It is difficult to imagine high-end audio without the contribution of Martin Borish and NAD. More than any other company, NAD introduced to music lovers the idea that better-designed audio equipment translates into greater musical enjoyment. The 3020 stands today as one of the defining products of our industry, demonstrating that high-performance audio needn't cost a fortune. Although NAD products are priced within reach of a broad base of consumers, every single component embodies the high-end audio ethos of delivering to listeners the best possible quality for a given price. Remarkably, today's NAD is very much like the NAD Martin founded in 1972. The products may have changed dramatically to reflect how today's listeners access music, but NAD components at their core remain true to the ideals on which Martin founded the company.
Just before hearing the news of Martin's passing, I received a letter from a subscriber to The Absolute Sound that exemplifies the long and rich legacy Martin created. That letter will appear in our October issue, but I offer it here as example of just one of the countless lives Martin and NAD made richer. Multiply this reader's experience by hundreds of thousands of other consumers and you'll have a glimpse of Martin's impact on our industry and on so many music lovers.
Editor-in-Chief, The Absolute Sound
"Just a quick note to say thanks for the TAS Legacy piece on the NAD 3020 in Issue 273. It brings back a lot of memories. I bought a 3020 in 1981 and realized for the first time that electronics really do sound different. It replaced one of the ubiquitous Japanese receivers that Neil mentioned in the article.
A few years later, I found myself selling NAD at the retail level. In a college town, the stuff sold like hotcakes. I remember a guy coming in who had been given a power amplifier, but didn’t know how to make it work with his other stuff. He told me that he 'needed knobs.' I told him that I had a really good set of knobs for him and proceeded to send him out the door with a NAD 1020 preamp. Good knobs, indeed!
To this day, I still use a pair of NAD 3020 as mono amps, the two channels of each amp driving the tweeter and woofer of a pair of Harbeth Monitor 30s in a vertical bi-amp configuration. And they still sound great."