follow up with the NAD 748
new home and new room and home theatre set up. the previous was a dual screen (projector and LCD). One of the reasons of getting the basic T748 was knowing that the upcoming Oppo 103 would take care of the video processing and switching. The NAD met my needs powering this room but definitely underpowered. I was just too lazy to plug my 5 channel amp back in.
those plans changed when I decided to move. The new house has only a 60" plasma and a different orientation and equipment. I could have a proper 2 channel listening area in this new house. Gone are my front speakers (totem) from the HT. Replaced with more modest Paradigm Cinema on wall speaker set. I did pick speakers with the NAD in mind. 7x40W wasn't a lot, but more than enough to power the Cinema 100/200/400 that I picked up.
I powered the speakers with the NAD for about a month before I was able to hook back up the Parasound amp back after finally buying a proper 2 channel amp for my 2 channel room. The separation of the sound definitely improved and the weight definitely was more robust. The parasound is a modest multi channel amp, but by design it's a high current amp. I didn't need watts, I needed current.
Very happy that the NAD is doing a great job as audio/video switch. Only one problem is that it doesn't like my Key Digital Video processor. I kept the Key Digital only for cable TV. it made a small buy noticeable improvement. Given the age it's not that missed as the Samsung Plasma is decoding the video perfectly fine. Besides, I'm not picky with cable TV.
The Anthem MX300 is still in my mind with the ARC EQ, but that unit would have been 500-600 more after tax. I still have simple needs and the SQ is the key. the NAD has only gotten better with a proper power amp and that was always in the plans with the 7.1 pre-out capability of the NAD. I focused on the essential features I use. I buy all my movies on Blu-ray (yes, I'm putting judgement on those downloaders), so USB connectivity was very low on the need list, nor networking capabilities. Just give me trueHD and DTS-MA. The quality of decoding of DD off cable and AppleTV is very good and a noticeable improvement from my OLD marantz as noted above review.
the NAD T748 gives me just enough flexibility to upgrade parts I would want (video processing or separate amp) but doing the essential preamp duties really well. Same as in 2 channel audio, the preamp is a very key component. I used to go to the extreme and use an analogue multichannel preamp because of this theory. The NAD is definitely designed with the preamp stage in mind first to sustain a very high SQ for audio.
I wouldn't choose the NAD T748 if you were using it to power larger speakers or a big room. Get it with the idea of using it for small room HT or as a basic, but very good pre. With Emotiva multi channel amps so good value, paring the T748 with a $400 Emotiva will still exceed what you can buy as a one box receiver. You loose some features but the essential reason to buy a receiver is taken care of.