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This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below. This review first appeared in the April issue of hi-end hifi magazine fairaudio. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer’s signature at review’s end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio. Most of you already know that class D stands for neither class Digital nor means that this class of operation is digital per se.

While the basic operation of this very energy-efficient approach does resemble digital by consisting of just two switch modes of the output devices—on and off like 1 and 0—the more common pulse width modulation technique is actually defined by the duration between switch changes.

And in theory, this duration—very non-digital at that—can assume endless intermediate values to not be limited to given samples.


What confuses matters further is that class D amps are usually fed analog signals even though a few exceptions are driven by digital signals. In the latter case, PCM signal of digital sources like CD or network players connects directly to the amplifier input.

This gets us to the NAD M2.

P Accuphase – HiFi-Do McIntosh/JBL/audio-technica/Jeff Rowland/Accuphase

It belongs to the still rarer species of digitally driven class D amplifier which process the signal in the digital domain. After filtering out the switching frequency components, the outputs of course pass analog signal. The concept begs for a bevy of digital inputs and NAD offers five: There are also coaxial and Toslink digital outputs. This creates an additional format conversion layer and NAD admits that the digital-direct inputs have a sonic advantage avcuphase going in analog.

While digital signal is accuphhase up to 24 bits and analog automatically converted to 24 bits, NAD actually talks of bit math.

At first glance this makes no sense. It’s simply about mathematical headroom however.

Envision a basic pocket calculator. If accuphaxe accepts digit figures, subsequent calculations can easily exceed those digits. A calculator with 35 digits will produce more accurate results. It allows additional corrective math just ahead of the speaker outputs. In collaboration with Manchester-based semiconductor specialist Zetex, NAD has developed a circuit topology which “corrects even the smallest pulse deviation” by comparing the PCM input signal against an internally generated PWM reference signal.

Possible errors include pulse amplitude incurred by remaining power supply rippledpulse width and a softening of the pulse edges — all factors with are directly relevant to the quality of the music signal.


Then its outputs are fixed and its volume control bypassed. While playing with the dB range under signal, an unintentional click too far and all hell breaks loose. Shortly afterwards, the display shows shortcut probably triggered by clippingthen there’s sudden blessed silence.

The – um, protection circuitry of NAD works reliably. This described an actual occurrence in my digs accompanied by very accelerated heart beat.


While the latter deserves praise, this unprotected feature with no secondary enable function to avoid such mishaps seems somewhat ill-considered. Before getting into sonics, two more housekeeping items. The M2 draws a lot of current which theoretically could challenge your residential circuit breaker system.

My 16A AC line created no bottle neck however. NAD p-50000 warns that “due to its special technologies and high-frequency shielding, the M2 must be plugged into a properly grounded socket, i. The M2 has a snazzy display whose text could be a few picas larger however to remain visible from the couch without strain.

While on power and AC, the M2 reacts audibly to correct power polarity. Schuko users should experiment with our bidirectional EU plugs to be sure. Also the M2 was far from happy when sharing a duplex with an idling Fonel Emotion while playing itself.

The sound lost luster and drive. Coddling and all that.