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.
This wireless device allows you to connect with your computer and play a variety of digital music files aloud. You can also pipe internet radio stations and online service like Pandora through it.
The most musical fidelity anyone has ever put into one square foot of floor space devoted to a loudspeaker. And they look great, elegant and pugnacious at the same time. The Zu Definition, like everything Zu produces, is a breakth... The most musical fidelity anyone has ever put into one square foot of floor space devoted to a loudspeaker. And they look great, elegant and pugnacious at the same time. The Zu Definition, like everything Zu produces, is a breakthrough. From 16 Hz subterranean bass to 25 kHz harmonics, this is the speaker that will convince you 2 channels are enough for home theater, and it really is possible to put a full orchestra or a single performer in your room without compromising either. Like all Zu speakers, there are no crossovers to choke dynamic life from the sound, thanks to Zu's proprietary full range driver (FRD) at the heart of the system, good for even response from 40 Hz - 12 kHz where 90% of tonal information originates. Deep bass is handled by a powered sub-bass array rolled in on a simple low-pass filter, and a supertweeter rolled in above the FRD fade point on a simple high-pass filter at 12 kHz handles harmonics to ultrasonics. Superefficient at 101 db/w/m yet absent of "shout" or the limited range of other efficient designs, the Definition thrives on triode tube amps, the new generation chip and digital amps, and yet has no fear of McIntosh heavy metal in the form of MC1201 monoblocks pushing over 1200 watts each. In a world of bafflingly foul-sounding "statement" speakers that cost six figures, will rip your ears off and jelly your brain, the Zu Definition is unfailingly relaxing, revealing, clean, musical, communicative and real, with sparky dynamics and energetic scale. For music or movies, you'll be in the realm of The Best for $9,000 pair, factory direct. Definitions could easily be your last loudspeakers, ever. The 3 dimensional soundstage will scale to your room, with excellent spatial projection, uncanny tonal accuracy, aural realism and such superb definition you will hear new details on every disc you own. Zu says, "...there is no other loudspeaker able to provide the resolution, dynamic contrast or phase accuracy of the Definition. Its well balanced tone, distortion free dynamic range, perfect time-alignment--even in the low frequency range -- combine for the next state of playback art...." And they're right. This is a lasting value loudspeaker worth building a long-term system around. Pair them with Vinnie Rossi's surprising Red Wine Audio pocket money chip amps or spring for a handcrafted tube amp built around the lighthouse-like 845, or throw a set-and-forget transistor amp, like a McIntosh or Lavardin, at them. 6 watts, 60 or 600, you'll have scalable, convincing music without the complications, cables and clutter of subwoofers nor huge boxes out of place in your room. 1' x 1' x 50" tall, you can get them in standard satin black or grey finishes, or pony up for an automotive finish. Mine are Maserati Blue Nettuno. Lots of details on the Zu Audio web site or just call them on the phone. Zu sells direct with a liberal 60 day money-back trial. Check out the reviews on the web, especially at 6moons.com, where as with the smaller Druid, Srajan gets it right. These speakers sound as he describes. Largely hand-made in Utah, USA.