Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment


Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Hans Wetzel,

I am making the transition to using my Apple Macintosh as my primary audio source, but want to keep that CD-quality sound. I have a pair of ADS L990 loudspeakers, and like the compartmentalized quality of NAD's C 375DAC, but covet the extra power of Anthem's Integrated 225. I am also thinking of acquiring the KEF 201/2 Reference Series speakers later on. What will be a better investment when it comes to these two amps? I do like my sound on the warmer side, but also with a little kick to it, too.

N.D.

Congratulations on making the jump to computer-based audio. I think you'll be surprised by just how good it can be. As for the amps that you're suggesting, I have a few comments.

The NAD that Sathyan Sundaram recently reviewed generates 150Wpc into 8 ohms, whereas the Anthem puts out 225Wpc into 8 ohms. They’re both priced about the same. However, the NAD also comes with a digital-to-analog converter built in, whereas the Anthem does not. The DAC would be a welcome feature for you as you transition your Mac to music duties. While more power is often a good thing, I'm not sure you'd really miss the extra power of the Anthem with the speakers you have now. NADs have always sounded a little on the warm side, to me at least, and so that might be another point in its favor.

If you do wind up with the KEFs, mind you, its sensitivity rating of 86dB might make power a more important consideration for you, especially if you enjoy cranking up the volume. In that case, the Integrated 225 might be the wiser choice. If you do wind up with the more powerful Anthem, however, just make sure to invest in a DAC as well, which will allow you to maximize your sound quality. . . . Hans Wetzel