NAD Masters Series M32 DirectDigital D/A integrated amplifier Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Digital Sources: NAD Masters Series M50.2, Roon Nucleus+ digital players; Mac mini laptop running Roon 1.3, iPad mini running Roon, Bluesound apps; Meridian 518 format converter; Ayre Acoustics C-5xeMP disc player.
Integrated Amplifier: Luxman L-509X.
Power Amplifiers: Lamm M1.2 Reference monoblocks.
Loudspeakers: KEF LS50, Rogers LS3/5a, Sonus Faber Guarneri Tradition, TAD ME1, GoldenEar Technology Triton Reference, Wilson Audio Specialties Alexia 2.
Cables: Digital: AudioQuest Coffee (USB) & Vodka (Ethernet), Canare (15', AES/EBU), DH Labs (1m, AES/EBU), Esperanto Audio (S/PDIF), generic plastic TosLink optical (15'). Interconnect: AudioQuest Wild Blue. Speaker: AudioQuest K2. AC: AudioQuest Dragon Source & High Current, manufacturers' own.
Accessories: Target TT-5 equipment racks; Ayre Acoustics Myrtle Blocks; ASC Tube Traps, RPG Abffusor panels; Shunyata Research Dark Field cable elevators; Michell Engineering spade–4mm plug adapters; AudioQuest Niagara 5000 Low-Z Power/Noise-Dissipation System. AC power comes from two dedicated 20A circuits, each just 6' from breaker box.—John Atkinson

COMPANY INFO
NAD Electronics International
633 Granite Court
Pickering, Ontario L1W 3K1
Canada
(905) 831-6555
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
Scintilla's picture

Reviewing your test results, John, it is hard to argue this is a better solution than using an M51/C510 paired with a good-quality conventional amplifier. Your tests of the M51 noise-floor revealed approximately 21 bits of resolution and pairing that with a high-current, low noise class A-A/B power amp with a high S/N ratio looks like a significantly better solution to me. All you gain here is some convenience with BluOS and maybe the potential for in-built 2-channel Dirac processing on an MDC board. Frankly, I'd rather have my Krell delivering the current than this class-D amplifier and I think NAD has objectively taken a step backwards with this product vs. the now-discontinued M51. Booo.

Long-time listener's picture

I have used the NAD M51 DAC with an old and relatively cheap NAD power amp (C252--$600 at the time of purchase), which, like the M32, is rated at 150 watts. I've gone back and forth a number of times, listening for days at a time, and each time my conclusion is the same: The M32 has a slightly "hard" sound in the upper midrange and treble, that occasionally adds an unpleasant edge or raspiness to the sound. The M51 with the older amplifier has a sweeter, more delicate and open sound. With a better amp than the C252, I suspect you would get even better sound, so yes, the M51 with a good amp is definitely better than the M32. I've found the M32 does well with some kinds of music--piano and instrumental come off fairly well--but when it comes to solo voices it can be pretty disappointing.

cundare's picture

There's an easy way to do this. Tell your head you're tapping in 12/8. The rhythm abruptly becomes obvious, like when a hidden Magic Eye 3D image snaps into place.

Long-time listener's picture

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