Published On: October 27, 2008

NAD Masters Series M25 Seven-Channel Amplifier Reviewed

Published On: October 27, 2008

NAD Masters Series M25 Seven-Channel Amplifier Reviewed

The big M25 from NAD is part of their Masters Series, and for $3,499 it offers seven channels at 160 watts each. It's THX Ultra2-certified, meaning it passes the most stringent of tests by THX. Jerry Del Colliano puts the big amp to the test.

nad-master-series-m25.gifAsk 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.

Additional Resources
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



nad-master-series-m25.gifHigh Points
• 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.

• The openness of the NAD M25 is better than expected, considering its price.

Low Points
• For the money, there are other amps (ugly ones by comparison) that offer more power for the dollar. Not that dollars per watts should be your main consideration, but there are bigger beefcakes out there. It is also possible that, in order to get the highly sought-after THX Ultra2 certification, NAD needed to very conservatively rate the M25.

Conclusion
The NAD Masters Series M25 is an "instant classic" NAD product as, despite the Masters Series move towards the high end, the M25 is a significant value when compared to other multi-channel amps from the big boys, namely Krell, Classé Audio, Mark Levinson and Halcro. In the end, you could fairly put the NAD Master Series into a blind taste test with any of the big-dollar players and you might just come home with the NAD. The NAD Masters Series M25 is one hell of an amplifier.

Read other 5 and 7 channel amp reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's multi-channel amp resource page.

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