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Re: NAD 302 Amp
Try Earex wax softener, worked for me!
Seriously though, are you sure it's the amp, could someone have cooked your speakers without you knowing?
Have you checked the media source? Garbage in equals garbage out with any system.
Your terminology leads me to think you are an audiophile, so have you checked the stylus?
Have you put in some new furniture or rearranged the room. This can make a big difference to the way a system sounds.
Check all the usual things like your signal connections.
If you have a PC to hand in your listening room, use it as a sound analyser, plug a microphone in and connect the line out into your amp you should be able then to measure the responses of your setup with white noise, swept tones and impulses for room dynamics.
I seem to remember there are freeware utilities for this kind of thing.
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If all are in 12 o'clock position they are "flat" (nothing has been added or subtracted foam input signal) If you only have bass & treble, yes adjusting will affect "mids" but Mids change can go both ways dependent on increase or decrease of Bass and /or treble. By increasing bass you will pull some mids up also. By increasing treble you'll subtract some mids.
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.
You have either got a bad earth connection, or possibily there's a capacitor failed.
If you can't find a dodgy conection, I would replace the large Electrolytic Capacitors in the power section, they are used to take out 50hz hum in the mains electric, when they go you get that hum coming into your system.
For rock and slapping you are going to want to set the Bass and Treble controls high and the Mids low. For music such as Jazz you are going to want more mids so that your sound will be fatter. If there is a button marked "Mid-Scoop" you'll want that on when slapping.
sounds to me that the vol control has lost its earth end connection So yes its a problem with the dial control
You couls try some contact cleaner But better still lift of the lid and base if possible while the amplifier is not plugged into the power socket and see if you have a dry joints around the vol control pot