Upgrading the 326BEE

It will soon be time to take the next upgrade step in the living room music system. Currently, a laptop running J River 17 feeds an HRT+ streamer, into the Nad and into Klipsch forte's which are being recapped and tweaked. My preferred CD's are lossless and the rest are 320 MP3.

As for the 326BEE, I want to upgrade the preamp or power amp with a last generation Nad (C162 or c272). My question is which would give me a larger increase in sound quality? The BEE has plenty of power, this is a matter of improving refinement, detail and pace.
I can only add my experience. I have the same speakers as the OP. I borrowed a C272 from my dealer. I used my C3320BEE as the pre. I figured it would be a "slam dunk" improvement.

It turned out to be a big disappointment and a valuable lesson. Synergy must be at work with the NAD integrateds. The 320 was smoother and fuller. Listening to it you would have thought the 320 was more powerful than the 272.

I've used a tube pre on my 320 and that was a substantial improvement. Everything from soundstage to tone to detail and resolution improved. That led me to the conclusion that the pre section of the 320 series of integrateds was the area to gain from an upgrade the most. I hope this helps.


I like the suggestion of the C162 pre from NAD! The 326 has a pretty good amp section, so I think the Pre will make the most difference....
I've perused the forums over at Ecoustics and they also are mostly of the opinion that the preamp is the weak link in the 32xBEE series. Interestingly, with the 272/372, NAD claims that the preamp section is class A. This claim has not been made for any of the 32xBEE models as far as I can see.

Since the 326BEE powers my forte's effortlessly when the time comes a nice and reasonably priced upgrade should be available.

Thanks to all.