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Open it up and look around. Should be easy to find the cause, just follow your nose and by that I mean the smell of the burnt part. However the problem might be tracking down what it is since the number of the part be it transistor or IC might have been destroyed with it!
Before you continue, turn the volume DOWN. If you can't hear it at mid-volume there's no sense in spinning the volume knob higher. You'll only endanger your ears and speakers if you suddenly resolve the switch or whatever is the problem.
Let's distill this down to its simplist configuration. FM source, stereo.
BTW, a search for NAD 440 only brings up a C440 >>>Tuner<<, no receivers. Are you sure about that model number? The only receiver model numbers with x40 on the NAD website are the C340 and C740, neither of which has a link to a manual (go figure). I have the C740 manual, so I'll use it for a loose reference.
If it still does what you're describing in a basic configuration and the volume control seems to affect it like you belatedly mentioned, I'd suspect a noisy volume control or some other control in the receiver (like a rarely used Tape Monitor switch) that is always there in the circuit but may have oxidized contacts and responds sometimes to burn-through.
Set the volume at a medium setting and repeatedly operate every switch, knob and button (one at a time) to gauge its effects on the sound. You may find one is the culprit. Then it's a matter of accessing it for a shot of contact cleaner.
If you have jumpers between Pre Out and Main In, it might be a good idea to reseat them, too.
I, too, have the 3150 and have experienced problems with it. With me the INPUT knob is touchy and needs micro turns sometimes to get both channels to come through. Also, it sounds like the pots are dirty as I get a scratchy sound while adjusting the knob. I have been told that these units are great middle of the road audiophile units. Actually, for the price of a used unit you can't do better. I just had an NAD 2400 THX amp delivered today and am using the 3150 as a preamp. My girlfriend is not feeling well and sleeping in the bedroom, though, and I can't listen to it :( The few minutes I heard of Steely Dan's Cousin Dupree made me bout **** myself (until I got the dirty looks). Sorry I wasn't more help! Goooooo NAD!
Hi there funny you should ask that because i do have a second hand one with balance knob and volume knob also ,i dont know where you live but you can have it for 10 gbp plus 2 gbp postage i accept paypal Kind regards Steve
If the standby/protection indicator on the amplifier blinks when you specifically press the volume +/- key, it obviously indicates that the unit is receiving the remote's command. Try the following while pressing the volume key on the remote: 1.- Put your ear as close as possible to the volume control knob and listen for the sound of a motor spinning, if you hear it, the volume control assembly needs repair. If you hear no sound, proceed to next step. 2.- Gently rotate the volume control knob on the amplifier unit (it might be stuck and needs a "little help").
If none of the above applies, the unit needs to be opened and troubleshooted. I've seen many instances where the volume control motor was not properly connected to the board or the assembly was put back incorrectly (specially in units that have been opened to be refurbished). I've heard NAD has a limited warranty for refurbished items. It might be wise for you to check before sending the unit for repair at your expense or trying to tackle the problem yourself. Hope this helps.