The Best Amplifier We've Ever Measured? - NAD M23

Cos

Cos

Audioholic Samurai
Depends on the efficiency of your speakers and how closely you sit near them. I can hear hiss a few feet away with amps that measure like the Outlaw when connected to speakers > 90dB sensitivity at very low listening levels or just sitting in idle.
I wish I wasn't so anal about the buz/hiss of my Parasounds on my Personas, when I switched the the ATI Class D, the D stands for "dead silent". It the scheme of things I could not hear the noise more than 2 feet away, but it still annoyed me. Definitely didn't feel like I lost anything sonically.
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Full Audioholic
Nope, this is the first NAD amp I've ever tested.
Overall very pleased by their performance. Have you ever considered testing arcam glass g amps? I own an arcam avr20 and when I bought it the dealer continued to insist I buy the avr30 and their matching 7 channel class g amps. I just couldn’t see the value in spending so much more for 120 watts a channel. All I was after was 16ch and dirac live bass control. I got that with avr 20.
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Spartan
Great article and as mentioned if I was a millionare Id buy the best. Some people just want the best the name the looks and they can afford it and I see nothing wrong with that. Great measuring amp. Also cool the direction audio is going with class D.

I'm hoping @gene can get his hands on some of those new monoprice amps that came out class D. I know they wont measure as well as this but the big boy costs 3,000 for 8 channels that can put out 200 watts into 8ohms and 400 into 4. That's a lot of performance for the money.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Overall very pleased by their performance. Have you ever considered testing arcam glass g amps? I own an arcam avr20 and when I bought it the dealer continued to insist I buy the avr30 and their matching 7 channel class g amps. I just couldn’t see the value in spending so much more for 120 watts a channel. All I was after was 16ch and dirac live bass control. I got that with avr 20.
It will be great if Gene could test a couple of the Arcam's. Until then, if you are interested, ASR tested quite a few of them, with measurements only (no subjective tests over there most of the time).
 
Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
when I switched the the ATI Class D, the D stands for "dead silent". It the scheme of things I could not hear the noise more than 2 feet away, but it still annoyed me. Definitely didn't feel like I lost anything sonically.
I've been perfectly happy with my ATI class D as well. No humming and hissing, just good sound and enough power to get things really rocking and rolling.
 
R

Russ56

Audiophyte
Thank you for the thorough review of this high performing amplifier. Just a couple observations:

- I understand SMPS's being highly regulated in comparison to linear supplies thus limiting peak power performance. What I don't understand is the peak power output being less than the steady state power output at the same distortion/load values. I'd be interested in seeing a technical explanation of that.

- I'm curious about the differences in electrical/thermal design and performance between the M23 and the C298. They're based on the same licensed technology and the fact that NAD is able to do their own board design and SMPS design probably gives them some flexibility in ultimate performance compared to amplifiers using the Purifi module and one of the Hypex SMPS modules "off-the-shelf." I get that the enclosure of the M23 and enhanced industrial design drives additional cost and that the more thought-out internal layout would drive some NRE cost above and beyond that of the C298. Given that the C298 tested nearly the same in Stereophile's test in terms of output and as I recall the THD+N performance was similar, it seems like the M23 is simply a variant of the C298 targeted at buyers to whom aesthetics and design practices matter. Is this a fair conclusion?
 
T

tparm

Audioholic
Nice thorough review Gene. I’m looking forward to your listening impressions. Always interesting as each piece in the chain had an affect on overall system performance. I sold all my HT gear which included the C298 to move to a dedicated 2CH rig built around Cornwall IVs. Never before have I heard such differences manifested in gear changes. I struggle with clean vs good (my preferences and purely subjective) sound. I’m keeping an eye out for the second part of this review.
 

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