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NAD M12 - Masters Series Preamplifier/DAC - BluOS Ready + MDC
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NAD Master 2-614
NAD Masters Series
Many of NAD’s new technology innovations are first introduced in this flagship series. World-class fit and finish reflect the advanced design and features enclosed within.


Built for the future, the M12 is neither a typical DAC nor a typical preamplifier. In fact, the M12 is an ultra-high resolution digital audio hub that boasts a full roster of audiophile-grade features. In addition, Modular Design Construction allows new features and functionality to be added now or in the future. These features leverage some of the most advanced digital audio thinking to date, resulting in a truly outstanding product. NAD’s DirectDigital™ processing, as well as a fully balanced Class-A buffer stage, provide amazing accuracy and transparency with a completely silent background.

The M12 interfaces with all digital or analogue musical sources, and renders them perfectly to power amplifiers and active loudspeakers with its balanced or single-ended outputs. By adding the M12 to your system, you will finally get to hear your music in the best audio quality possible from every imaginable source, from vinyl to High Res digital.

NAD DirectDigital™ Innovation

DirectDigital™ amplification offers the highest level of performance. The 35-bit data path with 24-bit coefficients and 62-bit accumulation, and dithered truncation back to 35-bits after DSP functions guarantee the overall 24-bit accuracy. With this degree of resolution, all preamp functions can be accomplished with a new level of precision all in the digital domain. Because of the super high resolution, even 24-bit files are processed without truncation or loss of information.

Uncompromised Connection

Standard inputs include AES/EBU, Asynchronous 24/192 USB, coaxial and optical digital inputs and balanced and single-ended line level inputs including a high performance MC/MM phono stage. Rounding out the picture, a pure Class-A buffer using the latest generation of Super OP Amps provide low impedance balanced and single-ended connections to power amplifiers or active loudspeakers. A remote controls all functions and IR repeaters, 12V triggers, and a serial port to make integration with advanced control systems a snap.

Fine Tune Your System

Because of the massive computing power and high-resolution signal path, some interesting features have also been incorporated to further perfect the listening experience. Want to add a subwoofer to your system? The M12 includes a second order high pass and low pass crossover with selectable frequency. You can even select different frequency knees for each filter. This level of flexibility and precision is made possible by our highly perfected DirectDigital architecture. 

Forward Thinking

Modular Design Construction (MDC), allows you to customise the M12 with additional capabilities and features, now or in the future. The available MDC slots can accommodate a variety of upgrade modules - please click here for the available MDC modules. We recommend the BluOS 2i Module to embrace the powerful BluOS music management platform developed by NAD's sister brand, Bluesound. Please click here for more information on BluOS.

The free BluOS Controller app is available for download from the respective app stores for Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod), Android devices, Kindle Fire and Windows or macOS computers.

Once connected, this device will appear as a BluOS player - where it can ‘receive’ a stream of music. It can also be grouped with other players in your system - for example, streaming an internet music service such as Tidal to two or more zones in your home at the same time.

Please note however, that the other inputs/sources on this device cannot be ‘sent’ to BluOS for transmission to other players - for example, sound from a TV or CD player connected to this device cannot be sent to other Bluesound players.

Please also note that NAD models with additional Zone outputs (for example, Zone 2) cannot play digital sources such as BluOS through these additional Zone outputs. BluOS will only be compatible with the main zone output (Zone 1).

Master Quality Authenticated (MQA)

Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) is a revolutionary end-to-end technology built into every BluOS Enabled music player that captures and delivers master quality audio to any room in your home. All BluOS Enabled music players from NAD include a powerful decoder and audio renderer for the MQA system. The MQA logo shown in the BluOS app indicates that the unit is decoding and playing an MQA stream or file, and lets you know that you are hearing exactly what the artist recorded and approved in the studio.

Visit for more information.


  • Stereo preamp with digital inputs for a network music player, disc player, computer, and more
  • NAD's DirectDigitalTM design performs functions like volume control and source selection in the digital domain, for shorter signal paths and virtually no audible distortion
  • Digital inputs allow for use as a stand-alone digital-to-analog converter (DAC)
  • Modular Design Construction allows you to add more connectivity and future upgrades via user-installed modules (sold separately)
  • Class A analog output stage with balanced and unbalanced connections
  • Subwoofer outputs with selectable crossover frequencies
  • Touchscreen display offers intuitive playback controls, source selection, and settings adjustments
  • Remote control


  • Balanced stereo XLR inputs and outputs
  • Unbalanced stereo RCA inputs and outputs
  • Phono input for connecting a turntable
  • Balanced digital XLR (AES/EBU) audio input for professional disc players or processors
  • Asynchronous USB (Type B) input for connecting a computer
  • Two Type A USB inputs (front and back) for connecting a hard drive or memory device (MP3, WMA, and FLAC files)
  • Optical digital audio: 2 inputs, 1 output
  • Coaxial digital audio: 2 inputs, 1 output
  • 2 subwoofer preamp outputs
  • RS-232 port for automated control systems
  • 12-volt trigger and IR input
  • Detachable power cable


Audio Features

Direct Digital Technology: NAD's Direct Digital technology is unique in both its extreme precision and in its speed. Direct Digital technology uses a very powerful processing engine that operates at much higher speed and with much greater accuracy than typical Digital-to-Analog converters. Running at 108MHz, the M12 resamples the incoming pulse code modulated (PCM) signal and converts it to a pulse width modulation signal (PWM) with a sampling rate of 844kHz. Operating in a differential mode with double precision, the M12 has state-of-the-art specifications for low noise and distortion free sound. The extreme headroom afforded by the 35-bit architecture allows for a DSP-based volume control that does not reduce resolution. Even with 24-bit high definition signals, the output can be attenuated by 66dB (very quiet) before bit truncation begins.

Pure Class-A Analog Stage: The NAD M12 employs a pure Class-A buffer using the latest generation of Super OP Amps to provide low impedance balanced (XLR) and single-ended (RCA) connections to power amplifiers or active loudspeakers.

Modular Design Construction (MDC): Modular Design Construction (MDC) helps to prevent obsolescence by providing a simple upgrade path to add future features and functionality to the NAD Master Series M12 integrated amplifier.

Note: MDC modules are all sold separately (not included).

Digital + Analog Connectivity

USB (Type-B) Port: The NAD M12 direct digital DAC is ready for the world of computer audio with its rear-panel asynchronous USB (type-B) input that can directly stream 24-bit/192kHz content from your Windows PC, Mac computer, or  other network-attached storage device (NAS). Your computer will need to meet the following system requirements.

  • Windows PC Users: Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher, Microsoft Windows 7.
  • Mac Users: Minimum Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6) and later versions.

Note: Download the "NAD USB 2.0 Audio Driver" (from NAD's website) and install this driver to your Windows computer. Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6) and later versions already include USB Audio 2.0 drivers (no need to download NAD USB 2.0 Audio Driver).

Front- & Rear-Panel USB (Type-A) ports: The M12 features a front- and rear-panel USB (type-A) port which allow you to connect a USB mass storage class (MSC) device, such as a USB flash-drive or thumbdrive. The M12 will playback MP3, WMA, and FLAC music files loaded on your compatible USB device. Your USB device must be formatted in FAT 32.

Note: The USB ports are not compatible with Apple iOS or Android smartphones/tablets.

Digital Audio Inputs: The NAD M12 Direct Digital DAC includes five digital audio inputs; two optical (Toslink), two coaxial (RCA), and one AES/EBU (balanced XLR).

  • Digital AES/EBU (XLR) Input: The NAD M12 is fitted with a Digital AES/EBU (XLR) jack to connect high-end audio sources, such as SACD and DVD-Audio players. For high-end sources with higher sampling rates like 176kHz and 192kHz, it is highly recommended that such sources be interfaced with the AES/EBU (XLR) In connector.

  • Digital Coaxial/Optical Inputs: The M12 also features two rear-panel optical (toslink) digital outputs and two coaxial (RCA) digital outputs to connect your digital audio components. Connect your CD, DVD, and Blu-ray disc players. The Digital inputs support sampling rates of 32-192khz.

Note: If connecting to a television set's optical output, please make sure that you are able to select PCM as the default optical out audio format from your television's Audio menu. This DAC is not compatible with multi-channel audio signals and will not work with televisions that do not output PCM.

Balanced/Unbalanced Connectivity The NAD M12 offers balanced (XLR)/unbalanced (RCA) analog audio inputs and outputs.

  • Balanced XLR Inputs/Outputs: The M12 is fitted with a pair of balanced XLR inputs to connect your high-end or professional audio component. In addition, there is a pair of balanced XLR output to connect your audiophile grade power amplifier.

  • Unbalanced RCA Inputs/Outputs: There are two sets of analog stereo unbalanced RCA inputs (including a Phono MM/MC input). There is also one set of unbalanced analog stereo RCA outputs to connect to your stereo amplifier.

Dual Sub Outputs: The NAD M12 is equipped with dual mono-RCA sub outputs to connect up to two powered subwoofers.

Touchscreen & Remote Control

Touchscreen Display: The NAD M12 features a front-panel display with touchscreen control for easy-to-read text and simple control.

Remote Control: The supplied IR remote provides wireless operation of the M12 and features controls for other NAD source devices.

Volume Control: The volume control adjusts the overall loudness of the signal being fed to the loudspeakers. Volume control is characterised by perfect signal tracking and channel balance. It gives a highly linear and low noise operation. The volume control can set to "Fixed" or "Variable".

Tone Control: The M12 has the following Tone Control levels; Treble, Bass and Balance. Bass and Treble controls only affect the low bass and high treble leaving the critical midrange frequencies free of coloration. The Balance control adjusts the relative levels of the left and right channels.

Remote Integration: The M12 offers 12V trigger, IR and RS-232 connectivity for remote integration.

  • 12V Trigger Input/Output: With this 3.5mm input triggered by a 12V DC supply, the M12 can be switched On remotely from standby mode by compatible devices; such as amplifiers, preamplifiers, receivers, etc. If the 12V DC supply is cut off, the M12 will return to standby mode.

  • IR Input: This 3.5mm input is connected to the output of an IR (infrared) repeater (Xantech or similar) or the IR output of another component to allow control of the M12 from a remote location.

  • RS-232 Port: The RS-232 port allows connection to a compatible PC or external whole-house control system from companies such as AMX or Crestron. NAD is a certified partner of AMX and Crestron and fully supports these external devices.

Auto Standby: The unit can be set go automatically go into standby mode after approximately 30 minutes of inactivity.

Signal to Noise Ratio >90dB
THD 0.005%
Number of Inputs 11
USB Connections Type-B, Type-A (2)
Ethernet Connections None (Optional MDC Module)
Phono Inputs 1
Preamp Outputs 6
Network Streaming Services None (Optional MDC Module)
Bluetooth None (Optional MDC Module)
AirPlay Compatible None (Optional MDC Module)

Width  435mm
Height 133mm
Depth  383mm
Weight  8.1kg
Data Sheet

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AV System Integrator 3-976

***if you are interested in having this model professionally installed, please contact us for an authorised Dealer/Installer in your region

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Control Integration drivers are available here for most major Automation and Smart Home Control Systems:   
NAD Control Integration Drivers 

  • URC
  • RTI
  • PUSH
  • ELAN
  • BluOS Integration Utility
  • BluOS Simple API Document
  • NAD to Pronto
  • PC Interface Software
  • RS232 Test Program
  • HTR Remote Interface

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