Sound & Vision

Stream Dream


BOY, has NAD come a long way. Back in 1978, the Canadian/American/Euro multinational’s first product was an unassuming but great-sounding little 20-watt integrated amplifier in a plain gray sheetmetal box, with controls that had all the sophisticated feel of a Kenner Easy-Bake Oven.

By way of contrast, NAD’s new Masters Series M33 is, quite simply, a work of art. Machined-billet side and top panels, “floating” black fascia, a 7-inch color touchscreen that’s pure sex, and a single rotary control whose action feels like stroking a mink: if the M33 did nothing but light up, I’d want one.

But the M33 does more—lots more. NAD’s “BluOS Streaming DAC Amplifier” embodies a concept that is rapidly supplanting stereo integrated-amplifiers and receivers. The amplifier part here is engineered via Danish source Purifi’s new “Eigentakt” modules, a superbly efficient class-D variant enjoying a reputation as one of the best-performing (and “bestsounding”) power-amp topologies available today. (According to NAD, Eigentakt translates to “self-clock” which refers to the self-oscillation principle the amp is based on.) The M33's digital-to-analog conversion travels on ESS Sabre silicon, which has an equivalently lofty rep on the digital side. And the streaming is enabled via NAD’s own BluOS, a multiroom platform that integrates music streaming services with internet radio plus access to a local music library via your home’s Wi-Fi (or wired) network. And the icing on the M33 cake is onboard Dirac Live DSP room correction.


The M33’s

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