• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

NAD M10 Streaming Amplifier Review

D

Deleted member 48726

Guest
I have traditionally loved NAD, but yes - I currently mistrust their longevity. The touch buttons are the worst idea ever. And I have several devices (including the M series) suffer from quality issues. They *really* have some work to do on reliability. And killing those touch buttons would help, as a start.
NAD has a history of bad connections, overheating electronics and use of cheaper components. But they always have had great value for money spec. wise and disclosed conservative values in their amps.
 

pogo

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
1,423
Likes
489
Whether that is still the case today, I doubt. With a 5-year warranty, they would hurt themselves.
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
3,303
Likes
3,855
Whether that is still the case today, I doubt. With a 5-year warranty, they would hurt themselves.
Five year is very good as warranty, But Am I the only weird one that think audio components should last way longer than that? I do not really have an opinion on current Nad's products longevity. But. I have had equipment that I have used for a couple decade, I understand that the tech may be a bit faster changing in the digital side, but even then. All my equipment in my main listening room is 5 years old or close to it and have no plan to change it anytime soon. I certainly hope it don't die, and if it breaks I certainly wish it can be repaired and is supported by the manufacturer.
 

Dj7675

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
2,155
Likes
2,839
Whether that is still the case today, I doubt. With a 5-year warranty, they would hurt themselves.
NAD M10 only have a 3 year manufacturer warranty.
 

Sal1950

Grand Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
14,590
Likes
17,509
Location
Central Fl
Whether that is still the case today, I doubt. With a 5-year warranty, they would hurt themselves.
Warranty is not a very good indicator of reliability.
It's simply a paid for number that marketing has determined.
Is the current market demanding a longer warrant time, just add a bit to the MSRP

Witness the games played with warranty time in the auto industry.
One model year comes with a 1 year warrant, a few years later it goes to 5.
Has the vehicle quality been massively improved?
Nope, the competition in the current market demanded it and a little extra $ in the price
will cover long term repairs.
 
D

Deleted member 48726

Guest
Whether that is still the case today, I doubt. With a 5-year warranty, they would hurt themselves.
It's undoubtly a monetary risk/award/sales calculation from the manufacturer. Not a quality indicator.
As far as I'm concerned NAD had always had some weird quality issues. Even their top of line M3 amplifier which otherwise was made solid, had severe display function issues. That wouldn't be a problem if it was not important information about crossover settings and tone defeat that suddenly became unreadable. Power amps with overheating components etc.
It has deterred me from dealing with their used stuff unless I can get it for real cheap and fix the issue.
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
3,303
Likes
3,855
Warranty is not a very good indicator of reliability.
It's simply a paid for number that marketing has determined.
Is the current market demanding a longer warrant time, just add a bit to the MSRP

Witness the games played with warranty time in the auto industry.
One model year comes with a 1 year warrant, a few years later it goes to 5.
Has the vehicle quality been massively improved?
Nope, the competition in the current market demanded it and a little extra $ in the price
will cover long term repairs.
Interesting, certainly not in Canada. 4 years/60k Miles bumper to bumper on a new car is the absolute minimum.
 

mr-audio

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2021
Messages
43
Likes
45
(Warning: long post)

Given my experience with NAD in the past and more currently the M10V2, (and C700, and C 3050 LE), I thought it was time to give a broad review of my experience with the M10 V2 in particular. I’ll divide my comments into four sections.
  1. non-amplifier aspects
  2. packaging and ease of use
  3. sound quality
  4. overall fit/finish/quality
  5. reliability
1. Non-Amplifier factors: The first thing to note is that any real audio system experience is first impacted by speakers, then room acoustics, then the quality of the source, then the quality of the amplification. The first three have a much greater impact than the amplifier itself. This doesn’t negate comparing amplifiers at all. But it’s critical to remember that if you want better sound, you have to look at these other aspects first before you obsess over differences between various amplifiers. In my own case I have five different system/rooms but one location is a basement with terrible acoustics...will buying a different amp really make the most difference? No.

2. Packaging: Without a doubt, the biggest advantage of the NAD M10 is packaging in terms of a) physical size, b) the number of features that are included, and c) the BluOS interface. It’s probably the best overall package on the market today. Now you may not NEED or even WANT this level of modern 'all-in-one' and easy to use packaging, but it is clearly an area of focus for the M10 and it succeeds very very well. My top favorites are: very compact and attractive physical packaging (cannot be said about most other NAD products, which are boring at best). Wide variety of Music Services supported and the interface is pretty good. Nice standby and auto on capability so it starts up when your source starts. And finally the BluOS software which is highly capable, includes the ability to control lots of amp features, even send support requests, and is supported with Mobile/PC/Mac clients (a rarity in the industry). Negatives: there's only two negatives I can see in this product. One is the lack of a phono input. But that's not a game changer because if you're really serious you can buy an external phono preamp. The other is the BluOS quality. Yes it’s a very functional piece of software and a great user interface to interact with all the various music services and features you have. However it can suffer from some occasional glitches. It's not a deal breaker I don't think but more attention to building a reliable piece of software would be welcome. This is especially true if you have multiple players throughout your house. You might have issues connecting to one or the other of them occasionally for example.

3. Sound Quality. I think it's hard to argue that the M10 does anything other than very very good reproduction. It's widely recognized as a very neutral sounding amplifier (as is the whole NAD range by the way). It certainly has low enough distortion and noise to satisfy the vast majority of audiophiles. It also has enough headroom to avoid clipping when you do play it loud. Negatives: the main complaints I've ever heard about NAD (And they generally are pretty few ) are that the tone of their amplification can be so neutral as to be not engaging. Some people really prefer a Marantz sound or Yamaha's crispness or a Macintosh tube sound. But that's more of a situation of your preference for the coloration. You'll see very very few complaints that NAD colors the sound or doesn't live up to clean representation of the sound. One other comment. Some people swear by the Dirac room correction, but not me. I've tried it with two different sets of speakers and never thought it was better sounding. I also thought it was a pain to set up because they want so many test points. I also think that including it only for the lower frequencies and asking for another $100 to get the full correction, after you paid $3000 for the M10, is ridiculous. But when it comes to Dirac its definitely true that 'to each his own'.

4. Overall fit/finish/quality. I'd give this area high marks in the physical presentation of the unit. Especially the V2 has a great screen. The aluminum and glass chassis is extremely attractive and professional. The connections in the back look great. The included remote is very nice as well although I don't use that much. Even the physical packaging/boxing is very high quality...Apple level packaging. Negatives: not any really for the M10. However my C 3050 LE has some niggling things I think should not exist.

5. Reliability. This is a really important, but elusive factor. I have many pieces of audio and PC gear that last decades. Generally older electronics seemed to break early or never fail. I still have my original NAD 3045 from 1978! I have PCs and Macs and routers and even some iPhones that are 10-20 years old. Negatives: But the M10 is a question mark. There are reports of units that just go dead. Mine did after only a year and a half. It was covered under warranty and easily replaced by Crutchfield, but real question is how long will this level of packaging last for most consumers. If you pay $3000 for an M10 and it just dies one day that seems unacceptable. . How long will the M10 last? Maybe more of a question is: do modern electronics have an inherently lower lifecycle than older electronics? Is buying an M10 inherently different than buying a Marantz 40N or a Yamaha or McIntosh?

Well that's my 2 cents for today. Just wanted to get that off my chest. ;-)
 

pogo

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
1,423
Likes
489
One is the lack of a phono input. But that's not a game changer because if you're really serious you can buy an external phono preamp.
...or a Bluesound HUB.

I also thought it was a pain to set up because they want so many test points.
It is also possible to stop after the first important measurement and this can sometimes produce a better result.
 

Sal1950

Grand Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
14,590
Likes
17,509
Location
Central Fl
Negatives: the main complaints I've ever heard about NAD (And they generally are pretty few ) are that the tone of their amplification can be so neutral as to be not engaging. Some people really prefer a Marantz sound or Yamaha's crispness or a Macintosh tube sound.
Just looking to add a few comments here, firstly on these various sounds properties, when driven within their linear operating range most of these claims are just myth driven and disappear when listened to under properly bias controlled conditions.
YMMV
There are reports of units that just go dead. Mine did after only a year and a half. It was covered under warranty and easily replaced by Crutchfield, but real question is how long will this level of packaging last for most consumers. If you pay $3000 for an M10 and it just dies one day that seems unacceptable. . How long will the M10 last? Maybe more of a question is: do modern electronics have an inherently lower lifecycle than older electronics? Is buying an M10 inherently different than buying a Marantz 40N or a Yamaha or McIntosh
I don't know and without access to honestly provided claim percentage numbers, neither does anyone else..
We all know and accept that the loudest noise we hear are from unhappy owners, very few come on-line just to say
" I've had my XYZ amp for 2 years now and it's flawless".
That type of post mainly only comes from pissed, upset customers.
OTOH, I do seem to hear an un-proportionally supported number of complains against NAD gear.
As Dylan sang, "its a hard hard rain gonna fall" ;)
 

DannyBoyNYC

Member
Joined
May 29, 2016
Messages
37
Likes
38
Chiming in here. I took a chance on a used unit for $1900 and it has performed flawlessly. Turns off when not needed and on when it receives a signal and switches smartly between them on the fly. Nice big bright responsive display. Bought it for HDMI ARC and it replaced an allo transport, TEAC dac and amplifier. Very happy with it so far.
 

pogo

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
1,423
Likes
489
It should come this year for the NAD stereo devices. Whether it comes at the same time as the delivery of the M66...?
 

voip-ninja

Member
Joined
May 20, 2023
Messages
5
Likes
1
Just joined to post my comments on M10 V2.

I was looking for improved audio for my home office and after initially looking at Sonos Amp I was then directed by Crutchfield to consider going with Bluesound Powernode, but I was a bit put off by lack of room correction on that device and generally looking a bit tacky. No display also a bit of a drag.

I ended up getting a rather unbelievable deal on an M10 V2 and just set it up a couple of days ago with a pair of Elac DBR62 speakers.

Construction and packaging quality is fantastic, although my mind is kind of boggled that the remote is only infrared.

I set it up with my wifi (Unifi wireless mesh) and have not had any issues with it disconnecting so far.

Bluesound app is impressive. The ability to connect to multiple music services is great. I'm bummed though that there's no native/app support for Apple Music. This could really be a problem for Bluesound/NAD and others as time goes on. I have not tried Roon yet but I understand it's a great way to find new music, I will look into it.

Initially fed Spotify 320kbps to the system but the source limitations were quite obvious.

Set up a Tidal Hi-Fi plus subscription and audio quality is dramatically better, even if MQA is a gimmick and might go away over time. Even the CD quality tracks sound a lot better than Spotify. I haven't had a chance to set up Dirac yet but it blows my mind that there is only one filter slot available for room correction and you have to pay an extra $100 for full frequency correction. My fairly reasonably priced Onkyo with Dirac has three slots and full frequency audio.

I do wish there were some additional display options, and a way to make it so that when I adjust the volume, etc. the screen doesn't switch back to the "now playing" display so quickly.

All in all this device is pretty impressive and reminds me of some of the Squeezebox music players I owned over a decade ago. However I feel it is quite overpriced for what it is, even though it is in an underpopulated niche.

I like it but would not have paid MSRP for it.
 

SIY

Grand Contributor
Technical Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
10,744
Likes
25,849
Location
Alfred, NY
And mine keeps chugging along, daily use for almost four years. Only complaint I've had is that I wish the power were higher, but excellent high power amps are cheap these days and can be run from the M10's preamp outputs. For most, the power is adequate, I just like a lot of loud music and my speakers aren't super efficient.
 

DannyBoyNYC

Member
Joined
May 29, 2016
Messages
37
Likes
38
I'm bummed though that there's no native/app support for Apple Music. This could really be a problem for Bluesound/NAD and others as time goes on. I have not tried Roon yet but I understand it's a great way to find new music, I will look into it.
Just out of curiosity, what would native or app support for Apple Music look like? Would BluOS offer similar functionality to Apple's music app? Airplay is pretty much all I use (often via Rogue Amoeba's excellent Airfoil app running on a Mac mini music server).
 
Top Bottom