To S. Andrea Sundaram,
Do you believe the NAD M51 will come down in price anytime soon? I cannot think of a better pairing for my Emotiva XPR-2 than this, can you?
The M51 DAC was released in 2012, so I wouldn't expect a new model or price reduction soon. As for pairing with the XPR-2, the NAD is a true differential design, so that means that you'll have a balanced signal path all the way from DAC chip to loudspeakers. The M51's maximum output is 2.375V unbalanced (4.75V balanced), which is usefully higher than average and just 0.8dB below the input sensitivity of your amp. (With the XPR-2's 600W rating, the difference is irrelevant, mind you.) There are a number of alternatives to the M51 at the same $2000 price point. Both the Hegel HD 20 and Benchmark DAC2 HGC have also been favorably reviewed on the SoundStage! Network, but neither has the NAD's HDMI inputs. You'll have to judge any of them for yourself, but the M51 is a great place to start. . . . S. Andrea Sundaram