr. Dick Moulding, who is the General Manager, got back to me promptly with some answers.  My questions:

 1.) What’s with the cocoon foam packing in the box?  Is it sprayed in by NAD after the factory completes its quality testing? This may seem like a dumb question but I have a few other factory refurbished items from other companies and never saw the likes of it.

2.) Spearit has a good selection of refurbished equipment, which for the nascent or cheap buyer is something of a Godsend.  For example, in this case I was looking for a smaller, inexpensive but high quality amp to take with me to the listening rooms of friends, with the intention of writing about their rooms and setups for Bad Audio Reviews.  I wanted a piece that would be consistent in all settings, and a more expensive amp didn’t make sense.  NAD was a perfect choice.  What makes you as the retailer choose to offer a particular product or line as a refurbished product?  Must you also carry “A-stock” of the brand?

3.) I own an NAD 3125 that is probably 30 years old and it works flawlessly.  There seems to have been a period where NAD went through some difficulties with quality control.  Would you be able to comment on that?  Does the company seem to be past this problem?  I have heard similar things about Cambridge Audio (I would understand if you chose not to comment here).

4.) What generally is the availability of refurbished products, especially for NAD?  Should I be encouraging friends to order now before things run out?

And here were his answers:

1.)     The foam-in-place packing is done by NAD after they have finished refurbishing the unit.  The advantage of this type of packing is that it conforms to the unit no matter what the size or shape.  It also protects from all angles.

2.)     Our relation with NAD goes back to the very beginnings of the company.  We are honored to be NAD’s exclusive seller of refurbished products and one of their top authorized Internet sellers of A-stock as well.

3.)     Parts quality and build quality of current NAD’s is highest it has ever been.  If you take the cover off your 3125 and compare it side-by-side to the C 326BEE you just purchased I think you will be very impressed.  In the past, people loved NAD’s because the design and the performance was so insanely ahead of the pack for a given price that it didn’t matter if it wasn’t all that extravagantly built.  Now that performance comes with a rather nice build.

4.)     Availability depends on the time of year and the model.  It’s always worth a look at the Spearit Sound website to see what we have.

Thank you Mr. Moulding, for taking the time to respond.  As I said in an earlier post, I got the C326BEE for $379 shipped, and I had it in two days.  I haven't had the time to do a full listen and write up, but we plan to use it as the travelling amplifier, so we will get to know it well.  Definitely check out Spearit of you're looking for NAD gear.  

here are some quick pictures in the Am light of the C326BEE.  You may see that there are some very slight marks on the top apron for the front face plate, and the top edge is slightly rough in a few spots, perhaps where the tech had to wrangle it off or on during the refurbishment process.  The face plate is all plastic, as are the various control knobs, so I would imagine that it would be easy to damage them if one were not careful.  Regardless, at $379 the marks are very, very minor and I did not notice them until I got the camera close.  I think the C326BEE retails new for around $550, so I'd have to look at its competition at that level to see how it does build-quality wise.  The interior looks very well laid out and uses quality parts, and with NAD that has always been most important.  I would like to compare it to the Yamaha A-S500 integrated and see how it stands up, or the Onkyo 9010A.  I have the NAD hooked up to the Dynaudio Focus 220s today and we shall see how it does with them.


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