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NAD M3 Dual Mono: Music to my ears

Dale Davies |
Do you know what this means: 180 watts, 0.03THD, twin custom-made Holmgren toroidal? Well, in plain English: that's NAD M3 Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier, an amplifier that will make your friends jealous. Very jealous.

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NAD is a well-known company among audiophiles and its M3 Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier is one of the best amplifiers around. Yes, each and every audio experience is different, but we are certain that NAD M3 will leave a great impression on any listener.

We are talking here about 2-channels delivering 180-watts which is enough to drive high-end loudspeakers with a great dynamics, absolutely fantastic frequency range and great sense for details. In fact, M3 offers internal switching for two pairs of speakers and tone controls as well as a second Zone 2 output with independent commands and even its own remote control. Very nice, indeed.

The amplifier's front panel controls allow your a direct access to all features and M3 offers plenty of them. They include a precision volume attenuator with 0.5dB steps with a range of 87.5db, a remote balance control also with 0.5dB steps, and a Mode control which allows stereo, left only, right only and mono settings.

Tone controls offer bass and treble adjustments as well as a "spectral tilt" option. That' a nice feature that simultaneously increases the bass and decreases the treble (or the other way around) to create a warmer or cooler balance. That's nice if you'd like to give your favorite recording a bit different tonal meaning.

Now, we already mentioned 180 watt per channel, an impressive number by itself, but NAD went a step further. They made an amplifier with patented circuits, able to deliver the sound with distortion levels at all audible frequencies that are at limit of measurement - less than 0.002%. Well, that's impressive. How it's done? It's simple: four pairs of 150W discrete bipolar output transistors per channel with massive heat sinking. "Simple" must be used with a grain of salt here.

We won't go through all specification, we'll just mention that net weight is 23.5 kg (51.8 lbs). Any old-school audiophile would say "There's no power without weight" and that's true. That fact alone suggest that NAD M3 is a very serious audio device. Just a piece of advice: this amplifier deserves high-end loudspeakers, any compromise in speakers section would be a sin.

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