I purchased the NAD some years ago to power my Dynaudio BM6 (passive version).
The sound is very good for a little amp. Very dynamic and lively. It drives my Dynaudios very well compared to my previous amp and the sound is natural and warm. The amp is not the most detailed one but still it is a very good balance for the price. Let’s see if we can make it even better.
The NAD C316 is built for simple setups. It lacks some preamp output but this is useless if you just want to drive a good paire of monitor without willing to add subwoofers or external power amp.
Still it have an integrated headphone amp, various usefull imputs, speaker sockets with banana plugs ( you need to drill a cap to be able to reveal/use them)…
I decided to open up and see what we have inside regarding the capacitors. I will slowly replace them by better ones and maybe try different capacitance values to see the impact on sound.
- PCB circuit board:
The Amp sits in a 1U frame with a nice sized Toroidal Transformer. I’m not a pro at electronics but I can spot a big heatsink, the two bulbs for the powerdrive system on the left under the transformer.
The two main Caps filtering power are SAMXON 10000uf 63v 105° (situated right side of the heat sink). They have been reliable so far and I dont know if I will replace them in the first place.
Next after there is two 2200 uf / 50V and one 4700 uf / 35V situated close to the Motorised volume control potentiometer.
There is also lot of smaller caps for input / output / internal Preamp section and Volume control
I spotted that these caps are mainly 100 uf 50v and 220 uf 10v or 50v. there is also some smaller capacitors of 10uf / 50v and 47uf /50v values. They are mainly from brand JH.
I ordered a stock of Nichicon FG (Fine Gold) and Nichicon Fw (Standard audio) capacitors in order to perform my replacement.
What is very nice with the conception of this amp is the removable bottom plate under the amp’s frame. This allows for an easy access to major components and makes it easier for servicing the amp: un-soldering / soldering parts … A good engineering job done by Nad People.
- Capacitors replacement and feedback:
At this stage you see lot of capacitors on the preamplifier stage replaced by Nichicon Fine Gold and UFW. I tried Higher value on the sinal path (330uf 50v instead of 220 uf 25v) but the result is too much cut on the bass frequency despite more details in treble. I will have to go back and replace the two 330uf Nichicong Fg byt two 220uf Nichicon Fg (same capacitance as original. All other caps are same value as original but with better voltage characteristics when I can fit phisically larger caps. At this stage I hear already more details in the midrange and treble and the deph of the sound/imaging is improved.
Here is the final recap done. Most of the capacitors of the NAD C316 are replaced by nichicon uFW and the two main caps for the preamp are 220uf Nichicon UFG.
I left some hard to acces caps + the two main samxon 10k UF caps and also two 2200 uf blue caps neer volume control. Sonnd improved a lot in the midrange and treble region.
Bass is somehow less proeminent but more tight controled and precise. I’m happy with the final result. the global sound is kind of upgraded compared to before the recap.