NAD Masters M17 and VM300
Home theater preamp/processor with 4K-compatible HDMI module installed
Our take on the NAD Masters M17 and VM300 by Crutchfield's Deia Z.
This home theater champ rolls with the changes
The NAD Masters Series M17 features NAD's innovative Modular Design Construction. By installing the digital audio and video circuits on replaceable modules, NAD allows you to protect your investment and upgrade as technology evolves. This ensures you can enjoy this high-performance preamp/processor's mastery of home theater sources for many years, regardless of format changes, new connectors, or evolving specs.
The Masters Series M17 has wide-ranging audio and video connectivity, plus a future-proof, upgradable modular design.
Multichannel XLR outputs set the stage for unrivaled sound
This preamp is packed full of powerful processing and features. There are more audio and video connections than even the most devoted home theater fanatic would probably ever use. The most striking of these may be the 7.1-channel XLR outputs, which can pass low-noise, balanced signals to a compatible multichannel power amplifier — like NAD's Master Series M27. Pair these two up and you may need to warn the neighbors before your next movie night.
Getting more from movies and music
The M17 is compatible with Dolby® TrueHD and DTS® Master Audio, for high-resolution sound to go along with stunning 4K picture quality. High-quality digital converters pass along every detail, whether you're watching an action movie explode off the screen or listening to a concert Blu-ray.
The M17's digital inputs can detect the surround mode of your source and automatically engage the most advanced processing for your setup. That means you'll always get the best sound for your system without having to tweak the settings on your own.
Add music to more rooms
Why not share the musical wealth across two rooms? The M17 has multi-zone capability, for playing different sources in two rooms simultaneously. Audio signals from digital sources can be converted to analog for Zone 2 playback — a feature not always found on home theater receivers. If you'd like to extend playback to as many as four rooms, you can reconfigure the tape outputs for Zones 3 and 4. A second HDMI output lets you enjoy HD video in another room.
Touchscreen display with five A/V presets
You might notice the obvious lack of buttons on the front of the Masters Series M17. You won't miss them. That's because the display is actually a touchscreen. In addition to selecting sources and changing settings with the touch panel, you can choose from five A/V presets for playback. Customize each preset to store speaker level and tone control settings, so you can optimize your system for music, movies, late-night use, or full-on reference levels.
- Dolby® and DTS® surround sound decoding, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio
- Audyssey MultiEQ auto speaker calibration for precise surround sound tailored to your room and setup (microphone included)
- Modular Design Construction digital inputs/outputs are installed on a removable circuit board, allowing future upgrades
- NAD's Enhanced Ambience Retrieval System (EARS) technology uses a stereo recording's ambient sound to create a vivid surround sound signal
- touch-panel display offers easy settings changes and menu selections
- Multi-room Audio:
- four-zone/four-source output
- analog stereo outputs for second zone
- analog stereo tape outputs can be used for output in a third and fourth zone
- Zone 2 also has an independent composite video feed
- digital audio sources are converted to analog for playback in Zone 2
- optical/coaxial digital and HDMI audio sources cannot be output to Zones 3 and 4
- 5 A/V presets for customizing sources, speakers, and settings for easy one-touch recall
- remote control
Connections and Dimensions:
- HDMI 2.0b audio/video switching: 5 in, 2 out
- HDCP 2.2 technology ensures compatibility with 4K Ultra HD sources and TVs (all HDMI inputs and main output)
- component video switching: 2 in, 1 out
- composite video switching: 3 in , 2 out
- digital audio inputs: 4 optical, 4 coaxial
- digital audio outputs: 2 optical, 2 coaxial
- 7 pairs of analog stereo audio inputs, including 2 with tape outputs
- no phono input to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
- 7-channel balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA preamp outputs for connection to a power amp
- 2 preamp outputs for powered subwoofers
- Ethernet port
- USB input
- RS-232C port for automated control systems
- 12-volt trigger and remote (IR) in/out
- detachable power cord
- 17-1/8"W x 6-3/16"H x 16-1/4"D
- weight: 24 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- AV surround sound preamp-processor
- 68" AC cord
- Main remote control (HTRM 2)
- Zone remote control (ZR 7)
- 4 "AA" batteries
- CR2025 Lithium battery
- Audyssey setup microphone (ACM1H)
- 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter
- 4 Magnetic feet
- Cleaning cloth
- USB thumbdrive
- Quick Setup Guide
- Cleaning Instructions
- Warranty Card
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Surround Sound Preamp Processor: The NAD M17 AV Surround Sound Preamp Processor is part of NAD's Master series line-up and is the perfect companion for NAD's M27 seven channel amplifier (745M27, sold separately) or other high performance multichannel power amplifier. The M17 is an excellent example of NAD's expertise in quality in the digital decoding stages, the video processing section, and in the analog preamp stages for the best overall performance.
24-Bit/192kHz ADC + DAC: With full 24-bit/192kHz analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion, the NAD M17 will make the most of your best available source material. Analog audio inputs are converted to digital signal by making use of M17's superb circuitry called analog-to-digital converter (ADC). NAD has employed multiple 2-channel DACs in a dual differential mode, a configuration that yields superb sonic results. NAD also tailored the circuit design to deliver a high level of technical precision and audio performance.
Note: The sampling rate of the resulting digital audio signal (available at the digital output ports) can be converted into three levels; 48kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz.
Listening Modes: The NAD M17 offers decoding for all the latest surround formats including Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, and DTS-HD Master Audio; as well as Dolby Pro Logic surround processing.
- Dolby Digital: Dolby Digital, Dolby, Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD
- DTS: DTS, DTS-ES, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution, DTS Express, DTS 96/24, DTS Neo: 6
- Dolby Pro Logic: Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx
- Dolby Digital and DTS listening modes can only be selected if your audio source is connected to the AV surround sound processor via a digital audio connection (HDMI, optical, or coaxial). To enjoy true 7.1ch Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS-HD surround sound, the surround sound processor must be connected to your Blu-ray player via HDMI.
- Does not support Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.
Audyssey Technology: The NAD M17 features a full package of Audyssey audio technologies for optimal sound quality. Audyssey Dynamic Volume offers real-time volume adjustment, while Audyssey DynamicEQ improves your system's surround effects during low volume levels. Audyssey MultEQ XT automatically sets speakers to suit your room's listening environment and the speakers' characteristics.
- Audyssey MultEQ XT: Audyssey MultEQ technology helps create an optimal acoustic profile for your home theater. Using the included setup microphone, Audyssey MultEQ measures sound levels and adjusts speaker configuration accordingly, making setup fast and easy. This room acoustic measuring and correction system analyzes (via the included microphone) the audio characteristics of your speaker system and your listening environment at up to 8 measurement points and automatically tailors the sound for top audio fidelity. You can set the Audyssey MultEQ to one of the following modes - Audyssey (Audyssey configured curve), Flat (Audyssey configured curve without high-frequency roll-off), NAD (Audyssey+NAD engineered curve), Off (no Audyssey filters applied)
- Dynamic EQ: Audio engineers mix music and movie soundtracks at reference levels much louder than typical home listening levels. At lower volumes the human ear perceives sound differently; voices change, bass dissipates, and the surround effect becomes less enveloping. Dynamic EQ adjusts the frequency response curve based on volume to maintain consistent bass output, octave-to-octave balance, and surround impact, resulting in rich sound at any volume. You can set the Dynamic EQ to 0, 5, 10, or 15 dB.
- Audyssey Dynamic Volume: Audyssey Dynamic Volume solves the problem of large variations in volume level between television programs, commercials, and between the soft and loud passages of movies. Dynamic Volume addresses the issue of commercials that are too loud and movie soundtracks with vast differences between soft and loud passages; the results are more intelligible dialogue, loud passages maintain impact, and soft whispers are heard clearly. When the volume level changes, Dynamic EQ also adjusts the frequency response to maintain sound quality. You can set the Dynamic Volume to Light, Medium, Heavy, or off.
Direct Mode: Analog or digital sources are automatically played in their native formats. All the source's audio channels are reproduced directly. This mode recreates the original sound most faithfully, thereby producing outstandingly high-quality audio.
EARS: Two-channel recordings, whether stereo or surround-encoded, are reproduced with proprietary NAD surround processing with signals output to the Front, Center, Surround, and Surround Back speakers, plus subwoofer. EARS extracts the natural ambience present in nearly all well-produced stereo recordings. It does not synthesize any ambience or other sonic elements and thus remains truer to the sound of the original musical performance than most other music-surround options. EARS offers realistic, stable "front-stage" sonic imaging and spacious but unexaggerated ambient "virtual acoustics" that remain faithful to the original recording. Select EARS for listening to stereo music recordings and broadcasts. EARS produces a subtle but highly natural and believable ambience from nearly all "natural-acoustic" stereo recordings. Typically, these include classical, jazz, and folk genre.
Stereo Modes: The NAD M17 also provides two-channel stereo playback, including an Enhanced mode and an Analog Bypass mode.
- Stereo: All output is directed to the front left/right channels. Low frequencies are directed to the subwoofer if one is present in the Speaker settings. Select 'Stereo' when you wish to listen to a stereo (or monaural) production, such as music CD or FM broadcast, without surround enhancement. Stereo recordings whether in PCM/digital or analog form and whether surround-encoded or not encoded, are reproduced as recorded. Multi-channel digital recordings (Dolby Digital and DTS) are reproduced in "Stereo Downmix" mode via the front left/right channels.
- Enhanced Stereo: All recordings are reproduced in stereo via the maximum speaker complement. Enhanced stereo can be useful for maximum volume from all channels or for multi-speaker background music (cocktail party) listening. For this mode, Front, Center, Surround and Back speakers can be turned ON/OFF as desired.
- Analog Bypass: All analog signals remain in the analog domain without analog-to-digital conversions. At Analog Bypass, the DSP circuitry is bypassed but full tone control functions remain. 'Bass management' or Speaker settings are also not in effect as these are DSP functions.
Audio Enhancements: The NAD M17 provides various audio enhancements to deliver a high-quality listening experience every time.
- Tone Controls: The M17 has three Tone Control levels; Treble, Bass, Center Dialog. Bass and Treble controls only affect the low bass and high treble leaving the critical midrange frequencies free of coloration. The Center Dialog control boosts the 'presence' of the midrange region improving intelligibility of speech. Tone Defeat gives one the choice of varying or completely bypassing the tone control section of the M17.
- Enhanced Bass: When the subwoofer is set to 'On' and your front speakers set to 'Large', the option 'Enhanced Bass' becomes available. Normally, with speakers set to 'Large' the subwoofer is not active. The Enhanced Bass option allows full range operation of the speakers with the additional bass contribution of the subwoofer. This feature is particularly useful when one wants to experience maximum bass output. Please note that due to acoustic cancellation effects, the bass response may be uneven when using this setting.
Level Adjustments: The NAD M17 AV Surround Sound Preamp Processor provides the following level adjustments.
- Gain Adjustment: Gain adjustment (+/-12dB) allows all sources to play back at the same volume level so you don't need to adjust the volume every time a new source is selected. It is generally preferable to reduce the level of the loudest source rather than making louder the softer sources.
- Dynamic Range Control: You can select the effective dynamic range (subjective range from soft to loud) for playback of Dolby Digital soundtracks. For fully cinematic effect, always select 100% (the default). Settings of 75%, 50%, and 25% progressively reduce dynamic range, making soft sounds comparatively louder while limiting the peak loudness of loud ones.
Listening Mode Parameters: The M17 provides the following Listening Mode Parameter adjustments for Dolby Pro Logic IIx and DTS NEO:6.
- Center Width (DPL IIx): Modifies the "hard-centeredness" of the center image, by gradually mixing mono center content to the Front left/right speakers as well. A setting of 0 retains the center-channel-only default while a setting of 7 yields a fully phantom center channel.
- Dimension (DPL IIx): Adjusts front-rear emphasis of the surround effect independently from the relative channel levels.
- Panorama (DPL IIx): Adds a "wraparound" effect by extending some stereo content into the surround channels.
- Center Gain (DTS NEO:6): Adjust for better center image in relation to the surround sound channels.
Balanced & Unbalanced Outputs: The M17 AV Surround Sound Preamp Processor offers both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) outputs NAD's M27 seven channel amplifier or other high-end amplifier. The M17 features Front left, Front right, Center, Surround left, Surround right, Surround Back left, Surround Back right, and two Subwoofer preamp outputs to connect the AV Surround Sound Preamp Processor to an external power amplifier. Balanced XLR connectivity offers superior sound quality with greater noise reduction versus unbalanced RCA connections.
Digital Inputs: There are four coaxial digital inputs and four optical digital inputs. The inputs accept digital audio signals from a digital TV, Set top box, Blu-ray player, compact disc, DVD, LD, or other digital source components; each can be assigned to a specific source using the on-screen menu. There are also a total of four digital outputs; two coaxial and two optical. The digital outputs can be connected to MD recorders, CD recorders, DAT decks, or other similar components.
HDMI 2.0b: The NAD M17 AV Surround Sound Preamp Processor has five HDMI 2.0b inputs, one HDMI 2.0b output, and one HDMI 1.4 output. The inputs are assignable using the AV surround sound pre-amplifier's on-screen menu. The two HDMI outputs are parallel so the same video signal is output through both and can be used simultaneously.
- 4K/60Hz: All of the HDMI inputs and the HDMI 1 Output support up to 4K (3840x2160 pixels) video @ 60 frames per second on all of its HDMI inputs and output (pass-through only - no upscaling). It will also pass a 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p video signals via HDMI. The HDMI 2 output is only 1080p/HDCP 1.4 compatible.
- HDCP 2.2: All of the receiver's HDMI jacks support HDCP 2.2, which fully complies with the latest copyright protection standard for 4K video transmission.
- 4:4:4 Color Subsampling: All of the receiver's HDMI inputs and the HDMI 1 output support RGB, YCbCr 4:4:4, YCbCr 4:2:2, and YCbCr 4:2:0 color subsampling (@ 60Hz or 50Hz). With 4:4:4 color subsampling, luminance (brightness) and chroma (color) are sampled at the same rate; resulting in an RGB color palette as big as the video sampling rate for a video image with more colors, plus greater color accuracy and detail. The HDMI 2 output only supports YCbCr 4:2:0 color subsampling.
- High Dynamic Range (HDR): All of the receiver's HDMI inputs and the HDMI 1 output support High Dynamic Range (HDR) video. High Dynamic Range (HDR) provides enhanced picture quality by simultaneously enabling greater detail for both the dark and bright parts of an image. HDR reproduces a greater dynamic range of luminosity or brightness levels, creating greater contrast. This increased contrast reveals the subtle nuances of the image, from detailed blacks and shadows to the brightest whites and colors, plus greater depth. The receiver supports HDR 10 (no support for Dolby Vision or HLG). The HDMI 2 output does not support any HDR format.
3D Ready: The NAD M17 supports 3D HDMI pass-through from connected 3D-compatible Blu-ray, games and broadcast devices to 3D-compatible HDTVs (all 3D components must be connected via HDMI. 3D provides a more engaging audio and video consumer experience. Note that special eyewear may be required for viewing 3D content.
Lip Sync Delay: Video signals may take longer to process than audio signals, depending on the connected video equipment. The audio signal can be delayed up to 120ms to synchronize with the video signal.
Audio Return Channel (ARC): If the connected TV has an HDMI ARC Input, the audio signal can be transferred from the TV (when its internal tuner is used) to the M17 through a single HDMI cable, so a second cable isn't needed.
No Analog Video Decoding: Because NAD's VM300 4K MDC module is pre-installed, all of the M17's analog video input decoding from Composite, S-Video, and Component Video sources is disabled.
Zone 2-3-4: The M17 has three configurable Zones (Zone 2, Zone 3 & Zone 4). This multi-zone feature allows you to simultaneously experience different audio sources in different rooms of your home. Each Zone consists of stereo RCA line-level output to connect an external AV surround sound pre-amplifier or integrated amp in other rooms of your home, allowing you to listen to 7.2ch surround in the Main Zone and 2ch stereo of a different audio sources in other rooms of your home. In addition to analog source playback in any zone, digital inputs (optical/coaxial) are converted to analog for playback in Zone 2 only.
- Compatible Zone Sources: Analog sources can be played back in Zone 2, 3, and 4. Digital optical/coaxial sources can be played back in Zone 2 only.
- Incompatible Zone Sources: HDMI sources cannot be displayed in Zone 2, 3, or 4. Optical/Coaxial digital audio inputs cannot be played in Zone 3 or 4.
Note: Because NAD's VM300 4K MDC module is pre-installed, all of the M17's analog video input decoding from Composite, S-Video, and Component Video sources is disabled.
BluOS-Ready: The NAD M17 offers the option of integrating BluOS Hi-Res multiroom audio into your NAD system through the addition of the BluOS kit (745BSUK, sold separately).
Main Remote: The Main remote control is pre-coded with controls for other NAD components. It will also learn commands from other remotes, controlling up to eight components. The remote's buttons are backlit, but an ambient light sensor keeps the light from engaging when you don't need it. The light sensor and lighting duration are both adjustable. Up to 64 macro commands can be programmed using the function keys. A mini USB Type B port on the remote (cable not included) allows you to upload and download the remote configuration through a Windows PC using NAD's Proprietary programming software (availible on NAD's website).
Zone 2 Remote: The secondary remote control is a discrete compact remote for controlling the Zone 2 features of the M17 (not zones 3 or 4), it allows full control of the Zone 2 source selection and other applicable features. The remote will work from a different room using an IR sensor and hub or the IR sensor of a compatible NAD component in the second zone (either must be wired back to the location of the M17).
HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronic Control): Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) is a set of commands that utilizes HDMI's two-way communication to allow for single remote control of any CEC-enabled devices connected with HDMI. A CEC command will trigger the necessary commands over HDMI for an entire system to auto-configure itself to respond to the command.
- Power: The M17 will automatically go to standby mode if it receives a CEC standby command. On the other hand, if the M17 receives a CEC power up command, the M17 will correspondingly switch ON from standby mode.
- Source Switch: The M17 will automatically switch sources if another CEC device requests a Source change. For example, if Play is pressed on a BD Player with CEC, the M17 and TV with CEC will automatically switch to their respective input connections; the M17 switching to the HDMI input where the BD Player is connected while the TV will switch to its input where the M17's HDMI Monitor Out is connected.
- Audio System: The M17 will broadcast a CEC message indicating it is an active audio system. A CEC compatible TV will usually mute its audio output when this happens. When this option is enabled, the M17 will also respond to CEC volume and mute commands. For example, a CEC TV may forward the volume commands from its remote to the M17.
NAD AV Remote App: Download the NAD AV Remote App on your your Apple iOS 6.0+ device to control the M17 from your your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. Through the app, you can select and control basic functions such as power, volume, source, and listening mode for all zones. You can also name sources, tweak receiver presets, adjust tone controls and trim levels, tune radio stations, and activate Audyssey room equalization, from anywhere in the house.
Note: The NAD AV Remote App is not supported by Android.
Remote Connections: The NAD M17 is fitted with the following custom remote inputs/outputs.
- DC Trigger: There are four 3.5mm +12 volt trigger jacks, one input and three assignable outputs. The input allows the M17 to be turned on by an external component; the outputs allow the M17 to turn on other components. Each output is individually programmable and can engage when the AV surround sound pre-amplifier is turned on, when a specific secondary zone is turned on, when any secondary zone is turned on, or when a specific source is used. The outputs can also be delayed up to 15 seconds.
- IR Input/Outputs: There is an IR input (3.5mm), used to control this unit using an optional infrared repeater or the IR output of another component. There are also four IR output (3.5mm) used to control other compatible components.
- RS-232 Port: The rear-panel RS-232 port allows connection to a compatible PC or external whole-house control system from companies such as AMX or Crestron. NAD is a certified partner of AMX and Crestron and fully supports these external devices.
Ethernet (LAN) Port: The M17 is fitted with a Ethernet Port (RJ-45) to connect to your home network for IP control. With your PC and the M17 on the same network, it allows remote control of the M17 via compatible external controllers.
Un-Switched AC: The maximum output on the 2-prong un-switched AC outlet on the rear panel is 120 watts/1 amp.
Modular Design Construction (MDC): With MDC all major digital circuits can be upgraded and replaced to keep the M17 up-to-date. This NAD innovation is a unique architecture that keeps pace with the fast changing world of digital formats by allowing connectivity and feature upgrades as new technology becomes available. Future video formats and surround sound decoders can be easily accommodated with NAD's exclusive MDC, allowing critical digital hardware and software to be upgraded. MDC helps to prevent obsolescence, so you can keep pace with the latest developments in high performance AV through dealer or do-it-yourself install modules. The M17 can be upgraded as your needs and tastes develop, and you only need to replace the module you want to upgrade, not the entire AV preamp processor.
AV Presets: The M17s "AV Presets" allow you to customize your audio/video playback, and recall them with a single key-press (up to 5 AV presets can be configured). The parameters Listening Mode, DSP Options and Tone Controls, together with Speaker Setup and Display Setup are stored together as a single AV Preset. You may create one AV Preset optimized for pop music and another for classical. One more AV Preset can be set up to recall each family member's favorite setting or one for fully cinematic home-theater playback, and yet another one for late-night movies; with each AV Preset fine-tuned to a particular scenario or preference.
Front-Panel + On-Screen Display: The M17 features a front-panel vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) which displays visual information about the current settings like the active Source, volume level, listening mode, audio format, and other related indicators. In addition to the unit's front-panel display, the M17 employs a simple, self-explanatory on-screen display menus system which will appear on your connected television. The OSD can be output through HDMI only.
Sleep Mode: The Sleep Mode timer will switch the M17 to Standby mode automatically after a preset number of minutes (15-90 min.).
Smart Power: By using separate analog and digital power supplies, the M172 can provide maximum audio performance. A high power switch mode for the digital and video section, and linear power supply for the ultra high-speed audio processing, provides the required high current and stable voltages to maintain audio precision. Analog and Digital sections are kept completely separate for maximum sonic performance. Standby power consumption is also ultra-low at <0.5W.
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1 question already asked
Analog you can hook up with stereo RCA cable. The Oppo 205 has multichannel analog pre-outs, but the M17 doesn't have single-channel inputs for these. These would go to a multi-channel power amp. Digital connections between the 205 and M17, there are several options, including coax, HDMI, and SPDIF. I prefer HDMI for multichannel, and I have tried all three digital cables. [ David Mar 14, 2018 ]