NAD M51 - one week on.
Just a few rambling thoughts regarding the NAD DAC.
I've had this DAC for nearly a week and it's making quite an impression. I thought my Chord 64 would take some beating but the NAD just about does it across the board.
Each piece of music I'm playing is revealed in hitherto unknown detail. The slight trade off for this, surprisngly perhaps, is a tinge of warmth to many recordings. Not quite up to the levels I recall from previous Arcam amps I've owned, but a warmth nonetheless.
I'm still not quite sure which connection wins out between coaxial (CDP) or optical (streamed lossless). Based on a few hours switching between the two last night, I'd plump for coaxial. Yet the majority of my CDs are streamed these days so will have to settle for optical conveniece. I've not tried the USB yet, but plan to via the Apple Camera Kit work around soon. (as my HiFi is nowhere near my Mac, I can't link the two).
The real star of the show for me though is the HDMI out from my PS3 and into the NAD. My mini-stash of music-orientated Blu-rays sound stunning. Neil Young's Archive Box on Blu-ray is fantastic. I've owned this since it came out and only now heard its full 192/24 wonders. Time to seek out some more Blu ray audio discs. The HDMI (only 2.0 enabled) feels like a bonus as the vast majority of my digital music is on my Mac and/or CDs, but it great having it.
So overall, the NAD is a winner. The smidgen of smoothness takes a bit of re-acclimatising to after the Chord but there are so many things I've played in the last week that just sound so much better. More of it. Not always in spades but a notch up.