Had the NAD M22 for a while, and it was the same story: dry, sterile, uninvolving in direct comparison to Class AB competitors.
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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.
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
Modular upgradable hardware
Nuprime STA 9 powerful 290 watts 8 ohm
hybrid class A/D technology
designed to emulate tube sound with a warm liquid presentation
high damping factor
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.