NAD Electronics C388 Hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier

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Model: C 388 UPC: 5703120230498 Item: 168200

Product Information

NAD's New Classic Amplifiers - Intelligent, Powerful, Efficient

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. Low noise circuits, precise volume control action, accurate channel balance, proper input and output impedance characteristics, high overload margins and stability with difficult speaker loads.

NAD starts by getting these things precisely right and advances from there. They include an MM Phono stage with precisely accurate RIAA equalization, 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. The 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 caused by inappropriate loading of the source device. NAD has also included 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. These are all details you can hear.

Future-Proof Modular Design

This NAD exclusive feature allows you to customize 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 additional Digital Inputs, additional Analogue 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

You can connect instantly to the C 388 with Bluetooth, allowing you to stream music wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled device. The high performance aptX codec is fully supported for 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 smartphone or tablet to control all functions of your C 388. Adding the optional BluOS Module provides 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. These are available in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit every room and extend the performance of your primary music system to create a warm ambience of sound in your home.

Sophisticated Power

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, they 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 customized 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 wring out every last drop of performance.



  • Continuous output power into 4Ω and 8Ω (Stereo): >150W (at rated THD, 20 - 20kHz, both channels driven)
  • IHF dynamic power
    • 2Ω 400W
    • 4Ω 350W
    • 8Ω 250W
  • THD (20Hz - 20kHz): <0.03% (250mW to 80W, 8 ohm and 4 ohm)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: >95dB (A-weighted, 500mV input reference. 1W out in 8Ω)
  • Damping factor: >150 (reference 8Ω, 20Hz and 6.5kHz)
  • Frequency response: ±0.03dB (20Hz and 20kHz)
  • Channel separation
    • >75dB (1kHz)
    • >70dB (10kHz)
  • Standby power: <0.5W
  • Inputs
    • Digital: Coax x2, Optical x2
    • Analogue: Line In x2, Moving Magnet Phono
    • Preamp (0.3mV input sensitivity reference 200mV pre-out)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 17 1/8" x 4 3/4" x 15 3/8"
  • Net weight: 24.7 lbs.
  • Amazon Alexa compatibility

What's in the Box

What's in the Box:

  • C 388 Hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier
  • Power cord
  • HTR remote
  • AA batteries



We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a review.

Customer Reviews for NAD Electronics C388 Hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier

5.0 / 5.0
2 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
Imac, Ipad, Iphone and AUDIOLAB Streamer and CD transport ... SO FAR SO GOOD...
This review was collected as part of a promotion
March 24, 2020
over 3 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Perfect for me. Solid
This review was collected as part of a promotion
January 1, 2019
over 4 years ago


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