NAD M2 Direct Digital Amplifier
All prices in euros (€) unless otherwise noted.
At time of report, 1 € is approximately 1.37 US dollars.

NAD’s M2 is called a "Direct Digital Amplifier" because is at once a two-channel integrated amplifier, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), and an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). But that only begins to tell the story. The heart of the M2 is its digital power-amplifier technology. In fact, NAD asks that you think of the M2 as a DAC that can directly drive your loudspeakers.

Not to be confused with the plethora of class-D amplifiers on the market, the M2 actually accepts a digital signal -- the purest way to use the M2 -- and outputs, according to NAD's specs, some serious power: 250Wpc into 8 or 4 ohms, 500Wpc of dynamic power. According to NAD, one aspect of the M2 that makes it special is its “Direct Digital Feedback Amplifier,” which essentially addresses many of the reported problems associated with the use of feedback in a conventional amplifier. The result, according to NAD, is an amplifier that is very low in distortion but also extremely fast and precise.

On the back of the M2 you’ll notice digital inputs as well as analog inputs. An ADC is used to convert your analog sources to digital before the amplification stage. The digital inputs are the real boon here, however. Just connect your computer-based music server or disc transport and let the M2 take it from there. The M2 is also capable if biamping your speakers with its two sets of binding posts. NAD also claims some mighty impressive specs for the M2: 90% amplifier efficiency, 120dB of dynamic range, and the ability to input digital signals with sampling frequencies up to 192kHz.

Although the understated exterior of the M2 could be considered a classic design choice for NAD, the technology packed within its chassis is anything but traditional. It seems that the M2 was designed to be the heart of a topflight audio system, providing more functions than most amps and, at the same time, innovating at seemingly every stage. With all the M2 is capable of, its 5900 € price tag seems quite reasonable. []