There are your big-box mass-produced receivers; then there's NAD. NAD started off as an affordable audiophile solution that carved a niche for itself somewhere in between the high-end boutique brands of the day and the growing number of mass-market manufacturers that emerged in the early 70's. Early on, NAD gained a reputation for their no-nonsense approach to designing and building gear, an approach that remains to this day, which has resulted in some of the most reliable and beloved audiophile products of all time.
With the boom of the home theater market in the nineties, NAD began making home theater receivers and DVD players that were always a notch above the competition sonically and in quality, yet always seemed a generation behind when it came to features. Well that was then...this is now: introducing the NAD T 747 A/V surround sound receiver. The T 747 retails for $1,299 and is a true seven-channel receiver boasting 60 Watts across all of its seven channels. I know what you're thinking: 60 Watts seems a bit low. Before you write off the T 747's modest power, keep in mind that many manufacturers arrive at their inflated power rankings by a bit of electronic slight of hand, a trick that looks good on paper yet in practice has found many 100-Watt claims to actually be 45-Watt realities. So when NAD says the T 747 is rated at 60-Watts continuous you know it's a real number. Now, if you're listening to music or watching TV in stereo, then the T 747's power output rises to 110 Watts. While higher power ratings are sexy and more power usually means better quality, I assure you, I'd take less power from NAD than more from anyone else.
Aside from the T 747's power output, it plays host to a variety of modern features aimed at the home theater enthusiast. For starters the T 747 has four HDMI inputs with Repeater Function, meaning once the audio/video signal hits the T 747's internal circuitry the two are split and only the video is sent to the display via the monitor outputs ensuring a clearer signal. All legacy video signals are upconverted to 1080p via the T 747's internal Faroudja DCDi processor and sent to your display via its HDMI monitor out. The T 747 can also decode and play back, via its HDMI connections, the latest uncompressed surround sound formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio as well as all previous incarnations of the two surround sound formats. The T 747 even features NAD's own EARS surround, Enhanced Stereo and Dolby Virtual surround modes all geared toward pulling the best sonic performance from lower quality recordings or two channel source material.
The T 747 also features auto setup and room calibration via its internal software and included microphone. Previous NAD receivers used Audyssey's room EQ and setup software; however the T 747 seems to have parted with the norm and uses a proprietary system unique to NAD.
While clearly a home theater receiver, the T 747 has a very musical soul and is also aimed at today's modern music lover, which means iPods and satellite radio support. The T 747 can interface with an iPod in a variety of ways, first by less sophisticated means via a simple stereo to mini jack cable, or through one of NAD's iPod docks (sold separately). Using NAD's IPD 2 Dock you can pull up all of your iPod's meta data and control it using the T 747's remote, not to mention watch and upscale iPod video on your home theater display. The T 747 is also XM Satellite Radio ready and can serve as the base of a very simple, yet easy to operate, multi-room or zone audio system.
Competition and Comparison
If you are interested in comparing NAD's T 747 receiver against its competition, read our reviews for the Marantz SR6004 receiver and the Sony STR-DA3300ES receiver. There is also a great deal of information available in our All Things AV Receiver section.
Read about the high points and low points of the NAD T747 on Page 2.