NAD announces Masters M66 BluOS streaming DAC/preamplifier

NAD Electronics will unveil the Masters M66 BluOS streaming DAC/preamplifier at the High End Munich show ahead of its global retail launch this autumn.

The M66’s inputs include MM/MC phono and HDMI eARC and it features Dirac Live Room Correction and Dirac Live Bass Control.

It has aluminium casework, a 7-in touchscreen and a network streamer based on the BluOS multiroom music management system, which delivers music in resolution up to 24-bit/192kHz. Like all BluOS-enabled components, the M66 has full MQA decoding and rendering capability. The BluOS Controller app - available for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows - has integrated support for more than 20 streaming services, including several that offer lossless and high-resolution music. BluOS users can also access thousands of internet radio stations, and play music stored on local or network drives.

NAD advises pairing the M66 with its M23 power amplifier but indicates it suits any high-performance amplifier.

Users can play music in one room or share music over a home network with up to 63 other BluOS-enabled components. The M66 can also be integrated into control systems from third parties including Control4, Crestron, ELAN, RTI, and URC. In addition, users can control playback by voice using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Siri.

The M66 has Dirac Live Room Correction; users connect the supplied calibrated microphone to the M66’s USB port and launch the Dirac Live app on a smart device or personal computer. After playing test tones through the listeners’ speakers, Dirac will analyse the results, then upload filters to the M66 that compensate for common acoustic problems like standing waves and unwanted reflections.

Four balanced (XLR) and four unbalanced (RCA) subwoofer outputs are included on the M66 which integrates the full version of Dirac Live Bass Control, allowing independent calibration of multiple subwoofers. Dirac Live Bass Control optimises bass output in both the frequency and time domains.

The digital section of the M66 employs ESS Technology’s ES9038PRO Sabre DAC. For volume adjustment, the M66 employs an ultra-precise resistor-ladder control circuit. Compared to traditional analogue circuits, the M66’s digital volume control markedly reduces thermal and related distortions, maximises dynamic range, and more accurately matches left- and right-channel output across the entire volume range.

The M66 is the first component to feature NAD’s Dynamic Digital Headroom (DDH) circuitry. When enabled with a control in the BluOS app, DDH eliminates digital inter-sample peak clipping distortion, which can occur during digital-to-analogue conversion of sudden high-frequency transients.

To enable functions like Dirac Live Room Correction and Dirac Live Bass Control with all signal sources, analogue signals are converted to digital by ESS Technology’s ES9822PRO ADC. However, the M66 has a selectable Analogue Direct mode that bypasses all digital processing. The M66 has separate signal paths for digital and analogue sources, and separate power supplies for the digital and analogue sections, so that analogue signals are unaffected by digital interference when the Analogue Direct mode is engaged. Users can even disable the M66’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth circuitry to minimise RF interference.

With its full suite of analogue and digital inputs, the M66 can accommodate all user source components. For vinyl enthusiasts, there’s an ultra-low-noise MM/MC phono stage with precise RIAA equalisation, high overload margins, and a circuit that removes infrasonic noise without compromising bass response. For TV and film viewing, the M66 has an HDMI eARC interface for connection to an HDTV. In addition, the M66 has two coaxial and two optical S/PDIF inputs, an AES/EBU balanced digital input, two sets of RCA analogue inputs, and one pair of XLR balanced inputs.

The M66 has balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs for connection to a power amplifier, as well as four XLR and four RCA subwoofer outputs. Its dedicated headphone amplifier has very low output impedance and very high maximum output voltage, enabling the M66 to drive demanding high-impedance studio monitor headphones. The M66 also has Bluetooth connectivity, with support for the AAC, LDAC, and aptX HD codecs.

On the M66’s rear panel are two expansion slots that support MDC2, the latest version of NAD’s Modular Design Construction technology designed for future proofing. This will allow M66 owners to add new capabilities simply by inserting an optional MDC2 module.

The product will be demonstrated at the High End show, which runs from May 18 to 21, in Room D108 in Atrium 3. It carries a suggested retail price of US$5,499 / GBP£4,499 / EUR€5,999 / CDN$7,299.

Article Categories

Most Viewed