The Master Series of NAD is the statement of the British brand. When NAD presented the new design in 2015, everyone was pretty impressed. What a beauties! Pure gems! A modern housing, touchscreen, beautiful dual tone accents: yes… a true Masterpiece. Alpha, however, was not equally charmed by all models in the new series. At least: in terms of sound. Your author used the M12 for years… a wonderful device. But the M22 and M32 had their peculiarities for example. What about the NAD M33? Is it just a ’32’ with a large display, or is there more going on?
Followers of Alpha Audio of course already know the answer. We have in fact already revealed a little bit in our M33-video. It is a bizarre machine. That’s what it comes down to. But let’s see what exactly NAD has changed compared to the M32.
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. Think of Dirac integration. The M33 has ‘nicked’ that from the NAD M10. (Although for us the question remains whether the M10 is a real Master Series, given its appearance… it’s more like a Hyper PowerNode or something.)
Let’s start with the Eigentakt amplifier modules. You can see this as the successor of nCore. Bruno Putzeys (Dutch) also worked on the Purify Eigentakt modules. And yes, he was also on the ‘nCore’ team. At Purify, Lars Risbo also helped with the design. Peter Lyngdorf is also in the team that launched Purify. Big names. By the way, Purify also makes speaker units. We’re guessing more products will see the light of day. (active – k*ch – speakers? k*ch…)
Except for an essentially different amplifier, we see more striking things. Think of an integrated BluOS board for streaming, HDMI eARC for connection to a TV, bluetooth and wifi integrated and Dirac integration. This works in the same way as with the M10: the complete measurement is done via the Dirac app which detects the M33 itself and guides you through the steps. Even my grandmother can do this.
Now, our opinion is that it is always better to get the basic acoustics in order and only then get started with active room correction. Dirac works fine, but large corrections are always at the expense of the sound. At least: that is our experience. We also advise not to correct above 200 Hz in order not to affect the vocal area.
Inputs and Outputs
The M33 offers a whole range of connections. Of course there are the analog inputs: phono and single ended in. Then a duo of XLR inputs and for those who want to connect more in the form of a power amplifier or subs: there are two sub-outputs and a single-ended pre-out. Unfortunately no XLR. That would be even nicer.
Next we see two coaxial inputs, a pair of optical inputs and AES-in. For streaming, there is the Ethernet input for the BluOS module. Wireless is also possible (dual-band). Bluetooth is also available. Cool is the eARC hdmi input. eARC is the successor of ARC. eARC offers more bandwidth and also supports the latest codecs for surround. Think of Atmos. Although we haven’t been able to find a home-treatre passthrough… That would be helpful.
Who wants to expand? That’s possible. There are still two MDC slots available. Unfortunately, we don’t see a USB-dac module anymore. We can imagine that this is useful. We used it in the M12 for the htpc (home theatre pc). So NAD: give back the usb-module! Ow: and a decent home theatre passthrough.