FULL DIS­CLO­SURE POWER

Sound + Image - - Nad -

Where many man­u­fac­tur­ers pull ev­ery trick out of the book to try to get the big­gest pos­si­ble num­ber for their power spec­i­fi­ca­tions, NAD made an early de­ci­sion to buck the trend and de­liver re­li­able prop­erly-stated fig­ures that might ac­tu­ally be use­ful for as­sess­ing an am­pli­fier’s per­for­mance. The dif­fer­ence in the re­sult­ing num­bers could be enor­mous — so this left NAD spec­i­fi­ca­tion sheets over the years of­ten show­ing sig­nif­i­cantly lower power rat­ings than ri­vals. But it has worked in the long run, be­cause ev­ery­one — even jaded hi-fi re­view­ers like us — trust NAD power rat­ings. In­deed we of­ten find they are, if any­thing, un­der­stated. Our typ­i­cal com­ment in NAD am­pli­fier re­views is that an am­pli­fier is rated to, say, 40W — “but re­mem­ber these are ‘NAD watts!’”

The 1977 3080 am­pli­fier was the first to make a point of quot­ing Full Dis­clo­sure Power (FDP) into 2 ohms — some­thing no other com­pany was do­ing, or in­deed could do, be­cause their amps most likely couldn’t face a two-ohm load with­out fail­ure.

But! — says NAD of­ten as an im­por­tant fi­nal mes­sage — “in the end, it’s not rat­ings you lis­ten to; it is music or movies play­ing through loud­speak­ers in your lis­ten­ing room. In other words, your own ears will tell you ev­ery­thing you need to know about power.”

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