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Best Power Amplifier
NAD M23 | Review | Buy Now
It's not often that we measure a product that is so low in noise and distortion that it forces us to improve our very own test rig to more accurately measure just how good it is. The NAD M23 is such a product and it's a truly State of the Art (SOTA) design employing a Class D Purifi 1ET400A reference design to push the envelope of performance and efficiency. Weighing just a tad over 21lbs, this 200 wpc x 2 stereo amp can double down with halving load impedance and be bridged to get 1kwatt of power as a monoblock. NAD doesn't just shoehorn an OEM amp module into a fancy chassis, they manufacture their own version with a custom-designed input stage and high efficient regulated SMPS power supply. This is quite a lot of effort on NAD’s part to build a reference amplifier from the ground up and absolutely worthy of praise and admiration. The Purifi Eigentakt circuit shares with Bruno Putzeys’
previous designs (UcD and Ncore) the use of full global feedback
. This means all of the loop gain is used for the entire circuit, including the output filter. The end result is a high efficient load invariant amplifier that performs consistently excellent regardless of the loudspeaker load impedance it drives.
In our testing, we confirmed NAD managed to get most of the ultra-low distortion performance out of the Purifi amplifier module making it a truly SOTA design that has pushed the envelope of performance and what we can expect from Class D amplification. NAD has proven to us that linear amps are becoming a relic of the past and it’s time to embrace the future of Class D amplification that offers both superior efficiency and performance! In almost every category of performance, the M23 produced some of the best measurements we've ever seen to date regardless of amplifier topology or price in Audioholics 23+ year history.
In our listening tests, we found the M23 presented a very neutral tonality with extremely low noise floor that extracted all of the micro details in high resolution recordings. The M23 felt right at home driving our Perlisten St7
and Revel F328Be towers never losing composure. Home theater enthusiasts rejoice as NAD also offers a 7CH version called the M28 which is rated at 200wpc x 7 for $5,499. If you're looking to build the highest performance two-channel or home theater system, these NAD amplifiers will serve you well IF you've got the budget and IF you choose a matching preamp/processor that is worthy of such a clean signal path. The fit and finish on the M23 is top notch with a high pride of ownership factor for any audiophile to proudly show off this engineering marvel.
It was discovered that our preliminary review unit which failed under short-circuit testing was a result of a small production run of amp modules with insufficient trace thicknesses in the power stage. NAD has identified this issue to resolve on future production runs.
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