Quality Piece, High Price
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.
Pros: Quiet when streaming, solid build, RAID, convenience of direct ripping FLAC from M50.