NAD M51 Direct Digital DAC Impressions

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by estreeter, Mar 27, 2012.
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  1. Alexxander
    AAAARG your right DUH!
    I cant test again untill Saturday, i'll let you know
    Thanks mate
  2. Alexxander

    hello again,
    having selected the correct switch to balanced outputs everything is tickity boo,
    thanks for all of your help guys
    now driving my Hifiman He-6's from the speaker taps off the Roksan M2 fed with the M51 from my laptop through coaxial Audiophellio2
    very pleased with what i'm hearing.
    One question though can the NAD M51 not be configured so that the digital display reads from 0 upwards it's pretty weird going from -40db and going down to -20db which is where I generally find my volume comfort level. If that were on a regular dial It'd probably be at 2 or 3 o'clock (I listen loud)
  3. roger7
    I don't get what you want.
    0 db means maximum loudness. Everything below is quieter and thus has negative scale.
    This is what every preamp does - attenuate and not amplify.
  4. Eddie Q
    Displaying negative values is the correct way to denote attenuation.  If the preamp was amplifying the source signal, then it will/should display positive values.
  5. ardilla
    XLR-RCA adapter cable for the NAD m51
    Don't know if this is covered in this thread by now - but some might find it interesting that NAD says you can use the XLR(AES/EBU)-input from an RCA spdif source, with the use of a RCA-XLR cable.
    Here is the wiring according to the NAD tech I asked. 
    Since I suddenly sold my M51, I never got to try it for myself, though. Maybe someone else have tried this?
  6. Arcee
    I've just purchased my NAD M51, it's coming all the way from Austria so I guess I'll have it not before next week.

    I'm replacing my Nuforce AVP-18 preamp with it, as I give up on multichannel audio and want to go back to Hifi stereo. The Nuforce goes for sale, together with my Sony TA-N220 power amp which I used for rear and center speakers.

    The NAD M51 will be driving my two loyal Quad 405 power amps. I have two, because I am bi-amping my speakers. Here comes my question. The Quad's only have RCA inputs. I need two RCA outputs per channel. The M51 only has one.

    I see two options:
    a/ using y-splitters connected to the M51's RCA outputs
    b/ using an XLR to RCA plug on the M51

    My preference is solution B, using a plug like this:

    My question is, will that give the same output voltage and attenuation level on both the outputs (RCA and XLR to RCA) so that my sound is equal on both channels when using the same amps?

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  7. Arcee
    Two other questions:
    1/ Can the M51 pass through 4K video signals coming in through HDMI?
    2/ Does the M51 have the possibility to receive audio from the HDMI output (this is called ARC)?

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  8. WDitters

    1/ no idea
    2/ yes. I had my M50 connected via HDMI to my M51 prior to upgrading to M12. Easily the best quality connection due to i2s advantage

    Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk
  9. tonet64
    Hi Arcee,
    Solution B will work for you.
    In Stereophile test JA measured the ouput voltage of both XLR and RCA outputs and found that the XLR output voltage is exactly the double of the RCA's.
    Since you will use only the positive phase of the balanced output with the XLR-RCA adapter you will get absolutely the same level in same phase as on the RCAs.
  10. Rony Carlos
    There's a +12v trigger in. What is it used for?
    Is it a DC input from ext LPSU?
  11. roger7
    No, it's not for the ext LPS.
    It's normal trigger in function like in many other audio gears:
    power on, power off the device from another device with trigger out function like preamp, player etc.
  12. Arcee

    Thanks so much Toni for your advice. I've hooked up both Quads with one channel (the highs) to the XLR/RCA adapter and the other to RCA and like this I am bi-amping both channels. Works like a charm and the sound is better than when using Y splitters. Indeed the same level in the same phase comes out. Exactly the solution I was hoping for!

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  13. m8o
    We need an NAD M12 thread... :wink: Seriously considering that. If I treat myself and buy one, maybe I'll start one. But not until then.

    An alternative is get the M51 coupled with an Emotiva XSP-1 Gen 2 preamp. Cost savings aside there are a few things that would buy me in the analog domain. Main thing I'd give up from the M12 in the digital domain is the spdif passthru that I could make use of.

    In both cases, I'm struggling with the $ cost of either NAD devices and forgoing DSD support. Why I want it is that is the format that gives best fidelity from my TASCAM recorder, when digitizing albumns.

    Tell me. As buyers of the M51, how do you reconcile lack of DSD support in this day and age?
  14. barid
    Well, I don't own any DSD material or have any plans to, so that's how I reconcile it.  But I get your point.
  15. m8o
    So me, prospective buyer again...

    What attracts me most to this is the stereophile measurement's undithered sinewave is so pristine. Most dacs have a dozen or two small zigzags riding the sine wave. Which to me denotes that 'digital sheen' sound.

    Is the M51 as 'analog sounding' as that sinewave graph implies it should be? Thanx.
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