A few years back, I was in a high-end audio store in West Los Angeles. As I chatted it up with one of the principals, he offered to demo an audio system for me. That system had head-turning presence and realism that left a permanent impression. The gentleman explained that it was a $500 integrated amp by NAD and a $1,000 pair of speakers by PSB, both brands owned by parent company Lenbrook. Of course I was familiar with the brands, but I was not prepared to hear that level of performance.
I began researching the NAD product lineup and learned that the company has two levels of equipment: the lower-priced Classic Series and the flagship Masters Series. Both levels maintain the same philosophy: audio first, frills second (if at all), with an understated look. Money is spent on higher-quality internal components, and amplification is rated with all channels driven (and reported on the conservative side). Since then, I have watched NAD introduce new products that have garnered awards and accolades, and now I am given the opportunity to review NAD’s newest Masters Series AV processor, the M17. Would the company impress me again?
It has been several years since NAD updated its Masters Series pre/pro model, M15 HD2. The new M17 is a seven-channel preamp/processor that boasts the company’s Modular Design Construction (MDC), which places all inputs and associated hardware on user-replaceable modules that can be easily changed and upgraded to make the electronics future-proof. Current features include top-of-the-line digital-to-analog conversion, a high-end build quality and appearance, a touchscreen display, support for most of the major Dolby and DTS audio codecs (except for Atmos and DTS:X), and Audyssey room calibration…and that’s just the start. With a retail price of $5,499, this is not a bargain-basement product; however, one could certainly spend more and get less.
Full review Via hometheaterreview.com