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NAD 3020

Stereo Integrated Amplifier (1980-88)

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NAD 3020

Description

The NAD 3020 can be used as the heart of an elaborate audiophile sound system.

For example, the pre-amp out jacks may be connected via a stereo patch cord to any high quality separate power amplifier.

To use a separate high power amplifier for your main stereo speakers while continuing to use the nad 3020'S inbuilt power amp for headphones or extension speakers, simply install Y adaptors to split the signal from the pre-amp out jacks.

The pre-amp stage is capable of driving several power amplifiers in parallel, or the long signal cables required to connect to power amplifiers located near the speakers, or to powered speakers.

Specifications

  • Power output: 20 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

    Frequency response: 10Hz to 70kHz

    Total harmonic distortion: 0.02%

    Damping factor: 55

    Input sensitivity: 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (line)

    Signal to noise ratio: 75dB (MM), 110dB (line)

    Dimensions: 420 x 96 x 240mm

    Weight: 5.26kg

  • Power output: 25 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

    Frequency response: 10Hz to 70kHz

    Total harmonic distortion: 0.02%

    Input sensitivity: 0.18mV (MC), 2.7mV (MM), 180mV (line)

    Signal to noise ratio: 73dB (MC), 75dB (MM), 104dB (line)

    Dimensions: 96 x 420 x 240mm

    Weight: 5.26kg

  • Power output: 20 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

    Frequency response: 6Hz to 80kHz

    Total harmonic distortion: 0.03%

    Damping factor: 40

    Input sensitivity: 2.4mV (MM), 150mV (line)

    Signal to noise ratio: 75dB (MM), 100dB (line)

    Dimensions: 80 x 420 x 250mm

    Weight: 5kg

    Price: GBP £149 (1991)

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Reviews

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rating
Reviewed Sep 18th, 2019 by 1JGP1

Certainly an interesting integrated amplifier, born out out of necessity to create a value for the dollar peoples amplifier.
Certainly affordable, the 3020 outsold most amplifiers at it's time. Today, still very obtainable & functional. I decided to take one for a spin the other week, I am pretty critical of good amplifiers (having over 70 of them over the years). The little NAD can be described as the little amp that could - gutsy, plenty of drive, ability to drive difficult loudspeakers, and pretty decent sounding.
It has its quarks, the RCA's on the back are suspect for channel drop outs and grounding problems, and the construction (being a bit cheap) the culprit for bad solder joints (particularly at the speaker outputs).
That aside, it's a splendid little amplifier. I was outright shocked with the bottom end...I run a pair of 4.5 fullrange speakers right now & I've never heard an amplifier take control of them as the little NAD can. I mean, where the heck did that bass come from!!?
Now for the downside, the midrange can get a bit muddy and confused at times - it's not as refined as I'd like to hear, but it is by no means a 1K+ amplifier either!
I think it does a darn good job overall and is certainly (for the cost) a no brainer when it comes to vintage audio.

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Reviewed Jun 25th, 2019 by David Meyer

As my Granpa died the family wanted to throw away his whole HIFI-rack, including the 3020. Luckily I instisted on keeping this beauty. Blasting all day, never thought that this little guy could drive AMT1 so precise!

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Reviewed Nov 22nd, 2018 by dcgibson55

I bought mine in 1980. It still sounds as good as new.

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Reviewed Oct 22nd, 2018 by viv1972

Iconic piece of audio history,sheer brilliance for the price. I love mine, have all the variants(series 20, B , I )

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Reviewed Apr 26th, 2018 by novy07

Very surprising amp or pre amp for the price

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Reviewed May 06th, 2017 by Kristian Löveborg

Very nice sound, great for biamp

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Reviewed May 11th, 2016 by fuse

You know this little unit has something special when even the folks who own $12,000 amplifiers either have a 3020 - or want one.
I love this amp. I am currently using it as a preamp, and as the power amp for my LINN Sara tweeters, bi-amped with a Nikko Alpha II for the woofers. What a great system.
If you are looking for an inexpensive system that stands up to the expensive gear, and would like it to have enough options for various upgrades, this is your amp. GO NAD!

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Reviewed Mar 18th, 2015 by RolandTR505

This isn't a bad amp but I think it is a bit overrated. It was very great value for the money when it arrived, but in my opinion it's not brilliant that some might want to acclaim. For some reason this amp has a nostalgic aura around it which - I think - blurres the ability to be objective. My 3020 B did a good job with bookshelf speakers but was a bit harsch in the treble region. For me it was an average amp.

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Reviewed Mar 14th, 2014 by almarg4748

Punchy and accurate sound. Immensely reliable; mine is nearly 40 years old and feeding equally old KLH speakers, I haven't heard a better system since! Because of it's discrete power stages and toroidial transformers it has instantaneous response to dramatic music whilst staying crystal clear. Despite being designed for vinyl it is far more powerful than you would expect even being forced to contend with the massive increase of headroom required by modern day CDs. Can drive separate amps as a pre-amp as well and has tape/tuner/disc/aux inputs and a wire wound volume control. All in all a little miracle despite being a blast from the past.

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Reviewed Jul 09th, 2012 by Stefano Sbravati

The best sound money can buy

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Reviewed Jun 07th, 2012 by ELBEBE1000

Excellent amp. I got one 2 months ago and works flashless. My Rega RP1 sounds better that if I connected to a Rotel 1095 amp and 968 rotel pre- amp. If you have any chance of get one don't doubt it. My is not modified, but my friend just sent one to modification, now I am waiting to see any improvement and compare apples to apples.
thanks,
Yashin

 

Comments

re: 3020

I bought a 3020 in 1985 paired with some small 2 way AR`s but sold the combo bacause I was young and stupid. Back then there was HiFi gear everywhere and had to try it all. Now 35 years later I can see that the forest covered the trees. I found a working series 20 at the dump and have swapped all elektrolytics to what I had in the drawer: raw PSU 4x2200/35v Nichicon fine gold, Regulator 2x 330/35v Panasonic FC+6x47/35 FC. c531=47/63v Elna cerafine, c532=4,7/50v cerafine, c533=47/63v cerafine. Decoupling cerafine 47/10v and some 16v. Audioline Elna silmic ars and silmic II. And some FC elsewhere. Cut off the comparator (leds for output power)R657,658,801,802,812. No need for that! (Cheap)Van Damme silver cables internal audio line-no need for jumpers in the audio line and some good speaker cables from the Motos to l601,602 and from the coils to speaker terminals. Pay attention to the way the transistors and film/ceramic caps are mounted-it is not done messy by a child although it looks that way. Try not to spoil the amp by arranging them upright and straight.
Now mine sounds like the best amp I`ve never heard. I`m using a Hlly AMKII connected to the normal inputs(power amp). The eq sounds very good but I like my remote commander and I really don`t need any tonal adjustments. This is the first 3020 with the small 330/35v in the regulator and I can hear no reason to change them to 470`s.
Next will be a B model and will use 4X2200/35v FC`s-I love them as I love the silmics.

Best regards

re: NAD 3020

My amp has started to give quite a strong hum, initially, in the loudspeakers, when I turn it on. It fades away within three-four seconds, but is a bad sign. I believe this comes from electrolytic condensers, being more and more dried out. Maybe this is an odd problem, but it may also show that all units have - after all - a limited life span.
If anyone had the same problem, please reply to this message. Regards.

re: NAD 3020B

I have a Nad 3020B which gives out good quality sound, with which I am very satisfied . If the amplifier is covered and some one listens to it, the impression given is that you are listening to a big Hi End Amplifier. But the moment the amp is uncovered, the listener is in for a surprise.

Of late I am having a problem with my Nad 3020B. The moment I switch on the amplifier, there is a nasty Pop and a Hum that lasts for about 5 seconds, after which it fades out. Is there is Someone out there who could help me by identifying the Problem, and give me a pointer please. I shall be very grateful - With Kind Regards.

re: NAD 3020B Pops , Clicks & Hum during Switch-on

This is often caused by faulty Electrolytic Capacitors in the Startup Mute Timing Circuit. Per the Diagram on this site , from the Power Supply to the FET in the final Preout stage : C531 47uf 63v , C533 47uf 50v , C532 4.7uf 50v. Replace with good quality Nichicon, Panasonic or Nippon Chemicon - 100V types. A very similar fault is found on all early 3020's. Slightly differing circuits though.
If you suspect the on-off switch contacts starting to wear add a RC X2 Capacitor across the live contacts to reduce arcing.
All the best

re: NAD 3020B Pops , Clicks & Hum during Switch-on

Best sounding amplifier ever made!

I have this same problem on power up only. The buzz/hum then fades away. If the audio muting button is pushed in during start up the sound is 20db quieter of course, if I disconnect the pre/power connectors the buzz is not present at all, if I wiggle the Caps C531, C532, C533 sometimes the buzz won't be there next time I turn it on, but then returns later.

I downloaded the schematics, service manual and 'alt scan' for NAD 3020 series 20. I can only find these capacitors on the service manual download only page 8. The 'alt scan' picture of the amp looks different to my amp, doesn't seem to have this circuit and some things are in different places, it may be of a later model.

On my amp serial number A3220154 the above mentioned capacitors are found behind the bass treble balance controls. I am thinking of purchasing a full capacitor replacement kit, I have found two online, one from ebay from Germany and the other on audio high store.

I think I will only replace the C531-C533 first, then see how it goes from there. NZAUDIO recommends the voltage increase to 100v, I wonder if these kits have this upgrade or should I just purchase the three mentioned.

Can anyone comment on one or both of these kits?

Thanks
Brookiebigtime

re: NAD 3020B

I have a few of these amplifiers, its normally the on/off switch. you can normally get some wd40 spray into it, while powered off, keep pressing the switch on/off a few times to work it in. Its possible you may have to repeat this.

My one has been fine since. The hum issue could be related to somthing else! Dry solder joints can cause problems, i have changed all the electrolitic capacitors in my amplifier,and resolderd any dry solder joints,and any cold solder joints.

Mike.

re: NAD 3020B

Please, never use WD-40 on any amplifier. The oily nature of it attracts dust and actually makes things worse. It's also not safe on all plastics.

The concept, cleaning the switch, is fine - but, please "spurge" and buy some DeOxit to get the job done right.

After 25 years of audio, owning over 70 amplifiers, and repairing many - DeOxit is the only way to do it.

re: 3020

I first heard this amp at a friends house in 1984. I was very jealous and even at the reasonable preice of this amp , I could not afford to buy it as a student. many years have passed and I my interest in vinyl and the purest dounds has ben re-ignited . I managed to buy one second hand . It has an aux button mission and will need aservice but it sounds magnificently sweet. I have heard many systems and amps since i first heard this amp and nothing comes close if you like a musically definative but sweet and mellow sounding piece of kit.

Which version?

Hi,

I am looking to get one of these amps. Is there a definitive version? I'm not sure of the differences between them.

Thanks

Buttons for 3020

Does anybody know of a source of the buttons for a 3020? I'm missing one (the power switch).

re: Buttons for 3020

i had this preamp ,but a long time now it departed..in the recycle bin, but i kept the knobs all of them.do you still need it.Thanks from Greece

Buttons for 3020

Hope you found what you were looking for. I'm missing Bass button. Any ideas? Thanks.

re: Buttons for 3020

i have the BASS knob..for this..let me know if you still want it
from Greece

different model

The 3020i I own is slightly different to the 3020 shown.
3020i has no power meter and no DIN socket.
Does anyone know if the circuit is the same?

NAD 3020

The bias adjust instructions (and associated circuits) are certainly completely different.
Anyway, all the information you need for the 3020i appears to be in the manual.
Good luck
John

3020i manual

Oops! I hadn't downloaded the service manual so didn't notice that it included this model. The only problem with mine is the worn out switches.
Thanks for the tip.

This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by NAD. To purchase 3020/3020i spares or accessories, please contact the company via their website or visit an authorised retailer.