Saturday, August 2, 2008

Last of the Family: the NAD 1020 Preamp

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:

5 comments:

Ted said...

NAT, do you happen to have access to the schematics for the NAD 1020, I have owned mine for 20+ years, however it has a transformer wired for UK (240V), we moved here 15 years ago, which I am trying to adopt to US 110V. Looks like there is a second tap which may be exactly what I need, but not sure and figured you may have the schematics.

Nat said...

Ted: I don't have a schematic in hand but I will check with Mike at Austin Stereo Service.

Transformer problems are frustrating. I purchased a cute pre/power Toshiba pair at a flea market a few years ago and did not check the back. They ran but were curiously... underpowered. And the lamps were dim. I ended up doing a heart transplant on them with transformers culled from Mike's surplus heap. This was just before starting the blog and I regret not documenting it.

I would not be surprised if that extra tap was for the US. I would think it simple to just compare the voltages with it plugged in. Whether plugged in to US 120v or with an intervening converter the voltage ratio between the two should remain the same.

This vintage of NAD was manufactured by Funai of Taiwan. NAD evidently dumped them shortly after the 20 series. Funai went on to produce the very nice Proton line. I also just discovered they also produced the budget Symphonic components. I just acquired a Symphonic cd player manufactured in '85 that is a hoot. It has some very respectable innards but with a masonite bottom and back. More on this later, I hope.

Anonymous said...

My 1020 seems to take 1-2 minutes to warm up and makes some static noise in the speakers until it is warmed up. Once warmed up it is great.

Any ideas what causes this?

Anonymous said...

The static sound could be due to old/aged/dried capacitors or dirty controls. There is a shop on Ebay (amplifier_surgery) that restores NAD units, search for "NAD 3020 repair". I have used them in the past with excellent results. Have them replace all the capacitors and clean out the controls too.

Anonymous said...

What model symphonic CD player and what's the story behind it?THanks.