NAD M23 Stereo Amplifier: Best Amp Ever Bench Tested?!?



Specs and measurements can be interesting but ultimately unimportant.  I listen to how a component sounds. How does it shine light on a performance.  Consider visual perception.  You have day light, incandescent, flourescent. Dappled light, shading etc. I listen to music because it's beautiful. It can come from a highly b resolving, or mid fi system. As long as it's interesting and shines light on the performance.  Measurements are ultimately meaningless except as an exercise in engineering. But I'm not an engineer. I listen for the love of artistic creation and expression. 




I disagree. Specs can tell you if your amp has enough power for your speakers. They can tell you if your amp will handle the impedance of your speakers. Specs can tell you if the character of the sound will change with the changing impedance of your speakers. Specs can tell you if what you are hearing is signal or distortion. Specs can tell you how efficient your amp is and how much energy you are wasting if you leave it on. Maybe none of that matters to you and perhaps ignorance is bliss. To a great many it is all relevant information that can be used to improve the performance of an audio system as well as lead to more accurate and enjoyable listening experiences.

@kuribo - Entirely your right to disagree. Specs are far from meaningless and can indicate many things, but not necessarily how a component will ultimately sound. Some would define audio ignorance as choosing a component by the specs without regard for how it actually sounds in a specific system. Specs should certainly be considered but cannot definitively predict sonic performance, our ears and perception are the ultimate arbiters. Enjoy the music however it pleases you most!


Please don’t misunderstand my comments- I am not saying that one should chose equipment based solely on measured performance. I agree, one must ultimately decide with one’s own ears. I am simply pointing out that specs, far from being useless, actually can add a great deal to making an intelligent choice that ultimately can lead to more subjective enjoyment.

Some will argue that certain measurements will indeed provide some indications on how something will sound- it has been shown by empirical studies that certain types of distortion is found to be pleasing to many, among other things. The success of amps with these types and patterns of distortion, typically certain types of tube amps, and ss amps that have been engineered to mimic these distortion profiles, are indeed successful in the marketplace. But so are others which take a different approach so while we can perhaps find certain sonic tendencies correlated to measurements, they are no guarantee of universal appeal.

It doesn’t make sense to chose solely on specs, nor solely on what we hear. It’s a thoughtful use of both that can be the most beneficial.