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NAD M51 Direct Digital DAC Impressions - Page 40

post #586 of 1264

i use it a 0db since i don't want my M51 to mess with the signal and (to digitally amplify it).

guys on SNA reported some strange issues with m51 clipping on some loud recordings. well, they said that using -1db solves that issue.

considering this info, i guess it's not a good idea to set higher volume than 0

 

(personally i didn't have any clipping on M51 yet)

post #587 of 1264

Gotcha.  Thanks..

post #588 of 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

About to join the ranks. Can any one comment on how the M51 pairs with the HD800? The Mjolnir will be in between. The Gungnir is a good dac for the price but I find it struggles in busy passages and I notice too much distortion (it's subtle, but it translates to a hard digital edge in certain tracks) for a component at this level.

 

I spent a couple hours at the local dealer with an M51 today, and tested out their HD800 with it as well (using a Music Hall PH25.2 headphone amp). I found the sound very pleasing, and didn't feel any fatigue my listening.

post #589 of 1264

Apologies for the double post. Has anyone else searched the recent pricing on the NAD M51? I found one locally (a store demo, but only b/c they were sold out) for $1700 and was wondering if there were better deals to be had, particularly in Canada (Toronto, Vancouver, or Montreal to be specific).

 

Speaking of which, anyone know of anything I should be wary of with the demo model? It's a DAC so I figure there's not too much to 'burn-out'...

post #590 of 1264

1700.00 for a demo unit seems an excellent price -- don't see these being discounted very often. Dealer demos will carry full warranty so you ought to be covered there. Mine was a demo and has been fantastic thus far.

 

best,

 

o
 

post #591 of 1264

I'd like to try an M51

What would I pay for a used one?

Anyone thinking about selling ...

post #592 of 1264

jtinto, seeing as your in Toronto have you dropped by BayBloorRadio? They might have one you could listen to.  

 

When I went to my local dealer in Montreal, I brought my computer, amp, and headphones - the gave me a space and a couple hours to get a feel for everything.

post #593 of 1264

I'll give BBR a call tomorrow.

American Sound might have one as well.

Thanks for the reminder oogabooga wink.gif

post #594 of 1264

Hi all at Head-Fi happy new year,well ive been a very happy owner of Nad M51 for some time now and have to say it made up my mind to go completely digital with my music,squeezebox touch is great but doesn't do m51 justice so ive been on lookout for better source,my prefered imput on m51 is HDMI so needed something with quality that could output HDMI,week before xmas my Oppo 103 arrived and have to say this is one amazing piece of equipment,sound from m51 is another level,well worth investment,plus as far as picture quality goes there has been a massive improvement there also,oppo has hdmi imput also so have youview box been upscaled by oppo and results are exellent,the oppo network features are greatly improved from previous models and work very well,i treated myself to a new nas synology diskstation ds712+ with 6tb of storage to feed my all digital setup and have to say its fantastic all controlled with apps from my nexus 7 very happy and if anyone has any questions about any of the products ive mentioned i will try to answer,thats my wish list for 2012 complete time to get back to work as bank balance has taken a hit this xmas

post #595 of 1264

I'm in the process of comparing the NAD M51 to my Parasound 1500 (both connected to the same amp/headphones: Stax SRM-006t/404LE).

 

One place the NAD clearly bests the Parasound is in the very low frequencies (e.g. Phoenix, from Daft Punk) - the NAD makes them sound clearer/cleaner, while the Parasound is 'missing' part of the bass. Otherwise I'm finding it very hard to compare the two. Does anyone know of a good resource to read that can help guide my comparison?

 

Thanks!

post #596 of 1264

The Parasound 1500 is a pretty good DAC.  The only suggestion I have is maybe getting a switchbox so you can do some quick A/Bing.  Obviously still a subjective test, but at least you can more quickly switch back and forth between sources.  I use the Manley SkipJack for that and it works well.  Certainly, long term listening tests are also necessary but maybe this will help you isolate some of the nuances.

post #597 of 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by oogabooga View Post

I'm in the process of comparing the NAD M51 to my Parasound 1500 (both connected to the same amp/headphones: Stax SRM-006t/404LE).

 

One place the NAD clearly bests the Parasound is in the very low frequencies (e.g. Phoenix, from Daft Punk) - the NAD makes them sound clearer/cleaner, while the Parasound is 'missing' part of the bass. Otherwise I'm finding it very hard to compare the two. Does anyone know of a good resource to read that can help guide my comparison?

 

Thanks!

Proper level matching is the most important. Can you both feed them the same digital signal by daisy chaining them if one has a SPDIF out, or use a USB to SPDIF box with two outputs?

post #598 of 1264

Late to this party but have had my M51 for a couple 3 months now and it is the most detail resolving dac I have owned or heard.  I owned Mark Levinson 360S dac for many years.  The M51 beats it handily as far as detail retrieval and it bests the Marantz SA11S2 as well in that regard.  The Marantz may become my new headphone rig source as I intend to leave the M51 in my main loudspeaker system.  My source for the 51 is an Oppo 95 via and Ethereal HDMI cable.  The M51 has performed flawlessly with any thing I have thrown at it via the Oppo.  Even SACD's played thru the NAD sound for the most part to my ears better than the same disc on the Marantz even though the Marantz is decoding DSD where as the M51 is decoding 24/88.  I cant say enough about the M51 and it's real selling point is that it is an HDMI dac.  Supposedly some hi rez stereo content on Blu-ray discs will only be available via HDMI.

post #599 of 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

The Parasound 1500 is a pretty good DAC.  The only suggestion I have is maybe getting a switchbox so you can do some quick A/Bing.  Obviously still a subjective test, but at least you can more quickly switch back and forth between sources.  I use the Manley SkipJack for that and it works well.  Certainly, long term listening tests are also necessary but maybe this will help you isolate some of the nuances.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

Proper level matching is the most important. Can you both feed them the same digital signal by daisy chaining them if one has a SPDIF out, or use a USB to SPDIF box with two outputs?

 

Thanks Monkey and zenpunk for the replies.  I'm feeding them both from the optical out of my MBP and plugging both into my Stax amp using RCAs, so I just swap the optical cable and select the appropriate source on the amp. I found that with the NAD set to 0 dB, the Parasound was still a bit louder (in fact, setting the NAD to +2 dB would generate the same sound level, but of course I didn't do this in A/Bing for fear of clipping).  So, yes, matching the sound level was a PITA.

 

It's perhaps worth mentioning for others trying to do this, that I did also try creating "multi-output device", and driving the NAD via USB and the Parasound via optical, so that I needed to only select the correct source on the amp. I found that OSX 10.7 would degrade the audio (it would become very choppy) after 10-15 minutes, so I gave up on that approach.

 

I'm going to do some more listening over the weekend, but the only difference I can discern is an improvement in the lowest bass, I'll have to decide if that's worth the extra $$.

post #600 of 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyjames8 View Post

Late to this party but have had my M51 for a couple 3 months now and it is the most detail resolving dac I have owned or heard.  I owned Mark Levinson 360S dac for many years.  The M51 beats it handily as far as detail retrieval and it bests the Marantz SA11S2 as well in that regard.  The Marantz may become my new headphone rig source as I intend to leave the M51 in my main loudspeaker system.  My source for the 51 is an Oppo 95 via and Ethereal HDMI cable.  The M51 has performed flawlessly with any thing I have thrown at it via the Oppo.  Even SACD's played thru the NAD sound for the most part to my ears better than the same disc on the Marantz even though the Marantz is decoding DSD where as the M51 is decoding 24/88.  I cant say enough about the M51 and it's real selling point is that it is an HDMI dac.  Supposedly some hi rez stereo content on Blu-ray discs will only be available via HDMI.

 

Indeed. I'm quite interested in the future in using a CAS (computer as source) - something like an SSD based laptop with an HDMI out and connecting it that way. The spec for HDMI 1.4 is good for audio, supposedly, and many people feel the M51's HDMI input is the best one when used with software which bypasses all the Windows/Mac audio processing/engines (e.g. Audirvana 1.4. on OS X with Direct/Integer mode).

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