NAD Electronics unveiled Wednesday and will begin shipping on Sept. 1 a new four-model iteration of its reference Masters Series of ultra-high-resolution audio components, designed to appeal to a younger, more “connected” music-lover – the customer seeking ease of integration with wireless streaming content sources like smartphones and tablets, multi-room listening capability, and the option to upgrade and expand functionality at a later date without having to replace the entire component, made possible through NAD’s Modular Design Construction (MDC) modules.
The series, featuring a new industrial design, is also being aimed at traditional audiophiles, but was described by NAD parent Lenbrook’s chief brand officer, John Banks, as “a bridge to a new cult of audio enthusiasts – the ‘Audiophile 2.0s’” – a demographic for whom traditional high end “feels 100 percent archaic. The new Masters series offers them a different choice.”
The line consists of the M12 Direct Digital Preamplifier DAC ($3,499), the M22 Hybrid Digital Power Amplifier ($2,999), the M17 Surround Sound AV Preamp Processor ($5,499) and the M27 Seven-Channel Power Amplifier ($3,999). Each product in the grouping is compatible with the currently available Masters BlueOS M50 Digital Music Player and M52 Digital Music Vault as well as with the family of Bluesound compact multi-zone wireless audio players.
Greg Stidsen, director of technology and product planning, demonstrated the series. He pointed out the flexibility afforded the components by MDC add-ons such as the DD HDMI MDC ($299). Another such add-on, the newly developed DD BlueOS MDC ($449), permits streaming from various music services, HD streaming from NAS devices, and integrated Wi-Fi, Ethernet and aptX Bluetooth connectivity.
Stidsen said the innovations carried through the new Masters series will eventually trickle down through to other products in the NAD family, as well as benefiting products within NAD’s sister brands, PSB Speakers and Bluesound.