September 25, 2009
NAD Introduces Powerful, Versatile M15HD Surround Sound Preamplifier

Pioneering Masters Series Preamp Boasts Modular Design Construction, Broadcast-Quality Image Processing, ‘Music First’ Performance, Much More

By Gary Reber

NAD Electronics, the highly regarded manufacturer of high-performance audio/video components, introduced the Masters Series M15HD Surround Sound Preamplifier, a powerful, versatile component designed to serve as the "brains" of any surround sound system, at CEDIA EXPO 09. The M15HD offers NAD’s exclusive Modular Design Construction (MDC) in addition to innovative circuit designs, proprietary operating software, broadcast-quality image processing, and exceptional sonic performance and value.


No ordinary offering, the M15HD will startle listeners with its realism and musical integrity. Its “Music First” performance design allows the space, scale, and transparency encoded in the directional sounds of Dolby and DTS surround soundtracks to push the boundaries of a listening room to nearly infinite dimensions. Four HDMI inputs make it a practical choice for high-definition viewing; and NAD’s special Masters Series Home Theater Remote, an 8-device, illuminated learning control with an LCD display, can learn commands for additional components.


The M15HD is a new High Definition edition of NAD’s M15 Surround Sound Preamplifier. It is built around NAD’s exclusive new Modular Design Construction (MDC) architecture, and configured with a VXP broadcast-quality image processor by Sigma Designs.  The first Masters Series component boasting MDC, the M15HD provides numerous benefits. It improves performance, functionality and ease of use while protecting against premature obsolescence. It enables users to more quickly and economically add new advanced features from NAD while also simplifying servicing.

cornerstones of MDC are easily removable A/V modules that include the circuitry for digital audio and HDMI functions, component and analog video functions, and two-channel and multi-channel analog audio functions, plus all the inputs and outputs needed for full connectivity.


Modular Muscle

The modules for the M15HD come packed with advanced features that include dual 32-bit Aureus 7.1 high-speed DSPs by Texas Instruments; Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume, and MultEQ Pro room correction technologies by Audyssey; decoding for advanced audio formats, including Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD Master Audio; and Sigma Designs’ VXP broadcast-quality image processor.


Dynamic EQ preserves the impact of movie soundtracks at all listening levels, while Dynamic Volume prevents large loudness jumps when commercials come on, and TV channels or video sources are changed. Sigma’s VXP-based solutions were developed in a broadcast environment, from a broadcast heritage. Coupled with advanced image enhancement algorithms, they comprise the most advanced single-chip image processor now available, and provide every source with the highest level of 1080p HD performance.


The image processor supports all SD and HD formats up to 2048 x 2048 pixels. It includes motion adaptive de-interlacing with edge interpolation, film mode detection with output cadence generation, a programmable scaling engine with aspect ratio conversion, frame conversion to and from any refresh rate (in NTSC and PAL), and advanced noise reduction and detail enhancement.


The M15HD can convert Component, and Composite and S-Video inputs from analog to digital HDMI using high-performance video decoders. It sends eight-channel linear PCM from the video signal to the DSP board for processing, and a programmable scaling engine ensures images are properly enlarged and reduced — making the M15HD ideal for the most demanding A/V systems


Features for Every Need                                                           
The M15HD also comes with many features that help installers address diverse set-up needs and situations. They including an RS-232 interface for advanced custom installations, 12-Volt Triggers  (1 in and 3 out) for advanced control options, 3.5-mm IR Control jacks (1 in and 3 out), an A/V output for a second zone, a second zone OSD and remote control, and a switched AC Outlet.

An array of additional features further enhances the M15HD. They include four HDMI 1.3 repeaters,
a tape monitor, lip sync compensation (option to 100mS), flexible bass management, and individual crossover frequencies for front, center, and surround speakers. Also aboard are four dual differential 24-bit, 192-kHz digital-to-analog converters, Dynamic Headroom Scaling for optimum resolution, an S/N ratio for all program and decoding combinations, digital tone controls with a center channel "dialog" setting, and an extensive package of connections. Also provided are separate power supplies for digital and analog sections of the M15 HD, a custom designed Switch Mode, and a Linear Power Supply with a custom ‘Figure 8’ transformer.  


NAD’s M15HD Surround Sound Preamplifier will be available in September from authorized NAD dealers at a suggested price of $4,499 (U.S. MSRP).


Tags: - CEDIA 2009 - - NAD Electronics - - M15HD Surround Sound Preamplifier - - Modular Design Construction (MDC) -