Today's AV receiver is a hot mess of connection options, features and codecs that many, even the most savvy of us all, are likely to never use, yet we pay for them. What if there was a receiver out there that gave you precisely what you needed and nothing you didn't - would you be interested? Well that's where the NAD
T 748 comes in, for at $899 retail it is the anti-AV receiver in many respects in that it puts performance ahead of features, which is no doubt why, when you look at its spec sheet, it's a bit light in that regard.
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The T 748 has an elegant and tailored appearance, one that is virtually void of hard controls and/or third party logos, which makes it look decidedly up market. It other words, the T 748 is like an Aston Martin to the Japanese Nissan GT-R. Around back you'll find four 3D compatible
HDMI inputs as well as a single HDMI monitor out. There are four digital audio inputs, two coaxial and two optical as well as three analog audio inputs, which are mated to legacy video inputs. There are two composite video inputs along with both an S-Video and component video input. There's RS-232 support as well as a data port dock and an IR input located below the T 748's analog AV section. Next to the T 748's seven, five-way binding posts rest a full compliment of preamp outputs meaning it (the T 748) can be used as an AV preamp by adding an outboard two-channel
or multi-channel amplifier
. Based on its asking price of $899 and the inclusion of 7.1 preamp outs, the T 748 makes a strong proposition for using it as the centerpiece of a modest, but high-performing separates-based home theater.
Under the hood the T 748 boasts a two-channel power output rating of 80-Watts per channel and a multi-channel performance of 40-Watts per, and while that may sound a little light, those numbers are full disclosure, all channels driven simultaneously power figures, something most AV receivers don't show you. The T 748's dynamic power capabilities are a bit more impressive at 110 Watts into eight Ohms and 160 Watts into four, though no dynamic rating is given for all seven channels. The T 748 is 3D-ready and also features 3D's audio return channel capability. Legacy sources are transcoded to HDMI though they are not upscaled or processed in any way other than to send them through a single connector, HDMI, to reduce clutter. As far as surround sound codecs, the T 748 can play 'em all including Dolby TrueHD
and DTS-HD Master Audio
In terms of sound, it's clear where the T 748's focus is for it is among the more musical sounding AV receivers I've ever heard. I'm not suggesting it can't do home theater, for it can - just be sure to use fairly efficient loudspeakers and/or install it in a small to medium sized room. Setup and day to day livability couldn't be easier, making it one of the more novice-friendly home theater products out there, though its sound and performance are anything but, for it sounds decidedly more high end than many AV receivers
in its price range. For more power, mate the T 748 to an outboard multi-channel amp and watch its performance soar to new levels. Allowing for outboard amplification makes the T 748 a better investment than others in its class without preamp outputs, for it gives the consumer a clear upgrade path. As for its lack of features, chances are other components in your home theater system will more than make up for it, for the T 748 is focused on giving you the best two-channel and surround sound performance you're likely to experience for under a grand in an AV receiver. Read about the high points and low points of the NAD T 748 AV receiver on Page 2.