NAD 763 vs Denon 3805 ..... Experiences for both

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by ChrisPay, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. ChrisPay

    ChrisPay Auditioning

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    Looking to purchase a receiver in the $900-$1300 price range. Love the sound of NAD (own a 7100), but know the 3805 has some additional processing capabilities that may be value add. I'm not a "have to have all the features" kind of person. Just good clean, warm sound.

    Understand some of the NAD AVRs have had some QC issues in the past, but haven't heard much about the latest 763/773 having such problems... Like to know if this has been fixed.

    Read excellent reviews on 3805 and the 773 that were excellent.

    Know 3805s don't have the headroom NADs do....

    Anyway....thoughts from those with these specific units.

    Thanks

    BTW....will be driving Dyn audience bookshelves...
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Well, since you have no takers, how about some comment from a 762 owner (ancestor of the 763)? The 763 really is a mild update of the 762 (the biggest addition is that the 763 adds PLIIx), so most of my comments about features, functions, and performance should still apply.

    Having said that, there are some real positives with NAD, and some negatives.

    QC on this unit was poor. What you have read about NAD QC issues has likely not been BS in my experience.

    I have had several issues. First the component video board had an intermittent problem with progressive signals. That was addressed with an updated board, overnighted by NAD, and installed by my local dealer.

    But when I got it back, one of the three component inputs would not work. I opted to live with that for a bit rather than again remove my unit from the rack (not an insignificant endeavor).

    While waiting for the next opportunity to pull the unit out, I noticed that the front panel display would start generating random characters (looked like Chinese) after about 1/2 hour of running, and when raising or lowering the volume.

    So, at that point, I let my dealer have another look, but he was unable to sort it out, so back to NAD it went. While I was without it for the better part of a month end to end, I can say that now that its back, it appears that everything that was wrong has been fixed.

    I have had no issues with hiss or noisy fans as has been reported. I do have an issue with losing signal lock between tracks when playing CDs, but that is pretty common with a lot of brands. I opted to go analog in for CD playback, and have no complaints with that.

    OK, enough negatives....how about the positives?

    With everything sorted, its a great piece of kit. Very easy to use, very easy to set up, and extremely flexible. Every physical input can be renamed, and all inputs can be assigned to the "virtual inputs (i.e., the named input DVD can be assigned to Video 6, Analog 1, and Optical 3 for example). No need to remember that Video 5 happens to be your Tivo, or audio 2 happens to be your CD player. Thats very, very handy.

    And you can store 5 presets with any combination of speakers settings, levels, crossovers....again, supremely handy.

    Audio performance is fabulous. I don't subscribe to the thinking that an amp has a "sound" (if its does, I say its broken) but the 762 can and does play loud and clean. I can run it up as loud as I can stand it (well over 100dB measured in room with an SPL meter) and I hear absolutely no hint of distortion or any change in the sound quality...just pure, clean sound. NAD is known to always make their published specs for all channels driven.

    Whether or not it really matters, read any review of Denon, Pioneer, Sony....they always fall short.

    As for video, I run my HDTivo through it, and see no degradation in the PQ.

    Now, NAD is known for NOT having some of the latest bells and whistles. So, it has no Auto set-up and EQ, no Upconversion to Component video. Some of those features are of dubious value if not done right, others are not. You need to decide on their worth to you.

    So, hopefully, that will help. Were it not for the QC issues, I would say I am extermely pleased with the NAD. But I would perhaps NOT buy a new NAD unit until I was 100% sure that their QC was all sorted out.

    BGL
     
  3. ChrisPay

    ChrisPay Auditioning

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    Thanks for the overview of your 762...

    Anyone that owns a 763/773 have any similar QC issues?

    Thanks
     
  4. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    I got a discounted T762 just as the 763's were coming out knowing that there wasn't that much difference(to me) between the two. I have had it for almost a year now and have had no problems at all. Maybe the last product runs were problem free? If so, I would suspect that whatever fixes were carried over to the 763.
     
  5. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    One benefit of NAD that I failed to mention is their proprietary surround mode; EARS. The manual implies that it will be most effective with acoustic music, but I have found that it is far superior to Dolby and DTS with just about anything I have used it for.

    The front soundstage remains beautifully spread across the front (duhhh!), and the rears bring in a wonderful sense of ambience. No stupid reverb or delay that I can detect. Just a wonderfully enveloping experience.

    There does appear to be a bit of EQ applied to the low end. Not sure if this is an attempt to apply some sort of loudness compensation, but suffice to say that for recordings with a weak low end, its welcome. For stuff that already has a solid bottom, you may want to back the sub level off a bit, but besides that, its great. With 2CH SACD or even HDAD, its fabulous.

    BGL
     
  6. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Another option is the Pioneer 56TXi. Give it a look.

    Kevin
     
  7. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

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    Recently moved from an HK 525 to a Denon 3805. Some of the strengths and weaknesses of the HK are similar to NAD products, meaning available power is a +, surround processing is not done nearly so well.

    I am pleased with the Denon. It has much more power than I expected, is extremely quiet, and it's surround processing is in a class of it's own. It also does more than an adequate job of music (not nearly as warm as the HK, but warm enough, and far less distortion).

    If you listen to more music than watch home theater and your speakers are not particularly efficient, the NAD would be the better choice. With your speakers, I believe you'll notice a difference, but it may be marginal.

    As an aside, I bought the HK with the idea of listening to alot of music, but, as time has gone by, I listen to music primarily through DVD's now or through a turntable on another system in another room. I realized that my receiver was primarily used for home theater and think that Denon does about the best job of this. It certainly outshines my HK in this department.
    I'd suggest you give the Denon a try with the idea of returning it if you don't like it.

    Other companies to consider are Rotel and Marantz. I believe Rotel to be about the best "budget" equipment on the market. However, neither Rotel or Marantz is an improvement for surround processing over NAD. - All IMHO.
     
  8. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    What Hi-Fi(a British version of S&V I guess), reviewed both the 3805 and the NADT773. To my surprise, they gave 4 stars to the 773 and 5 stars to the 3805. If you read their review on the 3805 you will think that the 3805 is a dream machine that can do no wrong. The T773 listed for 1,200 pounds and the 3805 1,000 pounds. Seem like the British reviewers like the 3805 better than the NAD, a British product.

    Speaking from my own experience, my 3805 is hooked up to a power amplifier now and I have to listen very hard to notice the slight improvement in sound quality. I tend to agree with the What Hi-Fi reviewer. You cannot go wrong with the 3805. If you are concerned with the headroom, don't worry, it has not been easy for me to tell the difference between my 3805 on its own and when its pre-outs are hooked up to my separate power amp(s). The 3805 is very powerful on its own. HTM bench test showed that its two channel output was 132.2W into 8 ohms, and 218.4W into 4 ohms at 0.1% THD.
     

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