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NAD M17 V2 11.1CH Atmos AV Processor Review

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Summary

  • Product Name: M17 V2 Pre/Pro
  • Manufacturer: NAD Electronics
  • Review Date: April 11, 2019 21:00
  • MSRP: $5,999
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Line input/Preout: 

     HDMI  Up to 4K UHD
     Coaxial0.5 Vpp
     EthernetRJ45 10/100/1000 Ethernet

Line level input:

Input Impedance (R and C):     56kΩ + 220pF
Input Sensitivity:     40mV (ref. 500mV out)
Maximum Input Signal:     >8Vrms
Signal/Noise Ratio, A-weighted:     >90dB (ref. 500mV in, 500mV out, volume set to unity gain)
                                                        >80dB (ref. 2V out, volume maximum)
Channel Separation:     >70dB (ref. 1kHz / 10kHz)
Frequency Response:     ±0.3dB (ref. 20Hz – 20kHz, Tone Active)
                                        ±0.3dB (ref. 20Hz – 20kHz, Tone Defeat)

Output:

XLR:     >2Vrms
Maximum output level:     >8Vrms into 600Ω
THD (CCIF IMD, DIM 100):     <0.005% (ref. 20Hz – 20kHz, 2V out)

Dimension (WxHxD):   17 1/8" x 6 3/16" x 15 1/4"

Weight:   24lb

Executive Overview

In 2014, hi-end audio company NAD found themselves at a crossroad.  Do they stick with producing products for their die-hard loyal vinyl enthusiasts, or evolve into the newly emerging HD audio streaming and immersive 3D audio formats? Their Master Series of Preamplifier Processors solved this question with an expandable modular design. Recently, NAD released their M17 V2, a much needed upgrade to their original M17 Master series pre/pro. What does the v2 stand for? Check out our detailed YouTube video review below and read on.

NAD M17 V2 Surround Sound Preamp Processor Preview

The biggest updates for v2 for the M17 are the inclusion of Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio and 4K UHD video support. But, wait, now there's one more!

NAD also just announced that the M17 V2 will come with DTS:X through the BluOs 3.4 update. 

The NAD M17 V2 is an 11.1 CH Dolby Atmos AV Processor with a fully modular upgradeable design.  It supports 4K UHD resolution and features Dirac, one of the advanced room correction systems on the market.

Infinite possibilities await thanks to the M17 V2’s most impressive feature, Modular Design Construction (MDC), NAD’s proven method for preventing premature obsolescence.

- NAD Electronics

We really like the inclusion of Dirac Live Room Correction, one of the most accurate and extensive correction software available. The M17 V2 includes its own calibrated measurement microphone and Dirac Live Pro. The software corrects for both timing and colorations in sound, including the ability to create custom target curves for room response and the option to choose from a variety of third-party calibrated microphones. In our full Youtube review of the M17 V2, Shane found that Dirac Live Pro is the best room correction system he has tested in his system. That speaks volumes considering he's also testing Audyssey in the Marantz AV8805 and ARC in the Anthem AVM60.

M17V2 rear.jpg 

The M17 V2 offers full HDMI video switching and surround sound decoding along with 11.1 balanced outputs. The surround mode of the source material is automatically detected via the digital inputs of the M17 V2, and the most advanced form of decoding, based on your setup, is switched in. Conversion of the encoded digital bitstream is performed with high resolution and extremely linear D/A converters carefully selected for their performance capabilities.

Note: There are dual subwoofer outputs but they are simply a buffered parallel connection with identical delay and level control.

The latest HDMI features, including HDCP 2.2, 4:4:4 color resolution, High Dynamic Range video support, and CEC/ARC, are all included. Digital inputs and outputs are available in both coaxial and optical formats to make it easy to attach all your digital sources. Digital inputs are converted to analogue for use in Zone 2, and you can choose to convert unused tape outputs for Zone 3 and Zone 4 use with independent source selection and volume control.

A unique feature among high-end AV processors, the M17 V2 has BluOS, the advanced operating system and music management software shared with NAD’s sister brand Bluesound. When connected to the Internet via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, the M17 V2 has access to thousands of Internet radio stations and over a dozen high quality music services including Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, Deezer, and many more. With full support for Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) technology, the M17 V2 has the highest resolution audio performance available combined with the highest definition video performance. Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) is a revolutionary end-to-end technology built into every BluOS Enabled amplifier to capture and deliver MQA music to your speakers in the purest quality.

Just announced today at AXPONA

BluOS users will now be able to identify high resolution tracks when browsing Qobuz content within the BluOS Controller app. An “HR” icon will appear next to hi-res tracks, keeping the experience of browsing through Qobuz content similar to that of browsing through content from Tidal or other music services. BluOS users will now be able to identify high resolution tracks when browsing Qobuz content within the BluOS Controller app. An “HR” icon will appear next to hi-res tracks, keeping the experience of browsing through Qobuz content similar to that of browsing through content from Tidal or other music services. Al the new software upgrades will be available to current BluOS owners through a free update!

All BluOS Enabled players and systems include a powerful decoder and audio renderer for the millions of the MQA encoded songs, The MQA logo shown in the BluOS app indicates that the unit is decoding and playing an MQA stream or file, and lets you know that you are hearing exactly what the artist recorded and approved in the studio.

With BluOS we have also made it easy to add more speakers for listening to music in additional rooms. IR repeaters, 12V triggers to automatically switch amplifiers on and off, and an RS-232 data port makes it easy to connect to highly advanced automated control systems, such as Crestron and Control4.

Conclusion

The original M17 has some great features that carry on to the V2 including its front panel touch screen and its Modular Design Construction. At $6,000 it's not your typical mass produced product, and you can upgrade it to your liking. With every product we can find minor gripes, like the second subwoofer's RCA out, clumsy adapters,  and no separate HDMI video outputs and we did have some HDMI issues while reviewing the M17 V2 as seen in our detailed Youtube review. But the things that NAD does right they do amazingly well, especially in the sonics department. The inclusion of Dirac Live room calibration, and BluOS for multiroom audio are a big check in the plus box for the M17 V2. 

NAD M17 V2 Front.jpg

Are you thinking of getting the NAD M17 V2 or have some more questions? Share your thoughts in our related forum thread.

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About the author:

Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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Recent Forum Posts:

FranknStein7 posts on April 17, 2019 08:10
If I'm reading this right, this thing does not support Dolby Vision passthrough OR eARC. Hopefully that's added, because for $6000 it looks like you can't get Dolby Vision and HD audio at the same time. Think I'll stick to Marantz/Denon in the meantime.
Tabarino posts on April 16, 2019 17:49
I bought the M17 V2. I experienced the same electrical hissing noise through its channels. It was intolerable at first but it’s gone away. I think the DAC in it is great, love the Dirac. Conversed with engineering about the feedback and got a weak, cryptic response from NAD. Don’t understand why they didn’t address the problem but have decided to keep my NAD. I hope engineering can put their finger on the problem. All in all, I’m very pleased with the processor.
Tabarino posts on April 16, 2019 17:48
Madhuski, post: 1311127, member: 58831
Those issues were deal breakers for me so I sold it and bought another pre-pro to put in its place.

(meant “had to move ON” not “had to move ONE”)

I bought the M17 V2. I experienced the same electrical hissing noise through its channels. It was intolerable at first but it’s gone away. I think the DAC in it is great, love the Dirac. Conversed with engineering about the feedback and got a weak, cryptic response from NAD. Don’t understand why they didn’t address the problem but have decided to keep my NAD. I hope engineering can put their finger on the problem. All in all, I’m very pleased with the processor.
Madhuski posts on April 15, 2019 19:50
PENG, post: 1311024, member: 6097
Am I missing something? What do you mean by “had to move one..”?

Those issues were deal breakers for me so I sold it and bought another pre-pro to put in its place.

(meant “had to move ON” not “had to move ONE”)
VonMagnum posts on April 15, 2019 12:20
Don't underestimate the dark side of the force, AcuDefTechGuy! The allure of the coveted audiophile brand name is very powerful, indeed! o_O
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