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NAD’s PP-3 Digital Phono Preamplifier

Sharon, MA — NAD Electronics has introduced the PP-3 Digital Phono Preamplifier, a new accessory that integrates turntables into stereo systems and allows LPs and other audio sources to be copied directly to a PC.

Designed to be compact and cost-effective, the PP-3 Phono Preamp offers audiophile performance in a package only 5.3 inches long by 1.38 inches high by 2.75 inches deep. It combines the design of its predecessor, NAD’s award-winning PP-2 MM/MC Phono Preamp, with a high-quality analog-to-digital converter, a USB interface, and CD-R VinylStudio(tm) Lite software. The program, supplied on a disc, lets users copy LPs directly to a PC in Wav or Mp3 file formats. Once in a PC, the digitized music can be burned onto discs, transferred to portable music players or otherwise manipulated.

The PP-3 has been designed to serve as a high-quality upgrade or addition to existing line-level system. Technically speaking, it consists of a discrete, low-noise, moving-coil (MC) preamplifier followed by a low-noise opamp-based RIAA moving magnet (MM) stage with an infrasonic filter to attenuate turntable “rumble” noise. The MC preamp is a four-transistor low-distortion amplifier optimized for the very low source impedance of MC cartridges. A pair of ultra-low intrinsic base resistance transistors lower input noise a further 3 dB.

The output of the phono preamp is attenuated, filtered again, and fed to the A/D converter, which is prevented from overdriving by a Soft Clipping circuit. The MM preamp has a 100 dB dynamic range and the A/D converter a range of 89dB, allowing NAD to optimize the gain for best signal-to-noise ratio and the lowest distortion. The A/D converter has a sampling frequency of 48kHz for USB compatibility, and a THD of only 0.01 percent.

An additional Line Input allows other analog sources – such as FM radio, audiotape, even a CD player’s analog output – to be converted to the digital USB format. It also adds back the input on an amplifier or receiver used by the PP-3.

The PP-3 Digital Phono Preamplifier is available now from authorized NAD dealers at a suggested price of $179.