NAD Masters Series M22
Stereo power amplifier
Our take on the NAD Masters Series M22 by Crutchfield's David Brown
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.
- 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
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
NAD Masters Series M22 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Number of Channels||2|
|Power Output per Channel (8 ohms)||250|
|Power Output per Channel (6 ohms)||---|
|Power Output per Channel (4 ohms)||250|
|Bridged Power per Channel||N watts|
|Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Labor Warranty||3 Years|
|Inputs & Outputs|
|Number of Inputs||2|
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
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Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs
NAD's M12 stereo preamp and M22 amplifier give you lifelike, engaging sound and you can play your hi-res digital files from this top-of-the-line combo.
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 ]