Canadian high-performance electronics manufacturer NAD announced its latest Master Series integrated amplifier, the M32 DirectDigital ($3999), is shipping. This is a true digital amplifier (not merely class D), meaning that amplification occurs in the digital domain, with conversion to an analog signal taking place at the speaker terminals.
With 150 watts per channel available, it’s able to drive power-hungry speakers with ease. The point of the M32’s design is to create the shortest possible analog signal path, for maximum signal purity.
This is a modular amplifier, meaning you can add capabilities thanks to its four MDC (Modular Design Construction) slots, three of which are available for expansion and all support PCM audio up to 24-bit/192 kHz.
Inputs that come standard include:
– AES/EBU, Coax and Optical, USB A and USB B
– MM Phono Input
– Single-ended Line Inputs
– Asynchronous USB 2.0 (24/192) Computer Input
– AES/EBU, Coax, and Optical 24/192 Inputs
Adding an optional BluOS module brings multiroom, high-resolution wireless network audio capabilities to the party. NAD notes that “BluOS is an advanced operating system for music management and control that includes support for local NAS drives and premium internet streaming audio services like Spotify, Tidal and many others. All the popular formats are supported including MQA, AAC, Ogg, MP3, Bluetooth aptX.”
As far as outputs go, the M32 offers two sets of stereo speaker terminals, a dedicated headphone amplifier with a quarter-inch jack, and a subwoofer output that features a configurable digital crossover.
Speaking to the company’s design goals, Greg Stidsen—director of technology and product planning at NAD—notes that the company “Has redefined the modern audio component system in an entirely new way, starting with the M2 DirectDigital Amplifier a few years ago and culminating last year with the groundbreaking M12 Preamp DAC and M22 power amplifier. NAD has eliminated obsolescence with Modular Design Construction while expanding the frontiers of connectivity with BluOS.”
The M32 will be on display at CES 2017 at The Venetian, I expect to give it a listen while I am there.
Key Features of the M32:
– DirectDigital amplification, combining all preamplification and power amplification functions into a single stage
– Four MDC slots with three for customisation and expandability, all are 24/192 capable
– MM (moving magnet) Phono input
– Single-ended line inputs
– Asynchronous USB 2.0 (24/192) computer input
– AES/EBU, coaxial, and optical-digital 24/192 inputs
– Subwoofer croccover with selectable crossover frequency and levels
– Discrete headphone amplifier
– Two sets of speaker outputs