Ask any audiophile about NAD and you are very likely to get a big grin just at the suggestion of the brand. I have called NAD Electronics the "gateway drug" to audiophilia, as their low-priced, no-frills-looking products have the ability to light up a room like fancy tweako gear at a fraction of the price. Feeling a little frisky and wanting to show what their designers can really do, NAD launched a Masters Series of electronics that cost more than their main line of gear, but come with Mark Levinson good looks and a spec sheet worthy of the comparison.
Priced at $3,499, this 160-watts-per-channel seven-channel amplifier has some serious spank. It's built like a tank and comes with a design that included seven discrete channels of amplification capable of dipping down to a whopping 400-plus watts per channel when given a two-Ohm load. The NAD Masters Series M25 has been THX Ultra2-certified, meaning that their power ratings meet THX's high standards and avoid the spec gamesmanship seen with other products. The sound of the NAD Masters Series has a hefty low end but also, more noticeably, a smoother mid- and high-frequency response than the lower-level NAD line. In a recent private demo with an NAD Masters Series system, paired with PSB's newest reference bookshelf speakers, I was treated to a very wide soundstage and out-of-the-box imaging that is normally reserved for systems costing much, much more.
• Read other 5 and 7 channel amp reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's multi-channel amp resource page.
• Check out a review of Krell's $03 Three Channel power amp here.
Read The High Points, The Low Points and The Conclusion on Page 2
• The NAD Masters Series M25 has the power and headroom to be able to drive even tough impedance-load speakers to beyond-cinema levels, even from the most demanding sources, like DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. THX's Ultra2 certification backs those claims up with third-party verification that you can trust.
• The NAD Masters Series gear comes with the look and industrial design that you might expect from a $5,000 power amp.