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NAD Masters M33 -- first review
Hi,

I'm not quite on topic with the equipment, but sort of within sight of it. I bought a used NAD 32 integrated to use as a streamer, and also to drive the in-wall speakers in our kitchen. So, ethernet into the NAD, COAX out to the Devialet, and then the NAD speaker outs to the kitchen speakers.

I think the BluOS streaming interface is very good; the equal of Sonos in most ways, with a couple of areas where it is a bit ahead or behind, but very good overall.

I did also try the NAD on it's own as an integrated, replacing the Devialet, as I was curious about how the two products would compare. Purely on my impressions of the sound quality, I will say that the NAD is very good. In general, the sound is precise and clean, without any digital glare IMHO. It feels fully extended from highs to lows and doesn't smear or hide any details or micro dynamics.

There are some audible differences however, and the NAD is not, in my opinion and system, the equal of the Devialet. I'll try to explain. The Devialet presents the music with more depth and tonal richness than the NAD. On hearing the Devialet D120 for the first time in 2014, I noticed that with the Dev, I could hear 'all around the notes' the leading edge, the 'roundness' and then around the backside of the sound. There was a three-dimensional reveal to the music. The NAD does not do that. In contrast, it is fairly flat, both for the parts of the music as well as the overall soundstage. It is quite planar compared to the Devialet. The Devialet does expand, or release, the sound to give a bigger, more open and expansive presentation. Not by a little, but by a fairly sizeable degree. That is something I have taken for granted for the last six years, but the comparison with the NAD brought that aspect back to my attention. Curiously, it also means that the sound is better out and about in our room. The sound 'hangs together' better with the Devialet and so moving around the room, which is not just a rectangle, does not result in the music sounding distant or lacking. The Devialet also gives more of bass notes; not just drive, but the fullness of tone and nuance to bass notes. This is my own personal area of fussiness, and the Devialet is still the best at revealing bass parts.

Describing the tone of the music is difficult without violating my own rules about terminology. So I'll just ask for forgiveness and accept the embarrassment. The Devialet is a warmer, more musical sounding amp. (palm slap to forehead emoji). Really it is. More analogue, or warmer, or more musical; all or any of those terms are relevant. It is more engaging to listen to. I won't say the NAD sounds 'digital' but perhaps that the Class A part of the Devialet really does shape the character of the amp overall.

For me, the M32 is totally overkill for it's place in our system, but then again, it does really well. Great display (!) excellent sound and power to the kitchen speakers, BluOS is superb, the streamer is clean and clear and open sounding, and I've got a pure digital out to the Devialet for the living room system.

I know the thread is about the M33 and it may be different and better than the M32. I just wanted to offer some thoughts about my experience with the previous NAD Masters integrated and how it sounds next to the Devialet 220 Pro CI. I hope I haven't deviated to an unwelcome degree.

   
Damon
NAD M32 as streamer and power for kitchen system in-wall speakers, & Cambridge CXC CD transport into a D220 Pro CI, capably carried by Analysis Plus Oval 9 speaker cable, and thence made expansive by Dali Epicon 2 speakers and juiced by wonderful custom power cords from NRG Custom Cables, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 
Vancouver, Canada
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(20-Feb-2021, 18:25)Damon Wrote: For me, the M32 is totally overkill for it's place in our system, but then again, it does really well. Great display (!) excellent sound and power to the kitchen speakers, BluOS is superb, the streamer is clean and clear and open sounding, and I've got a pure digital out to the Devialet for the living room system.

I know the thread is about the M33 and it may be different and better than the M32. I just wanted to offer some thoughts about my experience with the previous NAD Masters integrated and how it sounds next to the Devialet 220 Pro CI. I hope I haven't deviated to an unwelcome degree.

I was wondering how you were going with it!  Glad you like it.

The M33 is a different beast though. 
Quote:We can actually say that the NAD M33 is a totally different product than the M32. The cabinet is largely the same; the amplifier technology is different, the pcb’s are different … and it has functions that the M32 doesn’t have.
https://alpha-audio.net/review/review-na...ll-in-one/

Quote:Described as a smart amplifier, the NAD M33 is not just an improved M32. In fact, it is renewed in every way - and improved in most.
https://www.lbtechreviews.com/test/hi-fi/nad-m33

I suspect (yet to hear one) that the M33 sounds different to the M32 and much closer to the Expert Pro at a considerably lower price.  Other than the "no listen" ASR review, which I ignore, there are no comparisons yet.
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Hi @Snoopy8

Thanks. I am getting on with it very well. Listening at this very moment, and it is a huge and wonderful step up from the Sonos stuff, even the very good W4S modded product.

The M33 may indeed be better than the M32. But it would be double the price of the used M32, and I doubt the front end is much different. The M12 Streaming Pre would be ideal as well, but with the integrated, I get the power amp for the kitchen built in. So, thumbs up all around.

I think you recommended the NAD M12/ M32/ 33 to me; thanks- the perfect solution.

??? Didn't Hans Weisel at Soundstage Access review the M33? Might have been the M32. He preferred the Devialet, whether it was the D120 or the later D140.
Anyhow, the NAD Masters Series are well worth considering for persons who like the all-in-one (as I do) and find the price point suits them.
Damon
NAD M32 as streamer and power for kitchen system in-wall speakers, & Cambridge CXC CD transport into a D220 Pro CI, capably carried by Analysis Plus Oval 9 speaker cable, and thence made expansive by Dali Epicon 2 speakers and juiced by wonderful custom power cords from NRG Custom Cables, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 
Vancouver, Canada
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