NAD 3020 Restorations

Popularity of the venerable NAD 3020 and its more powerful variants from years gone by have never been greater than in recent times. And it is of no small wonder. New alternatives have become relatively unaffordable due to an ever weakening currency and therefore clean examples of decently designed and built amplifiers like the old NAD’s have become sought after used buys. Existing owners of legacy products such as NAD, Rotel, Technics, Yamaha, Pioneer, Marantz and many more have begun realising the merit of upkeep and servicing, because often a little TLC will restore the outstanding sound quality that made these products sell in their thousands.

An increasingly popular way of blowing new life into a legacy component Hi-Fi system is the addition of a network streaming audio player. A good example of such product is the Node 2i V2 (version 2) made by NAD’s sister company, BlueSound. By adding this clever device to an old Hi-Fi system will transform it into a remote controlled tour de force as volume, source and even music selection can now be done remotely simply by making use of the intuitive BLuOS app for iOS or Android devices. Music at your fingertips and it can all be playing through your old amplifier and speakers otherwise collecting dust or only used on occasion.

In my house I’ve recently restored a little NAD receiver (amplifier with FM/AM tuner built in) (rebuilt and upgraded output stage picture above) and we connected a BlueSound Node 2i V2 to it for music on the patio outside. The results are simply amazing. Anyone with a ‘clever’ phone can put on their own playlist or favourite streaming service such as Tidal or Spotify while the wonderful warm and musical sound of the old NAD amp makes for an involving and exciting experience.

Above is an example of one channel output stage (left) of an original NAD 3020 Series 20 from 1979/80 I’ve rebuilt with a set of original NOS (new old stock) superior Motorola transistors I have a stash of for specific clients seeking an authentic period correct repair of their amplifiers. Unfortunately I do not offer these highly sought after devices for sale. These are strictly reserved for repairs and rebuilds performed by me. Stocks are understandably extremely limited.

Just an example of typical workmanship I come across all too frequently. This was an attempt by someone at an upgrade of the popular and most powerful version of the NAD 3020 called the 3020B. Needless to say this very well looked after example never worked again after the ‘upgrade’ and ended up on my desk. Note the burnt out resistor and the ‘new’ bridge rectifier circled in green. It took me the better part of two days to firstly establish where and what the previous person did before I could begin the rebuild process. Nevertheless, this amp is now healthy again and sounding marvelous.

Silver legacy NAD’s are quite special since there were so little of them imported into South-Africa. I’ve had the privilege to work on some in my time and I’ve also managed to acquire a lovely 3140 in silver which is now doing duty as my dependable workshop workhorse. 

For more information on amplifier restorations, repairs or streaming devices please fill in your details below.

THE NAD legacy documents (PDF Downloadable)

NAD legacy product catalog

NAD 3020 Series 20
NAD 3020B
NAD 3120
NAD 3020 Absolute Sound Review 2004