Pros: Good connectivity and flexible with HDMI. Sounded very good with CD quality music.
Cons: Some will find the design too minimalistic. You miss a volume button on the DAC, when used a preamp
A month ago, I wrote a post on my desktop audioblog on the long awaited NAD M51 35-bit/844 kHz DAC. It's time to update that post with some first impressions, because I was so fortunate to get a 30 min. listen on it Friday. I had been down in my local Hi-Fi Klubben to check out the finale release date and it turned out, that they had just received a sample of the NAD M51. Very generously, they offered me to get a listen right away. I live close by, so went home to grab some music, that I know very well and 1/2 hour later I was all set in. And boy was I in for a treat. In the store, the M51 had been connected to the NAD M3 integrated amplifier (2000 euro) from the masters series and the Dali Mentor 2 (1600 euro). I'm familiar with both speaker and amplifier, but only in shorter sessions. The music I brought (USB stick), was streamed over the optical line, from the new Denon DNP- 720EA network player (500 euro). So all was good to go, I started my mixed playlist and listened. The music sounded amazing. I would say one of the best sounding stereo systems I have heard all year, also more expensive setups included. Of cause all the elements in the system must be counted in, besides the DAC, amp and speakers. Like the Van den Hul cables, the acoustics of the room and the very well produced music I brought, but still WOW