Debating switching from Yamaha to NAD

Phase 2

Phase 2

Audioholic Chief
Recently got a refurbished A2070 through A4L. Debating switching to a refurb NAD T758 v3, mainly for Dirac Live as I have a challenging room and don't really have the ability to do much about positioning and treatments (it's the main living room).

I hear mixed things about NAD reliability. How bad is it really? So far the Yammie has been rock solid.
NAD is good gear. What are you look to achieve by switching from Yamaha to a NAD AVR? Room correction? Autocorrect? or are you wanting control of your room environment.? As for sound quality both units will achieve the same sound quality. You haven't mentioned in your original post what speakers you are using sub or even if you have room treatments. If your looking to get more sound quality with auto correction from either unit both will do a pretty good job. But if your looking to sell off your Yamaha A2070 to go after that NAD unit, hit me up with a inbox, I may be interested in taking it off your hands if the price is right.
 
Montucky

Montucky

Full Audioholic
In case you haven't seen it, this could be helpful:


Gene's also done more than one video about dialing in systems in less than ideal rooms. In fact, his primary HT room is REALLY dimensionally funky and he's been able to overcome the difficulties in there pretty nicely.
 
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sakete

Audioholic
NAD is good gear. What are you look to achieve by switching from Yamaha to a NAD AVR? Room correction? Autocorrect? or are you wanting control of your room environment.? As for sound quality both units will achieve the same sound quality. You haven't mentioned in your original post what speakers you are using sub or even if you have room treatments. If your looking to get more sound quality with auto correction from either unit both will do a pretty good job. But if your looking to sell off your Yamaha A2070 to go after that NAD unit, hit me up with a inbox, I may be interested in taking it off your hands if the price is right.
I'm mainly looking to achieve better room correction with Dirac, if I were to switch, as the room I'm in won't allow for any treatments (main living room, my wife wouldn't approve). I'm less sure at this point if I'm still going to switch and will first take some measurements with REW over the weekend to see if I can get a good enough response out of the Yamaha with some manual tweaking.

If I can, I'll keep the Yammie, if I can't, I'll switch.

PS. I tried sending you a direct message, but got the error that I can't message you?
 
Montucky

Montucky

Full Audioholic
I'm mainly looking to achieve better room correction with Dirac, if I were to switch, as the room I'm in won't allow for any treatments (main living room, my wife wouldn't approve).
I totally get where you're coming from, BUT do be aware that while room correction can help a LOT, often times it can only get you so far. If you're completely unable to address the room itself, then just know that room correction, even Dirac will have its limits.

Don't get me wrong. It's totally worth a shot to see what you can pull off with processing. You could end up totally satisfied. You could also end up not quite happy, though. Always amazing the improvements that can be achieved with simple things like moving the couch a hair, adding a rug, curtains, toeing in/out speakers, moving a sub a bit, etc. We've all seen substantial improvements made by the physical aspects of the room. Digitally "treating" a room gets you those last few increments of improvement IMO. I know you understand this already so sorry if I'm preaching to the choir. I just don't want you getting false hopes in case you're not happy with Dirac either. Either way, GO FOR IT! See what happens! I'm all for experimenting. :)
 
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sakete

Audioholic
I totally get where you're coming from, BUT do be aware that while room correction can help a LOT, often times it can only get you so far. If you're completely unable to address the room itself, then just know that room correction, even Dirac will have its limits.

Don't get me wrong. It's totally worth a shot to see what you can pull off with processing. You could end up totally satisfied. You could also end up not quite happy, though. Always amazing the improvements that can be achieved with simple things like moving the couch a hair, adding a rug, curtains, toeing in/out speakers, moving a sub a bit, etc. We've all seen substantial improvements made by the physical aspects of the room. Digitally "treating" a room gets you those last few increments of improvement IMO. I know you understand this already so sorry if I'm preaching to the choir. I just don't want you getting false hopes in case you're not happy with Dirac either. Either way, GO FOR IT! See what happens! I'm all for experimenting. :)
Yep, I hear you and I know it won't be a night/day difference using different room correction software. That's why I also ordered a UMIK-1 and will try some tweaking over the weekend using REW to see if I can get the Yamaha to sound better using the Manual PEQ. And maybe I'll move the couch forward an inch or two, as it's pretty close to the wall right now, that could also help. Otherwise no sub yet, currently a 2ch setup, with one of the speakers in a corner, the other one quite open. Far from ideal, but the only way to place them in my living room. Eventually I'll add a sub, but it's not super high priority right now.
 
Phase 2

Phase 2

Audioholic Chief
I'm mainly looking to achieve better room correction with Dirac, if I were to switch, as the room I'm in won't allow for any treatments (main living room, my wife wouldn't approve). I'm less sure at this point if I'm still going to switch and will first take some measurements with REW over the weekend to see if I can get a good enough response out of the Yamaha with some manual tweaking.

If I can, I'll keep the Yammie, if I can't, I'll switch.

PS. I tried sending you a direct message, but got the error that I can't message you?
Yeah, wife's kinda like to think the living room is a shared domain. There are some very nice "room treatments" that can be blended into the room, like fabric of different colors, some you can make yourself. Bass traps, can be placed in the corner where the sub maybe, or right behind your speakers if you have tower speakers. Bookshelf speakers you may have to move the room treatment up the wall some. Now depending if your an Atmos guy, you may even have to put a couple on the ceiling depending on what type of ceiling you have. I believe if you combine some room treatments, with your A2070 do some tweeting with Yamaha's manual EQ settings you may find the results come out pretty good after you do your auto correction. Once you have room treatments up. Without proper room treatments you'll likely get reflective sound bouncing all over the place. That's not including bass cancellation between your Sub or Subs with main speakers. I didn't read the whole thread that you started. So the tips and advice you've gotten already may be useful.
 
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aarodynamics

aarodynamics

Enthusiast
Just wanted to add that I upgraded from a Yamaha to a Marantz receiver when I made the jump to Atmos. I went with Denon/Marantz because I found MultEQ XT32 to be significantly better than YPAO.

With that said, I recently tried some NAD products have been completely floored by how much better they sound that any of the Yamaha, Denon, and Marantz stuff I've used in the past. It's no contest even without considering room correction... the NAD is just so much clearer and smoother. It was game over once I ran Dirac though... it shocks me that people aren't discussing this disparity in sound quality.

My only problem is that the NAD stuff doesn't do multi-sub correction, but I've solved that in my own situation by using a miniDSP between my processor and subs. The miniDSP corrects timing/etc and then Dirac on the NAD sees both subs as a single unit.
 
M Code

M Code

Audioholic General
The strength of Yamaha products & AVRs are typically excellent reliability and good HDMI/HDCP capability between HDMI components... Here the NAD products are not a fair match...
IMHO.. The crucial points are really down to what features do U require... Don't get sucked into thinking a single feature is the answer to having good audio & video performance....

Just my $0.02... ;)
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
It was game over once I ran Dirac though... it shocks me that people aren't discussing this disparity in sound quality.
And it shocks other people that you feel that way.

The only disparity is how people differ in their opinions everywhere.

Everyone says they’re right and everyone else is wrong or don’t know what they’re talking about.

Some people say Dirac is great, sone say it doesn’t sound any better than placebo. It’s the same with any room EQ.

Some say Yamaha sounds best, some say Marantz/Denon sounds Best, some say NAD or Anthem or something else sounds best.

The disparity of the hearsay is all over creation.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I just don't want you getting false hopes in case you're not happy with Dirac either. Either way, GO FOR IT! See what happens! I'm all for experimenting. :)
Yeah, it sounds a bit selfish, but in a way, I’m kind of hoping he also tries the NAD/Dirac and sees what happens. :D
 
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PENG

Audioholic Overlord
it shocks me that people aren't discussing this disparity in sound quality.
And you wonder why not too many people are shocked, including some who switched from NAD to other brands..
For me, if NAD has such a magic bullet with or without Dirac's help, I would pay double what I paid for me D&M equivalents for one.:D:D I do have on NAD amp, love it because it sounds as good as my other amps that cost 6 to 10X more, just less powerful. AVRs? No thanks..no wonder people say ymmv...
 
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sakete

Audioholic
Just wanted to add that I upgraded from a Yamaha to a Marantz receiver when I made the jump to Atmos. I went with Denon/Marantz because I found MultEQ XT32 to be significantly better than YPAO.

With that said, I recently tried some NAD products have been completely floored by how much better they sound that any of the Yamaha, Denon, and Marantz stuff I've used in the past. It's no contest even without considering room correction... the NAD is just so much clearer and smoother. It was game over once I ran Dirac though... it shocks me that people aren't discussing this disparity in sound quality.

My only problem is that the NAD stuff doesn't do multi-sub correction, but I've solved that in my own situation by using a miniDSP between my processor and subs. The miniDSP corrects timing/etc and then Dirac on the NAD sees both subs as a single unit.
So did you do a direct side by side comparison, volume matched and everything else being equal? A slight difference in volume can very easily be mistaken for perceived better/worse detail, clarity, etc. And if you didn't do a direct side by side, auditory memory is reliable for a couple minutes at best.

I'm not discounting your experience or opinion, and appreciate you sharing, but I've learned to be wary when someone says OMG it's a world of difference, blows it away, etc., particularly when it comes to amps and receivers. When you're talking about speakers I might buy it as speakers can vary wildly. But amps, unless just really terribly designed, shouldn't sound all that different and any audible differences will be subtle at best.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
So did you do a direct side by side comparison, volume matched and everything else being equal? A slight difference in volume can very easily be mistaken for perceived better/worse detail, clarity, etc. And if you didn't do a direct side by side, auditory memory is reliable for a couple minutes at best.

I'm not discounting your experience or opinion, and appreciate you sharing, but I've learned to be wary when someone says OMG it's a world of difference, blows it away, etc., particularly when it comes to amps and receivers. When you're talking about speakers I might buy it as speakers can vary wildly. But amps, unless just really terribly designed, shouldn't sound all that different and any audible differences will be subtle at best.
This is where the disagreement starts.

Some people believe that ALL AMPS and ALL Preamps and All Pre-pros and all AVRs sound different. Nothing you can say or show will change their minds. It may not be different for "you", but it is different for "them".

Even if you show them a million REW FR graphs, it's always about the SOUND, not the graphs.

I can't blame them. Because my goal with REW is to get a flat bass response first. Then boost the bass to look like a Volcano anyway. :D
 
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PENG

Audioholic Overlord
So did you do a direct side by side comparison, volume matched and everything else being equal? A slight difference in volume can very easily be mistaken for perceived better/worse detail, clarity, etc. And if you didn't do a direct side by side, auditory memory is reliable for a couple minutes at best.

I'm not discounting your experience or opinion, and appreciate you sharing, but I've learned to be wary when someone says OMG it's a world of difference, blows it away, etc., particularly when it comes to amps and receivers. When you're talking about speakers I might buy it as speakers can vary wildly. But amps, unless just really terribly designed, shouldn't sound all that different and any audible differences will be subtle at best.
I would go further, to say that even if everything is done "properly" to do such AB compare, expectation bias will likely still play a strong role. That's why SBT/DBT would naturally be more convincing.

If you end up using REW, plot a FR graph from you mlp, one speaker at a time with no EQ, no DSP, then leave everything exactly the same including the mic position, but simply switch to a different AVR, amp or preamp but make sure you volume match first before doing another sweep. I guarantee you will see the two FR graph look very much the same, like overlapping on top of one another if you apply even just 1/48 smoothing so your eyes can see better. Now move the mic 6 inches in any direction, sweep again and you will see a very different picture. What would that tell you? You'll be the judge.. I have done such experiments using my different speakers, avrs, prepros, preamps, and amps so I know the pictures.:D

@AcuDefTechGuy, do bad you are not as crazy as I am, but I do wish you would do some of such experiment because like me, you are at least crazy enough to have owned, and I assume still own quite a few avr, prepro, amps etc., so you are well equipped to do it. RichB done it and he did find some difference between his ATI class D vs AB amps iirc but I can't remember the reason(s) for that.
 
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PENG

Audioholic Overlord
This is where the disagreement starts.

Some people believe that ALL AMPS and ALL Preamps and All Pre-pros and all AVRs sound different. Nothing you can say or show will change their minds. It may not be different for "you", but it is different for "them".
Exactly, what complicate things is that they could, and often sound different. It is the reasons behind such perceived differences that caused so much disagreement and often passionate debates, and/or some enthusiasts relentless pursuance of different electronics for the magic bullet, instead of focusing on the more easily acquired high quality contents and better speakers as well as room treatment.
 
Montucky

Montucky

Full Audioholic
So did you do a direct side by side comparison, volume matched and everything else being equal? A slight difference in volume can very easily be mistaken for perceived better/worse detail, clarity, etc. And if you didn't do a direct side by side, auditory memory is reliable for a couple minutes at best.

I'm not discounting your experience or opinion, and appreciate you sharing, but I've learned to be wary when someone says OMG it's a world of difference, blows it away, etc., particularly when it comes to amps and receivers. When you're talking about speakers I might buy it as speakers can vary wildly. But amps, unless just really terribly designed, shouldn't sound all that different and any audible differences will be subtle at best.
Yup. And one thing I've learned is that while amps can DEFINITELY sound wildly different straight out of the box and with varying versions of room correction (ie YPAO vs Dirac vs Audyssey), if you take the time to manually EQ everything and get it all dial in, many of those differences start to shrink.

I've achieved fabulous results even from brands or models I wasn't too fond of thanks to monkeying around with settings, the room, speaker position, etc.

It's a bit like TVs. Right out of the box, some brands look fantastic and some look like garbage, but take the time to dial in each color, adjust motion settings, etc., and you can achieve passable results from even the worst brands or even handicap some of the best ones.

What do they say? Sometimes it's the Indian not the arrow.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I would go further, to say that even if everything is done "properly" to do such AB compare, expectation bias will likely still play a strong role. That's why SBT/DBT would naturally be more convincing.

If you end up using REW, plot a FR graph from you mlp, one speaker at a time with no EQ, no DSP, then leave everything exactly the same including the mic position, but simply switch to a different AVR, amp or preamp but make sure you volume match first before doing another sweep. I guarantee you will see the two FR graph look very much the same, like overlapping on top of one another if you apply even just 1/48 smoothing so your eyes can see better. Now move the mic 6 inches in any direction, sweep again and you will see a very different picture. What would that tell you? You'll be the judge.. I have done such experiments using my different speakers, avrs, prepros, preamps, and amps so I know the pictures.:D

@AcuDefTechGuy, do bad you are not as crazy as I am, but I do wish you would do some of such experiment because like me, you are at least crazy enough to have owned, and I assume still own quite a few avr, prepro, amps etc., so you are well equipped to do it. RichB done it and he did find some difference between his ATI class D vs AB amps iirc but I can't remember the reason(s) for that.
It’s impossible to get 100% identical graphs. Even if the graphs are extremely similar, they will say there is a “difference” in sound since the graphs are not 100% identical. :D

In the end, we’re preaching to the choir. And those who disagree will always disagree regardless.
 
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PENG

Audioholic Overlord
It’s impossible to get 100% identical graphs. Even if the graphs are extremely similar, they will say there is a “difference” in sound since the graphs are not 100% identical. :D

In the end, we’re preaching to the choir. And those who disagree will always disagree regardless.
Your are right, I have never seen them identical, unless you apply 1/12 smoothing. At 1/12 smoothing, you cannot really tell which is which. In any case, the differences between the two sweeps for two different amps will look the same as repeating two or more sweeps using the same amp, margin of error, repeatability etc., is one of many reasons. In other words, whether you swap out the amp or not, consecutive sweeps will never be identical, unless 1/12 (well, may be 1/24) smoothing is applied, but even with no smoothing, they do look very very close.

My point is, such an experiment will show different amps (I mean good amps like mine) do not change the FR of the same speaker. Those who disagree will always disagree, but those who are curious and are open minded, could be convinced one way or another if they see some evidence that makes sense to them. But then, as I did say, you'll be the judge, and of course the saying ymmv applies too.

Here's just one example:

Parasound A21 vs QSC RMX850a, can you tell which one is the C$300 RMX 850a? And it was 1/48 smoothing. You are going to have hard time telling even JA, that normal human need such high resolution. Most will tell you 1/12 is more than enough.

A21VsQSCRMX850a.jpg
 
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sakete

Audioholic
Man, it's not easy figuring out REW and how to take correct measurements. But I have my UMIK and a boom stand, so I'll see if tomorrow I can take some measurements. Only issue will be getting the house perfectly quiet as I have a baby here. Also, apparently it's recommended to run the freq sweeps at 40dB above the noise floor, so that'd be 80-90dB. That's really loud, definitely can't do that late at night when everyone's asleep.

Otherwise, yesterday I picked up the Revel F206, which I got in exchange for the F36 that I got earlier as I had a nagging feeling I'd regret not going for the better speaker. I'm not exactly sure why, but the F206 sounds quite a bit better in my room than the F36. Maybe it's the F206 being front ported vs the F36 rear ported (need to have them pretty close to the front wall, and the right speaker is in a corner). After running YPAO, copying YPAO Flat to manual PEQ, and removing all EQ above 400hz, the difference in bass response between manual PEQ and no EQ is not as big as it was with the F36. No EQ there's just a touch of boominess very down low, which is evened out with manual PEQ, which sounds quite good.

This makes me hopeful that with REW, I should actually be able to get a decently flat response on the Yamaha using just 4 filters. As in the end I'd rather keep the Yamaha if I can make it all work and save myself a bunch of money in the process :D

Lastly, when I demoed both the F36 and F206 side by side at the dealer, I played this song I like (Kyomizu-Dera by Matthew Halsall and the Gondwana Orchestra), and there's this instrument, I think it's like one of those brushes that's moving over a drum, sort of like a rustling sound. During the demo, that sound came through very clear even though it's more in the background (I think it's mainly reproduced by the tweeter). Here at home I can barely hear it. Not sure why. Could this be the case that with a better amp it would have more presence? I think the dealer was driving the speakers through some pretty high end Mark Levinson stuff. Could it be the room? The dealer had a nearly perfect room with all kinds of treatments.
 
aarodynamics

aarodynamics

Enthusiast
So did you do a direct side by side comparison, volume matched and everything else being equal? A slight difference in volume can very easily be mistaken for perceived better/worse detail, clarity, etc. And if you didn't do a direct side by side, auditory memory is reliable for a couple minutes at best.
I'm not discounting your experience or opinion, and appreciate you sharing, but I've learned to be wary when someone says OMG it's a world of difference, blows it away, etc., particularly when it comes to amps and receivers. When you're talking about speakers I might buy it as speakers can vary wildly. But amps, unless just really terribly designed, shouldn't sound all that different and any audible differences will be subtle at best.
I did do an A/B comparison as well as I could. I had both my Marantz and my NAD powered on and I had my better half move the XLR cables back and forth between the two processors. I used an SPL meter to ensure that the levels were equal. I did this for her and she did it for me. We did this with room correction both enabled and disabled.

We didn't share our opinions until we finished testing, but we both subjectively agreed in every way that the NAD sounded better. More separation in instruments, better imaging, clearer and more realistic vocals.

If you don't believe me, check out the Audioholics 2019 Processor comparison YouTube video starting at this time stamp where Shane's experiences echo mine:

The HDMI issue Shane mentioned has since been resolved by NAD in the latest firmware update (in my testing at least).
 
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