Stereophile Awards 2020

The Stereophile 2020 awards have just been published.

Overall Product of the Year and Amp of the Year is the interesting choice of the NAD M33 integrated amp. These all-in-one just-add-speakers amps that do everything from phono through internal DACs, streamers, room correction and Bluetooth seem to be getting better and better. The similar Goldnote IS-1000 also received excellent reviews over the past year. Perhaps integrated one-box solutions will compete with multiple boxes in sound quality too? I'm feeling that they will get close - I have an integrated amp and it sounds much better than the four Naim boxes it replaced, and cost less too.

And it is fantastic to see the CAD Ground Control Grounding Boxes get Accessory of the Year in the Awards. And apparently it was a landslide in the votes from the Awards judges.   These are remarkable devices and I am pleased that Stereophile has recognised them - they made a big difference to the sound of my system and I have never heard anyone report otherwise.   Some folk say Grounding Boxes cannot work as they are not easily measured, but Stereophile under the leadership of Jim Austin is even more measurement-focussed, so for measurement-Jim to support the CAD units is a great testament to their undeniable effectiveness in a system.

Other winners:
Analog Component - PS Audio Stellar phono preamp
Digital - Holoaudio May DAC
Headphones - Focal Stellia
Speaker - Magico M2
Budget - Audioquest Dragonfly cobalt usb dac
The NAD M33 also won the 2020-2021 EISA Best Product Award for “Smart Amplifier.”

I’ve had mine for about 2 1/2 months now and absolutely love it, amazing SQ, especially considering it’s only driving SVS Ultra Bookshelf speakers.
Hi anotherbob, I also love my NAD M33 that I have now had for 4 weeks. I had some connection issues with my IPAD and Samsung Galaxy S10 phone and connection dropout issues in October but the NAD M33 seems more stable the past few weeks (I assume because of software updates).

i really like the crystal clear detail, big sound stage, punchy bass, and dynamic range of the NAD M33 with my B&W 802D2 speakers. The Dirac room correction seems to compress the dynamic range of music too much for me and pushes the sound stage too far into my room. I have since moved my speakers to the recommended Cardas speaker room position placement and that seems to have helped a lot with bass reflections so I am using the NAD M33 without Dirac. Were you able to get the Dirac dialed in with your system where it improves the sound from the non Dirac setting?
Just looked at the NAD web site and could not tell if the unit is a ROON endpoint. If it is can you stream wirelessly from a ROON server?

I have some orphaned KEF LS50’s and this unit would work great for me if that type of streaming is possible. A Powerline Ethernet is possible but wireless would be ideal.

Edit: The comments section has the scoop on ROON support.