NAD T 748 AV Receiver Reviewed

NAD T 748 AV Receiver Reviewed

NAD has taken a novel approach with the NAD T 748, meaning that they have decided to neglect all the bells and whistles of modern receivers and concentrate on performance. Andrew Robinson evaluates the T 748 to see how that idea paid off.

NAD-T-748-AV-Receiver-review-angled.jpgToday'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.

Additional Resources

• Read more AV receiver review by HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Find an amplifier to pair with the NAD T 748 receiver.
• Explore Blu-ray player options in our Blu-ray Player Review section.

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.NAD-T-748-AV-Receiver-review-rear.jpgHigh Points
• The T 748's controls are straightforward and setup is an absolute breeze, making it one of the easiest AV receivers to live with day to day.

The T 748's sonic performance is superb provided you've brought the
right speakers to the party, ones that are efficient and suitable for
small to medium sized rooms. With the right speakers, the T 748's sound
is rich, full bodied and seductive, possessing tremendous weight and
texture throughout coupled with smooth, airy highs that are virtually
always pleasing and never fatiguing.
• The T 748 excels at both
music and movies though for more explosive dynamics you may want to mate
it to an outboard amplifier, which you can, thanks to its preamp
outputs.
• The T 748 is 3D capable and because it does zero video processing the image is allowed to shine unmolested.

Low Points

Those looking for an AV receiver that will do everything short of
walking the dog should look elsewhere, for the T 748 acts more like a
multi-channel integrated amp than a traditional AV receiver.
• There is no auto room EQ or setup features included with T 748.

The T 748 does not upscale legacy video signals the way other AV
receivers often do, but if your display and/or disc player upscale (and
they usually do) you won't be missing anything.
• The T 748 is not
appropriate for all types of loudspeakers, especially large
floorstanding loudspeakers or electrostatics. Also, it's most suited for
small to medium sized rooms, unless of course you mate it to an
outboard amp, in which case all bets are off.

Competition and Comparisons
The
sub-$1,000 AV receiver market is hotter than ever and the T 748 wades
into battle with a hand tied behind its back when it comes to features,
though I assure you its other hand packs quite a punch, for it is among
the better sounding AV receivers you'll find under a grand. Some
comparable products to consider are Onkyo's TX-NR708 AV receiver at $899, Pioneer's Elite SC-35
at $1,600 and Marantz's SR7005 at
$1,599.

For more on these receivers as well as others please
visit Home Theater Review's AV Receiver page.

Conclusion
There's no getting around the fact that the
NAD T 748 is a bit down on features, especially given its $899 asking
price, but that shouldn't sway you from considering it, for it's one
hell of a nice sounding AV receiver, one that is as good with
two-channel music as it is with movies. When you think about it, the T
748 has all the items you really need and none of the ones you don't.
Imagine what some of the costlier competition might cost if they did
away with all the redundant features; they'd probably cost the same as
the T 748 only they wouldn't sound as good. The T 748 is a bit light on
power for some applications but the inclusion of preamp outputs solves
that issue right off the bat for you can mate the T 748 to an outboard
amp and be off and running. For me, I value sonic performance over
features, which is why I strongly recommend you check out the NAD T 748
AV Receiver.

Additional Resources
• Read more AV receiver review by HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Find an amplifier to pair with the NAD T 748 receiver.
• Explore Blu-ray player options in our Blu-ray Player Review section.

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