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NAD M2 Direct Digital Amplifier--Is This the Future of Audio Amplification?

 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3022
Registered: Oct-04
http://www.avguide.com/blog/technology-preview-nad-m2-direct-digital-amplifier-t he-future-audio-amplification

"Functionally, the M2 is an "integrated amplifier" that replaces a DAC, preamplifier, and power amplifier. The M2 eliminates from a traditional signal path all the electronics of a DAC as well as the active analog gain stages of a preamplifier and power amplifier. It does this by converting the PCM signal from a digital source directly into a pulse-width modulation (PWM) signal that turns the M2's output transistors on and off. That's it--no digital filter, no DACs, no multiple stages of analog amplification, no interconnects, no jacks, no analog volume control, no preamp. The conversion from the digital domain to the analog domain occurs as a byproduct of the switching output stage and its analog filter. This is as direct a signal path as one could envision."
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10943
Registered: Feb-05
NAD did such a poor job with the last M Series components these would have to be in the market and reliable for quite sometime before I would consider them a safe investment.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3023
Registered: Oct-04
Really, I loved what I heard from the Master Series, but was unaware of reliability issues?

What were the issues?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10944
Registered: Feb-05
What weren't the issues. A dealer and tech I know says that they are poorly designed and fail consistently. I've listened to the Masters Series on a number of occasions and find them uninvolving and lifeless. The last time I listened to one was a freshly repaired one. The Tech stated that he actually likes the sound of the comparably powered classic series better. Not sure I agree with that but weighted for price he was right on IMO. Personal preference again I'm afraid...I don't get on well with amps and sources that don't get the life of the music right and that's how I find the Masters Series.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3025
Registered: Oct-04
I couldn't disagree more, I A/B'd an MS rig alongside a MAC rig, albeit with some very pedestrian BA speakers, and was WOW'd by the MS relative to the MAC, on certain content I actually preferred it.

But this is not the first time I've heard of NAD unreliability, I've actually experienced it with my L54 DVD/Receiver, you would think they'd get this resolved ASAP?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10946
Registered: Feb-05
Like I said it is indeed a personal preference issue. If I were given a Master's Series piece it would be on Audiogon before nightfall...that's just me. I listened to an NAD Masters Series amp with a pair of "BE" series Focal's and then a Sugden A21SE and the Sugden embarrassed the NAD. I seem to really like those amps that heat up...don't know what it is...lol!

I really like my wife's little C325BEE. It gets along nicely with almost any speaker and has pretty good timing. A good bargain.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13769
Registered: Dec-04
Any good quality amp/switch will be proven with a small amp/load.
When headroom or power come into play, I doubt that the comparo would go very far.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3031
Registered: Oct-04
I suspect you are correct, but on that day, in that room, with those speakers, the distinctions were less apparent.

I really liked the MS.

That being said & given the choice, you know what I'm taking home with me.
 

Silver Member
Username: Unbridled_id

ChicagoUsa

Post Number: 525
Registered: Mar-04
TAS will have a review on the M2 in their December issue. It does have some unique technology, how this translates into perceived sound quality is a different matter. The price point is a bit high but this probably reflects their use of the proprietary technology. Art I have not heard much of anything about the MS being unreliable? Not the M3, M15, or M25 at least. Some issues with the M5 but what you heard is what you heard.

I think we all have read varying viewpoints regarding the M3 in particular. I really like the look and the functionality of the unit. As I am partial to the NAD house sound I more than likely would enjoy it. I know I love the looks and functionality. I would imagine the M3 will be "updated" in the near future and I bet it will be using M2 style amplification.

I read somewhere that NAD was so enamored with what the M2 technology brings to the table that as time goes by that want it in their whole line. (top to bottom)..

I hope some folks get a chance to hear the M2 and post some feedback.
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 573
Registered: Oct-07
This sounds like an original application of known technology and as such will be very expensive at first.
Wait for gen3 like this and have some of the 'bugs' worked out. Sometimes you only find out by shipping a bunch of 'em.
As an example of a 'better' way than to just ship is the example OPPO set with there new BR player.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13787
Registered: Dec-04
It remains to be heard, of course, but maybe this one will turn our collective heads.
New stuff is always scary (or prematurely released), but who knows?
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