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User Review: M50 Digital Music Player, M52 Digital Music Vault - Hesitant to get these, glad I did!!

April 5, 2013

Products: M50 Digital Music Player, M52 Digital Music Vault

The M50 and M52 are obviously pricey, could easily argue that they're both overpriced by just looking at the specs compared to competitors -- but based on my experience with my M51, T787, C565 and T757, I took a leap of faith. Airplay, which I have streamed throughout the house and patio via Marantz NA7004s and NR1602 using ALAC, was OK and convenient, but I've been dabbling with FLAC and a few HDTracks downloads and wanted to go further down that road. some pros and cons: both pieces are built solidly, heavy, NAD all the way; ripping is slowww and loud but the results are excellent, definitely cleaner sound than dragging over my PC's dbPoweramp FLAC files; a few times the disk didn't eject after ripping; in the first 40 rips, had one incorrect album and two missed songs (inaccurate so skipped? no messages); connections to the M51, best for me are XLR and Coax (AQ VDM-5), but HDMI did nothing for me; the M50 app is good and stable, my old NAS easily found and able to share, just a few oddities on the app that are OK but take some getting used to; for M50 to M52 connection, I'm still using the NAD-supplied USB A-B for now, seems to be pretty good but have an AQ Carbon on order just in case; M52 is quiet when streaming. Bottom line: these are very high quality pieces, and with proper cabling and the M51 they bring out the best in my PSB Synchronies. My living room system is solid top-to-bottom now. My old Sony 400CD carousel can finally retire! Later this year will probably check out Bluesound nodes for the basement, patio and bedroom. Cheers!

Tom - Rochester NY

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