After a few more days of listening to the NAD, via CD/DVD player, TV set-top box digital music channels, and iPod here a few of my observations:
With the tone defeat on, the music seems rather sterile on CD's, not much punch in the low end. The digtal TV music channels sound less pronounced than the CD's. The MP3's from the iPod seem to put out more punch in the bass which is the most pleasant of the 3 inputs. I like the clean sound for watching regular TV. It's a bummer when you're watching a show and the you have to turn up the voulme to hear the dialog and then turn it down when actio abd explosions blast out the speaker.
With the tone defeat off, here's is where I found a sweet spot. By turning the bass up to max and the treble to about 3 o'clock (12 o'clock is center detent at 0), all 3 audio inputs had a fuller bass sound (not muddy at all) while maintaining smooth mids and crisp highs.
This is more of the sound I was hoping for. Not that I need more bass as of now, but with the bass tone control at max, that doesn't leave any room for more bass if I needed to add some. Overall, I'm pretty much liking this amp with the JBL's a lot more. I'll still give it some more time to make a final decision.
Whats been weighing on my decision is this. I'm curious how this NAD compares with the new Onkyo A-9050. That's the other amp I have on my radar. Spec wise, the Onkyo seems to have some fine circuitry that might translate into more flexible tonal characteristics than the NAD.
Has anyone had the opportunity to A/B the Onkyo vs the NAD?
I'll probably end up ordering the Onkyo. A/B them and send back the one I like the least.