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AUDIO FORUMS >> General Discussion and Support >> NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
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Message started by stone_of_tone on 05/16/13 at 15:03:25

Title: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/16/13 at 15:03:25

Anybody own or listened to the M3?

The NAD M3 has been in production for 6 years and I find intriguing. I plan on trying one in my Listening Room.

I would never stop using my Zen Select (SE84CS stock) of 12 years and running.....also my Super Zen CKC... . However, I do not like high efficiency Speakers because they lack tone, that the two Zens I own, provide at 76db to 82db SPL with my other two pair of Speakers (I swap in and out). I will be selling my Klipsch RF-7 II Loudspeakers for just this reason.

I am looking for a Solid State design that might be worth switching off from my Zen's occasionally.   -Stone

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by beowulf on 05/16/13 at 18:13:17

I've never heard that particular amp, but I do have a little knowledge of solid state amps ... IMO I have found that Class "A" MOSFET designs sound much better than Class "D".  In fact, I have lived with both these style amps in my home (a B&K Components Signature Class "A" MOSFET and a Pioneer Elite Class "D" B&O ICE Amps) and I found the ICE Amp so dull and boring that I regretted selling my B&K.

Out of favorite solid state amp designs (that I've heard) MOSFET has the least solid state sound and I just don't know why everybody jumped on the "D" wagon as I have never heard one that didn't cause listener fatigue and/or hurt my ears ;D

Have you thought about the Rega Brio-R?  This little amp can drive a lot of speakers (even Maggies) and I like it better than my old B&K.  I really like the sound of it and it's an overall great value.  There is a great review on Tone Audio and Digital Audio Review and was also What Hi-Fi's product of the year 2012.  It's made in England, an integrated and has a decent phono stage to boot.

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by AiDee on 05/16/13 at 20:54:20

+1 about MOSFET. Gary Morrison, the designer behind plinius amps  in New Zealand previously owned the company 'craft audio'. It specialized in MOSFET power amps. I used his flagship 'C3' amp with B&W 801 matrix speakers for several years. Relaxed, smooth, unflappable sums it up. Iirc, mosfets have certain tube-like characteristics as well.

I would add the amp had a 'light' sound compared to e.g. a krell I compared it to, and current plinius amps. However, this may have been an effect of Gary's design at that time.

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by ncblue on 05/17/13 at 03:39:25

Another vote for the little Rega Brio R. Bothe Rega and Naim have the life and magic that Decware has in spades. Most other SS amps are too sterile for my taste. The NAD is not bad, but not the direction I would go with solid stare IMHO.

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by beowulf on 05/17/13 at 20:36:34

There's a Rega Brio-R up for bid on Audiogon for $555 ... may be worth looking into.

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/18/13 at 21:06:48

Thanks for your input Beowulf & ncblue. I think I will try the Rega Brio-R before the NAD M3 or potentially a Pass Labs from Audiogon. I mean for the price and if you liked it better than your Mosfet B&K Beowulf...that is saying something.  Thanks again... .

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/solid-state-pass-labs-xa-30-5-2013-05-10-amplifiers-37135

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/solid-state-pass-xa30-5-2013-04-25-amplifiers-52807-davenport-ia

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by beowulf on 05/19/13 at 00:28:32

Overall, I like Rega stuff, they usually make gear in the simplest terms and paths possible.  I like their business model as well ... I think they have about 50 employees, make everything in-house (almost) and try to use as much locally aquired materials as possible.  While a lot of British (as well as American) hi-fi manufacturers source their labor to China, Rega has been hanging on still building by hand in the UK and IMO they are super competitively priced ...

Rega gets quite a lot of rave reviews on their reference line Osiris integrated as well, although that is quite a few more bucks than the Brio-R! ;D

I think you will like it (especially for the price) ... and as Lon likes to say about his Rega TT's, I will say about the Brio-R that "it's got a lot of PRAT".

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by marky on 05/22/13 at 22:37:12

They`re about a 15min drive from me, Rega. Way back in the early 80`s I bought the Planar & RB300 arm, then the dedicated wall support.
Used it right up to around 7 yrs ago when I had a change. Reel forward, Decware amps, the SR i/c`s opened the sound up so good that I thought I`d rewire the old Rega arm with silver litz, so I did.
I took the Roksan out of line to service it ( just in time, the spindle pot only had a dribble of oil left ) and decided to try the rewired Rega out.
Well, expecting an allmighty hum I was surprised that the wiring held up and music was playing. A couple of albums in, slight readjustment on the weight and anti skate and its ....ok, good. The old Rega snap is back.
Should sound better than before when the new wiring breaks in.
Terrapin Station sounded huge.

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by beowulf on 05/24/13 at 08:08:33


Quote:
They`re about a 15min drive from me, Rega. Way back in the early 80`s I bought the Planar & RB300 arm, then the dedicated wall support.
Used it right up to around 7 yrs ago when I had a change. Reel forward, Decware amps, the SR i/c`s opened the sound up so good that I thought I`d rewire the old Rega arm with silver litz, so I did.
I took the Roksan out of line to service it ( just in time, the spindle pot only had a dribble of oil left ) and decided to try the rewired Rega out.
Well, expecting an allmighty hum I was surprised that the wiring held up and music was playing. A couple of albums in, slight readjustment on the weight and anti skate and its ....ok, good. The old Rega snap is back.
Should sound better than before when the new wiring breaks in.
Terrapin Station sounded huge.


Hi marky, glad to hear your still enjoying your Rega.  I recently picked up an RP6 and waiting to purchase some speakers to finalize all the pieces of the puzzle (at least for now ;D)

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by AiDee on 05/24/13 at 08:59:55

I have fond memories of a Rega Planar III with Van den Hul silver re-wired RB300, SAEC C102 MC cartridge I owned years ago. I mounted it on a concrete block table 'floating' on a bicycle tube, which completely isolated it from foot falls and cleaned up the lower midrange.

I would buy another Rega TT in an instant.


Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by marky on 05/24/13 at 17:08:11

Well it was fun for a while but I soon missed the unipivot and extra detail
from the Roksan. Just more cosy and warm.
Rega must have come a long way since the early budget decks.

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by AiDee on 05/24/13 at 19:52:39

Ah! I was seriously interested in the Roksan Xerxes as my next deck back then. Life got in the way.

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by beowulf on 05/25/13 at 05:27:21


Quote:
AiDee,
I mounted it on a concrete block table 'floating' on a bicycle tube, which completely isolated it from foot falls and cleaned up the lower midrange.


That's something I'd like to see ... any pics by chance? ;)

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by AiDee on 05/25/13 at 14:04:06

Unfortunately no. It was a while ago - early 1990s. But it was very DIY and easy to describe...

Two sheets of (I guess) 3/4" wood sandwiched the bicycle inner tube. This upper sheet was topped with 'hollow' concrete blocks. The ones I used were rectangular. Two side by side formed a square large enough for the Rega to sit on. I think three layers of these blocks put the TT high enough for normal use.

TBH the blocks were a bit heavy - the blocks had to be broken down to re-inflate the tube every two months or so. The result was certainly worth the inconvenience. It seemed to make the Rega 'quicker' as well (transient response), which I guess could make sense in terms of reduced mechanical feedback and cleaner upper bass/lower mids.

The speakers I had at the time were the first of B&W's revised 801, the  Matrix, with an active electronic filter that extended -3dB bass to 17.5 Hz. So I needed to come up with something ;)

I wondered whether substituting some kind of rubber ball - three probably - would have been a more lasting substitute than the tube, but never tried this.

I recently saw almost exactly the same idea (link below), and learned I'd only achieved half the solution!

http://barrydiamentaudio.com/vibration.htm


Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by Donnie on 05/25/13 at 14:58:28

I made a vibration base for my Torii out of some oak with some rubber balls from the buck store. I cut the balls in 1/2 so that they wouldn't roll off and sandwiched them in between. It worked well and only cost me $20.
You can kind of see it here,  

and here    

I got looking at these pictures, boy are they old. I now have a computer and DAC up there and the amp is sitting on a 6" thick piece of a maple stump on a mahogany base. Time flys. Also different cabling, I guess everything must change eventually.

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by Lon on 05/25/13 at 15:01:04

Cool. Nice work. I used something similar years ago. A good start. . . . The world of vibration control fascinates me.

I like to spend money, and have it to spend, so I put a PS Audio PerfectWave PowerBase under my Torii Mk III (newly returned from the mother ship with Jupiter caps installed). Really game-changed the sound for me, surprised me, works better under the Torii than under the Power Plant Premier and DAC II and Transport (and works great under those components).

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by beowulf on 05/26/13 at 03:17:02

Donnie, love the MG944's ... real beauties!!! Is that with the Walnut veneer and satin black finish?  

Title: Re: NAD M3    Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Post by Donnie on 05/26/13 at 03:39:13

Beowulf, Walnut and black. The still look great and sound even better. Bob should be sitting on a high mountaintop being worshiped as the master that he is!  
Like I said my setup doesn't look much like the pictures anymore. I will have to breakdown and buy a camera or a phone with a camera or something like that.

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