NAD1020 preamp phono section

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Gromushka
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NAD1020 preamp phono section

Post by Gromushka » 19 Jan 2020 10:45

Because I'm using china-made little bear model of phono pre-amp I'm looking to some vintage phono section to increase of sound quality.
Could some used NAD 1020a - model Series 20 with phono section?
How it sounds?

62vauxhall
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Re: NAD1020 preamp phono section

Post by 62vauxhall » 19 Jan 2020 20:48

I have no curiosity about preamps that came after the early 1980’s. I guess I’d be considered “stuck in the past”. So I have no inkling what a Little Bear sounds like.

Pre-amps that I have had first hand experience with include NAD 1020’s and Monitor 1000’s. Although I do not use a NAD pre-amp on a regular basis, I like them well enough to wish continued ownership of one. A Monitor 1000 as it worked out.

A couple of opinions I’ve read described NAD’s as sounding “dark”. Without listening to one, I’d have no idea what that meant but would perceive it as a negative.

But it is not.

All you can do if it’s feasible, is live with one for a while and draw your own conclusions.

Some, perhaps most, might pick a Japanese pre-amp over NAD but I would not. Generally speaking, I perceive those as “bright” and that gives them a sizeable fan base. There were a few exceptions but to me, those I’ve auditioned became just one of many. With regards to the NAD’s that I’ve had, I would choose words like “lush, rich, full bodied, liquid, enveloping” to describe my perception of the sound the exhibit. A noticeably distinct enough character that I find intriguing.

33na3rd
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Re: NAD1020 preamp phono section

Post by 33na3rd » 19 Jan 2020 21:39

I had a 1020 back in the day, and liked it very much.

My only concern would be the condition of the electrolytic caps if the preamp had not been recapped/refreshed.

62vauxhall
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Re: NAD1020 preamp phono section

Post by 62vauxhall » 20 Jan 2020 00:46

Well, there’s a lot of vacant space inside a 1020 so re & re-ing capacitors would not be a difficult job.

33na3rd
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Re: NAD1020 preamp phono section

Post by 33na3rd » 20 Jan 2020 01:45

62vauxhall wrote:
20 Jan 2020 00:46
Well, there’s a lot of vacant space inside a 1020 so re & re-ing capacitors would not be a difficult job.
True enough.

I just think it's something to keep in mind on equipment that's quickly approaching 40 years old, if someone hasn't had experience with vintage gear before.

And it makes my head hurt to think that a 1020 can be called vintage already! 8)

patient_ot
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Re: NAD1020 preamp phono section

Post by patient_ot » 20 Jan 2020 15:57

Anything that old is likely no longer in spec and not worth the hassle, unless you have a lot of experience doing work on vintage equipment and can pick up the piece for next to nothing.

Personally I would recommend saving your money for a decent stand alone, solid state phono preamp with fairly low capacitance to match your AT cart.

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Re: NAD1020 preamp phono section

Post by Gromushka » 20 Jan 2020 17:51

solid state phono preamp
Does that means tube phono amp is not in scope?
I have also see to Dynaco PAS

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Re: NAD1020 preamp phono section

Post by patient_ot » 20 Jan 2020 21:15

Gromushka wrote:
20 Jan 2020 17:51
solid state phono preamp
Does that means tube phono amp is not in scope?
I have also see to Dynaco PAS
I am not a fan of most tube phono preamps out there right now. Look up something called "Miller Capacitance Effect". A lot of tube designs suffer from this. Many tube designs are also noisier than a good solid state unit by an order of magnitude.

A old Dynaco unit is going to need some work as well, same as the NAD.

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Re: NAD1020 preamp phono section

Post by derspankster » 20 Jan 2020 21:31

Some folks are just partial to harmonic distortion. To each their own.

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