NAD Electronics has announced a new Master Series preamp that it will be showing off at CEDIA next month. The Master Series M15HD Surround Sound Preamplifier is just what it says on the tin: a preamp with a ton of features for a surround sound home theater system.
The preamp uses a pair of 32-bit Texas Instruments 7.1-channel DSPs for audio processing, and can decode nearly any audio signal, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Its VXP image processor supports any resolution up to 2048 x 2048 (not quite 4K, but twice the resolution of 2K video and much higher than 1080p), and it can convert to and from any refresh rate in both NTSC and PAL standards. It includes 4 HDMI 1.3 repeater circuits, a secondary zone for both audio and video, and 1 input and 3 outputs each for 12-volt triggers and IR controls. It's also the first device to feature NAD's Modular Design Construction, which the company says will let users add new features to the preamp easily thanks to its compartmentalized circuitry.
The beefy feature set comes with a price tag to match; the M15HD will cost about $4,500 when it ships in September. Still, it sounds like plenty of bang for the buck, as long as you have the buck.
— Will Greenwald
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