This is a review high on our readers’ wish list: the Purifi EVAL1 DIY amplifier (stereo) versus the NAD C298. Also an Eigentakt power amplifier. Now we would have liked to do this one much sooner, but well… time and all that. In addition, the EVAL1 is running at your author’s home, just like the NAD C298 (recently purchased two of them). So reviewing is a little less easy than at the office in the listening room. But now it’s finally come to pass: two times Eigentakt…. The Purifi EVAL1 versus the NAD C298; in stereo mode, of course. Let’s roll! We do understand that many people want a comparison between these two amplifiers. The Purifi self-build amplifier – here’s a tutorial with video – costs about 1300 euros in parts to make. Then it takes about 4 hours of work to put it together neatly. It is not complex, but you have to be a bit handy and have the courage. However: you immediately save 700 euros compared to the NAD C298. And if they are equal … then the choice is probably quickly made.
The obvious differences
However, there are a few differences between the Purifi EVAL1 and the NAD C298. And that’s what led your author to go for the NAD after all as a private upgrade in the home setup. The NAD can be used in stereo or mono. In addition, this amplifier has XLR and single ended inputs, a loop for looping through to, for example, a subwoofer, and a fixed or variable gain. Still handy.
Outside this slightly more flexible setup of the NAD compared to the Purifi EVAL1, NAD of course applied its own power supply and input stage. The eigentakt modules are otherwise identical to each other.
The test system
We evaluated these two amplifiers on the private system. Which consists of:
- Metrum Acoustics Adagio (DAC2)
- Metrum Acoustics Ambre streamer (I2S)
- Custom ROON Rock NUC
- Synology DS1517+ with SSD Cache
- DALI Epicon 2
- Grimm SQM cabling
- Gigawatt powercords (self build)
- Driade Flow speaker cable
- Isotek Isoplugs
- Separate audio group