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.

Long-time listener's picture

In answer to the above, I think it's likely that combining the $2000 M51 (or any other good DAC with a volume control) with, say, a $2000 amp, so as to roughly equal the price of the NAD M32, would likely equal or exceed its performance. I've used an old NAD power amp (C252), like the M32, rated at 150 watts, with the M51. The C252 cost $600 when I bought it. I found the highs with this combination to be slightly smoother and perhaps more detailed than the M32's, which have a tendency under some conditions to become a little harsh when you push the volume.

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