Battle of the maxi all in one integrateds: Naim Uniti Atom vs Nad M10


We had our first trial of the new Nad M10 intergrated amplifier an 100 watt Hypex amp streaming dac with Dirac Room correction vs the Naim Uniti Atom a 40 watt class A/B amp streaming dac on a pair of Legacy Signatures.

notes: the Nad is brand new no break in time and room correction not employed. 

We had a client who just purchased the Legacys and was looking to complete his system with an affordable all in one streaming amp so these two products were the perfect match to the client's budget and need for  a simple good sounding compact easy to use product.

The difference in sound was striking the Naim was warmer, puncher and much more involving. The Nad was clean and more powerful but way less involving.

So questioning, it it the  true digital Hypex amp sound or is it lack of breakin? 

Also wondering if when we switch on the Dirac room correction will the Nad pull ahead?

Does anyone have an NAD M10 who might want to comment on its performance?

If you think that we don't like the Nad M10 that is not true it might work out great for many listeners and its feature set is awesome, Blue OS, 100 watt per channel, Dirac, Apt x blue tooth, and it is $800 less expensive than the Naim.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Naim and Nad dealers


audiotroy
Had the NAD M22 for a while, and it was the same story:  dry, sterile, uninvolving in direct comparison to Class AB competitors.
And while Dirac is good at taming room modes, it’s broadband eq still suffers from the fundamental problem that a single microphone can’t detect or correct what is heard from two ears, a brain, and thousands of years of evolution.
I have the M10 with Paradigm Studio 20 v5's. Absolutely loving it. Clean, smooth, quiet, musical. I use it with Roon and a couple of Bluesound speakers in other rooms. The ESS Sabre DAC and  nCore combination is first rate in my experience. 

Two issues, neither of which are deal breakers for me but may be for others: Dirac is not available yet, will come with a firmware update that will happen "soon". That was disappointing. Also, at the moment you can only use wireless headphones. No headphone jack and no way to connect a headphone amp. It seems to me that a firmware update could make the preouts available for a headphone amp, but to date NAD hasn't said anything about it despite a number of questions online. 
What type of Hypex modules are used on the NAD?
Any updates on this? Did the M-10 start to sound better after a bit of break in?
The Naim still sounds better.

However we found a new combo that sounds amazing  with more power then either. 

Nad C658 Blue Sound Streamer/dac/preamp $1500

Plus 2 Nuprime STA 9 monos $1400 for the pair 290 watts 8 ohm 

Smooth, open, great bass.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Nad, Nuprime, Naim dealers
Thanks for your response!

Do you happen to know if the DAC in the C658 is the same Burr-Brown that is in the Bluesound products, or the ESS Sabre that is in the M-10?

Didn't know of the Plus 2 Nuprime 9, but will look into them.
 The C 658 use the ESS sabre dac and it sounds fantastic. 

The combination of the littel STA 9 plus the C 658 is one of the best value to dollar combinations we have ever seen.

The C658 Blue Sound Streamer
                 MQA combatible
                 Roon combatible
                 Modular upgradable hardware
                 Phono input
                 Diract Live
                 Sabre Dac
                 
Nuprime STA 9 powerful 290 watts 8 ohm
                         cool running
                         compact
                         hybrid class A/D technology
                         designed to emulate tube sound with a warm liquid presentation
                         high damping factor 
                         good dynamics

So for $2900 bucks plus intereconnect you got a beautiful modular setup which allows for easy upgrading.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ NAD, Nuprime dealers
I have just got a pair of Quadral Montan VIII speakers. Never wanted anything that expensive/pro but I had an irresistible offer. I'm afraid now I have to upgrade from my beloved Marantz M-CR611. I love the all-in-one concept and M10 seemd to be a logical step up. BluOS pretty much seems to be the best.
It would be nice to see if M10 is any better than Bluesound Powernode 2i regarding sound quality. I can live without the lcd and all the fancy stuff.
I would also like to know how much better Naim Uniti Star is than the above mentioned solutions.

If we go for a 2-piece setup I was deffinitely looking at the NAD C 658. Any comparison with the Cambridge Audio CXN v2?
And how about the NAD MDC solution?? It is such a great idea to have a modular design! You could add a BluOS module to a C 368 or C 388 or even a cheaper but still not bad C 390DD. You get a good amplifier and BluOS streaming in one box again.
Or how about getting a serious amplifier used, like the Vincent SV-238 which used to be in the 4000 USD range but you can get it used for 2000 USD and just add a Bluesound Node 2i?

I'm not even sure why the player matters. It is the DAC that does the job. The player only knows the digital format and decodes it to ones and zeroes, getting the same result as any other player would.