NAD’s Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC/Preamplifier Is The Future: High-End Munich 2023
With active loudspeakers on the rise, products like the NAD Masters M66 make a lot of sense; a modern DAC/preamp will work just as well with a separate power amp, but the first scenario takes one box out of the equation and this may be preferred by many listeners. Integration of two Dirac live Platforms only increase the value of the M66, and the ability to update software with firmware updates will keep the product up to date for years to come.
The M66 does convert analog signals to digital, but NAD also includes the ability to bypass the internal DAC for those who may want to connect their own tuner, external phono stage, or digital source to the unit if it has a superior-sounding DAC. . In practice, you can use the M66 to stream from over 20 major streaming platforms, connect two players and a CD player, and still have inputs for other sources.
NAD Electronics will unveil the Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC Preamp at High End Munich 2023 in Germany ahead of its retail launch. The M66 is an uncompromising component so advanced that it represents a whole new category of hi-fi components for the Canadian manufacturer.
NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC-Preamplifier demo sessions will be held for the first time in Room D108 in Atrium 3.
In addition to an audiophile-grade DAC and network streamer based on the acclaimed BluOS multi-room music platform, the M66 features a wide range of inputs, including an MM/MC phono stage and HDMI eARC. The M66 also features Dirac Live Room Correction and Dirac Live Bass Control, allowing it to deliver more accurate room response than any two-channel component ever offered.
The build quality is outstanding. With its aluminum chassis, bright 7″ touchscreen and new volume control, the M66 will inspire a sense of pride for decades to come. Visually, sonically and technologically, it is a perfect match for the award-winning NAD M23 power amplifier. But of course the M66 can be used with any high performance amplifier.
With a network streamer based on the acclaimed BluOS multi-room music management system, the M66 provides access to nearly all music ever recorded at resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz. Like all BluOS-enabled components, the M66 has full MQA decoding and rendering capability.
Available for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows, the intuitive BluOS Controller app has built-in support for over 20 streaming services, including several that offer lossless, high-resolution music. BluOS users can also access thousands of internet radio stations and play music stored on local or network drives.
With the M66, users can only play music in one room or share music over their home network with 63 other BluOS-enabled components from NAD and other hardware partners. The M66 can also be integrated into control systems from smart home specialists such as Control4, Crestron, ELAN, RTI and URC. In addition, users can control playback by voice using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Siri.
Customize the room
With Dirac Live Room Correction, The M66 allows users to address the weakest link in any audio system: the listening room itself. Connect the included calibrated microphone to the M66’s USB port and launch the Dirac Live app on your smart device or PC.
After playing the test tones through the listeners’ speakers, Dirac analyzes the results and then loads filters into the M66 that compensate for common acoustic problems such as standing waves and unwanted reflections. The results are transformative: listeners will appreciate tighter bass, improved timbre fidelity, vastly improved clarity, and more accurate imaging.
All about bass
First for M66 stereo component has four balanced (XLR) and four unbalanced (RCA) subwoofer outputs and integrates the full version of Dirac Live Bass Control, which allows independent calibration of multiple subwoofers. Dirac Live Bass Control optimizes bass output in both the frequency and time domains, resulting in a seamless blend between the main speakers and subwoofer(s). Listeners will enjoy smooth, stable bass response throughout the entire listening room, not just in the most pleasant area.
Also read: Soundsmith Unveils New Range of Phono Cartridges & Components: High-End Munich 2023
The digital part of the M66 uses ESS Technology. flagship DAC ES9038PRO Saberan audiophile-grade design known for its ultra-low noise and distortion, exceptionally wide dynamic range and superior time domain performance.
The M66 uses an ultra-precise resistor ladder control circuit for volume control. Compared to traditional analog circuitry, the M66 digital volume control noticeably reduces thermal and related distortion, maximizes dynamic range, and more accurately matches left and right channel output over the entire volume range.
The M66 is the first component to feature NAD’s innovative Dynamic Digital Headroom (DDH) circuitry. When enabled via a control in the BluOS app, DDH eliminates digital inter-sample peak distortion that can occur during the digital-to-analog conversion of sudden high-frequency transients. The benefits are especially evident when using percussion instruments: cymbals are less noisy and more realistic; rim shots are less harsh and more effective.
To enable features such as Dirac Live Room Correction and Dirac Live Bass Control with all signal sources, analog signals are converted to digital by ESS Technology’s flagship ES9822PRO DAC. However, the M66 has selectable analog direct mode that bypasses all digital processing. The M66 has separate signal paths for digital and analog sources, as well as separate power supplies for the digital and analog sections, so analog signals are not affected by digital noise when Analogue Direct is enabled. Users can even disable the M66’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth circuitry to minimize RF interference.
With a full range of analog and digital inputs, the M66 can handle all custom source components. For the vinyl enthusiast, there’s an ultra-low noise MM/MC phono stage with accurate RIAA equalization, high headroom and innovative circuitry that eliminates subsonic noise without sacrificing bass.
For watching TV and movies, the M66 has an HDMI eARC interface for connecting to an HDTV. In addition, the M66 has two coaxial and two optical S/PDIF inputs, a balanced AES/EBU digital input, two sets of analog RCA inputs, and one pair of balanced XLR inputs.
The M66 has a balanced XLR output and an unbalanced RCA output for connection to a power amp, as well as four XLR outputs and four RCA outputs for a subwoofer. Its dedicated headphone amplifier has a very low output impedance and maximum output voltage, allowing the M66 to drive demanding high-impedance studio monitor headphones. The M66 also has Bluetooth connectivity with support for AAC, LDAC and aptX HD codecs.
For the future
On the back of the M66 are two expansion slots that support MDC2, the latest version of NAD’s upcoming Modular Design Construction technology. In the future, this will allow M66 owners to add new features by simply inserting an additional MDC2 module.
Everything about the NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC-Preamplifier will make the owner proud: its elegant aluminum body, gorgeous touch screen on the front panel and ultra-precise weighted volume control.
With features like BluOS streaming, Dirac Live Room Correction and Dirac Live Bass Control, the Masters M66 is a true audio masterpiece. “We believe the M66 represents the pinnacle of what is technically achievable today,” said Kas Oostwogel, product manager for NAD Electronics. “And with the forward-looking NAD MDC2 platform, the M66 will remain at the forefront as technology advances.”
- Ethernet and Wi-Fi networks
- The BluOS Network Streamer gives you access to over 20 streaming services, including several that provide lossless, high-resolution audio.
- Flagship ESS Saber DAC and ADC chips
- Innovative Dynamic Digital Headroom (DDH) circuit eliminates digital inter-sample peak distortion
- Full hardware decoding and MQA rendering
- Optional analog bypass mode
- Separate signal paths for digital and analog sources; Separate power supplies for digital and analog sections
- Support for Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect
- Full integration with smart home control systems such as Crestron, Control4, ELAN, RTI, URC and more.
- Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice control
- Dirac Live Room Correction
- Four balanced and four unbalanced subwoofer outputs
- Dirac Live Bass Control ensures a seamless blend of subwoofer(s) and main speakers, as well as smooth bass response throughout the entire listening area.
- Ultra-quiet MM/MC phono stage with precise RIAA equalization, high headroom and subsonic filter
- HDMI port with eARC support
- Two optical and two coaxial S/PDIF inputs, one balanced AES/EBU digital input, two pairs of RCA analog line inputs, one pair of balanced XLR inputs
- Dedicated headphone amplifier with low output impedance and very high output voltage
- Ultra-precise resistor-ladder digital volume control
- 7″ touch screen on the front
- Elegant aluminum body
- Two MDC2 expansion slots for adding future features
- IR remote
Global retail availability will begin in fall 2023 at US suggested retail price. $5499 / Canadian dollars 7,299.00.
For more information: www.nadelectronics.com