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NAD M23 Stereo Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 0.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 11 3.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 100 31.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 210 65.0%

  • Total voters
    323

pogo

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I still cant see the advantage in making your own under license rather than buying "bulk" from Eigentakt?
The NAD purifi modules are tolerated tighter in pairs, so that the bridge mode works well at all. The M23 is among other things the bridge mode extension for the M33.
 

pogo

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Here still power rating at 2 and 1 ohm: Link
@amirm Why wasn't this measured here?
 

martin900

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Jan 31, 2020
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Never buy NAD - all built with cheapest possible parts (worst electrolytics they can get) and in a way they break after certain period by putting the cheap electrolytics close to hot heatsinks etc. Also atrocious to repair. Same goes for Cambridge, Audiolab and other Chinese-British brands.

I have yet to see a post-2000 NAD CD player working without issues and I've had 6 or 7 already, all broken or partially broken. Replacing lasers doesn't help as the servo seems self destructive(might be the IC dying) or the alignment drifts out of whack.
 

Holdt

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Never buy NAD - all built with cheapest possible parts (worst electrolytics they can get) and in a way they break after certain period by putting the cheap electrolytics close to hot heatsinks etc. Also atrocious to repair. Same goes for Cambridge, Audiolab and other Chinese-British brands.

I have yet to see a post-2000 NAD CD player working without issues and I've had 6 or 7 already, all broken or partially broken. Replacing lasers doesn't help as the servo seems self destructive(might be the IC dying) or the alignment drifts out of whack.
Without being quite so dramatic I'd tend to agree. I have about the same experience with the brand. I guess they are really competitive due to cost cutting on components. That seems to have been the case for decades. At least in terms of the electrolytics and burning resistors.

This seems to be the price to pay for their great value (specs).

I tend to go around NAD on the used market for the same reason; I don't know if I'm lucky or not. It has to be priced very low if I should buy it and sell it again but that's rare as people tend to see NAD as a premium brand for some reason.
 

pogo

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I am not yet aware of any failures at the M33.
My device does not seem to get warm on the outside either. It runs almost the whole day. There is a 5-year warranty on top here in Germany.
 

ocinn

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Sep 14, 2022
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Location
Los Angeles, CA
Never buy NAD - all built with cheapest possible parts (worst electrolytics they can get) and in a way they break after certain period by putting the cheap electrolytics close to hot heatsinks etc. Also atrocious to repair. Same goes for Cambridge, Audiolab and other Chinese-British brands.
I have a plethora of NAD stuff lying around in my storage unit and they have been by far the most reliable audio brand I’ve ever owned.

Not to mention their support is fantastic. A few years ago I had a NAD Monitor 1300 preamp from the 80s that developed some issues, and they emailed me a full schematic and had one of their in-house engineers assist me over email in diagnosing the problem, free of charge. I sent them some diagnostic scope measurements and they drop-shipped me the couple of capacitors and diodes needed to fix the problem free of charge.

Now obviously there have been changes between 1988 and 2023, in terms of production standards, but they are a stand-up company with fantastic warranties and customer service, that will be around in 15+ years to assist you if anything goes wrong, something which cannot be said for many smaller boutique manufacturers.

Not to mention the amp in this review is based mostly off of 3rd party modules. NAD is not buying purifi boards and down-grading their capacitors for shits and giggles.

If you are in the position to scrutinize capacitor brands in terms of reliability, then you are not the target market for this amplifier.
 

PuX

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Feb 16, 2018
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I have yet to see a post-2000 NAD CD player working without issues and I've had 6 or 7 already, all broken or partially broken. Replacing lasers doesn't help as the servo seems self destructive(might be the IC dying) or the alignment drifts out of whack.
my CD player (NAD C545BEE) also broke a few times, it was always related to electronics, it would get stuck spinning the disc and never getting to actually reading it. also would not turn off in this state etc.

as for the amps, my NAD C355BEE works well, the only issue I had is some noise in one of the channels when changing volume using the remote. I believe other had a similar issue and recommended cleaning the contacts in the pot.
 

MacCali

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Never buy NAD - all built with cheapest possible parts (worst electrolytics they can get) and in a way they break after certain period by putting the cheap electrolytics close to hot heatsinks etc. Also atrocious to repair. Same goes for Cambridge, Audiolab and other Chinese-British brands.

I have yet to see a post-2000 NAD CD player working without issues and I've had 6 or 7 already, all broken or partially broken. Replacing lasers doesn't help as the servo seems self destructive(might be the IC dying) or the alignment drifts out of whack.
Yea I see a lot of refurbished NAD products. But I must say that my first “integrated”, which is basically a power amp with a volume control, the NAD 326 BEE is a great little amp. Been almost 3 years now and it works great.

It is A/B design. Not too worried about the M23 as it has a 3 year warranty and hopefully they took some care on design since clearly it’s a proprietary purifi module.

We will find out! Everyone is always trying to take short cuts to more profit. You just got to hope your unit isn’t on the chopping block
 

pogo

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It is a pity that the bridge mode was not tested here.
This is a unique selling point with NAD and the 1ET400.
 

Descartes

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I worked consumer electronics in both sales for 9 years and service for 15 and I have never ever ever seen those kind of margins. The good margins on speakers and stuff like that are up to ~45% at the top end. Some is a little less but nothing is really more than that unless there are secret deals and stuff that I never ever was privy to. I have worked in a managerial capacity and had access to full price lists and so I'm pretty confident that I'm in the ballpark.
I also worked in the audio video industry and have also seen many brands dealer cost and yes B&W, JBL, KEF and many other speaker manufacturers are 40 points off MSRP, and 60 points on all their in wall speakers, in addition all accessories like cables and any vudu bs loved by “Audiophiles” have even much higher margins!
 

Doodski

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I also worked in the audio video industry and have also seen many brands dealer cost and yes B&W, JBL, KEF and many other speaker manufacturers are 40 points off MSRP, and 60 points on all their in wall speakers, in addition all accessories like cables and any vudu bs loved by “Audiophiles” have even much higher margins!
How do they justify/sell the 60 points on in wall stuff? I never got into custom installs and in wall home theater stuff so this is new stuff for me. Did they require the extra margins to support the installation or is it just good fortune that 60 points is the deal? :D
 

MaxBuck

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Never buy NAD - all built with cheapest possible parts (worst electrolytics they can get) and in a way they break after certain period by putting the cheap electrolytics close to hot heatsinks etc. Also atrocious to repair. Same goes for Cambridge, Audiolab and other Chinese-British brands.

I have yet to see a post-2000 NAD CD player working without issues and I've had 6 or 7 already, all broken or partially broken. Replacing lasers doesn't help as the servo seems self destructive(might be the IC dying) or the alignment drifts out of whack.
OK, I'm two years into my C298 and so far it's exemplary. But I'll keep on alert.
 

Jukka

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Apr 24, 2019
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Great job with the reactive load test!

I think it's worth mentioning that with this product you get bridge switch, 3 gain levels switch and a trigger in, which are all fantastic features to have on the back plate!
 

vjen

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Jun 18, 2023
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Be really interesting to see this against the C298,other than a really really nice case what extra do you get?
Unfortunately way to far to send you mine.
C298 and M33 use the same SMPS. Basically the M33 is the C298 + BluOS hardware-wise. The M23 is unique with a different SMPS and input stage.
Photo credit: https://www.fidelity-magazine.com/nad-m33-and-m23/
1687126953135.png
 
Last edited:

vjen

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This webpage, https://www.hi-av.net/modules/article/view.article.php?896 has great photos of the M23 teardown although in Chinese. As shown in this photo, the analog audio signals from the input buffers to the Purifi Eigentakt modules are through pin headers over PCB. Not the low-grade ribbon cables as in the M33 and C298. A nice improvement.
Also all the digital control signals to the input buffers are through isolators to minimize interference.
Photo credit: https://www.hi-av.net/modules/article/view.article.php?896
1687216682663.png
 
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tonapo

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Oct 14, 2019
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I have a M23 at home for a demo for a couple of weeks. I am using it with a RME ADI-2 DAC FS in DAC/pre-amp duties with its auto-ref turned on. I am playing through some Kef reference 1 speakers and I am using a Raspberry pi4 with ropieee as my streamer across a wired ethernet. I have some convolution filters in roon, and -6db headroom adjustment to avoid clipping. I have the gain mode of the unit set to low, and with the DAC at -20dbr its still pretty loud! Anyway, sounds great, but obviously a sighted opinion!
 

MacCali

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I have a M23 at home for a demo for a couple of weeks. I am using it with a RME ADI-2 DAC FS in DAC/pre-amp duties with its auto-ref turned on. I am playing through some Kef reference 1 speakers and I am using a Raspberry pi4 with ropieee as my streamer across a wired ethernet. I have some convolution filters in roon, and -6db headroom adjustment to avoid clipping. I have the gain mode of the unit set to low, and with the DAC at -20dbr its still pretty loud! Anyway, sounds great, but obviously a sighted opinion!
Indeed, I am curious to see what the Audiophonics and Buckeye amp sound like, I know only the buckeye has the purifi modules. Guessing it would be more like the 298.

But I’m good right now I’m not buying no more amps for a while unless I sell these and I doubt I will. 8 grand worth of amps is already over the top
 
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