NAD Unveils Masters M17 V2 AV Pre/Pro, MDC Modules with Atmos & Dirac at ISE 2018 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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NAD Unveils Masters M17 V2 AV Pre/Pro, MDC Modules with Atmos & Dirac at ISE 2018

NAD has announced a new flagship pre/pro, the Masters M17 V2, at ISE 2018 in Amsterdam. The company also debuted two new MDC modules with Dirac Live & Dolby Atmos.

Click this link to read more: https://www.avsforum.com/nad-unveils-...ules-ise-2018/
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post #2 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 10:26 AM
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11 channels? For $6000k? Seems not very competitive.
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post #3 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 10:33 AM
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I'm quite interested in this as it would match my NAD Masters Power Amp. Be good to see some reviews on this - George

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post #4 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamWarrior View Post
11 channels? For $6000k? Seems not very competitive.
It's about sound quality and not quantity. A hi-end reference, solid state two channel line stage pre amp can run upwards of $20,000. Sure, a multi-channel equivalent wouldn't be practical or necessary for a home theater (for many reasons), but that should give some perspective. My two channel, twin chassis tube pre amp with tube rectified power supply lists for well over $6,000. It's not the quantity!

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post #5 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post
It's about sound quality and not quantity. A hi-end reference, solid state two channel line stage pre amp can run upwards of $20,000. Sure, a multi-channel equivalent wouldn't be practical or necessary for a home theater (for many reasons), but that should give some perspective. My two channel, twin chassis tube pre amp with tube rectified power supply lists for well over $6,000. It's not the quantity!
But, it is the quantity when dealing with immersive formats -- especially so if you have a larger room.

That said, I'm not a firm believer that the pre-amp makes a huge difference in the sonics so I'm a features-oriented shopper (with one of these features being quality room correction). I would never pay $20k for a 2-channel pre, because I can't see the value. So, sorry, your "perspective" doesn't translate to me.
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post #6 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamWarrior View Post
But, it is the quantity when dealing with immersive formats -- especially so if you have a larger room.

That said, I'm not a firm believer that the pre-amp makes a huge difference in the sonics so I'm a features-oriented shopper (with one of these features being quality room correction). I would never pay $20k for a 2-channel pre, because I can't see the value. So, sorry, your "perspective" doesn't translate to me.
I wouldn't and certainly couldn't pay $20k for a solid state line stage either. That's why I have a very well designed tube line stage in my two channel system.

You will find far, far more AVS members who agree with you on features and formats. I can assure you that line stage pre amplification is a big deal. "Do less harm" is what it's all about. No one is going to be convinced of this typing back and forth right past each other. Finally, I'll mention the upstream (from line stage section) PCM D/A conversion. Again, not easy to discuss with simple yes/no acronyms, etc. Nevertheless, I'd argue that ever better 5.1 sound quality is better at "immersion" than typical Atmos.

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post #7 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 01:21 PM
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I wouldn't and certainly couldn't pay $20k for a solid state line stage either. That's why I have a very well designed tube line stage in my two channel system.

You will find far, far more AVS members who agree with you on features and formats. I can assure you that line stage pre amplification is a big deal. "Do less harm" is what it's all about. No one is going to be convinced of this typing back and forth right past each other. Finally, I'll mention the upstream (from line stage section) PCM D/A conversion. Again, not easy to discuss with simple yes/no acronyms, etc. Nevertheless, I'd argue that ever better 5.1 sound quality is better at "immersion" than typical Atmos.
I'm also not going to try to argue the point -- suffice to say, I believe the A/B tests that have been performed accurately reflect my abilities (or inabilities) to detect sonic differences in these things.

So, again, I'll take channel count to improve the imaging precision over "sonic superiority" any day -- as I don't believe modern-day well-designed pres offer much superiority there. If NAD is trying to sell that its sonic superiority outweighs its obsolete channel count then, IMO, they'll end up having a niche product (or just sell to fans of their brand who can overlook this to stick with them). But, IMO, they missed an opportunity here, and that's a shame.
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post #8 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 02:22 PM
 
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Which is interesting as my Sigma Forgoes the extended channel count for quality(Listening comparison anyone)... and is it balanced or fully balanced.
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post #9 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 02:26 PM
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Which is interesting as my Sigma Forgoes the extended channel count for quality(Listening comparison anyone)... and is it balanced or fully balanced.
And how'd that work out for Classe, again? Oh yeah...they aren't in business any more.
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Not out of business.. were picked up by sounds united..The Approach works for rooms like mine, and I agree a custom installer would favor another brand to get extended channel counts..and to sell the installation and configuration of DTSX, Auro and Atmos. In my particular room I cannot use atmos.
1 observation I could only count 8 balanced outputs for 11 channels, and then there is no clarification if its balanced or fully balanced.
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post #11 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamWarrior View Post
And how'd that work out for Classe, again?
You will win a popularity contest, but what is the prize? You've got it all figured out, so there will never be a Classe Sigma SSP, Bryston SP3, M17, or Cary Audio Cinema 12 in your own system. You will never put in the commitment and you will never give yourself a chance to hear a result that could change everything you thought you knew.

What does an AV Processor do as it pertains to movie soundtrack formats from DTS and Dolby? Once the initial processing is achieved, you've got several channels of PCM digital. The delta sigma DAC section coverts all to analog. All the same? Must be oversampling filtering. How is that achieved? How many DAC chips are there and in what configuration? What about the word clock (for jitter)? So on and so forth. Anyhow, you end up with several channels of analog which now must be amplified to line level. Merely everything can go wrong at this point. That's all. Everything. So how much of everything does go wrong? The M17 and a few others will excel at doing less harm. Few will truly contemplate this and accept the possibility that Atmos and "more" can be an unfortunate diversion.
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post #12 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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And how'd that work out for Classe, again? Oh yeah...they aren't in business any more.
Well, not exactly actually... http://soundunited.com/sound-united-...-classe-audio/

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Not out of business.. were picked up by sounds united..The Approach works for rooms like mine, and I agree a custom installer would favor another brand to get extended channel counts..and to sell the installation and configuration of DTSX, Auro and Atmos. In my particular room I cannot use atmos.
1 observation I could only count 8 balanced outputs for 11 channels, and then there is no clarification if its balanced or fully balanced.

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post #13 of 96 Old 02-05-2018, 10:00 PM
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11 channels? For $6000k? Seems not very competitive.
NAD T 758 v3 has 12 channels of Dirac Live for $1300. Competitive enough?
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I really like NAD's module approach as it can keep your equipment from becoming obsolete. I agree with others that it would be nice to have more channels. In saying that, if it offered more channels I wouldn't be bothered with a price of $8K or more depending on how many it offered as long as the codecs and HDMI could be upgraded. If NAD was offering a unit like this as a modular unit where channels could be added, even in separate chassis, I'd be very interested.
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I wonder how good an M15HD with 4K and Atmos will sound.
Cheap way to get Dirac for 7.1.4.

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The AM230 MDC would have been nice if it had been compatible with my NAD T775. However, when NAD say their MDC platform is designed to be future proof they don't actually mean it which is a shame.
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post #17 of 96 Old 02-06-2018, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post
You will win a popularity contest, but what is the prize? You've got it all figured out, so there will never be a Classe Sigma SSP, Bryston SP3, M17, or Cary Audio Cinema 12 in your own system. You will never put in the commitment and you will never give yourself a chance to hear a result that could change everything you thought you knew.

What does an AV Processor do as it pertains to movie soundtrack formats from DTS and Dolby? Once the initial processing is achieved, you've got several channels of PCM digital. The delta sigma DAC section coverts all to analog. All the same? Must be oversampling filtering. How is that achieved? How many DAC chips are there and in what configuration? What about the word clock (for jitter)? So on and so forth. Anyhow, you end up with several channels of analog which now must be amplified to line level. Merely everything can go wrong at this point. That's all. Everything. So how much of everything does go wrong? The M17 and a few others will excel at doing less harm. Few will truly contemplate this and accept the possibility that Atmos and "more" can be an unfortunate diversion.
Not entirely true -- Bryston is connecting with Storm for the SP4 and I'd actually consider that unit. But not because I believe in all the audiophile hooey, rather it has crazy functionality and 16 channels (20 with an add-on XLR card if they follow in Storm's footsteps). Sure, rumors are it'll be $14-16k, but that's price competitive with other processors at that level of customizability (e.g. Trinnov).

I'd also consider the JBL SDP-75 (at $25k), but that, too has over 16 channels and can implement the active crossovers I need for my speakers.

So, if those price-points just so happen to get me "superior sounding" DACs and whatnot, fine -- I still don't believe I can hear a difference if the unit has been competently designed (and many are, even in lower price brackets than this, IMO).

Finally, just for grins, how about you expound upon "everything" that could "go wrong" in the line stage of a competently designed unit. Since you make such a big deal out of it, you must have a few examples off the top of your head. I could throw out a few, all easily overcome by good design, but I'm curious what you have to say. I'll give you that a good line stage can reduce the noise floor and SNR, but again, at what point does it get good enough that our ears can't discern a difference? Especially if we don't have competently designed rooms with vanishingly low noise floors and acoustic problems of their own.
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NAD T 758 v3 has 12 channels of Dirac Live for $1300. Competitive enough?
Sure, but we're not talking about that unit. Plus, for me, I'll have long lengths of signal cable to run in my set-up, so XLR is a requirement.
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post #18 of 96 Old 02-06-2018, 09:46 AM
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What makes me grin (nothing specific agains NAD) is the part where they say "modular" and "upgradable".

I will never pay (anymore) a single cent for such caracteristics. Once you buy their product, obviously the AV companies do not want you to upgrade their products, they want you to buy a completely new device all the time. So if you pay for anything "future proof" you pay twice!
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post #19 of 96 Old 02-06-2018, 10:10 AM
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I'm an NAD dealer (and Storm, Anthem and Marantz) so take this as you will, but I have have high expectations for this unit based on my experience with the old M17 and the M12 two channel preamp (similar platform) which is a sonic bargain. And having A/Bd many, many prepros, I entirely disagree w/those who say they all sound basically alike and features are the difference. The SQ differences are often immediately obvious and significant IMO.

11 channels is more than enough for a vast majority(say 90%) of the market, obviously we here at AVS are generally fringe hardcores. If the M17v2 is a clear sonic step up from Marantz, Anthem, et. al., (note that unlike others below it in price, the NAD is fully balanced from input to output, which often leads to a lower noise floor) and then factor in Dirac and BluOS (much better streaming than what's offered by either of the aforementioned), it may well be a compelling piece at its pricepoint for both HT and music.

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post #20 of 96 Old 02-06-2018, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by stef2 View Post
What makes me grin (nothing specific agains NAD) is the part where they say "modular" and "upgradable".

I will never pay (anymore) a single cent for such caracteristics. Once you buy their product, obviously the AV companies do not want you to upgrade their products, they want you to buy a completely new device all the time. So if you pay for anything "future proof" you pay twice!
Yes and no. If a company comes out with some "modular" and "upgradable" it can work out to both the company and consumers benefit. It'a ll boils down to pricing and how often you (or another consumer) would upgrade.

A premium price of an modular or upgradable unit will likely cost less than buying a completely new unit each time a new surround sound format comes out or the HDMI requirements change. Even paying a bit more upfront and then paying for an upgrade will likely cost less than buying two new units over the same time frame. I believe that benefits the consumer.

I believe it can benefit the producers because each time a consumer goes to buy a new processor there is a chance they may buy from a different company. If the producer can set the hook with a modular and upgradable unit, they have a consumer for a much longer period. A consumer that may become more brand loyal and not look into other products while also providing more income over a period of time.

Now, this doesn't work in all scenarios or for all people, but in my case and how often I like to have upgrades, modular systems will likely save me money.

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In my opinion the modular sell is BS.

I bought the M17 with a 60 day return window XMAS before last when it was rumored that the upgrade was coming. It never came but coming soon. I returned it prior to the 60 day window.

Now, finally, 2/2018 announced again and official? Coming in Spring? Is that March, April, May or June? Any other further delays?

I like NAD a lot but I would never use the upgrade cards as a buying point.

I do hope this is a nice unit though.

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In my opinion the modular sell is BS.

I bought the M17 with a 60 day return window XMAS before last when it was rumored that the upgrade was coming. It never came but coming soon. I returned it prior to the 60 day window.

Now, finally, 2/2018 announced again and official? Coming in Spring? Is that March, April, May or June? Any other further delays?

I like NAD a lot but I would never use the upgrade cards as a buying point.

I do hope this is a nice unit though.

Rick
This certainly makes me rethink my earlier post.
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Modular construction and future updates is a nice pitch..
But..
Unfortunately hasn't worked out in audio, either the update is delayed and/or too costly..
There have been multiple tries but each brand has failed including NAD, Integra, Denon..
New protocols and developments move quickly but to deliver these requires the latest chips and SW. However, as the new developments become more mature and the market demand increases, the price of the chips decline making it more favorable to build it in...

Just my $0.02...
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post #24 of 96 Old 02-06-2018, 01:29 PM
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Modular construction and future updates is a nice pitch..
But..
Unfortunately hasn't worked out in audio, either the update is delayed and/or too costly..
There have been multiple tries but each brand has failed including NAD, Integra, Denon..
New protocols and developments move quickly but to deliver these requires the latest chips and SW. However, as the new developments become more mature and the market demand increases, the price of the chips decline making it more favorable to build it in...

Just my $0.02...
Indeed, not taking the 2+ year MDC delay nor the changed compatibility matrix into account, it was cheaper to get a flagship Marantz AVR than the cost of the two cards required to get my NAD T775 up to date.

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Modular construction and future updates is a nice pitch..
But..
Unfortunately hasn't worked out in audio, either the update is delayed and/or too costly..
There have been multiple tries but each brand has failed including NAD, Integra, Denon..
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post #26 of 96 Old 02-06-2018, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rblnr View Post
I'm an NAD dealer (and Storm, Anthem and Marantz) so take this as you will, but I have have high expectations for this unit based on my experience with the old M17 and the M12 two channel preamp (similar platform) which is a sonic bargain. And having A/Bd many, many prepros, I entirely disagree w/those who say they all sound basically alike and features are the difference. The SQ differences are often immediately obvious and significant IMO.

11 channels is more than enough for a vast majority(say 90%) of the market, obviously we here at AVS aregenerally fringe hardcores. If the M17v2 is a clear sonic step up from Marantz, Anthem, et. al., and then factor in Dirac and BluOS (much better streaming than what's offered by either of the aforementioned), it may well be a compelling piece at its pricepoint for both HT and music.
A little off topic, but have you seen /heard much on the 4k video mdc card? I saw one early buyer review on Crutchfield and it seemed that it needed a lot of work or at least the firmware did. Not many reviews on the web in general. And it’s not that simple to take out the old card, test the new and it the old back It you don’t like it. And not that cheap.

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post #27 of 96 Old 02-06-2018, 03:15 PM
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Just got off the phone earlier today with a customer who reports no problems and from the several I've put out in the field it's all been fine, a combination of the new receivers and some HDM2 modules in C368s which are basically the same tech.

I understand people's frustration with the cost and wait of the modules, but for a lot of people, the modularity/upgrade path works. And I certainly think that NAD generally gives you more from an SQ standpoint at a given price point than Onkyo et al.

The word on the M17v2 I have is end of March. Won?t bet the house on that but wouldn?t on any prepro delivery date. Hey, at Axpona last yr Emotiva told me the new stuff would be out in the fall. Moving target HDMI standards/chipset availability doesn't help.

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post #28 of 96 Old 02-06-2018, 06:10 PM
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The article is a bit vague, does the M17 V2 come with Atmos capability out of the box, or does it require the MDC AM 17 upgrade card for that functionality?

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post #29 of 96 Old 02-07-2018, 06:13 AM
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Comes w/the AM17 card which means Atmos capability out of the box.

HT/Music Atmos setup with Scaena line arrays and Storm Audio processor

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post #30 of 96 Old 02-07-2018, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post
Modular construction and future updates is a nice pitch..
But..
Unfortunately hasn't worked out in audio, either the update is delayed and/or too costly..
There have been multiple tries but each brand has failed including NAD, Integra, Denon..
New protocols and developments move quickly but to deliver these requires the latest chips and SW. However, as the new developments become more mature and the market demand increases, the price of the chips decline making it more favorable to build it in...

Just my $0.02...
I bought a Samsung TV a few years back with a modular upgrade system. Problem is, the panel is 1080p and 4k sets started to become affordable shortly after I bought it, so how many upgraded modules do you think I bought?

While modular upgradability is clever for marketing, I just don't see it being practical with most electronics. PC towers, for example, are all modular. You can jack up the RAM, throw in a hardcore video card etc, but once that baby's just a few years old it might as well be an abacus.

If a firm like NAD builds in the modular feature without it costing anything additional, then great! Charging for the feature though is a different story since it likely isn't worth squat to most users.

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