updated 01:00 pm EDT, Tue May 26, 2009
NAD intros M2 amplifier
NAD Electronics on Tuesday has announced the upcoming release of its Masters Series M2 Direct digital amplifier for home audio and theater setups. The result of a 10-year research project, the M2 is said to be the industry's first true digital amplifier available to customers. NAD compares the amp to a Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) that drives a loudspeaker directly. It is rated to provide 500W of dynamic power on its two channels. NAD is also touting the M2 as being the first to fully exploit HD audio source files, the first to include digital error correction and use it to reduce distortion.
It is also the first product to use the Direct Digital Feedback Amplifier architecture developed by the UK's Diodes Zetex Semiconductors together with NAD. There is a built-in Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) with selectable 48kHz, 96kHz and 192kHz sample rates will let users hook up analog sources that include turntables and FM tuners. Performance between analog and digital inputs is within 1dB.
There are three Switch Mode Power Supplies for minimizing noise, with one each for an audio channel and a control. Connection to a PC for introducing crossover filters or other signal processing is possible thanks to an optical SPDIF connection. Two sets of speaker outputs for each channel lets users bi-wire a speaker. The VFD display shows the selected input, each of which can be renamed, as well as sample rate, ADC sample rate, volume setting and mute. A 12V trigger input lets users turn on the M2 once another component is powered up, while an RS-232 port allows for third-party automated control and future-proofs the amplifier by letting it be upgraded with new firmware.
The M2 will be available later this summer, priced at $5,999.