Here at the Vintage HiFi Shack we like to bring you quality high-end vintage HiFi’s rarely found in Australia, it is extremely rare to see any of the high-end units we have on offer on eBay Australia or anywhere else in Australia.
In the 1970s Australia was a tiny market with only around 13 million people, the major HiFi brands focused mostly on providing low to mid-end models, and few if any of the high-end models commonly found in Europe, the United States and Japan ever made it out here. Especially so when some of these stereo systems cost more than some cars! While we specialise in Pioneer gear, we also carry units from Sansui, Kenwood, Sanyo, Rotel, Marantz and other quality brands.
Why Do We Love 1970s HiFi Gear Soooo Much?
As the transistor began to take over from the valve in the 1960s the technology of the home stereo slowly began to evolve from being just cute little music boxes to things that were seriously powerful – the infamous muscle receivers of the 1970s that were a product of the ‘Receiver Wars’. The primary selling point was great sound with plenty of power, and many design features such as DC amplifiers, twin power and Darlington Push-Pull layouts you will only find in 1970s gear or highly expensive boutique audiophile gear.
Analog gear with its discreet components offer a very different sound than that of the modern amplifier, these amplifiers somehow engage the listener more emotionally in the music. HiFi gear produced during this period is commonly referred to as the ‘Silver Era’ of HiFi.
Here at The Shack we take pleasure in introducing you to the world of vintage HiFi!
The NAD Model 300 – Early NAD Glam!
Original RRP (1975 USD): $995.00
Inflation Adjusted RRP (USD): $4,308.00
NAD Electronics (New Acoustic Dimensions) is a world renowned audiophile brand originally founded by Dr. Martin L. Borish in England and is now headquartered in Ontario Canada. NAD focuses on the concept of “effective power” and its amplifiers have been known for delivering generous headroom, meaning that they can deliver dynamic power bursts far in excess of their rated RMS power. NAD’s core philosophy is to only incorporate genuinely useful features for aesthetically understated designs, but this wasn’t always the case…
In the 1970s NAD produced some stunningly designed audio components that had flare, elegance and style, none of which could by any stretch of the imagination be considered understated. The Model 300 is one of NAD’s original creations. This was their top-of-the-line monster receiver produced between 1975 and 1978, an aesthetically and acoustically stunning unit it featured a beautifully brushed aluminium display featuring a brilliant blue tuner dial with a red illuminated indicator and an impressive battery of buttons, switches and knobs, the chassis is well built and weighs a solid 22kg.
An historic piece this unit was positioned at the pinnacle of NAD’s very first product line. Developed by Bjorn Erik Edvardsen under the founder Dr. Martin L. Borish the Model 300 was manufactured by Foster
Electric in Japan using only the finest available components.
Looking under the hood of this unit you can tell that some serious love went into the design. Everything is well laid out and it appears obvious that no expense was spared. The entire front section containing the AM/FM receiver and separate Dolby module has been shielded.
The next thing that hits you is the size of the power supply. The transformer is generously sized and is accompanied by two large 18,000uf filter capacitors. For instance the 1978 Marantz Model 2600 boasting 300 Watts RMS per channel output was being powered with less capacitance than the Model 300! I guess this is what NAD is talking about when they say “effective power”. It’s great to see a company taking their mission statement seriously! The sound is rich, abundant and detailed with a velvet feel backed by effortless power, it the rare kind of sound that you can ‘hear’ with your heart. One of my audiophile friends could not hide his disbelief at hearing this unit perform, his jaw dropped and his mouth remained open for quite some time!!
Aside from seriously excellent sound the unit is packed with features. Firstly this is the first unit I have come across with a built in Dolby processor which can be applied to both FM and an input device such as a tape deck.
Furthermore this is also a Quadraphonic receiver as well! Which would make it one of the most powerful and high quality quadraphonic receivers I have come across. There are many quadraphonic receivers out there, but most can’t come close to the power and fidelity of this unit by a country mile. While it doesn’t offer a plethora of Quad options it offers one of the most popular formats known as ‘Quadro’ format, which I believe was commonly referred to as SQ in the US, Canada and Australia and Quadro in Europe. I believe this is the case because many European SQ encoded records are labelled QUADRO. I have not listened to this unit in this mode as I do not have a turntable set up for quad sound right now.
Notes on the Quadro Option
I have yet to test this the Quad mode on this unit.
After chatting with a Quadrophile there may be doubt as to what this QUAD mode is for. Perhaps it is for an external quad decoder or it could possibly be an internal decoder, or some even a simple effects processor – if it is quad it would be for turntables only. Here is the response I got from NAD:
Thank you for your recent inquiry on the NAD model 300.
The Model 300, we do have limited documentation on does not have a QUADRO option, just speakers Main and Remote. That said, the option could have been for the North American market where Quadraphonic was adopted by audiophiles. This option is similar to Enhanced Stereo today, for the surround speakers.
We hope this information is helpful,
As you can see this unit DOES have a Quadro option on the Speaker Selector and NAD themselves could not shed much light on this. If you are specifically after Quadraphonic Amp, you will need to do your own research on this. (until I get a turntable setup for SQ of course!)
There are a decent number of controls to tailor the sound with channel independent Treble and Bass controls, Muting, Mono, Subsonic, High Filter, High Blend and Loudness, and that’s without including the Dolby processing options. Also conveniently positioned on the front panel is a second Tape input (or iPod, iPad, iPhone etc), a second microphone input and a headphone jack
Tuning range: FM, MW
Power output RMS: 85 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.03%
Input sensitivity: 2.2mV (mic), 3mV (MM), 200mV (DIN), 200mV (line)
Signal to noise ratio: 63dB (MM), 85dB (line)
Channel separation: 50dB (line)
Output: 200mV (line), 30mV (DIN)
Dimensions: 508 x 400 x 145mm