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New M51 Masters Series NAD DAC

 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3647
Registered: Jun-07
http://nadelectronics.com/products/digital-music/M51-Direct-Digital-DAC

Wow, HDMI in and out, for 3d video pass through and 2.0 audio pass through as well as latest USB and can be used as a pre amp. AES in and Out. On paper, looks to be a winner. I wonder how it sounds.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1164
Registered: Dec-06
In my experience, DACs could not handle passing through of SACD and DVD-A signals, because those are not carried through the audio outs of a universal player (would be converted to PCM first). However, they do work via HDMI, but you always needed a receiver that could accept it in order to hear the native signal.

So...it would appear that this DAC can accept these signals. First one I've ever seen that can. Would be the first DAC I'd seriously consider then I think, as I could ditch my CD player and use my Oppo for CDs, SACDs, and DVD-A's.

That said, there is probably something to be said for the performance of a player that specializes in CD playback. So I will probably stick with what I've got, but I'd definitely like to try the M51 one day in my system.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4964
Registered: Feb-07
I had the M51 on loan from my dealer for awhile.

It was good - really good actually! I was tempted to keep it until I tried the USB input. It was distorted, and emitted loud clicks and pops. I thought it was going to shred my speakers actually.

I had an email exchange with some NAD reps and they suggested that the USB input could be defective. I'm wondering if this could be a common problem with the unit.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2828
Registered: Oct-07
I had badly distorted sound with my DACMagic+ until I corrected a cable fault at the DAC connection end.

If you still can test it.....use the shortest USB cable you can manage as well as making sure everything is connected properly.

I'm even using 30 feet of USB w/a repeater.......
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4965
Registered: Feb-07
When you say "cable fault" do you mean the cable was faulty?

I tried different USB cables. Same issue.

My dealer has offered to get me another one on loan whenever I'm ready. I posted a short write-up of it over here:

http://www.audioreview.ca/default.aspx?pagename=review&reviewID=52
 

New member
Username: Doubt

Post Number: 6
Registered: Nov-12
nad m51 + dynaudio focus 110a
nad c 390dd + dynaudio dm 2/7
which combo is gonna sound better?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17678
Registered: May-04
.


Since the M51 has no amplifier it will not "sound" at all in that combination.
 

New member
Username: Doubt

Post Number: 7
Registered: Nov-12
But isn't dynaudio focus 110 a an active speaker?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17690
Registered: May-04
.

Sorry, my search didn't pick up the "A" version. Technically, active monitors have the edge over separate amp/speaker combos. The amp designer knows all about the speaker and the speaker designer knows all about the amp. Shorter signal paths and fewer cables should make for a superior system on paper.

The problem with active speakers is they lack flexibility as you upgrade the system. With a separate amp, you upgrade the amp and upgrade the system performance. Additionally, should there be a problem with one component in the pair, the entire system is down. Otherwise, powered monitors are more lilely, IMO, to provide superior sound quality. You need to check out the NAD house sound, it may or may not be what you find attractive. The M51 has been written up as a very neutral sounding component. I haven't seen a review on the NAD amp but I would assume it follows NAD house sound traditions. If so, I wouldn't make the NAD amp my first choice with the Dynaudios - but others may disagree.

"Sound better" is too vague to have a real answer at this point. What you like is not always what is best on paper. But what is better on paper is the M51 combo.




.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4970
Registered: Feb-07
FWIW, in the end, after a lengthy audition period and putting the M51 head to head with an Audiolab M-Dac, I decided I liked the M-Dac better.
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