Anyone have experience with NAD

jcparks

jcparks

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#1
So a few years back I picked up a NAD 7225 stereo receiver at a garage sale. I know good amps aren't supposed to color sound, but this has been my go to amp for my near field stereo listening system and to me it sounds better then anything else I have listened to. I have experimented with a classic Marantz 2238b, an onkyo stereo amp, and most recently a Rotel Rb991. The current speakers I use are KEF LS50's, and I use them exclusively for near field stereo listening, and PC gaming when my headphones aren't on. The NAD is plugged into my PC via a Schiit Magni 3 headphone amp, which I use as preamp. I keep the NAD at around 50% power. The headphone amp is plugged into an inexpensive external DAC, which is connected directly to the optical out on my motherboard. So it goes PC => DAC => Schiit => NAD. It's a complicated set up but I do this so I can hide the NAD on a shelf below the desk as it is larger and not super attractive. The Schiit doesn't color the sound much, I noticed this as it is a recent addition added because I wanted a more more powerful headphone amp that could double as easy access volume control on my desk top.
The reason I bring this up is, ideally I would love to have an amp with a smaller foot print for my desk. I am strongly considering one of the new NAD digital amps. The D3020 v2, or possibly the D3045. These would serve a few purposes in that I could get rid of my external DAC, plug the PC in directly, potentially lose desk clutter, and get the added benefit of a simple remote. Can I assume that NAD has a sound signature, and therefore it should be relatively safe for me to invest in one of these class D desk amplifiers. Or should I not mess with something that I enjoy, and alter my desk to better fit the receiver that I am already using?
I know I can do the Amazon thing and just return it if I don't like it, but at the end of the day sometimes that is a bit of a hassle, and I have a lot going on with the kids, work, life n' such.
 
Alex2507

Alex2507

Audioholic Slumlord
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9,470 65 3
#2
I don't have anything to do and yet I still don't want to be returning stuff.

The only thing I know about NAD is that TLS calls them Not Always Dependable ... and that GO-NAD chose a super appropriate user name. I think his NAD died.

In your case, why mess with success? I've seen guys at the Parts Express forum using small digital Blue Tooth amps and they seem to be having reliability issues. I'm waiting for one brand or another to rise above the rest. The $699 price tag on the D3045 would have me starting a thread too. I doubt they designed their digital amps to sound like a rec'r from The Eighties with, what I suspect might be would be, out of spec caps.

I know it's all suppose to sound the same but it doesn't. Recently I heard a couple of different amps and a couple of different DAC's compared. Terms like thin and weak don't translate well into tech talk but what music does for me is best described in a language I don't need to speak. Sound is a little like smell, nobody is going to convince me that I'm not smelling what I'm stepping in. That sound signature that you like? Good luck trying to reproduce that with different gear. That's not to say you shouldn't try.

It's a little like the bi-wire/bi-amp threads. My take is give it a go already! Okay, since I got into the hobby I did burn up a 500' spool of speaker wire but that's the price of 'knowing'. BTW, when it comes to that, I know I don't care.

I have heard a pair of Hephaestus Amps. Their sound was a teeny tiny bit different that a very capable Aragon 4004. Totally not worth the price for me but that has more to do with me than the amps. Anyway, my thought is that I wouldn't change anything if I was happy with the sound but I always encourage others to spend their money.
 
Johnny2Bad

Johnny2Bad

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#3
The Classic NAD units are quite different from the current units but I don't think NAD is particularly reliable or un-reliable in comparison to the mass-market competitors it faced directly in the market. I used to have a store and we serviced everything we sold, the NADs didn't cram the shelf of the service department. For that matter, nothing in particular did brand-wise (although if something failed too much, we dropped the line, so we didn't have much in the way of unreliable stuff to begin with) but what would happen is a particular model might show up more than once with the same, chronic problem.

We just ordered a dozen of the suspect part and carried on. Since it was our show, we sometimes ate the repair cost of out-of-warranty stuff if we knew of a chronic problem, but that really didn't happen very much.

I don't have any personal experience with the newes gear as far as reliability goes but anecdotal evidence suggests its fine that way. I have an NAD 7125 receiver that was manufactured in the late 80's, still going strong on my test bench.
 
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GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

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2,187 8
#4
...
The only thing I know about NAD is that TLS calls them Not Always Dependable ... and that GO-NAD chose a super appropriate user name. I think his NAD died. ...
It didn't quite die. I'd had it for 3-4 years, when it suddenly started to sound like crap. It required a repair, but don't ask me what it was. It's been fine for the 5-6 years since, and it's running several hours a day, every day.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic General
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585 6 22
#5
I had a NAD T763 AVR which was their flagship model when released and I had to replace it 2 years ago when two power amps stopped functioning.

I don't know much about their newest products, but the AVRs which they made in the past were crammed with a lot of boards and there was not much space in between the components. That definitely contributed to some overheating and shortening of its life.

Another factor is that their inboard fans were not always reliable. One more point is that I know one technician who refused to repair NAD receivers because, most often to get to a part, you had to remove so many components. That complicated the repair and resulted in an increased cost of repair.

I've owned a Marantz SR5010 for 2½ years and this AVR sounds amazing and, I may be wrong, but the components don't seem to be as crammed as on the T763.

I would not go back to NAD for an AVR nor for a pre-pro. You can have good Denon, Marantz and Yamaha products which are more affordable. IMO, even if they were not as reliable as the newer NAD products, you wouldn't have wasted as much money to replace them in the future. For example, when the new Denon AV products are released, the previous year's models are heavily discounted. You will never get such a deal on NAD products.
 
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D

davidscott

Audioholic
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40
#6
I owned an original 3020 receiver back in the early 80s and later used it as a preamp tuner connected to a Kenwood Basic M1 amp. Sounded great with no problems for years. I sold everything when I moved and have since bought new equipment including a NAD 516BEE Cd player with no issues for 3 years of light use. So bottom line I have never had issues with NAD equipment. But I really haven't had many issues with most other brands. That 3020V2 does look pretty nice and gets great reviews. Just my own experience.
Dave
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
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817 8 1
#8
Had. I don't have it anymore but NOT because I didn't like it or something went wrong with it. I liked it a LOT, and used it with the analog output of my PC while streaming Tidal HiFi through their desktop app. I really appreciated the big volume knob, and how the otherwise hidden scale would scroll up through the numbers. Changing inputs was easy too, when I need that. The sound quality as compared to the Pyle (of crap) amp it replaced was stellar. One of my favorite features was it's thin, low-space-occupying vertical form factor.

I traded up to a Bluesound Powernode 2 for my desktop system because I missed the fluid way the BluOS app handled the Tidal HiFi and my own library sitting on a Bluesound Vault 2 elsewhere in my home network.

I do have an NAD T758 receiver that has NOT disappointed me. It was bought as a "factory refurbished" in November 2015 and had been upgraded once to add the 4K VM130 video module and the BluOS kit (which also adds wireless.) This coming weekend I drop it off to my preferred dealer (not the one where it was bought) to add the final upgrade AM230 audio module to give ATMOS and Dirac Live capability. That makes it the same as a current NAD T758v3, and though my final cost is about $200 more than one of those, I've been enjoying it for 3 years so the cost is already amortized.
 
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jcparks

jcparks

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#9
Thanks for the advice guys... I think I may have to get the saw out tomorrow to make some desk mods. Maybe I was just looking for the excuse to buy something. I am actually coming up on 1 year no audio purchases. I think I will just have to continue my streak for right now. It is almost weird being satisfied with what you have... Maybe I'll buy a convertable or something

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
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#10
I do believe you'd be VERY happy with either the D3020v2 or D3045. The Bluesound Powernode 2 that I use on my desktop with my LS50's probably has the same amp in it and it sounds fantastic.

If you don't listen loud and don't need the DSD that the D3045 can do, the D3020 or v2 version would suffice.
 
jcparks

jcparks

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#11
actually I may order that blue sound right now... Bestbuy has it on clearance for $439 and my NAD lit on fire two days ago. I was considering the PS audio Sprout 100 but this may be the ticket. I'm just wondering how good the headphone amp on it is.
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

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#15
Yes, and it's great for that too. Sometimes I'm working in my office late and use the headphone output to my $59.99 KEF M500 headphones (Newegg.com special) and it's fantastic.

I took my Powernode 2 "on the road" for a local Audiokarma event, along with the LS50's they feed here in my office. People were shocked about what came out of that little black box and two unconventional-looking speakers, and it was a BIG room to fill.
 
M Code

M Code

Audioholic Chief
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#17
The challenge today for NAD is that they don't own any factory, so they outsource the majority of their products leaving the development/engineering up to each assembling factory. This may be good in certain cases and bad in others as each factory has different management, development expertise, quality control. 10 years back or so all of the NAD products were all built in 1 factory in Nanjing, China. The China factory is very unique and builds a wide range of products including wireless for many, many brands but their weakness is limited experience with AVRs especially for the latest audio & video technologies. So now NAD sources most of its AVRs from a factory in Vietnam, the same one that has built for Marantz, Harman/Kardon, Anthem.

Just my $0.02... ;)
 
D

davidscott

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#18
The challenge today for NAD is that they don't own any factory, so they outsource the majority of their products leaving the development/engineering up to each assembling factory. This may be good in certain cases and bad in others as each factory has different management, development expertise, quality control. 10 years back or so all of the NAD products were all built in 1 factory in Nanjing, China. The China factory is very unique and builds a wide range of products including wireless for many, many brands but their weakness is limited experience with AVRs especially for the latest audio & video technologies. So now NAD sources most of its AVRs from a factory in Vietnam, the same one that has built for Marantz, Harman/Kardon, Anthem.

Just my $0.02... ;)
Interesting. I wonder if my 2013 NAD CD player was made there. I've had no problems with it and it does sound better than some of the older cd players I have owned. Anyway thanks for the info
 
M Code

M Code

Audioholic Chief
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#19
Interesting. I wonder if my 2013 NAD CD player was made there. I've had no problems with it and it does sound better than some of the older cd players I have owned. Anyway thanks for the info
As mentioned above, NAD sources the majority of their products from various factories, so that their product are typically based on an existing platform. And then that factory will tool another front panel ID for NAD but all of the internals remain the same... What many people are unaware of is the significant investment required by the brand to have its own unique tooling/circuitry.. These costs can run as high as $5 million for an AVR or media player...... o_Oo_O

So tieing in to an existing platform is the only viable way, as most of the CE brands don't have deep pockets..

Just my $0.02... ;)
 
D

davidscott

Audioholic
Ratings
40
#20
As mentioned above, NAD sources the majority of their products from various factories, so that their product are typically based on an existing platform. And then that factory will tool another front panel ID for NAD but all of the internals remain the same... What many people are unaware of is the significant investment required by the brand to have its own unique tooling/circuitry.. These costs can run as high as $5 million for an AVR or media player...... o_Oo_O

So tieing in to an existing platform is the only viable way, as most of the CE brands don't have deep pockets..

Just my $0.02... ;)
Thanks again
 

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