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NAD Adds Multiroom-Audio Amps

Pickering, Ontario – NAD Electronics cited the turnaround in the custom-install market in launching two new multichannel amplifiers intended primarily for multiroom-audio installs.

The products are the first multiroom-audio products from the brand in 10 years, and they will be complemented later this year with high-resolution network-streaming source components featuring BluOS, said Greg Stidsen, NAD’s director of technology and product planning. “We’re reentering the [custom] category.”

The two new amps are the $1,299-suggested eight-channel CI 980 with Class D switching-amp technology and the $799 four-channel CI 940 Class AB amp. Both are shipping.

Both are more compact and efficient than their predecessors and include improvements to the auto-sense turn-on circuit to work with a broader range of sources, Stidsen said. The CI980 is the company’s first Class D multiroom-audio amp.

High-efficiency Class D amplifier technology delivers lighter weight and cooler operation than other amp technologies, the company said. The CI 940’s Class AB technology is positioned as the best choice for the highest possible sound quality, delivering high dynamic power and low impedance drive capability, the company added.

The four-zone CI 980 is conservatively rated at 8×50 watts with all channels driven into 8 ohms. It’s also stable at lower impedances with long wire runs. The amp is also bridgeable to 4×120 watts into 8 ohms to drive two zones.

The two-zone CI 940 is rated at 4×35 watts into 8 ohms. It can be bridged to 2×100 watts to drive a single zone into 8 ohms. It features multiple discrete high-power output devices to deliver the instantaneous peak current required for controlled bass response, the company said. The power supply features very low impedance for lowest noise and a good damping factor, NAD added.

Both amps feature efficient switch-mode power supplies. Both are also designed for high reliability because they are stable into demanding loads, are fully protected from short circuits, and feature thermostatically controlled forced air-cooling to prevents overheating. Cooler operation also enables multiple amps to be placed in the same location without heat buildup.

Both are said to be easy to install because of their light weight, with the largest amp weighing less than 13 pounds. Also to make installation easier, their solid metal chassis comes with 2U ears for rack mounting.

For integrating with a distributed-audio system, both feature choice of DC trigger or signal-sensing auto-on with auto shut-off.

“With the custom installation market making a strong comeback, we felt there was an opportunity for fresh new thinking in high performance, multi-channel amplifiers,” said Greg Stidsen, NAD’s director of technology and product planning.