NAD Master Series M55 Universal Disc Player
The MP3 music format has started to make CDs sound good by comparison, but let's face it -- really good, engaging digital sound is hard to find. The music you want and own is on CD. But SACD and DVD-Audio, new generation high-resolution disc formats are audibly more satisfying to hear. And then there's your DVD video collection. You only have space for one sound system and it has to double for movies and TV, right? So buy whatever format you want -- all your music and movies can be played on one machine if you get a Universal Disc Player. Trouble is, Sony's decks won't play DVD-Audio, and many others won't play Sony's SACD. And the players that play everything and still get CD sound right can fetch well north of $5,000! This NAD Master Series M55 universal player is the answer. At $1799 retail, it's worth its price just on the quality of standard Redbook CD format alone. Which is unusual. But its video performance is competitive with $2,000 DVD players, and SACD/DVD-Audio sound are top echelon among universal decks. The Master Series is new for NAD and a serious cosmetic and engineering upgrade from their long-standing bang-for-buck budget agenda. It won't look like you cheaped out when you sprang for your disc player and the sound will say you went for the best. Unfailingly smooth, musical, revealing, communicative of expression and emotion, the NAD M55 will even have you pulling out those 80s discs you still love, from the early days of inept digital (mis)-mastering. Looking elsewhere in my picks, it doesn't take long to figure out that a pair of Zu Druid speakers with this NAD M55 universal player running through a few hundred dollars' worth of clean integrated amp makes an unbeatable, compact, stylish, satisfying $5,000 music and movie-sound stereo system.