It is considered the new integrated amplifier flagship of the Canadian high-end hi-fi manufacturer NAD Electronics, the NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier, which was presented for the first time at the CES 2020. It leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to the equipment, as everything from Hi-res Audio Multiroom Streaming to the integrated phono preamplifier is available. It is also the first of its kind to feature HybridDigital Purify self-clocking amplifier technology.
For years and days the so-called NAD Masters Series has played a very special role at NAD Electronics International, focusing on high-end hi-fi solutions that are always distinguished by the finest technical features, impeccable sound and, last but not least, a unique, timelessly elegant design. This product line is therefore considered one of the most outstanding on the market, even by demanding audiophile music lovers, and is always maintained by the Canadians with great commitment and attention to detail.
So once again, an innovation within this product line is on the horizon, in the form of a stereo integrated amplifier, which the Canadians presented for the first time at the CES 2020 in Las Vegas (sempre-audio.at reported exclusively), the new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier.
The new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier is not only to be the new flagship in the field of stereo integrated amplifiers within the NAD Masters Series, once again the developers have focused on the most modern technologies, an impressive range of functions with unique ease of use, and outstanding sound quality.
It is not only obvious that the new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier presents itself completely in the design language of the NAD Masters Series, but above all, it is a matter of course. Above all, the Canadians stand for continuity and value stability like hardly any other manufacturer in this class, and this also includes leaving the design of a product line unchanged for as long as possible, thus giving existing customers, for example, the opportunity to upgrade and retrofit their hi-fi chains.
The noble aluminium chassis in silver of the NAD Master M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier with dimensions of 435 x 133 x 396 mm and no less than 9.7 kg thus represents the solid and also elegant basis, whereby a front panel in black and a top panel also partly in black provide accents.
Remarkably, the new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier has almost no controls, only a rotary encoder. The complete control directly at the device is handled by a generous, high-resolution, graphic-capable TFT touch screen, which has a diagonal of 7 inches and is protected behind bullet-proof glass. Here all parameters of the NAD Master M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier are clearly displayed and can be edited, also the streaming cover artwork is displayed and of course the playback can be controlled directly, but more about this later. You can also find some tidbits here, which were first introduced with the NAD Masters M10 BluOS Streaming Amplifier, such as chic “virtual” VU meters, which should please the heart of the customers in this class.
The front also has many interesting connections, such as a 6.3 mm stereo jack for headphones. But it gets really exciting when you take a closer look at the back of the NAD Master M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier.
The NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier is not lacking any connections, actually everything a modern amplifier has to offer is available here, and more…
Two coaxial and two optical S/PDIF interfaces as input for digital signals, plus an AES/EBU interface, even an HDMI interface equipped with eARC, i.e. enhanced Audio Return Channel, a USB port, and a large number of analogue inputs in unbalanced and balanced form can be found here. The developers at NAD Electronics have even included an integrated phono preamplifier, which is not only reserved for MM cartridges, but can also be used for drives equipped with MC pickup systems. In addition to a Pre Out and two RCA sockets for subwoofers, which even have an integrated digital crossover, there is of course a multitude of interfaces for integration into control solutions, such as an RS232 interface, 12 V trigger inputs and outputs, an IR In and last but not least connections for the small rod antennas for WiFi and Bluetooth, plus an RJ45 Ethernet interface. A total of eight solid and encapsulated screw terminals for loudspeaker systems complete the system, so that bi-wiring is supported.
Bluetooth is also on board, as we have already mentioned, whereby not only Bluetooth is displayed via lossy codecs, but also with aptX for “CD quality” and aptX HD for hi-fi audio with up to 24 bit and 48 kHz.
As if all this wasn’t enough, the new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier also features two slots for future expansions, so-called MDC slots, which stands for Modular Design Construction that NAD Electronics introduced almost ten years ago. Alone, with the current equipment of the NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier ex works, one will hardly be embarrassed to want to upgrade here, but who knows what the future will bring…
One of these expansion options in many solutions of the NAD Masters Series would have been a BluOS module, but with the new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier there is no need. BluOS is already a fixed component of the stereo integrated amplifier ex works.
This makes it possible to use multiroom audio streaming on the basis of one of the most modern streaming platforms, which is BluOS, up to Hi-Res audio with up to 24 bit and 192 kHz including decoding of content in MQA. Local content on the network can be played as well as online music streaming services, and this is where BluOS comes into its own, as this platform is one of those that support by far the most offers, be it Spotify, Deezer, Qobuz, TIDAL, Napster, HRA streaming from HIGHRESAUDIO and many, many more. All this is controlled directly on the device, as already mentioned, or via the included remote control, but of course primarily via the BluOS Controller App, which is available for Apple iOS as well as for Google Android, and also for desktop systems with Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X. Voice control is also possible via BluOS, be it with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Up to 64 zones can be defined in the multi-room network, whereby the “game partners” can be from NAD Electronics itself, from Bluesound, or technology partners from BluOS such as Dali Speaker A/S. The spectrum thus ranges from compact all-in-one wireless speakers to soundbars, compact hi-fi systems and active speaker systems such as the Dali CALLISTO Series or, most recently, the Dali RUBICON 2C and Dali RUBICON 6C. Integration into complex control solutions in the field of custom installation is also not an issue via BluOS. Here the Canadian technology platform can even really show off, not least via the newly founded division of Lenbrook International Bluesound Professional.
The latest generation of BluOS is of course also equipped for Apple AirPlay 2, so that the “Apple world” also has direct access, including Apple HomeKit, the smart home platform that Apple Corporation is gradually building up and in which voice control via Apple Siri also plays a major role.
Of course, BluOS is also the basis for using the new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier in conjunction with Roon, the versatile Hi-res audio management and multiroom audio streaming software from Roon Labs LLC. The new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier is now Roon Ready ex factory.
But back to the new stereo integrated amplifier from NAD Electronics, the heart of the signal processing in the new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier, high-quality converters of the type ESS Sabre DAC and, for the first time, a newly developed amplifier platform, which was developed together with the Danish specialist Purify, the so-called HybridDigital Purify Self-Clock Amplifier Technology. It is convinced that this will form an absolutely noise-free and distortion-free amplifier stage that can boast impressive performance data of no less than two times 200 watts into 4 or 8 ohms and even a pulse power of two times 550 watts.
To ensure that the new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier always achieves optimum results, it is equipped with DIRAC Live, a room calibration function that adjusts the frequency response and the impulse behaviour of the amplifier to the individual conditions in the room. This measurement is carried out within a few moments using the measuring microphone included in the scope of delivery and leads – according to experience – to drastic quality improvements and can even help to overcome many a deficit in the room acoustics.
“The NAD Masters M33 is a true state-of-the-art audiophile amplifier in the traditional sense yet with a distinct difference: At the same time, it fully caters to the modern world where the majority of music is delivered over the internet with an entire catalogue of recorded music readily available at your fingertips. This is obviously a wonderful convenience. Then, the M33’s ability to distribute that music in a multi-room audio system adds that much more enjoyment, simplicity and value.” – Cas Oostvogel, Product Manager NAD Electronics
The new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier was originally scheduled to be available in spring 2020, according to the manufacturer’s initially very optimistic announcement. From April 2020 it should be so far, but this could not be kept. Now it should be clear that the new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier will be available in specialist shops in the near future, probably at the recommended retail price of € 5.500,-.
Getting to the point
The new NAD Masters M33 BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier is not only intended to be the new flagship in the field of stereo integrated amplifiers within the NAD Masters Series, once again the developers have focused on the latest technologies, an impressive range of functions with unique ease of use and outstanding sound quality.