Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › NAD M51 Direct Digital DAC Impressions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

NAD M51 Direct Digital DAC Impressions - Page 3

post #31 of 1217

I have had an M51 for about two months now and find it a fantastic DAC. But when used as a DAC/pre, it really shines. The volume control is second to none I have ever used. The DAC section I have found to be my favorite so far. I actually sold my Dodd Battery Preamp and Metrum Octave once I listened to the NAD. And I liked the Octave better than my (now sold) Weiss DAC2 and Berkeley Alpha (1st version). Having the HDMI inputs is a great addition.

 

The USB input is very good, but significantly bettered by my Empirical Off Ramp 4 into the coax of the M51. As a matter of fact, my current digital source (Amarra/MBP/OR4/M51) sounds so good, I sold off all of my vinyl equipment. None of my prior DAC/pre combinations ever reached this level.

post #32 of 1217

Im so close to pulling the trigger! On a dac anyways... Have you ever heard the Bryston BDA-1? If so how do they compare?

M

Well Ive narrowed it down between the

NAD

Violectric

Anedio D2

Or a used Berkely v1

post #33 of 1217

people rate Anedio D2 as same or better than Berkeley Alpha V2

http://ns1.review33.com/avforum/index.php?topic=36120116101008&page=3

#65

but D2 not available for purchase right now

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcullinan View Post

Im so close to pulling the trigger! On a dac anyways... Have you ever heard the Bryston BDA-1? If so how do they compare?

M

Well Ive narrowed it down between the

NAD

Violectric

Anedio D2

Or a used Berkely v1

 

 


Edited by yfei - 4/19/12 at 2:00pm
post #34 of 1217

It seems Nad with the master series did it again :)

Really curious to hear it!

post #35 of 1217
I'll wait. Can't hurt.
M
post #36 of 1217

Well after the first day of break in for the Wadia 121 DAC, it now faced its first session against the NAD M51. I can't heap enough praise on the NAD M51 as it showed a clear and significant step up from the Wadia. Its truly sounding wonderful in my system and I have not even tried it direct to amplifier yet.

 

The Wadia is really quite laid back and does have any of the air, dynamics, and sounds stage abilities of the M51. While the Wadia plays pleasantly in the background, the NAD is just extremely present, detailed, rich, dynamic, and involving.

 

post #37 of 1217

I notice something similar vs the Calyx, the M51 is definitely more presenting in many aspects.

The Calyx is more polite (though it seems better than the Wadia based on what you've written), which bodes better with some phones.

The NAD is my hands down choice with the LCD2s as they benefit from the extra high end edge and detail rendition and imaging.

The HD800s are excellent in those categories and they don't need any boost, so it becomes a bit over done, I find it goes much better with the Calyx which warms it up a bit and keeps the highs nice and smooth.

 

Horses for courses.

post #38 of 1217
Thread Starter 

Excellent feedback guys - one of the most frequent complaints I see in this forum seems to be that we dont compare new sources with other comparable kit - on this page alone we have clear recommendations for the M51 as both DAC and preamp over other desirable kit - subjective opinions, granted, but it all adds to the overall impression I'm getting of the NAD. I havent seen any measurements, but thats a thread best left in Sound Science.  wink.gif

post #39 of 1217

I would be astonished if the M51 didn't achieve exemplary measurements. I'm using the NAD M2 as a reference for measurements and it was given a clean bill of health. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, and NAD is most certainly delivering.

 

I will state that all my listening has been done via balanced outputs. I say this as other forum users seem to agree that it sounds best in this manner. I know the unit is now a little challenging to come by in some parts, but I would urge anyone looking for a DAC to put this unit as a must listen.

 

The next step will be to bypass my Pass XP-10 and try it direct to my X250.5. If it does improve by eliminating the preamp, I wouldn't be shy in saying that it would certainly be one of the best DAC with digital Pre on the market. The unique architecture of the Zetex chip allows for more attenuation without truncation in the digital domain than any other product out there.

post #40 of 1217
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeysarosh View Post

I would be astonished if the M51 didn't achieve exemplary measurements. I'm using the NAD M2 as a reference for measurements and it was given a clean bill of health. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, and NAD is most certainly delivering.

 

I will state that all my listening has been done via balanced outputs. I say this as other forum users seem to agree that it sounds best in this manner. I know the unit is now a little challenging to come by in some parts, but I would urge anyone looking for a DAC to put this unit as a must listen.

 

The next step will be to bypass my Pass XP-10 and try it direct to my X250.5. If it does improve by eliminating the preamp, I wouldn't be shy in saying that it would certainly be one of the best DAC with digital Pre on the market. The unique architecture of the Zetex chip allows for more attenuation without truncation in the digital domain than any other product out there.

 

I think we might need to qualify some of that with 'any other product in a similar price bracket'. I haven''t heard your system, and I havent heard Meridian's Audio Core 200 with their DSP range of active speakers, but those who have seem to say silly things like 'worth every penny'.  Its only when you download Meridian's US price list that the impact of that claim sinks in. If they are all shills for Meridian, it would explain why the company needs to charge so much for everything on their infernal product price list.  rolleyes.gif

 

Don't get me wrong - I want the M51 to be a giant killer, but I'm wary of wild claims on Head-Fi, particularly when there is so much competition out there. Even if such comparisons are meaningless, NAD appears to have released another in a long line of screaming audio bargains, and that's a thrill that few Meridian customers will ever know.   very_evil_smiley.gif

 

Just my two cents worth. 

post #41 of 1217

I certainly understand and this also is something that is a matter of perspective and preference. I agree with the sentiments that is within a certain price range, but in the case with this NAD, it seems to a significant degree upward. My Marantz SA-11S1 was always regarded as a very good red book player and excellent with SACD. Surpassing this player was already good starting point.

 

But its also about system synergies as well. A B&W user would be one example in which a laid back sound might be preferential. So while one setup works well with my Kef Ref, the B&W owner gets something else entirely.

 

But for myself, I am in no doubt listening to a very good product that seems to be more competitive to its price and above then below. The same had been mentioned by other users in various forums. Two professional reviews in foreign countries also gave it  favorable review, echoing the same sentiments.

 

Now getting your mitts on it for home trial is entirely another matter until next month. The other sweet part of my deal is that I had picked it up at bit below list, which certainly always nice.

post #42 of 1217

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeysarosh View Post

Now getting your mitts on it for home trial is entirely another matter until next month. The other sweet part of my deal is that I had picked it up at bit below list, which certainly always nice.

 

Not having heard it before, getting it $300 below MSRP certainly helped me in the leap of faith.

 

post #43 of 1217

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeysarosh View Post

I would be astonished if the M51 didn't achieve exemplary measurements. I'm using the NAD M2 as a reference for measurements and it was given a clean bill of health. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, and NAD is most certainly delivering.

 

I will state that all my listening has been done via balanced outputs. I say this as other forum users seem to agree that it sounds best in this manner. I know the unit is now a little challenging to come by in some parts, but I would urge anyone looking for a DAC to put this unit as a must listen.

 

The next step will be to bypass my Pass XP-10 and try it direct to my X250.5. If it does improve by eliminating the preamp, I wouldn't be shy in saying that it would certainly be one of the best DAC with digital Pre on the market. The unique architecture of the Zetex chip allows for more attenuation without truncation in the digital domain than any other product out there.

 

I am interested to hear your thoughts on using it as a preamp, especially considering what it would be replacing. I am also using the balanced outputs. I am sending the SE outputs to my sub.

post #44 of 1217

In the US thet are selling online for $1999. What price did you get it at, maybe I can haggle.

Always looking to save a little $$

M

post #45 of 1217

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcullinan View Post

In the US thet are selling online for $1999. What price did you get it at, maybe I can haggle.

Always looking to save a little $$

M

 

I got mine for $1700CDN

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › NAD M51 Direct Digital DAC Impressions