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User Review: M51 Direct Digital DAC - The NAD M51 provides a quantum leap for middle-class music lovers

April 29, 2012

Products: M51 Direct Digital DAC

I regard myself as a lover of good music who likes quality. Over the last thirty years I experimented with a wide range of components. From time to time I have been delighted by components that enhance my levels of enjoyment with quantum leaps. My whole music collection suddenly provided a new experience. The Linn Lingo, PS Audio Lamba Drive, Sonic Frontiers Pre-amp, vanderSteen 2Ce speakers and Chord SPM 1200 power amp were some of those components. Recently I acquired the PSB Synchrony Ones’ and PSB Mini’s. They made me felt that all the speakers I had before – most of which I dearly loved - cheated me out of a lot of good music. The latest component that advanced me to a level where a feel that I have at last arrive, is the NAD M51. I use it as pre-amp and DAC with the Chord SPM 1200 and PSB Synchrony Ones (in lounge) and PSB Mini’s (as B speakers in my office). I use a humble NAD C565 BEE as CD drive and NAD 557 for Blue Ray and DVD’s. I have “thrown out” all the surround sound components, but more than ever before listen to music on Blue Ray and DVD in stereo. Even my teenage son and wife seldom miss out a show. The whole family agrees, we do not need any surround sound – the current stereo set-up is magic. I often work at home and baroque music help me to think better. For these purposes I have ripped my CD’s on a 3 TB hard drive, and with a 20 meter long USB connected to the M51, enjoys hours of detailed and transparent music that is also punchy but never sharp. NAD must be congratulated with this clever product, which even the middle class can afford!

Christo van der Merwe - Stellenbosch, South Africa

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