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NAD M51 Direct Digital DAC Impressions - Page 2

post #16 of 1225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwk View Post

 

 Functionally, the M51 is a home-run for me. I have it set up as the control center for the TV rig where it works quite well. Two HDMI inputs to handle the DirectTV box and DVD/B-R player, plus spdif for the Squeezebox (eventually will probably replace the squeezebox with a PC connected via USB).  The fact that it replaces a pre-amp/pre-pro as long as you only need stereo is a big win IMHO.


@dwk, you have hit the nail on the head - not sure how many others want a DAC to do so much 'double duty', but for me something with that level of functionality ticks a lot of boxes. I am considering the Octave for desktop use, but the M51 definitely fits into a broader niche. Also looking at Marantz NA7004 as a 'swiss army knife' - it never ends. 

 

post #17 of 1225

More impressions, sounds good.

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net.au/index.php/news-blog-and-showcase/john-darkos-blog/item/354-nad-m51-digital-direct-dac-initial-impressions

post #18 of 1225
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

Did you purchase from a dealer or online?
 

-Daniel

 


From a UK retailer, but I bought it remotely as it gives me 7 days no quibble money back under EU distance selling regs, and then the remaider of the 30 days for which I may have to quibble over a 20% restocking fee (they weren't certain, and that's why I won't recommend them here).  They said they'd deliver it on Friday but I've just realised its bank holiday on Friday and Monday here so that may not happen (I suspect they forgot as well), which means it'll be another week before I can get my hands on it. frown.gif  I'll call them tomorrow to confirm what's happening.


 

 

post #19 of 1225

Yeah I figured they might not be available online unfortunately-I have a dealer here in SLC that will hook me up in a month or so when I decide on my dac.

 

-Daniel

post #20 of 1225

Apparently NAD made a boo boo and they can't supply the M51 for several weeks now, so they've agreed to refund me and guarantee there'll be no restocking fee if I do subsequently buy and return it.  Ah well, so close... :-)

post #21 of 1225
Thread Starter 

@Stormfriend,

 

You have to give them full marks for customer service - consider the number of Head-Fiers who have just been left dangling after ordering gear ....

 

I take it that you have decided on another DAC and wont wait for more stock ? 

post #22 of 1225

Yep, I'm happy to buy from them again, so that's the main thing.  I got the refund to keep my options open and avoid any credit card charges whilst I wait, but I'll probably get the M51 eventually.  They'll let me know as soon as they get them in stock.  The only thing that might get my money instead is the Arcam D33 which I'll try and borrow in the meantime.  It sounded pretty good when I first tried it but it wasn't run in and its looks and functionality are lacking compared to the NAD.  At the end of the day I do have a good passive pre, and I barely notice my Micromega T-DAC, so sound quality is what matters...

post #23 of 1225

Its a shame about the availability and my dealer had mentioned that availability was going to be an issue when I purchased it.

 

The Arcam D33 had peaked my interests at one point, but I thought they may have out priced themselves a bit. If the performance was something stellar on the other hand, maybe I could look its cost aside. From what I have read thus far, its good, but a bit overpriced.

 

My M51 so far has performed quite well and I plan give a clear comparison to my Marantz SA-11S1. I'll try out M51 directly connected to the amp and see what differences it brings. The M51 is beyond a shadow of doubt an excellent DAC. It provided greater sound stage width and depth without sounding. Bass and dynamics were increased and really helped bring out pace and rhythmic qualities from the music. Its really hard to clearly understand the improvement in detail as its not in a manner of greater emphasis but the ability to permit every sound to presented with greater without any obscurity from one another.

 

Truly good stuff!

post #24 of 1225

I may be picking one up tomorrow depending on stock or if they are willing to let the demo model go.

I will be putting it up against the Wyred 4 Sound DAC2 and a recently acquired Calyx 24/192 DAC.

 

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

post #25 of 1225

  I've had one of these for a tiny while.  I find most of the cds (for that is what I'm using right now) sound better with polarity inverted.  More emotionally involving.

post #26 of 1225

Pulled off a good deal on one, and went for it. Currently digesting,

 

photo (1).JPG
 

 

post #27 of 1225

I decided to try out one more DAC to pit against the NAD M51. The challenger will be in the form of the Wadia 121 DAC. Should be an interesting comparison with the M51 using their innovative Zetex chip in comparison to the Digimaster implementation from Wadia.

 

What I do about the Wadia is the DAC chip being used is the Sabre32 Reference ESS9018 combined with a new version of the Digimaster and XMOS USB interface. A couple of W4S DAC2 owners, even though using the same exact DAC chip, feel its a better implementation of the chip. ToneAudio recently tweeted about the 121, stating it redefines the class of DACs up tp $1500. I do see some chinks in the armor of the Wadia in comparison to the NAD. First is the digital volume control is 32-bit as compared the M51's 35-bit solution. The Wadia uses a switch mode power supply and does not make mention of using discrete Class A output stages. 

 

What I do know is that it should be quite an interesting comparo!

 

popcorn.gif

post #28 of 1225

There isn't any mention of discrete Class A output on their top S7i CDP either. Anyway, what really counts is the sound quality. Look forward to your comparison.

post #29 of 1225
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeysarosh View Post

I decided to try out one more DAC to pit against the NAD M51. The challenger will be in the form of the Wadia 121 DAC. Should be an interesting comparison with the M51 using their innovative Zetex chip in comparison to the Digimaster implementation from Wadia.

 

What I do about the Wadia is the DAC chip being used is the Sabre32 Reference ESS9018 combined with a new version of the Digimaster and XMOS USB interface. A couple of W4S DAC2 owners, even though using the same exact DAC chip, feel its a better implementation of the chip. ToneAudio recently tweeted about the 121, stating it redefines the class of DACs up tp $1500. I do see some chinks in the armor of the Wadia in comparison to the NAD. First is the digital volume control is 32-bit as compared the M51's 35-bit solution. The Wadia uses a switch mode power supply and does not make mention of using discrete Class A output stages. 

 

What I do know is that it should be quite an interesting comparo!

 

popcorn.gif



Cool, looking forward to impressions. I'm about to spring for an M51 but might reconsider if the Wadia really blows you away.

post #30 of 1225

The Wadia 121 is in and breaking in via USB at the moment. I have already adjusted the output to 4V to more closely match my Marantz SA-11S1 and NAD M51. Going to give the Wadia  few hours on repeat before I take a real sit down with these three. The veteran, the champ, and the contender.

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