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

NAD Electronics International
633 Granite Court
Pickering, Ontario L1W 3K1
(905) 831-6555

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.

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

After a period of use, I can agree with a lot of what John Atkinson says here. Clean and clear certainly describes the sound, and pretty detailed (though a DAC with 21-bit resolution, used with a decent amplifier, gives slightly better detail in my experience). I do note that its balance is indeed a little bit light. I usually use the tone controls to add 0.5 decibels of bass, and sometimes as much as 1 decibel, just to counter the amplifier's own lack of weight in the bass. (I previously had a 150-watt rated NAD solid-state power amp that was weightier in the bass.) Aside from that, there are times when, even after quite a period of break-in, I still think there's still quite a bit of the hardness in the treble that is often associated with Class D amps. A fairly forgiving speaker, with good bass, such as the Buchardt Audio S300 MkII, would be best if you're going to use this amp. If sound quality is your first consideration, I don't think this is worth the price, but if the feature set is important to you it might be.