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NAD Masters Series M22

Stereo power amplifier

9 Reviews | 2 questions - 4 answers

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Item # 745M22

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Overview

Our take on the NAD Masters Series M22

If you were going to design your own power amp, what kind would you create? You'd likely want something that puts out lots of power effortlessly, with sound that is clean, clear, and free from distortion. It would be able to handle a wide variety of speakers, pushing them to great heights through demanding dynamic changes. You'd also want it to look cool and not take up much space. Well, it sounds like you've just designed a clone of the NAD Masters Series M22. Well done — it's a formidable amplifier.

Building a world-class amp

If you were going to design your own power amp, what kind would you create? You'd likely want something that puts out lots of power effortlessly, with sound that is clean, clear, and free from distortion. It would be able to handle a wide variety of speakers, pushing them to great heights through demanding dynamic changes. You'd also want it to look cool and not take up much space. Well, it sounds like you've just designed a clone of the NAD Masters Series M22. Well done — it's a formidable amplifier.

Hybrid digital design

The M22 employs the latest state-of-the-art Class D technology. Class D has come a long way over the years, and it reaches a performance pinnacle with the M22. It employs nCore®'s revolutionary amplification, with a hybrid analog/digital design that uses negative feedback to cancel out virtually all audible distortion. This allows the M22 to deliver clean, accurate sound while packing serious audiophile punch.

Preserving your music's natural dynamics

Music is not static. It ebbs and flows, with dynamic peaks and valleys. A great amp brings music to life by reproducing these dynamic changes accurately. That's a strength of M22 thanks to NAD's PowerDrive™ technology. It can sense the average output power required for your speakers, reserving powerful bursts for demanding musical passages. This ensures it can handle a wide variety of speakers and offer superb accuracy and liveliness with music that's brimming with challenging dynamic swings.

Pretty good looking, too (for a power amp)

For a power amp conservatively rated at 250 watts a channel, the Masters Series M22 doesn't resemble the typical hulking black box you'd expect. Its low-profile design is relatively sleek and compact compared to similarly rated amps. The Class D output stage means it won't run hot, offering placement flexibility without making ventilation your only priority. The M22's styling is designed to match the NAD Masters Series M12 preamp/DAC, for a two-channel system that will be the envy of more than just your audiophile friends.

Product Highlights:

  • 250 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.003% THD
  • 4-ohm stable for use with a wide range of speakers
  • innovative nCore® Class D technology offers robust output, energy efficiency, compact size, accurate sound, and minimal distortion
  • PowerDrive™ circuit with automatic speaker impedance sensing delivers maximum dynamic, clean power output regardless of speaker load
  • high-current, low-distortion power supply for clean sound
  • all-discrete circuitry offers minimal noise and distortion
  • 1 pair of balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA preamp inputs (switchable)
  • 1 pair of speaker binding posts
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 100 dB
  • 12-volt trigger input
  • detachable AC power cord
  • 17-1/8"W x 6-1/16"H x 14-15/16"D
  • weight: 19.6 lbs.
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Stereo power amplifier
  • 68" AC power cord
  • 4 Magnetic feet
  • Cleaning cloth
  • USB thumbdrive
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Warranty Card
  • Cleaning Instructions

Featured Video:

Teamed up with a NAD M51 and Focal 1038Be II speakers. The M22 makes the Focals sing. The sound stage is superb.

Mark, Wayzata, MN

Reviews

NAD Masters Series M22 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(9 Reviews)

This NAD is a winner

Mark from Wayzata, MN on 1/27/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Teamed up with a NAD M51 and Focal 1038Be II speakers. The M22 makes the Focals sing. The sound stage is superb.

Pros: Great power at a fair price.

Cons: none

NAD Masters Series M22

Tom from Arlington, VA on 1/4/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

My trusty and good sounding Hafler Trans Nova 9300 died last September. To replace it I first got a Parasound A23, but could not really get into the sound of this unit. I then decided to try the NAD M22 because of Crutchfield's 60 day trial policy and also the good reviews of the M22 on the Cruthfield website and also on Stereophile and The Absolute Sound websites. I'm glad I tried it because I really enjoy the sound of the M22. I especially like its ability to provide a sense of instrument placement on a stage. I have the senseat times that I am listening to real instruments in real space and this is a real joy to me.

Pros:

Cons:

Stunning in every way

Lawrence from Palmdale, CA on 4/8/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Wow, what a delight. From triple boxed packaging to the most impressive design and build quality I have ever seen in any hifi equipment, this is a stunning performer. Project is to replace existing 5.1 system in a spare bedroom and change to a dedicated stereo high end system. The NAD M22 was the second piece of equipment added in this project. System now is composed of Emotiva XMC-1 Pre-amp with full version of Direc Live; Bluesound Node 2; Oppo 105; Polk Monitor 70 speakers. After one month of critical testing with Reference Stereo setting, improvement in sound was outstanding. To further test, I moved speakers from other rooms into the spare bedroom to test. (speakers tested were Polk LSiM 705 and Polk Reference Monitor System R.T.A 12C) No matter what speakers, the performance with the NAD M22 was a great improvement. I am now looking for high end speakers as the next upgrade. Highly recommend and yes, I will purchase again. Will probably purchase two more units to replace other amps in the home. NOTE: All testing was Reference Stereo, no room correction. After confirming improve resolts with all speakers, I completed Direc Live (full version) room correction. The end result was jaw dropping. The walls disappeared, you could hear lips coming together in vocals and bass performance became tight and well controlled. NAS 20TB music collection listening was like hearing my music for the first time. After 4-5hrs of listening, the M22 was still cool to the touch..amazing.

Pros: Breathtaking design, outstanding build quality, performance greater than anything I have experienced. Tested with 4ohm, 6ohm, and 8ohm speaker systems with equal results. Runs all for hours of listening while remaining cool to the touch. Design is so beautiful, you will want to make sure it is visible for all to see. Like my Polk R.T.A 12Cs, this NAD M22 will be a piece of hifi equipment that goes with me to my grave. Well done.

Cons: None. I will only replace this amp if NAD comes out with a higher wattage version.

Impressive

Erik from Colorado on 2/28/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was a bit concerned as to how this amp would stack up as it was replacing an Onkyo M508 Grand Integra. The task of driving and compitently controlling a pair Klipsh dual 12 reference towers doesn't seem to be in the wheelhouse of most modern offerings. This no doubt a result of the multiple small driver modern speaker trend. This amp is a surprising performer, clean, delicate, not too bright, very efficient. but MASSIVE Power on tap. Great foundation piece for any serious audiophile!

Pros:

Cons:

This is a keeper

Cliff from atlanta, GA on 1/27/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This amp is tremendous. It drives my front Polk Lsim703's effortlessly. I originally had my Denon X4100W driving the front Polk, but, I felt something was missing. I connected the NAD to the font pre-outs of the Denon. The NAD really opened up and expanded the soundstage. The speakers sound more open, more crip but also simultaneously more delicate in the bass and smoother on the treble. Overall integration and dynamics have improved. This amp solved some clipping I used to hear just using the Denon. The amp is comparatively cool to the touch, aesthetically pleasing and delivers plenty of power.

Pros: I would consider this amp especially if you have low sensitivity speakers. It's musical and on the warmer side.

Cons: I can't think of any.

Concert-Hall Experience!

4CrnrsCO from Cortez, Colorado on 7/21/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Amazing. I upgraded to the M22 with a C165BEE pre-amp to drive my Bose 901 Series VI speakers. I listen in a tall 40'X60' metal building. This place swallowed up the sound with my previous 100W Yamaha integrated amp. This is my first experience with an audiophile component system, and it's just amazing. Clarity, separation and imaging are phenomenal. The 901s sound best at loud volumes, and they suck up power. The M22 delivers just what they need. Run the volume right up to maximum, keep it there as long as you like - it's all clean; delivered just as it was recorded, for good or bad. The sensation that this setup brings to me is being right back at a concert hall. Many of my CDs are of bands that I've seen live in concerts. Takes me right back to the concert halls. As I crank up the volume, it's not just a sensation of loudness - it's more like walking up towards the front of the stage during an amped-up concert. With the 901s rated at 450W, I believe this setup is in their sweet spot - 250W RMS output, 350W dynamic power. I can't see any improvement over the M22 for my purposes.

Pros: Clean, uncolored reproduction from low-levels up to maximum. Clean industrial design and fabrication. No frills or gadgets, just pure, powerful reproduction.

Cons: Can't find any shortcomings with this one.

M22 is a great value

Phil from Arizona on 4/5/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

As others have said, this is an audiophile-grade amp at a great price. Having a DYI Ncore 400 dual-mono amp, I was familiar with the ultra-low distortion, very efficient, small form factor amp modules. My DIY uses Hypex power supplies. The NAD M22 is better: tighter/deeper bass, even more transparent (lower noise floor) and, overall, more musical. The Ncore is the work of the brilliant Bruno Putzeys, whose modules are used by many high-end manufacturers, including MBL. This amp drives my 86 db (in-)efficient speakers (not an easy load either) to realistic levels. The amp also provides an unprecedented (for my speakers) completed/full presentation at very low volumes. No other amp I've had does this. Use this amp for a couple of weeks before deciding whether it is for you. Its transparency means it will faithfully pass through the signal it is fed. Feed it with an excellent source and you will be rewarded. Easily worth twice the price.

Pros: sounds great low distortion/transparent to the source powerful yet efficient - low electricity draw during standby and operation well built/high WAF in my household should last - Ncore doesn't absolutely require ventilation, but the M22 has excellent ventilation which should mean long life versatile - has both XLR and RCA inputs

Cons: speaker binding posts doesn't accept all spades (bananas and bare wire are fine) can't change the fuse to play with other kinds of fuses (the kind of weird stuff audiophile do). neither of these cons reduce the overall rating for me. Still sounds great and at a price that is great for the value received.

McIntosh MC2600 vs. NAD M22

Wc92060 from Louisiana on 3/28/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have been a fan of McIntosh for many years especially their amplifiers. I have 2 of them for over 25 years (2500 and 2600). After receiving NAD M22, I disconnected the MC2600 (600 watts/channel stereo) and connected the M22. Played with Rega Isis CD player,Rega P9 turntable, Mac preamp and McIntosh XRT 26 tower speakers. One should not compare NAD with McIntosh because the power produced by the Mac is twice than NAD. However, I will compare the sonic characteristic of NAD with MAC. One can clearly state the NAD is bright, as clean as MAC, slightly weaker on the lower end perhaps due to its power output (250 vs 600). Furthermore, it is as balanced and quite as my big MAC. I am very happy that I purchased this amp and no regrets for purchasing this from crutchfield. To really compare with the big MAC, I will have to purchase a second one and use mono connection to drive each channel. Now we are talking 500 watts vs. 600 watts. The price of MC 2600 when I purchased in1995 was around $4000 (I think). It was 20 years ago. I think NAD is a tremendous buy for the money. Plus the size is 80% lighter than McIntosh. It also uses significantly less power than the big McIntosh. Oh the LP playing was beyond my expection. I believed it was more balanced and realistic than the big Mc. I mean the tonal quality is perfectly balanced you hear everything in an orchestral piece and no excessive bass like the big McIntosh. I listen to all classical music and personally don't

Pros: Fantastic sound, as quite as my McIntosh MC 2600 and 2500. No excessive bass like the McIntosh. LP playing with Rega P9 turntable is beyond words.... I think is is better than my Rega Isis CD player. This amplifier fits perfectly with my system, and I need to purchase another one so I can have 500watts per channel which I am used to have for the passed 30 years. Light weight and uses less power, and low heat generating. One must have a good set of interconnects and speaker wires in order to

Cons: (Continue from the pros because there is no cons) appreciated this quality of amplifier. I have used exclusively McIntosh for over 30 years and I have personally own 2 complete sets of McIntosh systems XRT-19, XRT-26 speakers, MC2600, MC2500, C34 preamp, Rega Isis CD, Rega P9 LP player, chords interconnects and speaker wires. I have just opened my eyes outside the world of McIntosh. In this review there is not enough room for me to describe how I truly feel about this NAD amplifier

NAD M22 First Review

Blazar from Amarillo, TX on 2/8/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a truly excellent sounding amplifier. The noise floor is ULTRA low and this unit is suitable for even 109db 16ohm horns like mine. It has load invariant Hypex ncore modules in it which makes it essentially excellent for just about any speaker out there. I purchased 3 M27 Companion amps for my Atmos setup. This is a phenomenal amp for the price. This type of S/N ratio and quality would have been very expensive to obtain even 10 years ago in the high end exotic market. This isn't the cheapest amp in the world, but it's built quality is certainly beautiful. The thing runs super cool and makes it easy to put in a rack area. This is among the best sounding amps ever produced, certainly in the class D arena it is a winner. There are plenty of great Class D designs coming out besides this unit but I think the implementation and packaging of this amp are really very good.

Pros: Hypex Ncore! NAD, with this amp, offers once of the most inexpensive Hypex options on the market today unless you are willing to go DIY. Crystal clear sound with no real disadvantages of Class D. Replaced a very reputable Class A amp in my system. 12v trigger systems works perfectly and you might not be able to get this feature on a DIY design.

Cons: Lacks Rack mount so I had to buy a middle atlantic custom faceplate kit. I won't hold this against the star rating. Missing Neutrik Speakon connectors which would make this perfect in my book. Speakon is the best connector and hence used in Pro equipment. Since most people like standard speaker connectors, I won't hold this against the review star rating either. I wish they had a "Pro" Version of this amplifier!

Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

Hybrid Digital Amplification: The NAD M22 stereo power amplifier is using the latest nCore amplifier technology licensed from Hypex which offers distortion below measurement, ultra-high damping factor, and unconditional stability with any speaker. The result is tight, detailed sound with amazing control and transparency. With nCore, Hypex has refined their amplifier concept to new levels of perfection by improving the modulator for more accurate feedback subtraction and PWM generation. The all-discrete driver and output stage have also been improved for lower open-loop THD as well as lower idling losses, normally conflicting requirements with conventional IC driver circuitry. An added control loop incorporating an integrator with adaptive clipping enables 20dB more feedback to be used across the audio band because of its extremely low-phase shift resulting in a dramatic reduction in distortion across the audio band. This is added to nCore's already amazing characteristics of load invariance and high current capability, common characteristics of great-sounding amplifiers.

PowerDrive: The M22 uses NAD's proprietary Digital PowerDrive amplifier technology that allows substantial additional power for short periods of time. Employing the latest generation of NAD's digital PowerDrive, the M22 offers a minimum of 250W per channel with amazing reserves of dynamic power at lower impedances. The M22 is capable of >300W dynamic power per channel even in 8 ohms, and >600W in 2 ohms. It can effortlessly power any loudspeaker to live performance levels with amazing efficiency and low power consumption. Control for PowerDrive is derived by sensing the average output power, applying a time constant, and then cleanly hard clipping the signal thus limiting it to the rated continuous clipping power over a sustained loading. By controlling the power envelope maximum clean power is obtained for every operating condition.

Note: Research has shown that the peak to average power required to faithfully reproduce music can be a factor of ten for well recorded performances. Digital PowerDrive uniquely satisfies this requirement. Music sounds more dynamic and "open" with PowerDrive because the musical transients that are present in a live performance are not reduced in amplitude or "compressed".

Unique Circuit Topology: The output stage is only one of several circuits in the amplifier, and each must complement the other to obtain optimal performance. The amp is DC coupled throughout, from input to output, there is no capacitor in the forward signal path. Yet, it has a beneficial 12dB/octave roll-off below 2Hz. It does this using a unique circuit topology that is functionally a forward servo. It is however not a servo in the traditional sense as it does not measure DC at the output and send back a correction signal. Instead part of the input signal is fed to a side chain with a second order low-pass filter. The output of this is subtracted from the forward signal input to the second stage thus rejecting DC.

Dynamic Power Supply: The performance of the entire signal path is critically dependent on the power supply; in this case a well regulated, but not too tight, custom switch mode design. This allows maximum dynamic power, very high current yet with very low distortion. Secondary supplies are individually regulated and decoupled at each op-amp for lowest possible noise and maximum dynamic range.

Balanced & Unbalanced Inputs: The NAD M22 offers balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connectivity.

Binding Post Speaker Terminals: The NAD M22 is equipped with four gold-plated, color-coded binding post terminals to connect your speaker wire. The binding post speaker terminals will accept bare wire (16-10 AWG), pin-connectors, or banana plugs (single only).

+12V Trigger Input: The +12V Trigger input allows the M22 to be switched remotely from "Standby Mode" to "On" and vice-versa by your preamplifier or AV processor that is equipped with a 12V trigger output.

Auto Standby: The M22 can be setup to automatically go to standby mode if there is no active source input for approximately 30 minutes.

Protect Mode: If the Protect LEDs turn red, this indicates that the protection circuitry of the M22 has been engaged. This may occur if there is a short-circuit in one of your speaker wires or excessive heat build-up.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Why did you buy this?

Had good conversation with Daisy about NAD, Bluesound. Love Bluesound unit purchased in February, taking steps to reach higher level stereo system, NAD seems to be good fit for amp, preamp choices. [ Lawrence  Mar 20, 2017 ]
I wanted a powerful, compact, state-of-the-art amplifier that was a great value for the money. This was it. [ Louis  Jan 24, 2017 ]
Have read reviews and want to try it in my system [ william  Jul 11, 2016 ]

2 questions already asked

the manufacturer says it will give you 600w dynamic power (4 ohm load) [ Bernard  Dec 14, 2016 ]
A reviewer at Stereophile Magazine bridged two of these amps as monoblocks by connecting a single XLR Y-cable (provided by NAD) across the L/R balanced inputs of each amp, and connecting its speaker across the hot outputs. Please note this does not work with unbalanced input cables at the unbalanced inputs-the amp must be in balanced mode. [ Charlie  Nov 20, 2016 ]
There's no way to configure this amp as a monoblock as far as I can see. [ Charlie  Apr 05, 2015 ]
This isn't a complete answer to your question: there is NOT a switch on the back for making the unit mono (I've had amps with such a feature). Not sure if NAD makes such modifications (doubt it). If you are concerned about power: I'm using this amp with 86 db speakers and would have no trouble getting beyond what my ears could take. Phil [ Philip  Apr 05, 2015 ]
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