NAD "build quality"; dealers badmouth it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve & Karen, Aug 24, 2002.

  1. Steve & Karen

    Steve & Karen Stunt Coordinator

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    I am interested in forthcoming NAD T%^@ DVD based on specs, price-point and I thought reputation for better "audiophile" sound (compared to other mid-market; Denon, Harman Kardon, Marantz, Pioneer Elite, Kenwood Sovereign, etc.).

    However 3 out of 4 local dealers, who carry NAD and also other brands, have badmouthed NAD for its poor "build quality"... I've never heard dealers bad mouthing products they DO carry this way...?

    Also the product has been repeatedly delayed in its actual U.S. release.

    Does anybody know either from actual experience or rumour what is going on...?

    -Steve
     
  2. Steve & Karen

    Steve & Karen Stunt Coordinator

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    that was NAD T562 DVD player
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Steve, it certainly is unusual for a dealer to bash a brand that he or she carries. I have had dealers tell me that one brand they carry is better than another (comparing one component to another or discussing the brands as a whole), but I have not had dealers denigrates brands they carry.

    NAD has developed a bad reputation for product reliability due to problems with some of its recent CD players. For example, the NAD C 520 and C 540 from a couple years back are known to be very senstive to scratches on CDs. These players have also shown an unusually high frequency of tracking problems (skipping) on good discs. From what I read, NAD did a better job with the subsequent C 521 and C 541 players, and the newest C 521i and C 541i are also supposed to be better.

    I have never owned an NAD CD player, but I use two of their integrated amps and a power amp in my stereo systems. They have served me very well. I've never had a problem with them.
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    NAD has enjoyed a nice reputation as maker of fine audiophile-oriented products at a reasonable price. The company's original 3020 integrated amplifier made waves back in 1980 as a superb little unit featuring an exceptional phono preamp based on circuitry pioneered by Tomlasin Holman. Many purchased the unit for the preamp section alone.

    Unfortunately, NAD's first DVD player, released in 2000, was short on features and function while being relatively high in price. It received only lukewarm reviews in the A/V press.
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jack, NAD continues to release DVD players that are short on features for the price. For example, NAD has yet to produce a DVD-Audio or DVD/SACD player. That is a beef I have with NAD.
     
  6. Steve & Karen

    Steve & Karen Stunt Coordinator

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    I hear what you are saying, but for me those are non-issues... question is about build quality, reliability, durability, works as advertised, sound quality for regular CD (and HDCD is real bonus; don't care about SACD/DVD-A)... and most of all why its own dealers are bad mouthing it relative to other brands that they carry!?!?

    -Steve
     
  7. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    NAD in the past used to have a stellar rep for price/performance and reliability, but the CD problems with transports, display, etc really hurt them. The 502 player got excellent reviews for sound quality (I bought one and agreed), but broke down at an alarming rate including mine.

    Their CD fiasco for a couple years really lost them a lot of good will and seeing that Cd and DVD transports are similar, I'd be hesitant to buy one. For the audio side Sony ES, Marantz or Denon would earn my business first, but I'm not sure of their HDCD capability.
     
  8. Robert Woods

    Robert Woods Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry - was intended for another thread
     
  9. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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    Despite skipping problems on the players a couple of years back, they appear to have fixed it. The new line-up is supposed to be exceptional at their price-points. In terms of reliability, they are just as reliable as their competitors.

    In terms of their amps, integrated amps, etc. They are all fantastic products at their price-points.

    Please remember that sales people are VERY ignorant and their audio world is very small. A trip to Circuit City is all that's needed to confirm that the advice the 18 year part-time kid is BS. In the audio world, NAD is consistently one of the best audio makers. Rest assured that whatever you buy from them will be quality.

    HOWEVER, I would avoid buying their dvd players. They're new at that and need to get their act together. Go for DVD players from sony, pioneer, philips, or toshiba instead.
     
  10. Pete Gia

    Pete Gia Stunt Coordinator

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    My 2-channel setup is NAD separates,and sounds excellent(to me.) NAD can do no wrong in this department IMHO.However, I would not go NAD on a DVD player. Just my $.02----Pete
     
  11. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    I have a C541, and have had no problems with it. Only one 10+ year old CD has shown any slight skipping in one place - a much better track record than my JVC DVD player!

    I think that if a dealer carries a product, but the sales people are bad mouthing it, then either:

    - they are trying to push you to something with more margin. They'll say whatever it takes to make more commission

    - the store carries the product, but the sales person doesn't trust it, due to personal experiences, or word of mouth

    In the second case, I'd trust online reviews and feedback from forums such as HTF long before a sales guy's personal opinion.

    Another point to consider: if your high end store is carrying a brand that they don't believe to be any good, what does that say for the integrity of the store?

    Martin.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Steve,

    I agree with Martin in that the dealers may be trying to sway you away from NAD because they make a smaller margin on NAD gear relative to other brands. Did any of dealers offer suggestions of what you should buy? Did you ask these dealers why they carry NAD if they can't recommend NAD products? I'd like to hear the dealer's response.


    David Norman,

    Sony does not include HDCD capability on any of its components. Some Denon and Marantz components offer HDCD decoding.
     
  13. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Rob, that could be. However, I would think that a dealer could choose which products to carry based on what he or she thinks will sell, which could be a front for a bias against a manufacturer's perceived lackluster products. I listened to some JMLab speakers at a high-end dealer yesterday. Two salesmen told me that come fall, they will no longer carry JMLab's entry-level speakers (Chorus line), but they will continue to carry the Utopia line. They said that the entry-level JMLab speakers don't sell well in comparison to the comparably priced Paradigm speakers. However, they did not bad-mouth JMLab products. In any event, it appears that JMLab will allow a dealer to carry whatever it wants. If I were a dealer, I would hate to be hijacked by a manufacturer by being forced to carry everything it produced.
     
  15. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Rob, if I were a dealer, I would try to avoid manufacturers that required me to carry everything they produce. Sometimes that can't be avoided. I'm sure there are cases where a dealer feels compelled to take the bad with the good, so to speak, because the good is the best of its class or the margins on the brand are exceptional. In the end, it's a business.
     
  17. Jonathan M

    Jonathan M Second Unit

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    Hi Steve et. al.

    I have owned a NAD 522 CD Player for around 3 years, and it started playing up around 1 year ago. It's been back to the distributor here in NZ 3 times (There at the moment) and is still not fixed. The problem is with the CD Transport - it's a Sanyo unit if I remember correctly.

    I would personally not purchase a NAD disc spinner again - their expertise is with Amps - you can trust them there, but I would be hesitant to go with them on a DVD player based on there track record with players.

    Cheers
    Jonathan
     

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