The 1020 preamplifier is the last of the NAD family fest I celebrated last month. The exterior is very similar to the 3020a that I restored with the distinctive horizontal rear deck for connections. Acres of space are available under the hood and cap replacement is a breeze. It is much easier to work on than the Kenwood C2, no origami skills needed. Here it is with top popped:
Hmm. Looking at that board, you would think they took the 3020 and threw out the amplifer and called it a preamp. Hmm. And you would be correct, sir. The transformer is much smaller and two fuses at the left are skipped, but that is the very same board. The same tone control circuitry with the hard to find .68 mfd bass control caps is strung out along the front. The unshielded phono section is in the back right for the typically short signal path.
Restoration required 32 new Panasonic FC caps and the usual cleaning of controls. Not surprisingly this is a very nice sounding preamp, very neutral in presentation with a nice phono section. I think it would mate nicely with an amplifier with a bit of zip to it.
I love the rear deck feature which I first encountered in the Amber Model 17 preamp long ago. (Hmm again, the Amber family could use a write up.) And I love how pleasant it is to work on. Here it is in my feeble attempt at an artsy photo: