NAD M33 Streaming Amplifier Review & Comments

Jokerr

Well-known Member

Cyprio

Active Member
Been after one of these for months. I believe SSAV have some a few weeks ago but I missed out - they seem to be flying off the shelves :(
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
But for the last 20 years NAD has been part of the Canadian Lenbrook group, the product was designed in Canada and it's manufactured in China :)
Oh. Well i am proud of my Cousin who lives in Canada.
 

HariSeldon

Well-known Member
Would be interested to see how this compared to the Uniti Nova. I'm erring that way because of Roon.
 

drillo

Active Member
Odd as it may seem, i'm curious how different this and the M10 would sound compared to my dirac enabled NAD T777. If I shift that out of the cinema in favour of a 16ch number and move the T777 into stereo duty, I wonder if I could tell them apart especially if dual subs and dirac are used to neutralise the power and fidelity differences.
One thing is for sure it sure aint as pretty or desirable - love to hear thoughts on this although I suspect some scorn coming my way :)
 

bogart99

Well-known Member
Not directly connected to this particular item but I think the customer service from Lenbrook leaves an awful lot to desire, especially the Bluesound folks. I was seriously going to push the button on a M10
but their attitude persuaded me to say sod you will go elsewhere.
 

Hear Here

Standard Member
Not directly connected to this particular item but I think the customer service from Lenbrook leaves an awful lot to desire, especially the Bluesound folks. I was seriously going to push the button on a M10
but their attitude persuaded me to say sod you will go elsewhere.

Au contraire, mon ami - as they may say in Canada!

I've had the M33 for a couple of months now and it is a great amp. Previously I enjoyed an M32 (and M12 preamp), but the SOUND of the M33 is a subtle improvement over an already exceptional box of tricks.

There are problems with the M33 and I'm in communication with the NAD guys in Canada. They have been extremely helpful once you get past the first layer of "customer service" people - the fobbers off! They are concerned enough to link up directly with my machine here in Portsmouth by internet link and have delved into its stored data. I'm hoping for a diagnosis soon.

Let me say that the control side of this new unit is not as good as that for the M32 and M12. All these units share a very fancy and comprehensive IR remote control. Sadly much of what could easily be done from the remote cannot be done with the M33. In particular the remote can't be used for accessing the vast array of Settings. In fact Balance can only be adjusted by prodding the LED screen - from a position you can't judge its effect. Worse still, the remote has a rocker marked CH/Source that changed the input source when pointed at M32 or M12, but it’s disabled with the M33. To toggle though inputs, you have to use the up-down navigation buttons. Similarly with the M33 the next-previous and play-pause functions use the other central navigation buttons rather than the bespoke buttons marked with standard icons for those functions.

Regarding BluOS, it’s still probably the best interface for accessing your music (maybe Sonos is still top dog but I’ve not used it for 5 years or so), but there are some absolutely infuriating features. The Volume control has to be asked for – it used to be there 24/7 on the BluOS screen. Also you cannot use some of Windows’ standard features such as Copy & Paste. If you’re reading about some artist with an impossible unpronounceable name and want to enter it into the BluOS search box, you have to enter it character by character! Likewise you cannot copy some obscure artist from BluOS into All Music or Wikipedia for example. Also you can only edit your Playlist track by track. If you added a 24 track album only to find you don’t like it, every track needs to be removed individually. Why can’t we take advantage of the standard procedure to mark start and end tracks and delete the lot with one click? It’s probably just as bad with other brands’ apps I suppose, but BluOS never seems to take this sort of simple thing on board.

Rant over – the M33 is a brilliant bit of kit and BluOS still takes some beating.

Peter
 

Hear Here

Standard Member
Would be interested to see how this compared to the Uniti Nova. I'm erring that way because of Roon.
I think you'll find that the M33 will work perfectly with Roon despite it not being "certified". My M32 and M12 (when fitted with the BluOS module) certainly worked well with Roon as I has a Nucleus on loan for a couple of weeks.

I'm told that my new M33 has identical interface regarding Roon and is as much "Roon Ready" as other NAD products - but check with someone who is using it! Peter
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I think you'll find that the M33 will work perfectly with Roon despite it not being "certified". My M32 and M12 (when fitted with the BluOS module) certainly worked well with Roon as I has a Nucleus on loan for a couple of weeks.

I'm told that my new M33 has identical interface regarding Roon and is as much "Roon Ready" as other NAD products - but check with someone who is using it! Peter

No- it doesn't.

1607725167663.png


The M33 and M10 are perfectly capable of working with Roon (I used the M10 in this fashion for the most part when I reviewed it). NAD has not completed the licensing process though so if you buy an M33 now, it will not work with Roon until such time as this is done.
 

Petey

Active Member
@Ed Selley can you provide any insight to how it sounds connected to a TV without the Chord M Scaler?

Also how you have the sound options configured on your TV (pcm, pass through etc...) and what sources you used (onboard apps, Apple TV etc...)?
 

Hear Here

Standard Member
No- it doesn't.

View attachment 1420976

The M33 and M10 are perfectly capable of working with Roon (I used the M10 in this fashion for the most part when I reviewed it). NAD has not completed the licensing process though so if you buy an M33 now, it will not work with Roon until such time as this is done.
Interesting, though do you mean M32 and M10.

Perhaps I shoudn't have sold my M32 as that certainly worked OK with Roon when fitted with the BluOS module. So did the M12 preamp which I still have, although I don't have the module any longer.

Fortunately, I also have a "Roon Ready" M50.2. I've been considering getting a Nucleus or clone, so I should still be able to use Roon with the M50.2 feeding the M32's EAS-EBU input, ie bypassing the non-Roon certified streamer in the M33.

Ed - does this tally with your understanding?

Here's the Roon page that lists NAD devices that seem to be happy with.

Peter
 

spacemanrick

Novice Member
I have had my NAD M33 for 6 weeks now and it sounds fantastic with my B&W 802D2 speakers. I love the NAD's crystal clear sound, detail it brings out in all music, punchy bass, big sound stage, and clean dynamic power.

I don't quite agree with the AV review on the comparison to the NAD M10. I also owned the NAD M10 but sold it after 2 months because it just seemed a little strained, thin, and unrefined when played with my 802D2 speakers.

There are a few user interface bugs when the NAD M33 is used with my Ipad and Samsung Galaxy S10 but this has improved greatly with the last few operating system updates.

I was deciding for a few months between the Hegel H390 and the NAD M33 and am happy that I chose the NAD M33!
 

jon5jon

Standard Member
I have a NAD C388 with Bluos 2i module and love its sound features and flexibility, how much of an upgrade is the M33? Was also looking at the pre/power combo that uses same amp tech but cheaper the 658/298?
 

jonasbaadsgaard

Standard Member
The Nad Master Series just look great all around. Still miss my old Nad M3 that Ibsold of years ago. Sweet sounding and everything. But the design and build quality is just second to none. . So well build and a joy to look at
 

Hear Here

Standard Member
I have a NAD C388 with Bluos 2i module and love its sound features and flexibility, how much of an upgrade is the M33? Was also looking at the pre/power combo that uses same amp tech but cheaper the 658/298?
Well, the 658/298 combo costs £3200 plus interconnects and the M33 costs £4000. I know which I think is best value, partly because I prefer the single-box M33 solution - I hate unnecessary (and always overpriced) cables!

Take a look at the 2 alternatives and note the quality of the case and the excellent and huge touch screen LED on M33 that can display artwork, artist, track title, VU meters, etc. One possible disadvantage of the combo is that the preamp and DAC are built into the streamer rather than the amp box, so all other kit (turntable, TV, CDP, etc) has to be connected to the 658. I'm not sure if the 658 offers both MM and MC - only useful for vinyl users.

The Master Series is undoubtedly a better product, however NAD offers a great range to cater for varying budgets. Good luck with whichever choice you go for.
 
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Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
@Ed Selley can you provide any insight to how it sounds connected to a TV without the Chord M Scaler?

Also how you have the sound options configured on your TV (pcm, pass through etc...) and what sources you used (onboard apps, Apple TV etc...)?

The Mscaler was set for passthrough (no upsampling) with the TV so my comments are equivalent to the set being connected directly. The TV itself is set for stereo PCM output. I use every service except Apple TV.

Fortunately, I also have a "Roon Ready" M50.2. I've been considering getting a Nucleus or clone, so I should still be able to use Roon with the M50.2 feeding the M32's EAS-EBU input, ie bypassing the non-Roon certified streamer in the M33.

Ed - does this tally with your understanding?

Pretty much- if in doubt, Roon's list (while slower to update) only has stuff that is 100% up and running on it. This includes the M50.2

I don't quite agree with the AV review on the comparison to the NAD M10. I also owned the NAD M10 but sold it after 2 months because it just seemed a little strained, thin, and unrefined when played with my 802D2 speakers.

That's a weird thing to say because that's pretty much what I noted in the review; that it's only with considerably more expensive speakers that the M33 truly begins to shine. Regardless of their value now, the 802D2 was around ten grand new which does rather dovetail with this finding.
 

Hear Here

Standard Member
Pretty much- if in doubt, Roon's list (while slower to update) only has stuff that is 100% up and running on it. This includes the M50.2

That's a weird thing to say because that's pretty much what I noted in the review; that it's only with considerably more expensive speakers that the M33 truly begins to shine. Regardless of their value now, the 802D2 was around ten grand new which does rather dovetail with this finding.

Thanks Ed. The M50.2 is certainly on the Roon site as Roon Ready.

The M10 is an excellent one box solution, but I decided to stick with my M32 until the M33 came out. The latter offers the features from M10 that the M32 lacked - built-in streamer, Dirac Live and a bigger LED screen.

The M10 is great matched with speakers that it's appropriate to match it with, but I have Avantgarde Duo XDs and Rick has B&W 802Ds. Both these speakers will benefit more from the better quality M33 than would lesser speakers. I think the M10 deserved its awards, as does the M32. I'm sure the M33 will pick up awards too.

When one has £32K speakers, it's difficult to know where to pitch one's amp budget. I bought or home demo'd a dozen good amps costing considerably more than my M32 but I chose that as overall the best with my speakers. The M33 is a subtle but noticeable step up from the M33 and I doubt I could improve the sound I hear short of a pile of separates costing upwards of £25K - for amp, preamp, DAC, streamer and a snake pit of costly cables.

Can anyone offer a rival to the M33 at a sensibly higher price than its modest £4K? I've failed so far. Peter
 
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Hear Here

Standard Member
I have had my NAD M33 for 6 weeks now and it sounds fantastic with my B&W 802D2 speakers. I love the NAD's crystal clear sound, detail it brings out in all music, punchy bass, big sound stage, and clean dynamic power.

I don't quite agree with the AV review on the comparison to the NAD M10. I also owned the NAD M10 but sold it after 2 months because it just seemed a little strained, thin, and unrefined when played with my 802D2 speakers.

There are a few user interface bugs when the NAD M33 is used with my Ipad and Samsung Galaxy S10 but this has improved greatly with the last few operating system updates.

I was deciding for a few months between the Hegel H390 and the NAD M33 and am happy that I chose the NAD M33!

Hi Rick (I guess)

Good to hear from a fellow M33 user. Did you upgrade from the M32 as I did?

There's one feature of the M33 I'm getting a little concerned about. It's taken a while to realise that I'm hearing more sibilance than I think my previous amps have offered. Is this something you've noticed?

Unfortunately I've now sold the M32 so can't directly compare. I have another power amp (Valvet E2se (on loan) but this offers similar sibilance to the M33. So it's possibly related to the preamp or even DAC section of the M33. Or it's my imagination!

I don't think it's the speakers but I could move my old Duos back into my listening room I suppose. I've tried with different speaker cables as some think that silver cables (my usual ones are 100% silver) are more prone to exaggerating sibilance. I switched to 100% copper ones today but much the same sound.

OK, last thought - I could take out the M33 and replace it with my M12 preamp feeding the Valvet. I suppose that's the best test, but I'd still be interested in your experience with the M33.

Thanks. Peter
 

ozzzy189

Distinguished Member
Would be interested to see how this compared to the Uniti Nova. I'm erring that way because of Roon.
get a devialet expert 220 pro, roon integration is excellent and better sq than the naims.
 

ozzzy189

Distinguished Member
Thanks Ed. The M50.2 is certainly on the Roon site as Roon Ready.

The M10 is an excellent one box solution, but I decided to stick with my M32 until the M33 came out. The latter offers the features from M10 that the M32 lacked - built-in streamer, Dirac Live and a bigger LED screen.

The M10 is great matched with speakers that it's appropriate to match it with, but I have Avantgarde Duo XDs and Rick has B&W 802Ds. Both these speakers will benefit more from the better quality M33 than would lesser speakers. I think the M10 deserved its awards, as does the M32. I'm sure the M33 will pick up awards too.

When one has £32K speakers, it's difficult to know where to pitch one's amp budget. I bought or home demo'd a dozen good amps costing considerably more than my M32 but I chose that as overall the best with my speakers. The M33 is a subtle but noticeable step up from the M33 and I doubt I could improve the sound I hear short of a pile of separates costing upwards of £25K - for amp, preamp, DAC, streamer and a snake pit of costly cables.

Can anyone offer a rival to the M33 at a sensibly higher price than its modest £4K? I've failed so far. Peter
my ex dem 220 was 4400, almost 7k new, i might know where one could be available.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Can anyone offer a rival to the M33 at a sensibly higher price than its modest £4K? I've failed so far. Peter

I'd choose the Uniti Nova on the understanding that;
  • I have an affinity for Naim
  • I use Roon
  • When I don't use Roon, I think their app is nicer to use than BluOS
  • I have little need for Dirac, already own a phono stage and only have speakers that have no real requirement for 200 watts to function satisfactorily.

I can easily see why people would choose in the opposite direction though.
 

Hear Here

Standard Member
I'd choose the Uniti Nova on the understanding that;
  • I have an affinity for Naim
  • I use Roon
  • When I don't use Roon, I think their app is nicer to use than BluOS
  • I have little need for Dirac, already own a phono stage and only have speakers that have no real requirement for 200 watts to function satisfactorily.

I can easily see why people would choose in the opposite direction though.
Thanks Ed.

I had a Naim streamer in my system some years ago (SuperUniti) but my main reason for sending it back was its poor control app. No doubt it's improved since than but unforgivably one's music library stored on hard drive could not be accessed via its Folder structure.

I had been using Sonos at the time (with excellent app) but wanted to upgrade. I borrowed Naim, Linn and a couple of others, but the apps did not offer this facility. For classical music in particular where metadata is most unreliable and inconsistent, I made a point of getting all my Beethoven music into one Beethoven folder rather than find some under Beethoven, some under Ludvig, some under the soloist, or conductor, or orchestra. There's no alternative to organising a well defined Folder for each composer and it wasn't until I discovered the excellent (with reservations)BluOS app that I jumped from Sonos to NAD.

Does the current Naim app offer Folder as well as Artist, Album, Tracks, etc? Thanks
 

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