NAD 3020


The NAD 3020 is considered by many to be the first true budget audiophile amplifier, hence why NAD sold in excess of 1 million units!

Variants included:

  • 3020A (Additional Moving Coil Phono Stage, Removal of the Audio Muting Button in favour of a Mono Button)
  • 3020B (A few circuit 'improvements' and higher quality loudspeaker binding posts)
  • 3120 (An almost identical audiophile version of the 3020B, stripped of tone controls/LED power display)
  • 3020E (Circuit re-design, no pre-power loop, spring clip loudspeaker connections)
  • 3020i (Pre-power loop and higher quality loudspeaker binding posts)

Specifications (3020)


Phono input

  • Input impedance (R and C): 47kΩ / 47pF
  • Input sensitivity, 1kHz: 2.5mV ref. 20W
  • Signal/Noise ratio (A-weighted with cartridge connected): 75dB ref. 5mV

Line level inputs

  • Signal/Noise ratio (A-weighted ref 1W): >86dB
  • Channel separation: >60dB
  • Frequency response (20Hz - 20kHz): ±0.5dB
  • Infrasonic filter: -3db at 15Hz, 24dB/octave
  • Ultrasonic filter: -3dB at 35 kHz, 12dB/octave


  • Continuous output power into 8Ω *: 20W (13dBW)
  • Rated distortion (THD 20Hz - 20kHz): 0.02%
  • Clipping power (maximum continuous power per channel): 30W
  • IHF Dynamic headroom at 8Ω: +3dB
  • IHF dynamic power (maximum short term power per channel):             8Ω/40W, 4Ω/58W, 2Ω/72W


  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 420 x 96x 240mm
  • Net weight: 5.3kg
  • Shipping weight: 6.7kg

* Minimum power per chnnel, 20Hz - 20kHz, both channels driven with no more than rated distiortion. Dimensions are of unit’s cabinet without attached feet; add up to 18mm for total height. Dimension depth excludes terminals, sockets, controls and buttons.

Build Quality

Components used were cheap, so upgrading is a worthwhile exercise (click here for upgrade options). The capacitors will almost certainly need replacing on an original unit and the volume pots were not the best. Earlier models also had what many consider to be poor speaker terminals.


  • 3020: 1978-1982
  • 3020A: 1982-1984
  • 3020B/3120: 1984-1987
  • 3020E: 1987
  • 3020i: 1991


  • 3020: Circa £80 / Relative Cost Today: Circa £410
  • 3020i: Circa £150 / Relative Cost Today: Circa £305