Hear your music again for the first time

NAD designs every component they build to deliver the best possible sonic performance, functional simplicity, and value for the money. And nowhere is that philosophy more evident than in their top-of-the-line Masters Series M5 Super Audio CD player. Whether you're spinning a standard CD or enjoying the ultimate in multi-channel SACD sound, the M5's ability to reveal new levels of detail from long-familiar recordings is certain to impress.

M5 angled view

A rugged build and classic good looks

Extensive use of aluminum extrusions, zinc castings, and heavy gauge steel results in a strong chassis that helps eliminate the noise and vibration that can adversely affect sound quality. And this player will maintain its good looks for years to come thanks to NAD's specialized coatings and protective plating. The M5's beauty is more than just skin deep, though. Inside, it includes premium parts selected for their excellent sound quality. Separate power supplies individually feed the digital and analog audio circuits to minimize potential interference and maintain sonic purity. All of these careful steps add up to highly involving sound with gobs of musical detail.

Crystal-clear sound with all your music discs

A professional-grade digital-to-analog converter extracts the finest details contained on high-resolution SACDs, including multi-channel discs. It can even help you rediscover some of the forgotten gems in your standard CD collection by revealing subtle nuances that you may never have noticed. The M5 can also play home-burned CDs and those loaded with MP3 and WMA files, so you'll enjoy clear, precise sound from every disc in your library.

back panel

Versatile connections for your music system

This player's ample array of audio outputs make it easy to adapt to almost any music system. Separate sets of gold-plated RCA jacks are provided for both two-channel and 5.1-channel audio. The M5's balanced analog and digital XLR outputs give you ultra-quiet, pro-quality connections for compatible high-end gear. This player makes an ideal companion for NAD's M2 or M3 high-performance Masters Series amps. You also get optical and coaxial digital outputs for CD playback. There's even a video output for displaying the player's setup menus and reading metadata from your MP3 discs on your TV.

Product Highlights:

  • multi-channel and stereo playback for SACDs
  • stereo playback for audio CDs, CD-Rs & CD-RWs, and MP3 & WMA CDs
  • selectable digital filters for fine-tuning CD sound
  • bass management for 5.1 analog output
  • HDCD decoding and playback for higher-quality sound with compatible discs
  • professional-grade 24-bit/192 kHz digital-to-analog converters
  • separate power supplies for analog and digital circuitry
  • RCA and balanced XLR stereo analog outputs; multichannel RCA output
  • gold-plated stereo RCA and balanced 3-pin XLR connectors
  • gold-plated multi-channel (5.1) RCA analog audio connectors
  • optical, coaxial, and XLR digital outputs for CD
  • composite video output for on-screen display of setup menus and metadata (switchable On/Off)
  • RS-232 interface for advanced custom installations
  • IR and 12-volt trigger input for remote operation
  • remote control
  • detachable power cord
  • 17-1/8"W x 4-1/2"H x 11-13/16"D
  • weight: 20.3 lbs
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
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Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Single-Disc CD/SACD Player
  • 70" AC power cord
  • Wireless remote (M5)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 58" A/V Cable (stereo RCA and composite video on both ends)
  • Owner's manual (English/ French/ German/ Dutch)
  • Owner's manual (Spanish/ Italian/ Portuguese/ Swedish)
  • Warranty information

Features and Specs

Disc Capacity 1
Disc Exchange N/A
Track Programming 20
Random Play Single Disc
Disc Naming No
Direct Track Access Yes
Direct Disc Access N/A
Remote Included
Display Color Blue
Multiple CD Player Control ---
Parts Warranty 3 Years
Labor Warranty 3 Years
CD-R Playback Yes
CD-RW Playback Yes
MP3 Playback Yes
SACD Playback 2-Channel / Multi-Channel
CD Frequency Response Not Given
Signal to Noise Ratio Not Given
SACD Frequency Response Not Given
SACD Dynamic Range Not Given
SACD THD Not Given
Digital Optical Output 1
Digital Coaxial Output 1
Headphone None

Product Research

Input and Output Notes


Direct Stream Digital (DSD) Encoding: The Super Audio CD standard is based on Direct Stream Digital (DSD) technology. The DSD format is a 1-bit system that has a digital sampling frequency 64 times that of conventional audio CD, 2,822,400 samples per second. The result is spectacular: a frequency response of over 100k Hz and a 120 dB dynamic range over the entire audible spectrum. Mixed with as many of the original frequencies as possible, the audio information audible for human ears sounds much more natural.

Power Supplies: The NAD M5 uses two discrete power supplies; a linear C-core transformer powers the audio stage, while the mechanical and digital circuits use a separate switching power supply.

Disc Compatibility: The M5 plays SACD, CD, CD-R, and CD-RW discs. There are decoders built-in for playing HDCD, MP3, and WMA encoded discs.

Signal Path: Internally there are separate signal paths for CD and SACD playback to optimize the sound quality for either format. NAD uses professional grade digital to analog converters with 192 kHz/24-bit resolution for PCM (CD) signals, and a special DSD mode for SACD.

Digital Filters: The M5 has separate digital filters for the SACD and CD signal paths to compliment these unique signal formats. The CD filter has a user adjustable bandwidth:

  • Normal: standard CD high-pass filter slope; active on the two channel analog stereo audio jacks
  • Slow: engages a gentle high-pass filter slope for added spatial feeling; particularly useful for higher bit rate recordings; active on the two channel analog stereo audio jacks

Bass Management: The SACD format offers multi-channel surround sound playback, and the M5 is equipped to take advantage of these recordings. Bass management controls are built in to adjust the level, size, delay, and crossover point individually for each of the six analog output channels.

Display Dimmer: The Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD) has three brightness settings.

Wireless Remote Control: In addition to the unit's front panel controls, the player includes a dedicated full-feature IR wireless remote control for easy operation.

Input and Output Notes

Digital Outputs: Three digital outputs transfer the audio signal from a CD (including CD-R, CD-RW, MP3 and WMA; the SACD signal cannot be output digitally); one optical (Toslink), one coaxial (RCA), and one AES/EBU (balanced XLR, the serial data output is taken after error correction but before digital-to-analog conversion and filtering and is transformer-isolated from the built-in digital to analog circuits). The digital outputs have two settings:

  • PCM: select when connected to a two-channel digital stereo preamplifier; multi-channel CDs will automatically be down-mixed to two-channel PCM audio
  • Stream/PCM: select if connected to a surround sound processor or other equipment with a decoder

Analog Output: The M5 has stereo RCA outputs and balanced XLR outputs for CDs and SACDs, and 5.1 channel RCA outputs for SACDs, utilizing the high quality 192 kHz/24-bit digital to analog converters.

Video Output: A composite video output is used to display the setup menu.

12 Volt Trigger In: This unit can be turned on/off by another device; the +12 volt trigger input is a 3.5mm mini-jack. When a cable is plugged into this jack the front panel and remote power controls are disabled.

RS 232: The RS-232 port allows connection to a compatible PC or external whole-house control system from companies such as AMX or Crestron.

IR In: This 3.5mm mini-jack input is used to control this unit using an optional infrared repeater or the IR output of another component.

Our Product Research Team

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