I’m must confess to being very ambivalent about “hybrid digital” amplifiers. Very few have ever really knocked my socks off and I am hard pressed to name more than a few models that I would recommend to friends, readers, or family.
NAD is one of the few brands that I’ve tried over the years that seems to have figured this category out. The Rogue Audio Sphinx V3 is a rather good and affordable hybrid integrated amplifier and Wyred4Sound and Bel Canto have engineered some excellent products in the category as well.
But it kinda ends there for me.
Hybrid amplifiers are great in terms of power (and how little they draw), and they certainly deliver a lot of control and impact in the low end.
But man are they bland.
Dry white toast bland. Elwood wouldn’t even find them appetizing.
NAD’s hybrid digital amplifiers are anything but bland sounding. The new M23 slots into their lineup near the top in terms of pricing and performance.
The NAD M23 Hybrid Digital stereo power amplifier (US $3499 / CDN $4599 MSRP), available in January 2022, builds on the Purifi Eigentakt amplification technology first introduced in the acclaimed M33 BluOS Streaming Amplifier – a once-in-a-decade amplifier innovation that will define the pinnacle of power and performance in the category for years to come.
Continuing NAD’s long-standing tradition in identifying and developing cutting-edge amplification technology, Eigentakt nearly eliminates harmonic and intermodulation distortion and noise while its load-invariant frequency response can drive even the most demanding of loudspeakers to their highest performance.
According to Cas Oostvogel, NAD’s Product Manager, “The sonic character of the M23 is reinforced in the story told by the numbers. This is an amazingly powerful and transparent amplifier bringing new levels of refinement and dynamics at any level and sets a new benchmark for performance and value in its category.”
Powerful Eigentakt™ Amplifier Technology
The Masters M23 Hybrid Digital stereo power amplifier features Eigentakt™ amplifier technology, manufactured by NAD under license from Purifi. This new technology nearly eliminates harmonic and intermodulation distortion and allows for an even, wide, and load-invariant frequency response.
In common with the previous generations of NAD Hybrid Digital technology but unlike most Class D amplifier designs, the M23 offers a minimum of 200W per channel with amazing reserves of dynamic power at lower impedances.
It is capable of beyond 260W dynamic power per channel even into 8 ohms, and 520W into 4 ohms.
The M23 in bridge mode is the perfect addition to expand the power of an M33 BluOS Streaming Amplifier to create a 2 x 700W system or is an easy upgrade to power any high-performance separates system.
Thanks to the advanced Purifi Eigentakt amplifier technology, all this power comes at a lot less cost than traditional technology while delivering improved performance.
A Diverse Performer
It is easy to find amplifiers that can excel in one or two areas. The M23 Hybrid Digital stereo power amplifier featuring the Eigentakt amplification technology provides nearly unmeasurable distortion, ultra-high damping factor, and unconditional stability with any speaker.
Leaving old fashioned and power-hungry linear power supplies and Class A/B output stages behind, the M23 features proven switch mode power supplies and Class D output stages that are very linear over a wide bandwidth and provide consistent performance into all speaker loads.
Flexibility is another strength of the M23 with its RCA and XLR balanced inputs, bridge mode, three selectable gain levels, 12v trigger and auto sensing. The M23 is the perfect addition to expand the power of an M33 BluOS Streaming Amplifier or power any high-performance separates system.
The M23 features all alloy casework that is elegant yet practical. Rigid panels with magnetic iso-point feet provide a solid foundation for the multi-layer circuit boards and intricate internal construction. The M23 employs a completely modern and fresh take on the traditional stereo amplifier, with a combination of features, performance and value for money not found elsewhere.
- Purifi Eigentakt™ amplifier technology
- Continuous Power Output: 2x200W into 8 ohms; 2x380W into 4 ohms
- Dynamic Power Output: 2x260W into 8 ohms; 2x520W into 4 ohms
- Bridged Power Output: 700W mono continuous into 8 ohms
- Virtually immeasurable noise, harmonic distortion, intermodulation distortion
- Wide, flat frequency response into any loudspeaker load
- Balanced (XLR) and single-ended (RCA) auto-sensing inputs
- Three-position adjustable gain control
- 12V trigger input
For more information: nadelectronics.com
Where to buy: $3499 USD / $4599 CDN (coming soon)
Related reading: PSB Synchrony Bookshelf Speakers Review