To Doug Schneider,
I read your review of the NAD D 3045 and found it very helpful and informative. I have the original D 3020 and am looking to upgrade to the D 3045. I would appreciate it if you could answer a few questions to help me decide before purchasing one. Thank you.
Is the sound quality that much better than D 3020 to justify the cost? I will use it with my KEF Q150 speakers, which are already very good with the D 3020. Will Tidal Masters streaming from the iOS app via Chromecast Audio to the amp enable MQA or did you have to use Roon? How good is the built-in DAC compared to the one in the D 3020?
I found everything about the NAD D 3045 to be better than the D 3020 V2 (I have never heard the original D 3020, but the V2 is supposed to be incrementally better than it) -- more power, more features, and improved sound. As for the latter, to me it sounded cleaner, more detailed, and gutsier than the D 3020 V2. That doesn’t make the D 3020 V2 bad -- it just means that for $300 more (the D 3020 V2 currently retails for $399, while the D 3045 is $699), you get something that is across-the-board better. As a result, I’m confident that if you like your KEFs with the D 3020, you’ll like them even more with the D 3045. They’ll likely sound cleaner and play louder, but I also think you’ll hear more detail and greater dynamics.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you good news about Tidal Masters through the Google Chromecast Audio streamer (which has now been discontinued). In a nutshell, Masters selections, which are MQA files, won’t play in high-resolution using the Tidal app, even though the D 3045 is fully MQA compatible. But that’s not a Chromecast Audio or D 3045 deficiency -- it’s the fault of the app, which will revert back to HiFi from Masters the moment you try to output to any Chromecast-capable device. It works that way for the Android version (that’s what I use), and, from what I’ve read elsewhere, it’s the same for iOS. However, Masters selections transmit perfectly via Chromecast Audio with Roon. . . . Doug Schneider