Built for the future, the M12 is neither a typical DAC nor a typical preamplifier. In fact, the M12 is an ultra-high resolution digital audio hub that boasts a full roster of audiophile-grade features. In addition, Modular Design Construction allows new features and functionality to be added now or in the future. These features leverage some of the most advanced digital audio thinking to date, resulting in a truly outstanding product. NAD’s DirectDigital™ processing, as well as a fully balanced Class-A buffer stage, provide amazing accuracy and transparency with a completely silent background. The M12 interfaces with all digital or analogue musical sources, and renders them perfectly to power amplifiers and active loudspeakers with its balanced or single-ended outputs. By adding the M12 to your system, you will finally get to hear your music in the best audio quality possible from every imaginable source, from vinyl to High Res digital.
Moving at the speed of digital
It's not easy to keep up with the rapidly changing world of digital audio. Fortunately, NAD continues to produce forward-thinking digital gear to keep you ahead of the curve. Their Masters Series M12 is serious business, inside and out. Its streamlined look and innovative, flexible connectivity are almost enough to make you forget about sound quality — until you hear it. There's a lot going on inside this preamp/digital-to-analog converter. If it's not enough, you can do even more with NAD's add-on modules for further connectivity options.
Pure digital design for pure sound
The M12 is an all-digital preamp designed to reduce distortion to near non-existent levels. By eliminating analog signal paths between the built-in digital-to-analog converter and the output stage, NAD prevents these noisy circuits from introducing distortion that degrades sound quality. Plus, volume control and source switching are controlled digitally, eliminating further interference from mechanical and electronic components. This ensures that your music remains as pure as possible from your digital source all the way to your separate power amp.
Play everything from high-res digital files to vinyl
We rarely see this many connections on a preamp. Naturally, there's no shortage of digital inputs, including an asynchronous USB input for connecting your computer. It's compatible with digital files with resolution up to 24-bit/192kHz, for more detail and depth than CDs. There are also front- and back-panel inputs for USB memory devices like thumb drivers and hard drives. The M12 has more than just digital connections — there are balanced XLR inputs and outputs for use with sources and power amps with balanced connections as well as unbalanced RCA connections. There's also a phono input so you can plug in a turntable with either a moving magnet or moving coil cartridge.
NAD's groundbreaking future-proof modular design
As digital technology develops quickly, it can be hard to commit to a piece of equipment knowing something new could be right around the corner. That's the beauty of NAD's Modular Design Construction. This allows you to swap in new circuit board modules with new connectivity as technology changes. There are already two modules available for the M12 that will expand this preamp's capability:
DD HDM-1 - Add HDMI switching to the Masters Series M12 with this module's three HDMI inputs. It allows you to connect a Blu-ray player or streaming media device like Apple TV to the M12 for high-resolution decoding of Dolby® TrueHD and DTS Master Audio soundtracks. An HDMI output passes video through to your TV.
DD BluOS - This module adds wireless music streaming to the M12. It's compatible with Bluesound wireless multi-room music products, so you can integrate this preamp into a whole-house audio system. It also adds Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi®, and wired Ethernet connections for streaming music from smartphones, tablets, computers, and network-attached storage devices (NAS).
You might notice the obvious lack of buttons on the front of the Masters Series M12. You won't miss them. That's because the display is actually a touchscreen. You can choose your source, scroll through menus of digital tunes from your connected USB memory device, or adjust the settings using the intuitive menu system. If you explore the menu, you'll find some cool options like tone controls, source renaming, mono listening mode for old movies and LPs, and independent crossover selection for each of the two subwoofer outputs.
- stereo preamp with digital inputs for a network music player, disc player, computer, and more
- NAD's Direct Digital design performs functions like volume control and source selection in the digital domain, for shorter signal paths and virtually no audible distortion
- digital inputs allow for use as a stand-alone digital-to-analog converter (DAC)
- Modular Design Construction allows you to add more connectivity via user-installed modules
- optional modules offer HDMI in/out and network connectivity for wireless music streaming and integration with Bluesound products
- Class A analog output stage with balanced and unbalanced connections
- subwoofer outputs with selectable crossover frequencies
- touchscreen display offers intuitive playback controls, source selection, and settings adjustments
- remote control
- balanced stereo XLR inputs and outputs
- unbalanced stereo RCA inputs and outputs
- phono input for connecting a turntable
- balanced digital XLR (AES/EBU) audio input for professional disc players or processors
- asynchronous USB (Type B) input for connecting a computer
- two Type A USB inputs (front and back) for connecting a hard drive or memory device (MP3, WMA, and FLAC files)
- optical digital audio: 2 inputs, 1 output
- coaxial digital audio: 2 inputs, 1 output
- 2 subwoofer preamp outputs
- RS-232 port for automated control systems
- 12-volt trigger and IR input
- detachable power cable
- supports PCM sampling rates up to 24-bit/192kHz from a connected computer or thumb drive (front-panel USB port is limited to to 24-bit/96kHz resolution)
- total harmonic distortion: <0.0005%
- signal-to-noise ratio: greater than 125 dB
- channel separation: greater than 115 dB
- 17-1/8"W x 5-1/4"H x 15-1/8"D
- weight: 17.9 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years
- MFR # M12