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Before I forget to mention something that’ll surely crop up, in the following listening comments I used the asynchronous type B USB port exclusively unless I specifically say otherwise. That modest paper power—here 50wpc—needn’t predict much about the sonic performance of an amp I’ve noted routinely already. Especially for class D the rep on the street is that their wattage counts double but to my knowledge nobody has ever come up with solid proof.  That said the NAD D 7050 looked set to perpetuate the myth. This was no flat-chested wall flower. The violently explosive "Talk! Talk! Talk! Talk! Talk" of the Wuppertal alt-exports Uncle Ho with their The Manufacture of Madness album was testament to that.


The relentlessly redlined intro into this propulsive rock song virtually ‘flew’ into my listening room with shove, follow-up and rugged dynamics. The NAD was so effortless and nonchalant about it that I nearly gasped for air. Honestly, my class AB Yamaha A-S 1000 with 160wpc claimed power is rather more ponderous. The heavy Japanese misses the element of surprise when the Wuppertal forces go from zero to mayhem.

I also liked how the NAD avoided turning the atmospheric extremely dense and additionally highly compressed track into a droning sound gruel but instead unraveled markedly differentiated individual events. Granted, Uncle Ho’s arrangements aren’t paeans to complexity. The 3-man combo sticks to bass, guitar and drums but their insistence on overdrive distortion on their strings and vocals overshadows transparency. This gets bothersome when a component loses insight into the intermeshed action. No problem for the NAD though. It kept track of Thorsten Sala’s bass runs even when lead guitarist and singer Julian Hanebeck runs his effects pedals to the max to risk dominating his companions. With the NAD the performance never fell apart into disconnected details either. The song remained in the flow. Good show.


Now I must admit that I didn’t expect that gnarly nearly authoritarian bass from a barely 2.5kg ‘heavy’ amp which "Broken Wings" from Alter Bridge’s One Day Remains album lays out. The electric bass tuned down by an octave to growl with menace and mixed forward betrayed no extra gram of fat but struck decisively, dry as dust and as such very cleanly structured.


During a quick if unfair cross check against my valve hybrid RV3 from Magnat whose sticker eclipses the NAD by about three times, the heavy from the Rheinland conformed to expectation by reaching lower and with more grip and mass but even so the D 7050 didn’t feel like a battered loser. Given its power rating and price the compact network integrated surprised. Versus Yamaha’s A-S 1000 which is no weakling and on price not that far removed, the NAD’s low-bass performance clearly was better. Whilst the Japanese captured the bass guitar of "Broken Wings" with heft and pressure, it was neither as structured nor as wiry as the newcomer from the UK. Typical NAD—expected and hoped for—was the richly nuanced natural midband. I’d already loved the silky yet outline-sharp room-filling vocal performance and very realistic airy-loose rendering of keyboards and string instruments of their Classic range. Lovely that their engineers managed to retain these character traits for class D. Even though switching amps no longer sound as cold and techno as they did 10 years ago, such skills aren't a given even today.