NAD – New Acoustic Dimension – has – as the Dutch say – “gold in its hands” with the M33 and C298. Both products are extremely competitive: good pricing, good performance and – our opinion – a sleek appearance. Especially in the case of the Master Series. And well: there is a newcomer: the M23 power amplifier. Yep… with Purifi Eigentakt. Yummy!
You like it or not: the design of the Master Series. Your author really likes it. Especially with the M33 – and M12 – which still has a sleek display on the front. Modern, sleek, chic and in a sense timeless. Anyway: there really is no accounting for taste. What ultimately matters to us enthusiasts is: how does it sound? We will talk about that later. First some information about the technology.
With a power amplifier, we don’t need to talk about the technology in great detail. Because well: it is a power amplifier. A box that amplifies the incoming signal to the level that a speaker can actually do something audible with that signal.
In this case the NAD M23, with two channels, can squeeze out about 200 watts per channel in 8 Ohms and about 380 in 4 Ohms. In bridge mode there should be more than 700 watts coming out (mono). You can see later in the measurements that these specs are quite accurate.
Purifi Eigentakt is a class D technology co-developed by Bruno Putzeys. Two other key figures are Lars Risbo and Peter Lyngdorf. Simply put, Eigentakt is a further development on nCore; a “platform” that Putzeys also co-developed. However, Eigentakt has to go one step further. And yes: we agree. It sounds smoother and cleaner than nCore.
Although there is more at play than just the output stages. Class D is incredibly sensitive to the power supply. So that’s directly the area NAD has worked on quite a bit and that’s what sets the C298 apart from the DIY kit, for example. The NAD M23 goes even further in that area. The pictures below clearly show that the M23 does not just get a nicer casing (or box). NAD has actually done things differently for the Master Series.
A quick word about the rear of the M23. It is the same as the C298. So no surprises for your author. We’ll walk you through them.
There are both balanced and single ended inputs. These are switchable, so pay attention when you connect the amplifier. If silent: just turn everything off, flip the switches and turn the amp back on. Furthermore we see a small switch for Bridge mode. This puts the M23 in mono mode to use more power on one channel. Finally, a gain switch to set the gain (gain) to low, medium or high. It’s all not rocket-science.