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NAD M3 vs Musical Fidelity A5

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Being a noob I need some buying advice on an integrated amp for B&W XT4's
I tried the Cambridge 840 but I think the XTs needed MORE...
then I tried the Lyngdorf SDAi 2175 (Tact) + XT4, just a brief moment - but it I didn`t get too impressed with it...
I'm gonna to use it to power up the frontchannels with an AV-reciever as pre
Will I be able to use a sub with both amps in a 2.1 setup or do I have to hook up the sub to the AV reciver (Im going to buy later)?
What will be the best match with B&W?
Other amps in the pricerange I should consider?
Right now I'm considering the NAD M3...
Any suggestions / experience with B&W and MF A5 or NAD M3?
Pros / cons?

Thnx!

NAD M3
Musical Fidelity A5
post #2 of 53
I bought a Musical Fidelity A5 to power my eras and hooked it up to my N804s for a bit to see how the sound was. In a word, excellent. It has me seriously considering another to replace the Rotel amps I have on the B&W system now. I have not heard the NAD to compare, but I have nothing but good things to say about the A5 integrated and there is a nice synergy with the B&W there.
As for sub hookup, the A5 doesn't have bass management. If you use high level connections, you would hook the sub through the speaker terminals with your speakers (I have a REL R-205 connected this way). If you want to use the LFE out you will need your receiver to do that. REL allows you to connect both inputs for this purpose, but I don't know if others do. You might also find bass response is greatly improved with a quality amp driving the XT4s, even without a sub.
post #3 of 53
My vote goes to the NAD M3. Great integrated amplifier!
post #4 of 53
Definitely try the M3 if available to you. The variable high pass filtration for the main speakers is a nice option for 2 channel stereo when you want to place a subwoofer underneath to deal with the real bass.

Another nice option would be to do Rotel RC-1082, Rotel RB1092 for similar price. Or used RB-1090.
post #5 of 53
Both, the NAD M3 and Musical Fidelity A5, are excellent pieces, you can't go wrong with either.

I listened to an A5 set-up using the new B&W CM7 floorstanders, and I believe a Musical Fidelity disc player. The sales person played a Diana Krall disc, the sound was so sweet and clear, detailed sound-stage, and very transparent- absolutely beautiful sounding. Moreover the A5 does have a bit more power than the M3 (250W X 2 @8ohms, as compared to 180W X 2 @8ohms; 24dbW compared to 22.5dbW).

While I have'nt listened to the M3 I have listened to the M15/M25 pre-amp/amp combo, one of the sweetest sounding (multi-channel) set-ups for the price. All the M-series components are excellent. Excellent build quality.

If it were me, and this is to serve as your primary system at home, I would consider a decent multi-channel amp (like the M25), and combine it with your receiver (as pre-pro). This way you can graduate to a dedicated pre-pro later (NAD M15, NAD T175, etc.,...). A good start, and provides for a more versatile system (good 2-channel and multi-channel capabilities), can use for HT with receiver and great music source.

However, if you really only care about optimized two-channel performance I would go for the A5 (or the M3) and a good disc player.
post #6 of 53
Just kinda curious guys what are those two going for in the states the M3 and the MF A5???
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicomoralessxm View Post

Just kinda curious guys what are those two going for in the states the M3 and the MF A5???

NAD M3 $2799.00

Musical Fidelity A5 $2750.00
post #8 of 53
Cool I was quote about $2250. I'l prob get one next year
post #9 of 53
You can get what you want for about $1,000. Look at the NAD 272 stereo power amp which is rated at 150 per channel but can go to 180 per channel before clipping and look at NAD C 162 stereo preamp. Your B&W'S are power rated between 50 and 150 watts. You will not gain more by spending thousands. Remember in audio it's not how much you spend but what did you buy that counts. Obviously you have to research every component you buy and that includes comparing legitimate data and reviews. Also buy inexpensive quality interconnects and 12 to 16 gauge inexpensive copper wire for the speakers.
Richard
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by doxytuner View Post

Look at the NAD 272 stereo power amp which is rated at 150 per channel but can go to 180 per channel before clipping and look at NAD C 162 stereo preamp

Exactly right, I'm using three NAD C272 amps (150W X 2 each) in a 5.1 configuration, these amps are sweet! This way I have great 2-channel operation as well as excellent surround/multi-channel capability (for DVD-movies and multi-channel music). I'm using a Yamaha RX-V2700 (as pre-pro only), it's suprisingly very nice sounding for 2-channel stereo (decent pre-amp section for an AVR). However, I plan to upgrade to a dedicated pre-pro in the next few months (NAD T175).
LL
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

Exactly right, I'm using three NAD C272 amps (150W X 2 each) in a 5.1 configuration, these amps are sweet! This way I have great 2-channel operation as well as excellent surround/multi-channel capability (for DVD-movies and multi-channel music). I'm using a Yamaha RX-V2700 (as pre-pro only), it's suprisingly very nice sounding for 2-channel stereo (decent pre-amp section for an AVR). However, I plan to upgrade to a dedicated pre-pro in the next few months (NAD T175).

Your setup is a great high end A/V component system but will even be greater when you get the NAD T175. Your independent thinking and innovative selection of electronic components is to be complimented. If you went along with the flow, your system would have been SUBSTANTIALLY much more expensive and not any better than what you now have. As you and I know, it's what you select not what you pay that's important.
Richard
post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

Exactly right, I'm using three NAD C272 amps (150W X 2 each) in a 5.1 configuration, these amps are sweet! This way I have great 2-channel operation as well as excellent surround/multi-channel capability (for DVD-movies and multi-channel music). I'm using a Yamaha RX-V2700 (as pre-pro only), it's suprisingly very nice sounding for 2-channel stereo (decent pre-amp section for an AVR). However, I plan to upgrade to a dedicated pre-pro in the next few months (NAD T175).

Just wondering westcoast how do the parasound halo the A23 compare to the nad 272???
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicomoralessxm View Post

Just wondering westcoast how do the parasound halo the A23 compare to the nad 272???

I could'nt tell you, as I have'nt had an opportunity to experience a Parasound [yet]. However, I understand the "Halo" models are all excellent as they are all designed by famous engineer John Curl. I would'nt hesitate using any of the Halo models.
post #14 of 53
Why would you be using an integrated amp if you're sending it a signal from the pre-outs of a receiver? If you're already doing processing in the receiver, why not just get a regular two-channel amp, you'll be able to do more with your money. Maybe I misunderstood something, it happens!
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reid112 View Post

Why would you be using an integrated amp if you're sending it a signal from the pre-outs of a receiver? If you're already doing processing in the receiver, why not just get a regular two-channel amp

exactly, that's why I mention in my first post (07-02-07 08:13 PM) either, use an A5 or M3, alone, with a disc player, or get a separate amp (2-channel or multi-channel) combined with a separate pre-pro (or reciever as pre-pro).
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reid112 View Post

Why would you be using an integrated amp if you're sending it a signal from the pre-outs of a receiver? If you're already doing processing in the receiver, why not just get a regular two-channel amp, you'll be able to do more with your money. Maybe I misunderstood something, it happens!

Basically, AVRs are not the best preamps in the world for 2 channel listening. This is why many integrated amps, and even several 2 channel preamps have a HT Bypass feature (the Musical Fidelity A5 int included). You run all of your HT setup through the receiver, and use its pre outs to the integrated amps HT bypass inputs. The HT bypass inputs are basically a direct line to the amp bypassing the preamp section and volume controls. Your 2 channel sources are connected directly to the integrated. This means the receiver and all of the HT equipment can be powered off and does not get in the way of your 2 channel signal, and you get to use the same amps/speakers for more optimized HT and 2 channel setups.
post #17 of 53
The gold standard for the best stereo music is the following quality electronics:
1-Stereo Preamplifier
2-Stereo Power Amplifier

For multichannel music it is:
1-Multichannel Preamplifier instead of a digital controller(This is a Preamplifier with 6 channels instead of 2 channels such as the Audio Research MP1)
2-Multichannel power amplifier or amplifiers

Keeping the above in mind, will help select electronics for music and home-theater sound.
Richard
post #18 of 53
I did'nt realize the A5 has HT bypass mode, this is great. Then I would definitely consider the A5 as a top contender for 2-channel operation, as it yields very high-quality amplification, and would be more versatile.
post #19 of 53
Iostream, didn't know they had an HT bypass either, cool! Still, if he did do 30% home theater, why just get a dedicated 2 channel amp, an integrated adds a lot of cost, he could buy a sweet 2 channel. Thanks for the info though!
post #20 of 53
Thread Starter 
Stupid question, pardon my ignorance but...:

From what I can see the MF A5 doesn't have balanced inputs...
What will be the difference to "a balanced system" with XLR-connectors

Got it - ignore this one...
post #21 of 53
Quote:


Just wondering westcoast how do the parasound halo the A23 compare to the nad 272???

The Parasound Halo A23 amp is the best bargain in the business. This is an extraordinary amplifier regardless of price. If you were to mate this with the NEW Halo P7 preamp, you would have the best of both worlds for high-class 2-channel, multi-channel and movies.

Halo P7 (scroll to bottom of page)

I'm a bit of a homer for Musical Fidelity being a dealer for them, but I simply cannot recommend the A5 enough, it's a wonderful piece. It has a very neutral presentation and when you combine it's looks...Wow!

I've never been a fan of the past NAD products to be quite honest. To me, they seem to have a sterile sound and look to them and I've seen and heard so many horror stories over the years about problems with quality. Not to mention all the availability issues they have had in the last two years. I know the Master Series is a cut-above previous models and it certainly looks nice. I'll give it a listen here in the next month to form an opinion of their new offerings. Until then, I will stick with the likes of Musical Fidelity, Simaudio, and Parasound Halo for my 2-channel entertainment.
post #22 of 53
Thread Starter 
The Parasound Halo A23 amp + Halo P7 sounds REALLY good! Best of both worlds is what I'm looking for! Really good advice! Thanx!
post #23 of 53
tony thanks for the advice!!!! I'll seriously looking into the halo 23. plus i can get it locally
post #24 of 53
You should not dismiss the NAD 272 with 150 watts per channel. It received the Editor's Choice Award from Absolute Sound. I own the NAD 272 and have never had any problems and its performance is outstanding.
Richard
post #25 of 53
Just some food for thought but the Naim Supernait is supposed to be one heck of a intergraded amp. http://www.naim-audio.com/products/supernait.html
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by doxytuner View Post

You should not dismiss the NAD 272 with 150 watts per channel. It received the Editor's Choice Award from Absolute Sound. I own the NAD 272 and have never had any problems and its performance is outstanding.
Richard

I have not totally dismissed it its a very good option. But i can get the halo A23 locally for around $773 even though the 272 is less i'd have to pay shipping to miami then shipping here ouch. Plus i have to admit it does look sweeter than the nad
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by speeeedy View Post

Just some food for thought but the Naim Supernait is supposed to be one heck of a intergraded amp. http://www.naim-audio.com/products/supernait.html

Thanks but no way! thats like 4k really outta my price range i could start looking at mark levingston or plinus.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicomoralessxm View Post

Thanks but no way! thats like 4k really outta my price range i could start looking at mark levingston or plinus.

Not trying to sound like a jerk but did you change your board name. The OPs name is AV-iator and that is who I thought I was replying to. Maybe I am just trippen, I have been up since 4:30 AM

NOT trying to flame, I am just trying to get my marbles straight.
post #29 of 53
Nope got me mixed up with some else dude. but no prob
post #30 of 53
I have an MF A5. I also have an NAD Silver Series S300 (not the M3, but it was NAD's high end line before the Master series came out). I have heard the M series at a dealer but not in my own room.

I used to use the NAD S300 to power some Magnepan 3.6R's. I then bought an MF TriVista 300 integrated amp. The comparison was night and day. Its not really fair though as the TriVista was a $6k amp while the NAD was a $2.2k amp. Long story short - I moved into a condo and had no room for the Mags. Sold the Mags and the MF.

Bought some smaller speakers and hooked them up to the NAD. Sounded fine. Then picked up an A5. Big difference. Not as big a difference as the TriVista, but plenty of power, larger soundstage, more bass authority and a more detailed sound. In a word, excellent.

NAD makes some great equipment, but I think the A5 might get the nod.
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