- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 18 June 2012
If you look at the specs of most stereo integrated amplifiers, the rated RMS power output is between 60 watts and 120 watts per channel. This is lower than the power output of outboard power amplifiers, which typically are about 125 watts to 300 watts per channel. Monoblocks go all the way up to 2,000 watts output. One of the main reasons for this is that in an integrated power amplifier, the preamplifier circuit is situated very close to the power amplifier. Keeping the high voltage, high current power amplifier signal from inducting noise into the preamplifier circuit is difficult.
NAD solved this problem with their M3 Integrated Amplifier, which has a rated output of 180 watts per channel, at 0.004% THD+N, and clipping (1% THD+N) at 220 watts. The power output is the same at 8 ohms or 4 ohms, and this is part of the reason they can pack so much power into an integrated chassis: by controlling the maximum output so that it does not interfere with the preamplifier circuit. Although the M3 was introduced several years ago, it still represents a break-through product, because the amplifier will drive low sensitivity, low impedance speakers to full volume, all in one integrated package. Some changes have been implemented since its introduction, so we felt a thorough look at this product, with bench tests, was warranted.
- Design: Dual-mono Stereo Integrated Amplifier
- Power Output: 180 Watts/channel RMS @ 0.004% THD, 220 Watts/channel @ 1% THD+N, into 8 Ohms or 4 Ohms
- MFR: 5 Hz – 70 kHz ± 0.3 dB
- Inputs: Six Pairs RCA Analog, One Pair XLR Analog
- Outputs: One Pair RCA Analog Pre-Out, One Pair RCA Recording Out (Volume Does Not Change), Preamp Out/Power Amp In Loop
- Sensitivity: 446mV for Full Output
- Capability for Bi-Amping with Choice of Crossover Frequency (40 Hz – 100 Hz)
- Tilt Control for Low Volume Listening ( ± 3 dB: Bass and Treble Offsets)
- Tone Controls: ± 5 dB
- Dimensions: 5.3” H x 17.2” W x 15.2” D
- Weight: 52 Pounds
- MSRP: $2,999.99 USD
- SECRETS Tags: NAD, Integrated Amplifiers