Sounding out HK vs Nad

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff.bart, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. Jeff.bart

    Jeff.bart Stunt Coordinator

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    At this point, I've narrowed my AVR choices to Harmon Kardon's new AVR-525 and Nad's T752 (with the Denon 3803 close behind). Yet it's hard to compare the sound of the two. I was wondering if anyone here has experience listening to the latest by both?

    I love the sound of the Nad, which I've listened to a lot. Several dealers told me the company has ironed out design and quality-control problems it had with the previous line, but the Nad isn't exactly laden with features. The T752 is a 5-channel AVR weighing 36 pounds.

    The HK's I've listend to in Circuit City, but it's hard to get a good read on its sound with the crummy speakers they are hooked up to. I've heard some early glowing reports on the sound of the HK, which some like better than any comparable receiver. It's a hefty 44 pounds, with 7 discrete amps (I would use the back ones for a separate room). The HK is also quite feature laden. From what I can tell, it's sound is sort of in between the quality of its flagship 8000 and its earlier 520.

    Any thoughts from knowledgeable folks here on the similarities/differences between topline HKs and NADs?
     
  2. Jack_Geo

    Jack_Geo Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff:

    Great post...I'm wondering the same thing myself. I've pretty much narrowed my choices down to the 525, 3803, and either the 752 or 762 from NAD.

    If anyone has heard the 752, and done any comparisons, their input would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!

    Jack
     
  3. Josey M

    Josey M Agent

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  4. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    I am a big fan of both brands. While NAD is considered more 'musical' or 'true audio' by the faithful than other brands, the lack of comparable features is a handicap. Personally, I prefer H/K and would opt for the 525. The only glaring change from the previous series is the lack of Main-ins but the (now) 7 channels of quality H/K amping more than compensate. Adding in the benefits of Logic-7, even if only for 2 channel sources, is the icing on the cake.

    BTW, in a very timely manner, Dec. issue of Sound & Vision has a review on the 752 by Daniel Kumin. As with H/K, he found the 752 to be conservatively rated delivering [email protected] Ohms at clipping. Digital inputs were slightly noisy, the fan was "far from silent" and there's no standby/off button on the front panel...only the remote. Everything else he really liked, especially the sound quality.

    Should be on the stands soon. Good Luck.
     
  5. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    For those of you interested in the NAD T752. I recently tried it as a prepro for my AMC amps and absolutely loved it for music but HT was a different story. Also the Quality control issues are still present. My unit had at least 4 faulty things that I can think of. Volume control ticking, Faulty DSP which would not go in Matrix 6.1/7.1, a bad preout for Surround right channel, etc. Just thought I'd give you guys a headds up. [​IMG]
     
  6. Shane Yates

    Shane Yates Stunt Coordinator

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    I am a little reluctant to post opinions on this site about preferences between sound quality and subtle differences in HT gear, but I just recently made the move from the HK 520 to the NAD 752 so I feel qualified enough to post a somewhat meaningful response. I think my move was definately an upgrade in both processing and "sound quality" I actually think that the 752 easily conquers the 520 for music and HT, IMO a night and day difference. I loved the HK sound, it had tons of clean power, but compared to the 752 something is definately missing from the HK. The NAD seems to have even more clean power, and definately a more involving soundstage for music and HT. I have'nt had a chance to listen to the new HK 525 so I can't compare with that one, so keep that in mind. There is just something about NAD sound that I love. I just upgraded my speakers from the PSB Image line to the Stratus line, and that made my 752 sound even better(imagine that). As far as features go, the NAD has plenty of them, more than I ever thought. I would go as far to say that the NAD is feature packed. I am fully converted from an HK lover to a NAD lover. IMO NAD HT is awesome!! Definatley worth a look for anybody in the $750-1500 receiver range. Just my opinion though.

    Shane
     
  7. Shane Yates

    Shane Yates Stunt Coordinator

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    Nick has made a point I forgot to mention, I was definately a little hesitant about NAD quality control. I also have experienced a few "glitches" with my T752, it has locked up on me twice when switching sources when I first got it, but since has had no problems. I am optimistic though that it will be reliable because it is a great receiver.
     
  8. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Shane, I completely agree with you about the NAD752 for music although HT is debatable. Anyway, I was told that the early production units had some QC issues and if you are within an easy exchange period then you should get a newer 752 IMHO. Nothing like peace of mind and not worrying about when the unit will lock up next. [​IMG]
     
  9. Jeff.bart

    Jeff.bart Stunt Coordinator

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    What is this lack of main ins I've heard about with the HK525? I've read the manual. Looks to have everythin the 520 had and more. What am I missing? And does the Nad have these main-ins?
     
  10. Shane Yates

    Shane Yates Stunt Coordinator

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    Nick, I'm curious what your thoughts are on the T752's "debatable" HT performance. Also, what speakers do you use?
     
  11. Jeff.bart

    Jeff.bart Stunt Coordinator

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    Paul, Shane and Nick, do you notice any big differences between the Logic 7 program of HK and the Ears program of Nad? What I read about Logic 7 makes it sound like an exceedingly compelling feature.

    When I did my tests of AVRS, the NAD was the only one that truly stood out for me in terms of musical sound. The HKs have a great rep for sound too, which is why I ask. It looks real attractive with its size and (44 lbs compared to 36 for the NAD) and its features. If not, I would have just gone ahead with the Nad.
     
  12. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Hi Jeff,

    The Main Inputs allow for the receiver amps to be used separately from the processing. When you bought a 5 series you got an independent 5 channel amp and a receiver in one package. Now with 7 channels in the 525 I figure H/K has seen the real world usefulness of this feature diminish. So while pre-outs remain for a power upgrade path...the main-ins are gone. The 525 is now just another all-in-one receiver like most of the competition...although an incredibly capable one.

    As to the EARS vs Logic 7 I have to admit that my preference has always been for L-7. Perhaps my ears are biased beyond hope in that I do own quite a bit of H/K.
     
  13. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Shane, what I meant was the Ht preformance on the NAD was not as sharp as the others I had it running against. Nothing wrong with HT performance on the NAD, I just thought the Denon 2802 did a better job.
    Jeff, I really liked the EARS feature but I haven't heard Logic 7 yet do I can't compare the two.
    Also the NAD got hot as hell and I was not even using the NAD's internal amps. The 2802 on the other hand runs absolutely cool.
     
  14. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Nick,
    i just bought the 752 last month- how do i know if its an early model or late model?

    on the question of NAD vs. HK, i got to demo a 520 next to a 761 at home for a weekend.
    the testing was hobbled by the fact that one of the NADs front channels went out ?!
    even so, listening to what channels were working, it was easy to see that the NAD just sounded better w/ whatever i threw at it- music, movies, whatever.
    in fact, it sounded so much better, that i didn't heed the obvious quality control concerns and went ahead and ordered the 752 and just hoped that they got their $h*t together.

    i haven't compared the 752 to any others directly, so i can't comment on it comparitively.
    it SEEMS to offer the same clarity , musicality, and dimensionality that i heard in the 761.
    i think it works just fine for HT-no complaints.
    i would much rather skew my audio gear towards music, even though i watch movies more-i figure since there is video, that dominates most of my attention anyway, with music though, its just one sense, and in that case it should be the best it can be.

    the fan is not very silent, but i've only noticed it about 4 times since i've had the unit (more than 50 hrs of use).
    i love the remote.
    for me its pretty much feature packed.
    i can't think of anything else i would want or need.
     
  15. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Paul, I had a box that said "Cathay Pacific" on that which according to my dealer meant that they shipped off the initial batches "by air" to make the delivery on time. I hope the unit you get will be free of all defects and work flawlessly. [​IMG]
     
  16. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    With Recievers of this quality you should hear little if any difference in sound quality. Maybe one or the other likes certain speaker loads better that may affect the sound.
    Really what it boils down to is Features and personal preferances.
    Both are good quality, I have noticed that NADs clipp harder, dont know if the model you are discussing has "soft clipping" like some seperate NAD amps, if so use it. . .
     
  17. GeorgeTW

    GeorgeTW Stunt Coordinator

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    I didn't know NAD went into the HT business, but the last posts which mention heat & clipping remind me of these exact problems in a pair of NAD 2600 amps from a decade ago. Their 'soft clipping' circuit didn't prevent them from killing my mains and my sub.
    I had owned a pre-amp/power amp rig by Hafler. It sounded good, but was low watts. I fell for the Headroom Hype, and switched over to NAD amps. Both my JBL and Mission speakers received spiked voice coils, more than once.
    This was a decade ago, so you can understand why the mention of clipping/heat associated with NAD is not good news to me.
     
  18. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    I too fried some good drivers using NADs 1600THX (I think that is the model) about 6 years ago, with soft-clip on, it only takes an instant, without soft-clip it will get your ear drums as well.
    I was just at the NAD site and they do talk about their "Soft-Clip" feature on todays gear, I did not read in detail. My only suggestion is make sure you have plenty of RMS power, dont think the "Extended Headroom" will do much because you only have it very briefly. NAD sounds great just be sure to do the math, too much power seldom hurts drivers, too little . . . .With the range of todays CDs and DVDs be careful. I am probally preaching to the choir but I havn't heard much about clipping in this forum.
     
  19. PeterCB

    PeterCB Agent

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    Are there any AVR-525 owners out there who can comment on its fan noise level? Does the fan come on at all at normal listening levels?
     
  20. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    I tried another NAD T752 receiver and not only did it freeze on me again but the fan noise was simply very annoying. I listen to music mostly in the night when the wife and kid are sleeping. At lower volume levels I could clearly hear the fan almost humming it's own tune.
    I am now trying the DA4ES as a prepro and so far it has not let me down. It gives me enogh tweeking capabilities to make the movies and music sound just reight through my AMC amps. [​IMG]
    I heard the HK525 at my dealer's and liked it too but as a prepro, I'd take the 4ES so far because of it's endless capabilities.
     

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