- This new preamplifier, the NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC preamplifier, should be seen as the new flagship of the NAD Masters Series.
The company has ambitious plans for the new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC stream amplifier, which will be presented for the first time at the High End 2023 in Munich. The legendary NAD Masters Series is thus being expanded, and not just by any other component; the Canadian hi-fi manufacturer NAD Electronics even refers to this as a solution in which no compromises were accepted and the best was chosen in all respects.
The new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC-Preamplifier is therefore clearly to be understood as a new flagship, a solution that is so outstandingly equipped that one has to speak of a completely new category in the world of hi-fi.
A solution that makes no compromises whatsoever
The promises made by NAD Electronics around the presentation of the new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC preamplifier are quite bold, especially in view of the fact that they would like to speak of a completely new category of hi-fi components.
Well, in fact, what this new component of the NAD Masters Series is is already prominently in the full name, namely a streaming client based on the BluOS platform, a D/A converter and a preamplifier, so all in all, this combination is not all that unusual.
What is unusual, however, is what the developers have given the NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC-Preamplifier in terms of features when it comes to flexible use and optimal integration into any living environment.
Flexible connection options
The new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC preamplifier does justice to its role as a preamplifier and D/A converter, as it offers numerous connection options for both analogue and digital source devices.
For analogue components, there are two pairs of RCA sockets for unbalanced and one pair of XLR sockets for balanced sources. In addition, there is an integrated phono preamplifier that is equally suitable for MM and MC cartridges.
For digital source devices, there are two optical and two coaxial S/PDIF interfaces and an AES/EBU, and there is also an HDMI port, which not only supports HDMI CEC for central control, but also an eARC, i.e. an enhanced Audio Return Channel.
If that’s not enough, the new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC preamplifier can be expanded with a wide variety of modules, as there are of course two so-called NAD MDC2 expansion slots.
Streaming via BluOS
Integrated into the network via WiFi or an RJ45 Ethernet interface, the new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC-Preamplifier functions as a streaming client based on BluOS with all the associated possibilities. Via BluOS, access to own content in the network is possible as well as to various streaming services, different clients in the network can be addressed individually or combined to groups, everything is controlled via a comfortable app, which is available for Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS.
BluOS supports signals in Linear PCM with up to 24 bit and 192 kHz as well as content encoded in lossy MQA, but not DSD.
BluOS is also the basis for the system’s support of Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and TIDAL Connect and will also be designated as Roon Ready in the future. Voice control via Apple Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa is also possible in order to be part of the Smart Home. For more complex control solutions, integration in all leading platforms is supported, be it Crestron, Control4, ELAN, RTI, URC or others.
By the way, Bluetooth must not be missing either, whereby in addition to SBC and AAC, aptX, aptX HD as well as LDAC are also supported.
Dirac Live Room Correction and Dirac Live Bass Control
It has to be emphasised that the new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC-Preamplifier has Dirac Live Roon Correction, so that it can be adapted to any room in the simplest way.
A special feature here is that the NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC-Preamplifier supports Dirac Live Bass Control, allowing for particularly accurate adjustment of any subwoofers. No less than four separate outputs for subwoofers are available here, each as RCA and XLR.
Outstanding DAC from ESS Technology Inc.
The signal processing of the new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC preamplifier is carried out by a flagship ESS Sabre DAC and ADC, because in order to be able to use the aforementioned possibilities of room correction, analogue signals must of course also be brought to the digital level.
An ESS ES9822PRO ADC is used, as the manufacturer points out, while an ESS ES9038RO Sabre DAC is responsible for D/A conversion.
NAD Electronics emphasises an ultra-precise resistor network that is responsible for controlling the volume, as well as the NAD Dynamic Digital Headroom Circuit, also known as NAD DDH, which is used here for the first time. This is supposed to prevent so-called inter-sample peak clipping distortion in the upper frequency range, so that a particularly musical performance is guaranteed.
Even though everything is done to realise digital signal processing at the highest level, users are still offered an Analogue Direct Mode, in which all digital processing is suppressed.
The new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC preamplifier has completely separate signal paths for analogue and digital sources, separate power supplies for the analogue and digital sections, so that analogue sources can be processed completely free of interference from the digital components if desired. Even all network and Bluetooth circuitry can be disabled if desired.
As far as outputs are concerned, the new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC streamplifier offers RCA and XLR connections for unbalanced and balanced connection to a power amplifier such as the NAD Masters M23, but there is also a headphone amplifier to round off this detail.
The elegance of the NAD Masters Series
It goes without saying that the new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC streamplifier is presented in the elegant style of the NAD Masters Series, with a noble aluminium chassis and a large 7-inch touchscreen display at the front as the central control element. Of course, a matching infrared remote control is also included in the scope of delivery.
“We believe that the M66 represents the pinnacle of what is technically possible today. And thanks to NAD’s future-proof MDC2 platform, the M66 will remain at the forefront as technology evolves.”Cas Oostvogel, Product Manager at NAD Electronics
Prices and availability
The new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC streamplifier will make its debut at High End 2023 in Munich, but will not be available until autumn 2023, NAD Electronics admits. Based on the experiences of the last few months, one should not necessarily expect a broad availability before the end of the year. The recommended retail price will probably be € 5.999,-.
Getting to the point
Even though the systems of the NAD Masters Series are always something extraordinary, the statement of the Canadian HiFi manufacturer NAD Electronics that with the new NAD Masters M66 BluOS Streaming DAC-Preamplifier a solution is ready that represents a completely new category in the world of HiFi electronics is a bit exaggerated. The fact is that this is a very flexible preamplifier that is ideally equipped for both analogue and digital sources, is a fine streaming client thanks to BluOS, and can be very accurately adapted to the respective living environment via DSP functions.
|PRODUCT||NAD MASTERS M66 BLUOS STREAMING DAC-PREAMPLIFIER|
|Manufacturer||NAD Electronics International|
|Distribution Austria||smart audio GmbH|
|Distribution Germany||Dali GmbH|
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG|