I finally received and set up the XR55. From reading the posts it sounds like I'm in a different boat than many of you, since I just use two channel mode with a subwoofer. I bought the NAD T763 last year when I was planning to set up a nice home theater, but decided to stick with two channel operation.
I am using the XR55 for video switching as well as audio. Connected to the XR55 I have an HTPC (MythTV box), CD/DVD player, VCR, TV, and tape deck.
Initial non-audiophile impressions after listening to a range of music:
- Voices (singing) sound a bit hollow and tinny compared to the NAD (too much midrange, IMO). Otherwise, the sound is quite good. Very good range - lows and highs both sound good even with bass and treble set at zero. I bumped bass to +2 and treble to +1 and was satisfied. The NAD has excellent sound, but is a bit too "warm" for me, at least with the speakers I currently have.
- The XR55 seems to have no problem driving my 6 ohm Rocket 750s. At -18db it was about as loud as I would want it. I'd maybe take it a bit louder when blasting metal The NAD has no problems in this category, either.
- As others have noted, the unit does NOT do any video upconversion. Not composite > S-video, not S-video > component, not composite > component. The NAD does upconvert from composite > S-video, but IIRC it doesn't upconvert any signals to component.
- Good selection of inputs and outputs on the back of the unit. Not perfect, but it seems to be packed with about all they could fit on a unit of that size. However, I would like to see more output possibilities - the only outputs are composite for DVD recorder and composite for cassette tape. Plus the S-video and component monitor outputs. Personally I would like S-video and composite outputs to go to my VCR, but I realize I'm living with one foot in the stone age The NAD has endless inputs/outputs, but I don't use many of them.
- The unit heats up after heavy use, but not any more than the NAD. Probably less.
- The dual-amp feature is automatic and seems to work fine.
- The unit is much faster than the NAD when powering up and accepting input from the remote control (especially volume - that drove me crazy on the NAD).
- I can confirm what others have written about the remote: it sucks. It is billed as a "universal remote" but the only thing "universal" about it is that you can program in a selected set of codes to operate other equipment. This is the same technology my VCR remote had ten years ago. It is not a learning remote. The NAD remote is really nice.
- The NAD setup tools are more intuitive, partly because of NAD's OSD. The XR55's setup menus aren't particularly bad, just a bit less intuitive.
- The XR55 weighs about 1/7 what the NAD weighs. Doesn't really matter much to me, just a cool fact.
Conclusion: Even though I'm not happy about the midrange and the remote, I still think this is a fantastic deal for the price, even if I have to buy a good universal remote. It compares well enough to the NAD in the categories I'm interested in that it's worth keeping. I think I'll hold on to the NAD for now in case I want to do some more comparing. Simply considering sound I would rate the NAD as 9/10, and the XR55 as 8/10. But that's just me