To Doug Schneider,

I have over 2TB of high-res FLAC and MQA files on a USB drive that won’t fit on my PC anymore.

I prefer a minimal stereo system (no separate DAC, amp, preamp, network player, NAS, PC, etc.) and wondered if the versatile NAD D 3045 with speakers is the solution I am looking for. Can the NAD D 3045’s USB input read my portable drive’s music files, with a mobile app as a remote?

I prefer not to power up so many components (esp. a PC) just to hear a song.

Thanks and regards


I hear you on wanting to keep components to a minimum. Unfortunately, the USB Type-A port on the NAD D 3045’s backside won’t allow you to hook a portable hard drive to it and play music. Instead, that connector is labeled Service and is used to apply firmware updates to the D 3045. As a result, you’re going to need some sort of computer-type device (e.g., a desktop or laptop computer, or a standalone music server) that the drive can attach to and can decode the files and deliver them to the D 3045, probably via the USB Type-B connector that’s there for that purpose, or through one of the other digital connectors. The D 3045 can do a lot, but not everything.

If you are willing to look at a computer, don’t think you need something big and cumbersome. Hans Wetzel, who runs our SoundStage! Access site, took the plunge and bought an Intel NUC computer as a music server -- he wrote about it last September. NUCs are small, fast, and relatively inexpensive (really inexpensive if you buy one used, like he did, though if I were buying, I would get something new). In my opinion, that’s a really good way to go if space and speed are your concerns. . . . Doug Schneider