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PurpleWarrior

Article: Review | NAD M10 BluOS Streaming Amplifier

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I like your review, and want to make fun of people that do Goat Yoga as well, now that I know that's a thing.


No electron left behind...

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Thanks for spending time with the M10 @PurpleWarrior. While your take is certainly different than most HiFi writers, it's nice to hear from someone with a different point of view who doesn't just drool over products automatically. 

 

I heard the M10 at RMAF and was impressed at what I heard in a crowded, noisy, trade show demo. Its feature set looked really nice and is, as you say, a great match for many people. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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Tech specs I can get from the manufacturer or manual. By the end of a review, I need to feel that I know how the device sounds. You nailed that part in this review. I have a clear impression of the sound of the M10. Nice work!

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Thanks for the frank write up.  I'm disappointed that NAD appears to have compromised on the sound.  I'd call several of their sub $1,000 amps terrific audiophile gear for those on a budget.  I started with a C326BEE that I still enjoy at our lake house--it sounds way better than the mass market offerings in that price range

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the comments @audiobomber, et al.I love hearing what you guys think!

 

@AudioDoctor
It’s difficult to do goat yoga now that you have to stay six feet from the goat.
 

@The Computer Audiophile
The verve and presence I enjoyed from the M10 would be make it a stand out in a hectic environment like RMAF. I didn’t hear the M10 there, but I imagine it sounded quite good. The refinement that I missed in home listening sessions would be hard for me to detect under show conditions. So, maybe we heard some of the same things.

 

@PeterG
Yes, compared to NAD’s other products, it appears that sound was not the primary goal of the M10. But, I wouldn’t necessarily say NAD compromised on sound per say; it just wasn’t the absolute top priority. Moreover, for around $2700, I have no doubt you could get worse SQ, and without the curb appeal and seamless operation.

Edited by The Computer Audiophile
Fixed @ usernames

“Using no way as way.” — Bruce Lee

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I got off my lazy butt and opened my password manager to get my bad memory logged on— just to tell you how much I enjoyed your review.

 

Even more so than the excellent review, I absolutely loved the “About Purple Warrior Section”

 

Thanks

 

keep up the great work.

 

Stay safe

 

Stay healthy


Aurender S10--> Berkeley Alpha USB—> Meitner MA-1 --> Audio Research REF6 Pre --> Audio Research REF-110-->Vandersteen Quatro CT Speakers

 

Sonore UltraRendu with Uptone power supply —> Meitner MA1

 

AQ Sky XLR Interconnects, Audioquest Diamond USB, Wireworld Platinum Starlight USB, Nordost Heimdall 2 AES-EBU

 

AMG Giro Turntable w Lyra Delos Cartridge —> Audio Research Ref 3 PhonoPre

 

HRS RXR Rack with Isolation Bases

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My son-in-law likes the M10's gestault. In his review of the M10, John Darko spoke glowingly of the difference that the Dirac room correction software made in the M10's SQ.

 

I'd love to see the M10 compared to Arcam's new SA-30 all-in-one. The Arcam lacks the M10's big display but may exceed it in SQ. The Arcam is in the same price range as the M10, also has Dirac, and, it too is fully MQA capable with network streamer capability. 

 

We are living in Audio's second 'golden age' and happily, one that exceeds the first in nearly every category.

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You could hear a difference in power cable but didn’t do much to get Dirac room correction to work which would have immense sonic benefits? Ncore amps measure close to perfect. Candidly, this is a bit hard to take seriously - it’s as if audiophile in your definition is made up of stuff that’s complex, distorted, large and hot.

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Before I started reading the review, I cringed a bit at the thought of learning of a yet another “highly recommended” verdict. Very happy to see it was not that! Congratulations!
 

Your review made me think of the Yamaha R-N803 as a mass market competitor to the NAD M10. Did you have the chance to listen to the R-N803? It’s not as good looking as the M10, but it can be linked to a TV, a subwoofer, or power two sets of speakers. At $1000, it’s a great deal cheaper, too. 
 

You had the guts to take on NAD and say that heir product is not truly “audiophile”, 
I’d love to learn what you think of mass products aimed at the low end of the audiophile range. 


Gabriel

Desktop: Windows 7, Xonar Essence XTS, Focal Solo6 Be

At work: HP laptop with Denon AH-D2000

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@apple2k

Instead of reviewing the M10 as a model, I review the unit that’s given to me by the manufacturer. I believe that gives a clearer picture of the product as a whole, including its reliability. If a unit I’m given hasn’t been tested thoroughly or is perhaps prone to being faulty (i.e. the standby button), that’s on the manufacturer. If I can’t install DIRAC, then it’s a useless feature to me and for others in my situation, regardless of its potential. That’s part of my review.

 

Having said that, I would’ve been quite interested in hearing what DIRAC could do. But, I was only given sixty days with the M10. That period included Thanksgiving and Christmas. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go through tech support on installation, then set up, then another series of listening sessions. These are the conditions handed to me by the manufacturer, so I am reporting the best I can under the circumstances.


“Using no way as way.” — Bruce Lee

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@blaven

Thank you for the kind words! Enjoy that sweet system of yours while ur hunkering down in safety.

 

@g_iordache
Thanks, brother! I appreciate your comments. I don’t think I’m throwing shade though. In fact, I think NAD would agree with me — in spirit if not the exact word choices. At its price, given the costs associated with the impressive design, touchscreen interface and outstanding remote app, I think it’s inevitable ultimate SQ would take a hit. It was a specific choice NAD made.

 

I haven’t heard the R-N803, but I’ve always enjoyed the “natural” Yamaha sound. Based on previous experience with Yammy, I imagine the R-N803 would offer a more laid back, smoother sound. The M10 is quite lively. Also, I should let you know that the M10 offers similar features to what you described.

 

I am not an industry insider, but it seems clear these all-in-one devices are trending now. @Geoffrey mentions Arcam’s entry. PS Audio and others will be releasing their own versions. I bet many of them will rival or perhaps exceed the M10 in sound. But, I doubt any of them will elicit comments and interest from guests like the M10 on full display. And I don’t think many owners will grow tired of looking at it and using it either. To me, that’s the point of the M10. 


“Using no way as way.” — Bruce Lee

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@PurpleWarrior

 

Thank you for the review. Your methodology and prose are very enjoyable. When I wrote my review of the Naim Unity Atom, I did not find the SQ entirely up to what I am accustomed to. Yet it provides a similar satisfying feature set and physical presence. The other part of the equation that I find rather interesting is the software side of these systems. How the user interacts with the system can be problematic or can be enjoyable.

 

There are some undertones here that we can watch. To me, there is a trend in some systems designs to build systems that are more forward, sharp, or harsh. One example for me is the difference between the Diamond 2 and Diamond 3 versions of the high-end B&W speakers. I find the D3 models to be harder to enjoy. I have very little exposure to the newer models past that, but what I have heard is progress in the wrong direction for me.

 

This trend reminds me of TVs on display at the local Best Buy, where all the screens are on SHOUT mode. Or some of the smartphones where the color saturation defaults to OMG!

 

 

Bob

PS Thumbs up to Side One of Led Zeppelin IV

 

 

 

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Photos are too dark.  Didn't Wagner or JW Goethe complain about needing more light (right before he passed)?

 


In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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Cheers @bobfa I appreciate your kind words and astute observations. As far as I know, the Unity Atom is the closest competitor to the M10. I think you’re exactly right in your comparisons.

 

I have no experience with the D2 or D3, but you might be on to something as far as the trend toward a “modern” sound in speakers. I take modern to mean a pristine, transparent quality which I imagine stems from the current “golden age” of digital sources. Taken too far, I can see how the result could become dry and harsh in a effort to sound cleaner. That über clarity can become too sharp. It wouldn’t surprise me if B&W fell into this digital sound trap due to current ownerships background in Silicon Valley.


“Using no way as way.” — Bruce Lee

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I looked into this product but ultimately decided to keep my existing integrated and upgrade my microRendu to a Signature Rendu SE.  While thinking about it, I asked the following question of a NAD dealer:

 

 
04/28/19
Q: This product invites lots of questions but the downloadable manual answers few. So, I am asking you. (1) The specs say this has DSD support but there is no indication of whether it plays natively or by DoP. There also is no indication whether DSD is limited to 1x or whether DSD128 and DSD256 also are playable, either in native resolution or with downsampling and whether this downsamples 24/352 PCM or just goes silent with it. How does this process such files? (2) It appears there is no handheld remote. Is this the case? If so, is Alexa the only means of selecting inputs or can the mobile apps do that, too? This device doesn't appear in the Logitech Harmony compatability database; is there no IR control capability at all? (3) I don't use a streaming service as my primary source. Instead, I stream from a NAS to DLNA players. Does this have DLNA capability?

04/29/19
A: Hi Mike: We reached out to NAD's CTO, Greg Stidsen to get a deeper dive into your queries. He replied: "DSD support is limited. It requires reformatting as DOP and this is a tool that is only available in the desktop app. It converts all resolutions to 24/192 and saves them as a new file on your NAS." "You can access all inputs from the various app formats we support (iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, Control4, RTI, Crestron, etc.)" "There is an IR learning function so you can use any codes you want. It is very easy to set up (same as Bluesound)." "We do not support UPnP (too many limitations) but use SMBA to access all your NAS music files. Once sharing is configured all files can be accessed from any devices storing music files. We also support folders if you want to separate different types of libraries." Hope this helps,

I have a relatively large number of sacd’s that I now store as DSD files and I wanted to continue to be able to use my DLNA software, so these limitations were too much for me to take in a device in this price range.


Living room:  Synology 218+ NAS > JRiver Media Server > ASUS AC-87R Router > Netgear GS348 Switch > EtherRegen > Sonore Signature Rendu SE Tier 2 > Wyred4Sound 10th Anniversary DAC > Wyred4Sound STI-500 > Revel F32 Concertas

 

Basement:  Synology 218+ NAS > JRiver Media Server > ASUS AC-87R Router > Netgear GS348 Switch >TrendNet FMC>Sonore OpticalModule> UltraRendu > NuPrime IDA-8 > KEF LS50's

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