Which of these AVR's are best for music? - Page 7 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #181 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Audiophile equivalent of the dog ate my homework? You had nothing to do with it?
Really?

Maybe. I bought a brand new nad t787. All connections 100 percent accurate.
I turned it on, followed on screen instructions to the letter. When it was done it put in blu ray and the sound was completely distorted at a low volume level. I immediately shut it down. I turned it back on and it was still distorted. I shut off all the eq functions and everything sounded normal. Except for a blown sub and one woofer.

Not my first rodeo, but yes my first audyssey experience. What do you think happened?
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post #182 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 03:35 PM
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Thanks. You can run it off your laptop right? Definitely worth it once new gear gets here.
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post #183 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 03:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

I'm running focal Aria 948s with a 250 dollar pioneer av receiver and it sounds awful.

Can't wait for mcintosh gear to arrive.

Do you guys think it will sound the same?

It won't sound the same, not to you! With the money that is at stake, here those Mac components have a "Halo Effect" going for them. The interesting question is what's really wrong. It's possible that your old AVR is broken.

Those Focals look like they have a lot of potential, but your SQ problems are probably due to problems with the acoustics of your listening room or how you have them set up. Also, while they are fairly robust for modern floorstanders with those dual 8 inch woofers, a really good subwoofer near the top of the SVS or Rhythmic lines, for example, would beef the sound up.
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post #184 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 03:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Audiophile equivalent of the dog ate my homework? You had nothing to do with it?
Really?

Maybe. I bought a brand new nad t787. All connections 100 percent accurate.
I turned it on, followed on screen instructions to the letter. When it was done it put in blu ray and the sound was completely distorted at a low volume level. I immediately shut it down. I turned it back on and it was still distorted. I shut off all the eq functions and everything sounded normal. Except for a blown sub and one woofer.

Not my first rodeo, but yes my first audyssey experience. What do you think happened?

First guess: shorted speaker leads.
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post #185 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 03:54 PM
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Had a an elite before that and room eq worked perfectly. I forgot about that. I sold the elite for the nad for 3 d pass.

I did notice a difference in sound quality, clarity, imaging and low Rez details, but not loudness.
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post #186 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 03:56 PM
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So you guys truly believe all amplifiers sound the same? The same headroom, decay, details, transparency, etc?
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post #187 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

Had a an elite before that and room eq worked perfectly. I forgot about that. I sold the elite for the nad for 3 d pass.

I did notice a difference in sound quality, clarity, imaging and low Rez details, but not loudness.

Again, would that be comparing with different automated REQs...?? If it is then of course they're going to sound different. Heck, two calibration runs with the same receiver could have it sounding different.


Quote:
So you guys truly believe all amplifiers sound the same? The same headroom, decay, details, transparency, etc?

Any differences are very small compared to the way your room and speakers are altering the sound.

I once did a A/B comparison with a well regarded 2ch preamp against a Yamaha AVR in 'Pure Direct' mode with both feeding to the same poweramp and speakers while receiving the same track from a CD player as I could use its optical and coaxial output at the same time. I could not detect any difference in sound whatsoever and was confident enough that the AVR was at least not downgrading the audio quality when bypassing all of its DSP.

Over time I have learnt how to use its bass management better and learnt how to work with room measurements and EQ and PEQ. As a result using the AVR's DSP features I have been able to get the audio quality much improved in my room over just straight 'Pure Direct' and therefore also what I could have achieved with my older 2ch preamp.

The room, room placements, room treatments, frequency response measurements and PEQ is what has tremendously improved the sound quality for me.
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post #188 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 05:12 PM
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Personally, I wish they would sound the same when exposed to the same conditions. My opinion/experience is that in the real-world they do not sound the same. I have owned with about a dozen different amplifiers over the past 20 years and 8 pairs of speakers...all purchased second hand. The tube amp...sounded very different, but in a good way. The bigger SS amps sounded good too, the class-a SS that I had blended the two together pretty well in my opinion. All of the amps that I have had sounded great at moderate levels, but it was when I wanted more volume, some amps+speaker combinations became rather unpleasant, while others practically dared you to keep going (the big-class a did this the best). I finally found a setup that I am happy with which was an acceptable compromise to me. Recently I purchased a new mid-level AVR...for fun, I popped it into my main system. I do not feel that it is anywhere near the same sound quality as amps that I have had in the past. or the ones that I currently own...but it is so much more convenient and that is worth a hell of a lot, because it means that I actually can use it every day. Currently the avr is the hub of my ceiling system that is used to watch TV through it. It also does all my video switching...which is great...too bad I'd have to sell a kidney or become a crack dealer to afford one of the luxury brands which is capable of playing with HDMI.

I would like to add, that I did not decide which amps to keep and which to sell based purely on sound alone. There were other variables which I based my conclusions on which to some will seem foolish, while others may agree. For me, the size of the amp was an issue...my big class-a went away because it was too freaking big, and the thought of recapping it should it need it was a worry, not to mention that I did notice a change in my power bill by a few $ each month. Additional factors that I based my decisions on included the ability to remotely switch the amp on or off, resale, aesthetics (I cannot stand the way some amps look with all the blinky lights on them), number of channels, whether or not I needed a friend to help move the amp, balanced or unbalanced inputs, how hot it ran, fan noise,reliability was a huge one, etc. I don't think I am wrong for preferring 1 amp to another based on those criteria. At the end of the day the sound is only part of the experience...the system has to be something that you can live with too.

Kiwi is correct, the room affects things a lot...so do the speakers, and then there is the interaction between the speakers and the amps....some work well together and some don't.

All, opinon...all YMMV

Flame suit on.

EDIT: in the world of $500-1500 AVR's I suspect that the differences will be small.
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post #189 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Again, would that be comparing with different automated REQs...?? If it is then of course they're going to sound different. Heck, two calibration runs with the same receiver could have it sounding different.
Any differences are very small compared to the way your room and speakers are altering the sound.

An old school audiophile friend swears his iPod playing through 99 book shelf speakers sounds the same as his linn and thiel hifi system with turntable.



I once did a A/B comparison with a well regarded 2ch preamp against a Yamaha AVR in 'Pure Direct' mode with both feeding to the same poweramp and speakers while receiving the same track from a CD player as I could use its optical and coaxial output at the same time. I could not detect any difference in sound whatsoever and was confident enough that the AVR was at least not downgrading the audio quality when bypassing all of its DSP.

Over time I have learnt how to use its bass management better and learnt how to work with room measurements and EQ and PEQ. As a result using the AVR's DSP features I have been able to get the audio quality much improved in my room over just straight 'Pure Direct' and therefore also what I could have achieved with my older 2ch preamp.

The room, room placements, room treatments, frequency response measurements and PEQ is what has tremendously improved the sound quality for me.[/quote

An old school audiophile friend swears his iPod playing through 99 book shelf speakers sounds the same as his linn and thiel hifi system with turntable.
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post #190 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

So you guys truly believe all amplifiers sound the same? The same headroom, decay, details, transparency, etc?

Please don't be so insulting. No we don't believe that all amplifiers sound the same. How many times does this have to be repeated or are people just getting their rocks off by intentionally ticking us off?
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post #191 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Audiophile equivalent of the dog ate my homework? You had nothing to do with it?
Really?

Maybe. I bought a brand new nad t787. All connections 100 percent accurate.
I turned it on, followed on screen instructions to the letter. When it was done it put in blu ray and the sound was completely distorted at a low volume level. I immediately shut it down. I turned it back on and it was still distorted. I shut off all the eq functions and everything sounded normal. Except for a blown sub and one woofer.

Not my first rodeo, but yes my first audyssey experience. What do you think happened?

How loud did you play it? Can't imagine this being enough at "a low volume" level to blow drivers (what exactly happened to the drivers?). If it indeed was at a low volume level and everything was done per their instructions I'd have been really pissed at NAD, though hard to tell from the information what might have happened....
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post #192 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 07:06 PM
 
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An old school audiophile friend swears his iPod playing through 99 book shelf speakers sounds the same as his linn and thiel hifi system with turntable.

That's an insult to the iPod and I mean this quite seriously. If absence of noise and distortion is part of your definition of high fidelity the iPod playing uncompressed files is far cleaner than any vinyl playback system that is even imaginable.
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I once did a A/B comparison with a well regarded 2ch preamp against a Yamaha AVR in 'Pure Direct' mode with both feeding to the same poweramp and speakers while receiving the same track from a CD player as I could use its optical and coaxial output at the same time. I could not detect any difference in sound whatsoever and was confident enough that the AVR was at least not downgrading the audio quality when bypassing all of its DSP.

If the levels aren't matched, the switching isn't quick and easy and the identities of the exact item being listened to isn't concealed during the listening session then there was no valid comparison of the equipment. What was being compared were the stronger influences caused by the mismatched levels, the perceived differences caused by people forgetting what they heard the time before, and the effect of their preconceived notions on their perceptions.

We call it a sighted test, but the test that we really object to is the classic audiophile listening evaluation where someone listens to something and then reports back their perceptions, usually in the form of a comparison such as "component xxx sounds better (or worse) than component yyy" or just a qualitative statement like "You should audition component zzz because it sounds better than anything else you have ever heard."

There are three general objections:

(1) The equipment is not level matched. Since the same equipment sounds different at different listening levels the equipment being compared will of course sound different. The difference is strong and it is due to the mismatched levels.

(2) There is a lengthy time delay between amplifier listening sessions often minutes, hours, days or even weeks. In fact the human brain forgets small details about a listening experience, and this loss of details is subsequently interpreted as a different sound.

(3) There are a wide variety of biases going on in our brains and nobody knows what of all their biases are. We are all biased all of the time. One form of bias is reflected in the old adage that "People hear what they want to hear".

The most revealtory experience takes place when all of these influences are removed from the listening experience.

When there are audible differences, removing these spurious influences allows hearing really small differences that one may not even believe can be reliably heard.

When there aren't audible differences one can finally experience two different components sounding the same.
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post #193 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Please don't be so insulting. No we don't believe that all amplifiers sound the same. How many times does this have to be repeated or are people just getting their rocks off by intentionally ticking us off?

 

Many people have an affinity for committing logical fallacies.  In this case, the fallacy name you are looking for is "straw man."  Since your real position, Arny, is troublesome for some people, it is much easier to instead argue against a different position and pretend that you took that different position.  As far as I know, NO ONE believes that all amplifiers sound the same.  Yet people repeat this nonsense over and over, as it is much easier to refute that position than the position that all decently made amplifiers operating within their design limits sound the same.  This other position is more subtle and complicated, and some people have trouble with subtlety and complexity.  Forum rules prohibit me from characterizing the intelligence of these people.

 

It may be that they are the same people who have trouble confusing "in general" for "always," which is a problem I have encountered in the past.  I have also encountered people who, when I specifically stated "most," reacted as if I stated "always."

 

The long and the short of the matter, Arny, is that no matter how many times you state your position clearly, there will always be someone who will react as if you stated something importantly different.  In other words, for the rest of your life, you will never be able to stop repeating your position, as there will always be someone who reacts as though you stated something quite different from what you really stated.  It is annoying, to be sure, but that is the world in which we live.  On the bright side, eventually, one will receive the sweet release of death, and no longer need to deal with imbeciles.


God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.
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post #194 of 202 Old 03-21-2014, 07:30 PM
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Please don't be so insulting. No we don't believe that all amplifiers sound the same. How many times does this have to be repeated or are people just getting their rocks off by intentionally ticking us off?

Relax buddy. I'm legitimately asking your opinion on this and not judging. Maybe I put too much stock in branding.
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post #195 of 202 Old 03-22-2014, 05:12 AM
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People will hear what they want to hear regardless of how closely built components are. Even in double blind forced comparisons. The disconnect is how the resondent, like everyone here, rationalizes the stimulus to select an opinion and tries to articulate his or her experience.

Let's wire people up to biometric measuring equipment, EEG caps, facial emg and look at the physiological responses to different gear double blinded and look for differences in the brain's emotional response without asking anyone what they think.
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post #196 of 202 Old 03-22-2014, 05:14 AM
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Your brain may like something totally different than what you say you like.
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post #197 of 202 Old 03-22-2014, 06:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Please don't be so insulting. No we don't believe that all amplifiers sound the same. How many times does this have to be repeated or are people just getting their rocks off by intentionally ticking us off?

Relax buddy.

If you are so relaxed why all the stone throwing?
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I'm legitimately asking your opinion on this and not judging.

The above post and what follows it tells me a different story.
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Maybe I put too much stock in branding.

Especially the part where knowledgeable audiophiles who may disagree with you are branded in public as idiots.
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post #198 of 202 Old 03-22-2014, 06:48 AM
 
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People will hear what they want to hear regardless of how closely built components are. Even in double blind forced comparisons. The disconnect is how the resondent, like everyone here, rationalizes the stimulus to select an opinion and tries to articulate his or her experience.

Let's wire people up to biometric measuring equipment, EEG caps, facial emg and look at the physiological responses to different gear double blinded and look for differences in the brain's emotional response without asking anyone what they think.

This was done to a degree here:

http://jn.physiology.org/content/83/6/3548

"Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity: Hypersonic Effect"

ABSTRACT

"Although it is generally accepted that humans cannot perceive sounds in the frequency range above 20 kHz, the question of whether the existence of such “inaudible” high-frequency components may affect the acoustic perception of audible sounds remains unanswered. In this study, we used noninvasive physiological measurements of brain responses to provide evidence that sounds containing high-frequency components (HFCs) above the audible range significantly affect the brain activity of listeners. We used the gamelan music of Bali, which is extremely rich in HFCs with a nonstationary structure, as a natural sound source, dividing it into two components: an audible low-frequency component (LFC) below 22 kHz and an HFC above 22 kHz. Brain electrical activity and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) were measured as markers of neuronal activity while subjects were exposed to sounds with various combinations of LFCs and HFCs. None of the subjects recognized the HFC as sound when it was presented alone. Nevertheless, the power spectra of the alpha frequency range of the spontaneous electroencephalogram (alpha-EEG) recorded from the occipital region increased with statistical significance when the subjects were exposed to sound containing both an HFC and an LFC, compared with an otherwise identical sound from which the HFC was removed (i.e., LFC alone). In contrast, compared with the baseline, no enhancement of alpha-EEG was evident when either an HFC or an LFC was presented separately. Positron emission tomography measurements revealed that, when an HFC and an LFC were presented together, the rCBF in the brain stem and the left thalamus increased significantly compared with a sound lacking the HFC above 22 kHz but that was otherwise identical. Simultaneous EEG measurements showed that the power of occipital alpha-EEGs correlated significantly with the rCBF in the left thalamus. Psychological evaluation indicated that the subjects felt the sound containing an HFC to be more pleasant than the same sound lacking an HFC. These results suggest the existence of a previously unrecognized response to complex sound containing particular types of high frequencies above the audible range. We term this phenomenon the “hypersonic effect.”


The consensus reaction to this paper among knowledgeable audio professionals after about 14 years seems to be: FAIL.
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post #199 of 202 Old 03-22-2014, 07:49 AM
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I regret that you have interpreted a bit of friendly cynicism as stone throwing. By branding I meant justifying purchases because of brand names, not branding fellow posters as idiots. I admit I can fall victim to that myself.

Your example is very interesting. What I wonder is if you set up a system and the only variable is the av receiver. You play a song that the subject enjoys so there is no creative bias and measure the experience to understand how engaged they are and what kind of emotional response there is to the way each receiver delivers. Using gsr and facial emg to capture the data. I would hypothesize that each receiver would add its own personality (or lack of neutrality) and the question would be if there would be significant differences.

This reminds me of the wine study where wine professionals always favored the more expensive bottle. But when the price and labels were not shown, many chose a 12 dollar bottle of wine over a 200 dollar bottle of wine and used all the buzzwords to describe its nose, finish, tannins, etc.
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post #200 of 202 Old 09-03-2015, 08:56 PM
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I'm just now really starting the quest in learning about AVR's and amplification. After a few days of reading through the threads I've noticed a lot of people praising brands such as Anthem, Cambridge Audio, and NAD [in that order I've found too,] when it comes to musical quality over Marantz, Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony, HK, and Yamaha. I have also heard plenty of people praise anything with a decent version of Audessey and therefore, always are recommending a Denon or Marantz unit from accessories4less while bashing the first three I mentioned for being too expensive or not having Audessey. I've also noticed that I think Audessey may be better suited if HT is the goal instead of musical playback...maybe I'm wrong.

The comparisons I have read seem that people who once owned the more popular Japanese brands, and then switched to the Anthem, NAD, CA AVR's, are much happier with the decision to switch. It seems that these three have better results powering harder-to-drive speakers with less wattage, and simply, sound better naturally.

Now I've heard about NAD and CA being the only brands that test their amps under stressed conditions and have heard many opinions on this whether this matters or not. Where as the Japanese brands don't test their amps under load when posting the specs. I don't know if Anthem does this but people have claimed that the MRX 310 is still a quite capable AVR.

I'm also aware of the power requirements to raise the SPL 3dB need to be doubled, and doubled, and doubled, from 1 watt, to 2, 4, 8, ect. So I know there isn't much difference between the 80-110 watt range.

The speakers I'm considering trying out are SVS Ultra bookshelves, Goldenear Aon 3's and Sierra 1/2's. The SVS, and Sierra's are 87 dB sensitive, and the GE Aon 3's are 90 dB. They'll be about 9' from the MLP in a room that is small - 14' X 9' X 8'. I will be getting a 5.1 system with an SVS PC12+ sub and watching movies, playing PC games in 5.1 hopefully, but my main priority is the best SQ I can get for music...and LOUD too on the weekends when having friends over. This is why I'm not really jumping on the Audessey band-wagon as a 'must have' for my setup. I hear ARC w/ Anthem is great. People like YPAO w/ the Yamaha Aventage line, but the NAD T758 only has a basic version of audessey, and not sure what Cambridge Audio have.

I know this is a lot but can anyone help me make a decision or aid in my education so I know what it is I'm looking for in an AVR? My budget was $1000 or under and I'd love to keep it under if possible however...there are some that slightly exceed that and if they are worth the extra cash...I can swing it. Here is what I am leaning towards:

NAD T748v2 - $599 80Watts x 2, 40watts x 7 and no room correction software? Not sure if it has pre-outs either.
NAD T758 - $999 110watts x 2, 60watts x 7, basic Audessey, and not sure about pre-outs.
CA Azur 551R - $1200 90watts x 2, 60watts x 7, think it has pre-outs and not sure about room correction software.
- I've heard these two brands are the only ones that test under load and have much better power output than other brands.

Anthem MRX 310 - $1200 80watts x 2, 60watts X 5, ARC room correction, no pre-outs I hear.
Emotiva Fusion 8100 - $699 110 x 2, 65watts x 7, Emo's room correction software (any good?,) and pre-outs I think. I know next to nothing about Emotiva's SQ or if this is a solid avr. Its so new that I'm guessing we are all going on Emo's reputation with this one.

Because of price and wattage, the NAD T758 and Emo Fusion 8100 are at the top of the list so far. I hear Anthem has the best sound though. Pre-outs aren't necessary, but might be nice later on if I can snag a good used amp if I want more juice.

I haven't crossed the Japanese brands off my list permanently, but I would really like to know if what I listed will give me better power output due to the power supplies they have, and if they have superior sound quality. If so, the then one of these will be my pick.

I think I can bi-wire/bi-amp the main two speakers with all but the Anthem MRX 310. Originally I was looking at a Marantz, Denon, or Yamaha but I honestly don't need ANY of those extra bells and whistles that those AVR's come with like Airplay, 2nd room, ect. And again, I will watch movies in 5.1 but my main goal with the AVR is AMAZING sound that can easily drive an 87 dB sensitive bookshelf speaker to very loud levels.

I have been a fan of NAD and have had a NAD receiver for the past 10 years. I just got a new NAD and once setup, I noticed that the sound wasn't near as good. I tried to adjust everything and at it's best it was average. Then I turned it off and went to bed. In the morning the receiver would not turn on by remote or the button on the receiver. I had to unplug and plug back in. NAD sent a replacement and as soon as it turned on it tried to blow up all of my powered subs and my Definitive Technology Mythos Ones by exploding bass into my speakers while it was locked up and would not power off. After about 10 seconds it stopped and a message on the screen said PWR Protection - Power Overload. All of my other components were working just fine like my new 70" 4K TV. NAD sent a 3rd unit and it kept shutting off all the time. I have read a lot on google sites of these receivers turning on and off. These receivers are beautiful now on the outside finally but they are also now MADE IN CHINA and they are made with the cheapest parts and they have rude customer support that doesn't care about helping you. That's why they are virtually an unknown company now. No more NAD for me! They allowed the units to be shipped back but they did not offer to pay or help pay for the blown M&K powered sub.
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post #201 of 202 Old 09-03-2015, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
I have been a fan of NAD and have had a NAD receiver for the past 10 years. I just got a new NAD and once setup, I noticed that the sound wasn't near as good. I tried to adjust everything and at it's best it was average. Then I turned it off and went to bed. In the morning the receiver would not turn on by remote or the button on the receiver. I had to unplug and plug back in. NAD sent a replacement and as soon as it turned on it tried to blow up all of my powered subs and my Definitive Technology Mythos Ones by exploding bass into my speakers while it was locked up and would not power off. After about 10 seconds it stopped and a message on the screen said PWR Protection - Power Overload. All of my other components were working just fine like my new 70" 4K TV. NAD sent a 3rd unit and it kept shutting off all the time. I have read a lot on google sites of these receivers turning on and off. These receivers are beautiful now on the outside finally but they are also now MADE IN CHINA and they are made with the cheapest parts and they have rude customer support that doesn't care about helping you. That's why they are virtually an unknown company now. No more NAD for me! They allowed the units to be shipped back but they did not offer to pay or help pay for the blown M&K powered sub.
Brand following can be a waste of time....
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post #202 of 202 Old 09-03-2015, 10:05 PM
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True store. A customer walks into my shop about a decade ago and his opening line to one of the sales staff was:
"Hi, I've been reading up on this stuff at home and have decided to come in to look at some NADs"
My coworker fell to the floor laughing uncontrollably.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".
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