NAD M12/M22 Amplifier

As the manufacturer of among the very most famous budget amplifiers of time - the 3020, which first appeared in the conclusion of the '70s offering a preference of audiophilia to get an extremely fair GBP80 and changing something in the area of 500,000 units in three years -it is scarcely surprising that lots of the activity in the NAD range happens at the entry level.

The most recent variant of the classic, as an example, is the quite distinct-seeming D3020, established to observe the 40th anniversary of the firm. But the Canadian-owned firm comes with an upmarket string in the shape of its own Masters Series, built as the 3020 handled the integrated amp status quo to have the huge names of high end sound. The latest arrivals are an all- the £3299 M12 new preamplifier, and a 250W per channel stereo power amp, the £2699 M22.

The M12 preamp may be fitted using a card supporting another with HDMI sound capacity and video passthrough and the multiroom/wireless functionality Bluesound.

Both the M12 as well as the M22 are superbly built and concluded, with fascia litter kept to a minimum: the M12 features a clear, sharp colour touchscreen screen for all its functionality, along with a big volume control, but beyond that both cartons have no more than the usual symbol border-lit to signal on/standby, as well as a touch-sensitive on/off switch mounted in the middle of the fascia environment.

That is tidy, but it did lead to my changing the preamp or twice when browsing my way throughout the touchscreen's setup menus. And there is plenty of flexibility in those menus: trimmings could be set for every input signal, or given amount set and corrected (say, to be used with the AV chip), while input signals may be renamed, tone controls set and loudspeaker alternatives investigated (eg, with/ without subwoofer) and features like screen degree, automatic power away, etc, chosen.

As standard, the M12 preamplifier comes with hardwired socketry for optical and coaxial digital output signal, balanced and single-finished preouts, output signals for 2 subwoofers, control connections on 12V trigger in/outside, infrared detector input signal and an RS232 outlet, plus three MDC cards already installed.

And it's two additional USB sockets (though among those is inhabited by the small WiFi 'dongle' provided together with the upgrade kit in the event you decide to make use of the path that is wireless).

The client can simply fits the module. Opening the carton you locate a clear a Bluetooth antenna, the MDC module, education leaflet as well as the WiFi dongle, plus an extension lead in case you require it so that you can get a transparent wireless sign. The M12 needs only two Philips-head screws to be reversed to release the MDC blanking plate in the back of the preamp, after which the BluOS module slides right into a guide route to make sure it participates the contacts within, as well as the screws are subsequently replaced.

The M22 power amplifier has both balanced and single-ended input signals, as well as one set of large mix terminals for the loudspeaker output of every channel, plus a 12V trigger input signal to let it be switched by the M12. Slimline measurements and the healthful maintained output signal indicate it is among NAD's DirectDigital layouts, but it's not. Instead Ncore Class D technology is used by it from Dutch firm Hypex to develop a hybrid digital amp, built to give, says NAD,' substantial emotion that is analogue'.

For all its capacity and flexibility, this can be an extremely straightforward amplifier system use and to create, and I'd it ready to go in pretty short order, subsequently gave it a few days' use before settling down for just about any serious listening. As usual, the primary source that is comparative was my Naim NDS/555PS network player as well as the primary speakers were well- thoroughly comfortable and used PMC OB1s.

In addition, it has a directness of communicating, betraying no awareness of the number whereby the signal has passed from source of digital processing.

This show has quality that is pretty spectacular, with skilful mix bringing every part of the bit out while listening to the NADs delivering that live feel at more than reasonable amounts, and keeping it, it is easy to be taken along from the atmosphere.

Using the closeness the NAD mix reveals just how finely it may bring the expression out. 'God Bless The Child', a record dating in the 1940s, seems new, is presented with amazing penetration to the singer's phrasing and intonation and clean. That is exactly what the directness of the mix is about.

It is a record that is brilliant, and even more affecting for being played on a high quality amplifier for example this.

Or perhaps that is only a complication of how great the seem when working with higher-quality stuff, cultivating that realisation they could seem really solid when given the opportunity, and entailing.

And with Gustavo Dudamel's Wagner programme, recorded for his own label using the Simon Bolivar Orchestra [digital-only release], impressively energetic and weighty although sound might be, simply a bit more brass blare would not have gone amiss to actually lift the hairs on the rear of the neck.

Housetrained high end? That is more or less the easiest way to spell out this pre/power mix: it is easy to use, thanks to a well-sorted touchscreen remote control interface and programs (for the section that is Bluesound). It is flexible, able of a sound at turns fine and thunderous, it drives and controls loudspeakers exceptionally nicely and is absolutely bother-free in use. In all, a package that is fairly powerful.

NAD M12/M22 Amplifier photo