NAD - C 388 - Integrated Amplifier
Thank you for visiting The Audio Tailor.
We’re Stuart, Gabby, Liam and Vaughan. It’s a pleasure to have you here!
The first question we get from customers usually starts with, “What’s the difference between...”
When you’re shopping for new speakers, a turntable, or even thinking of putting together that home theatre of your teenage dreams - you’ll likely be faced with stacks of comparisons.
Why would I buy the Bluesound Pulse 2i when the Flex 2i is half the price?
Is NAD the best?
Should I wait for a sale? Or get this now? What will I be missing out on when the new model comes out next year?
Endless questions. Lots of FOMO. Loads of hmm-ing and ha-ing.
And there SHOULD be.
Because you don’t go to a Hi-Fi store and drop $2000, $3000, or $15000 on something you're not 100%, positively, secure-in-your heart sure of.
It’s a lot of hard-earned money on the line.
Imagine doing hours of your own research. Reading up the suppliers’ websites, taking notes from Hi Fi blogs, categorizing the differing opinions as you trawl r/audiophile. You know what you’re getting. You’ve narrowed the online stores down to the final five. You’ve checked and re-checked that you’re getting the best deal. You’re sure you’re not getting ripped off by shipping.
You hit the “Checkout” button. Momentary relief!
Until your speakers haven’t arrived by the estimated delivery date and you have yet to hear a peep about its progress.
Until your new turntable arrives with a crack in the dust cover.
Until your long-awaited amp set-up fails to deliver the kind of sound you had in mind. Now you’re not even sure if you got the right one anymore, or how to troubleshoot it.
What could possibly be worse?
What about: No after-sales service. No phone number to call. And no one responding to your tickets.
Not to mention the hundreds of man hours you’ve already lost on reading layman opinions from the likes of Graham H. from Melbourne and Sarah D. from Perth; dutifully scrolling through pages and pages of reviews. Torturing yourself by looking for all the ones with less than 3 stars... when you could have been sitting back and diving into a whole new world of immersive sound and deliciously satisfying body vibrations.
Would it make sense to go to audio specialists that know brands, specs, and installation like the back of their hands?
Should you spend less time on weighing up pros and cons and more time enjoying good music?
Want to get the absolute best home theatre for your budget and surroundings without the weight of 100++ brand offerings bogging you down?
We like to think so!
And that’s why we’re here. Two things to know about us:
Thing 1: We were voted Australia’s 2021 Hi Fi Retailer of the Year (Yay! And THANK YOU!)
Thing 2: This is purely because we are sound specialists and audioheads - NOT salesmen.
We got into this business because we genuinely love audio and because we realized there was a lot of faceless dropshipping in the HiFi industry - and not enough expertise out there. People who keep coming back to us do so because they’re getting attention to detail and individualized solutions that they can’t find elsewhere.
Our clients don’t need to worry about budget, brand name, or size.
All they need to worry about, is talking to us.
Because, when you come to us, you’re in for a conversation.
We want to know the picture in your head.
That final portrait of you back from the flea market with Pearl Jam’s Ten, eager to place it gently upon a turntable you haven’t quite decided on yet.
A summer barbeque in your garden with the boys. Having a yarn around a beer-filled cooler while appreciating the crisp, clear, quality of sound streaming through the open doors of your listening space.
The kids having mates over - quiet for once - immersed in a good movie, lights out, in the comfort of the home theatre that is your pride and joy. “I wish we had one of these at our place!”
Once we know precisely what your ultimate scenario looks like, we’ll want to know what you’re working with.
What kind of budget have you set aside?
What’s the existing set-up look like?
How big is the listening room you have in mind?
How much ambient light is coming in?
Are you running drywall or wood panelling? Carpet or hardwood?
What about room resonance and reflection?
No idea what we’re going on about? No worries. We intend to talk you through all that. Our aim is that you get the absolute best sound system for your home, at a price point you’re happy with, and an aesthetic you can’t help but want to show off.
To get to this end goal, an unhealthy interest in all things audio simply isn’t enough. That’s why we spend countless hours behind the scenes sourcing products from only the most reliable brands and trustworthy suppliers - regardless of their branding and marketing.
We don’t rely on them to tell us what’s good about their equipment. We’ve developed our own proactive testing process to judge what’s what. So you get hands-on knowledge every single time. Coupled with our tight networks and stable supply chain meticulously refined over the years, we strive to ensure that the experience you get at The Audio Tailor is personal, seamless, and painless.
Personal, because it’s uniquely you in musicality, design, and taste. Your options are hand picked by us from amongst some of the world’s biggest, best, and most dependable brands.
Seamless, because we’re only small. You get one of us. Not one of dozens of salesmen milling about the place, working for commission and pushing the most expensive products.
Painless, because we don’t recommend anything until we’re clear about your needs. We follow up with you to make sure everything’s arrived in one piece. For us, the transaction isn’t over until your equipment is safely installed and fully satisfying.
Some of the big things we feel are missing in the HiFi world are:
- The need for expertise before, during, and after the sale
- A vast wealth of comparative knowledge, and
- A commitment to end-to-end service.
At The Audio Tailor, we hope we’ve made it clear that service doesn’t shut off when a problem pops up. It’s an opportunity to tighten the ship we run, bolster our 5-star reputation, and most importantly - make someone’s day.
Hi! We see you’ve actually made it to the end of this page. Love it!
We’d like to end this by giving a shout out to all the enthusiasts and audiophiles we’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years. It has been a privilege to share our desire, passion, and journey for the purest sound and finest entertainment solutions for your homes and businesses.
Thank you to all our customers - past, present, and future - for helping us chase after something above the ordinary.
To make your audio dreams come true - call, email, or hop on down to our Brisbane store.
We’re looking forward to meeting you!
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.
- 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
NAD’S NEW CLASSIC AMPLIFIERS. INTELLIGENT. POWERFUL. EFFICIENT.
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 equalisation, 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.
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 customised 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.
PREAMPLIFIER - Line Input, Pre Out
- THD (20Hz-20kHz): <0.005% at 2V out
- Signal/Noise Ratio: >106dB (IHF; A-weighted, ref. 500mV out, unity gain)
- Channel Separation: >80dB (1kHz); >70dB (10kHz)
- Input Impedance (R and C): 22 kilohm + 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
PREAMPLIFIER - 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)
PREAMPLIFIER - Line Input, Headphone Out
- THD (20Hz-20kHz): <0.005% at 1V out
- Signal/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
- 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 150W, 8 Ohm and 4 Ohm)
- Signal/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 Ohm, 20Hz and 6.5kHz)
- Frequency Response: ±0.03 (20Hz-20kHz)
- Channel Separation: >75dB (1kHz); >70dB (10kHz)
- Input Sensitivity (for 80W in 8 Ohm): Line In: 490mV; Phono In: 7.5mV; Digital In: 24% FS
- Sample Rate: up to 24 bit/192kHz
- Frequency Band: 2.402G – 2.480G
- Maximum Transmit Power (dBm): 7dBm ±2dBm
- 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): 0.1 Watts
* – 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 (17 1/8 x 4 3/4 x 15 3/8)”
- Net Weight: 11.2kg (24.7lb)
*Gross dimensions include feet, extended buttons and rear panel terminals
Welcome to The Audio Tailor’s NAD range.
If you’re looking for a turntable for your records or a good receiver to connect your input and output devices, then we’ve got a couple of sweet selections here.
But, if you need an amplifier, then don’t move. You’re definitely in the right place.
We have quite possibly the most comprehensive selection of NAD amplifiers in Australia at brilliant prices.
Know exactly what you want? Then head straight over to our list of pre, phono, power, integrated, or multi-channel amplifiers.
If you’re still trying to sort out which one is which, and deciding on what your hi-fi set-up needs; then you may have already gone down the Google and Reddit research route.
These are great places to start. By now, you most likely have an idea that NAD is a brand worth checking out for a few main reasons. Its pure, clean, powerful sound production is a given. Award-winning technology and design released year after year over the last five decades isn’t anything to overlook either.
You’ve skimmed through dozens of articles about the huge range of amps to suit all usages. You’ve whistled at the most technical “I finally found the perfect music set-up” blogs sporting two-box whozits and multi-channel whatzits. You might’ve weighed up just going for the easiest integrated plug-and-play solutions. Maybe you’ve taken it one step further and even watched the Youtube reviews comparing future upgrade pathways if you get that thing or the other one.
Either way, here you are.
At the core of it, NAD is a brand that prides itself on offering a kind of quality never seen before at its price point. Before NAD came on the scene, we audiophiles had The Super Expensive Good Stuff and the Mass Produced Knock-Offs, which while not the stuff dreams are made of, at least could be purchased without taking out a bank loan. To be honest, NAD has opened up a whole new world for seekers of unadulterated sound. One that we don’t need to sell a kidney for, which is lowkey, a huge plus.
If you’re still not 100% certain on what works best for you, there are two roads to take at this stage depending on the kind of person you are:
You’re an “After” person: Of the she’ll-be-right variety. Then, scroll on down and pick out whatever you need. Checkout is a breeze, and we’re always available on email or through the phone on 1300 308 711 if you have any questions while you’re setting up, or even after you’ve had it a while. We’re here in case anything goes wrong or could’ve gone better. We’ll do our best to sort you out if, and when you need us.
You’re a “Before” person: If you enjoy peace of mind before handing over your hard-earned cash, then sound advice and years of technical expertise is what you’re looking for. In that case, pop on by our Brisbane store and come talk to us in person. That’s the best way to ask a bunch of questions, look at the actual products, and listen to some of it in action. Not a people person? No worries. We man our email inbox regularly and are always available over the phone on 1300 308 711. Give us a yell before purchasing. We’ll help ensure you’re making the best choice out of tons of available NAD options.
Once we get you set up with the perfect amplifier for your set-up, then it’s time to tackle your wireless speaker game. Because, what’s the point of getting that crisp, clear sound if you can’t fill every nook and cranny of your living space with it? See you over at the best bluesound in Australia!