NAD Masters Series M52

Digital Music Vault

  • NAD Masters Series M52


  • NAD Masters Series M52


  • NAD Masters Series M52

Item #: 745M52

Review Summary

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Our take on the NAD Masters Series M52

by James Ralston

Store your precious music collection in the Vault

NAD's Masters Series Digital Music Suite is a family of components designed to deliver audiophile sound with your digital music collection. These components let you get away from the PC environment and enjoy your digital music on a more traditional hi-fi audio system. The M52 Digital Music Vault is a safe, reliable massive storage solution for your library of audio files. Three separate 1-terabyte hard disc drives are configured in a "redundant array," which means the system automatically backs itself up so you won't lose data. Total available storage is 2 terabytes, which equals approximately 18,000 high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz music tracks, or 45,000 songs at CD quality.

The M52 sports a streamlined look and a durable steel chassis. The internal disc drives feature low-RPM operation, which means they stay cool and ultra-quiet. Front-panel LEDs display the status of each drive, and an automatic power-saving mode helps reduce energy usage.

Access files on your network or rip music from CDs

The M52 Digital Music Vault connects with NAD's M50 digital music player, which acts as the brain of the system. The M50 gives you access to your existing library of tunes stored on a networked-attached PC or storage drive. It also has a built-in CD slot that automatically rips discs to the Music Vault, using lossless FLAC compression for pristine sound quality. Built-in music management software fetches song metadata and album art automatically using your Internet connection. Speaking of album art: the coolest and most convenient way to browse your whole music library from the comfort of your favorite seat is to download NAD's control app for your iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod touch®. (You'll need Wi-Fi to make that work.)

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  • 2TB total storage capacity
  • uses three 1TB hard disc drives in a redundant array configuration (RAID 5) for automatic backup
  • low-RPM hard disc drives for cool, quiet operation
  • individual drives are replaceable
  • designed for use with NAD M50 digital music player
  • 17-1/16"W x 2-15/16"H x 13-1/16"D
  • 17.9 lbs.
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Digital music vault
  • Two 6' AC power cords (US/EU)
  • 58" USB (type-B) to USB (type-A) cable
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Warranty Card

Our Product Research Team

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Digital Music Vault: The NAD M52 Digital Music Vault provides a safe and convenient way to store your digital music collection. With the advent of online digital music recordings, computers have mainly been used to store your digital music downloads; but most computers are not built for audio performance and the internal HDDs (hard disc drives) can fail without warning, often losing all of your stored music. The M52 Digital Music Vault provides the audio quality and protection needed for today's high-fidelity music files.

Note: NAD's M50 Digital Music Player is required to make connection to your computer's network in order to download music to the NAD M52 Digital Music Vault.

Anti-Resonant Steel Chassis: The M52 Digital Music Vault features a rugged steel chassis that is engineered to suppress vibration.

RAID 5 Technology: The M52 Digital Music Vault provides a high level of protection for your valuable digital music collection. Using a Redundant Array of Independent Discs (RAID 5) technology, the M52's three hard disc drives (HDD) make it nearly impossible to damage your music. Front panel LED indicators display the status of the HDDs, and alert you if there is an HDD failure. Even if a disc drive fails, you won't lose data; simply replace the drive, and the system automatically reconfigures itself.

3 Low Noise Media HDDs: Inside NAD M52 resides an ultra-low noise 3x 1TB (Terabyte) HDD array. These special low noise media hard disc drives run cool and completely quiet. Unlike HDDs made for general computing, the M52 drives do not require fans for cooling.

2TB Total Usable Memory: The NAD M52 Digital Music Vault has a total usable memory of 2TB (terabyte), so you have lots of room to build the ultimate collection of high resolution music.

  • 24-bit/96kHz FLAC = 18,000 songs
  • 16-bit/44.1kHz WAV = 45,000 songs
  • 256 kbps MP3 = 200,000 songs

Note: Actual song capacity varies by content, encoding method, and bit rate.

USB Port: The NAD M52 Digital Music Vault is fitted with a rear-panel USB (type-B) port. The NAD M52 cannot be connected directly to your Windows PC or Mac computer. The M52 must be connected to NAD's M50 Digital Music Player (745M50, sold separately).

Matching Master Series Components: The M52 Digital Music Vault requires NAD's M50 Digital Music Player, and also works great with NAD's M2 Direct Digital DAC/Amplifier or M51 Direct Digital DAC (all sold separately); for advanced high-definition digital music playback.

Automatic Power Save Mode: The M52 has an energy-saving mode to reduce energy consumption, yet still allows for fast wakeup.

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NAD Masters Series M52 Reviews

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5 out of 5

Quality Piece, High Price

Written By Tom, Rochester NY on Saturday, April 06, 2013
When I was deciding whether to go with the NAD Masters series for streaming, I had many more doubts about this piece than either the M51 or M50. After all, you can get a very nice RAID NAS for half the price, and the M50 works well with network drives. So from a purely monetary perspective, on paper this seemed significantly overpriced. But in the end, I got both the M50 and M52 in a leap of faith based on my recent experiences with NAD. I already had the T787, M51, C565 in my main system, and T757 in the basement, and all have been excellent overachievers. The M52 is pretty simple, it's basically a high-quality NAS with benefits. Auto-rip from the M50 works very well, though slow. Build quality is impressive, truly built like a tank. NAD includes a very good USB A-B cable, though I'm going to see how an Audioquest Carbon compares. So far, I've ripped about 100 of my 450+ CDs thru the M50. Because of the rip-time factor, I copied about 40 "lower priority" FLAC albums direct from my PC to M52, works well. It's hard to put a "bang-for-the-buck" value on synergy with the other Masters pieces, in order to justify the high prices. That is totally subjective. I can't argue with the results, however. The combination of the M50, M51, and M52 has given me the best sounding music I've ever had in my home, especially when factoring in the benefits of convenience via streaming. I believe that this is a clear case of overall value being much greater than the sum of the parts.
Quiet when streaming, solid build, RAID, convenience of direct ripping FLAC from M50.
39 out of 39 people found this helpful
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