NAD M51 Direct Digital DAC Impressions

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by estreeter, Mar 27, 2012.
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  1. wotef
    I've uploaded the 1.39 firmware and installation instructions PDF here :D
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  2. Ajward549
    Good morning everyone!

    I am new here, and am considering the M 51 to replace my Maverick D2 with a NOS Tesla tube in the tube buffer stage. I really like the Maverick and think it was a great deal for the $, but I am attracted by the M51.The prices on Crutchfield right now are pretty great, and comparing on NAD's site, there is essentially no difference between the M51 and the C510. My amp is a NAD 356BEE and my CD player is C516BEE... I like NAD products! I play a lot of vinyl, but am enjoying streaming more and more.

    So, I haven't had any experience with DACs other than the Maverick D2. Number 1, and I assume I know the answer to this, will the M51 be a significant upgrade from the Maverick? If so, how? Number 2, Is this an antiquated DAC at this point, or still relevant? Keep in mind, I am just dipping my toe into the digital realm, and will continue to spin vinyl as long as I can listen to music! Finally, number 3, has anyone had experience comparing these two DACs directly?
  3. m8o
    $1k USD brand new?! Holy cow! Wish I could justify buying a second.

    No experience with the Maverick D2. But for me, it was a slightly noticible upgrade from the dac built in to the McIntosh MHA-100 amp, and a dramatic upgrade from a Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus.

    I used the latter for sound from tv and dvr; usually those singing competitions, or performances on late night tv. I have this one recording of the 2nd performance of the 1976's on SNL. A really fantastic recording and mix of a very energetic performance. Once I switched to using HDMI to feed my M51, I was floored by how much better it sounded. How musical, yet precise everything was, with every instrument having separation from every other one, vs. the 'blend' the DacMagic Plus was giving me.

    The up sampling tech used is quite unique, and not outdated IMO. And music from dual HDMI in is another feather in its cap to 'future proof it. I'm using both. At $1k new, I can't recommend it enough.
    Ajward549 likes this.
  4. Ajward549

    Thank you for this, very helpful!
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