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  1. #1
    HWT F tin ear's Avatar
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    Considering a New A/V Receiver

    While shopping for speakers, I began to think a new receiver might be warranted as well. For the ability to run 4 ohm speakers if nothing else. After speaking to a nice lady at Magnepan & doing some googling, I just don't think my non-ES Sony will supply that kind of current.

    Since I've pretty much decided to fling my budget, I thought I might go with an Onkyo TX-SR703 for $630 for its high-current capability and big transformer (so they claim). It also seems to have a lot of bells & whistles.

    In my searching I stumbled upon the NAD T763 at twice the price of the Onkyo. It appears to base its reputation on audio quality & ease of use (with fewer bells/whistles). Is this receiver twice as good as the Onkyo?

    Or to put it another way, would you pay twice as much for the NAD as the Onkyo? See any flies lighting on either of these?

    I hope to be able to audition both tomorrow. Maybe they'll have viable competitors for each of the above.

    -Jon
    Last edited by tin ear; 08-04-2006 at 04:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that most multichannel receivers are not rated for 4-ohm speakers. Or if they can accommodate 4-ohm speakers, they recommend only powering one pair of them at a time. This doesn't mean that those Onkyo and NAD models you're considering can't handle low impedance speakers. It just means that you should prepare yourself to add an external amp if you decide to go with a 5.1 setup using all 4-ohm speakers and the receiver starts going into protection mode.

    If your Sony has six-channel preouts, your investment might be better served by getting an external two or three channel amplifier and connecting the front three speakers. That way you can opt for 4-ohm speakers and not have to worry about whether a new receiver can handle a full five-speaker setup by itself. And you still have the option of adding a new receiver anytime you feel that the format decoding, and audio and video switching functionality needs upgrading.
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  3. #3
    HWT F tin ear's Avatar
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    line level outputs

    The sony only has second room stereo outs. Both of the above-mentioned receivers appear to have 7.1 pre-outs.

    Thanks for that advice.
    Last edited by tin ear; 08-04-2006 at 05:28 PM.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
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    I have no direct experience with Onkyo receivers but the model you are looking for handles dynamic peaks that dip to 4 and 3 ohms. But the NAD specs are more substantial and also states its power output as "all channels driven". Where as the Onnkyo will only deliver it's power with 2 channels driven. The Onkyo has 7 channels deisigned for it's rated output but it can't deliver the rated output with all channels going at the same time. The NAD can. If you notice the NAD is over 15 pounds heavier. This is the reason it can deliver it's rated power with all channels driven. It has a massive power supply section compared to the Onkyo.

    Magnepans are tougher than usual load to drive. But when given good clean power from a beefy amp. You will be rewarded.

    Rotel and Arcam also come to mind as manufactures who make HT receivers designed for a 4 ohm load. There might be some others so hopefully some other will chime in.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by anamorphic96; 08-04-2006 at 06:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Im currently have a 5.1 Magnepan system.

    Quote Originally Posted by tin ear
    While shopping for speakers, I began to think a new receiver might be warranted as well. For the ability to run 4 ohm speakers if nothing else. After speaking to a nice lady at Magnepan & doing some googling, I just don't think my non-ES Sony will supply that kind of current.

    Since I've pretty much decided to fling my budget, I thought I might go with an Onkyo TX-SR703 for $630 for its high-current capability and big transformer (so they claim). It also seems to have a lot of bells & whistles.

    In my searching I stumbled upon the NAD T763 at twice the price of the Onkyo. It appears to base its reputation on audio quality & ease of use (with fewer bells/whistles). Is this receiver twice as good as the Onkyo?

    Or to put it another way, would you pay twice as much for the NAD as the Onkyo? See any flies lighting on either of these?

    I hope to be able to audition both tomorrow. Maybe they'll have viable competitors for each of the above.

    -Jon
    And have hooked it up to several receivers.

    The Onkyo is rated THX Select 2, and as such is able to drive the mains @ 4 ohms, but NOT a full 5 speakers at 4 ohms. To get that from an Onkyo reciever it would be rated THX Ultra, and would most likely be the top-of-the-line, or one step removed.

    This does not mean that the Onkyo would not power them, it's just not rated for this duty.

    The NAD, while not using a THX rating system, claims to be able to deliver full power into all channels at 4 or 8 ohms. In addition they rate it to drive to 2 ohms, and provide very large power headroom figures. In all ways it appears to have a much more substantial amp section.

    IMHO, If I were powering my system just with a receiver I would go with the NAD.
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  6. #6
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    ahh Tin Ear I thought this might happen. First some new speakers then,well maybe my rcv'r is in need updating Man you been bitten, ain't it cool

  7. #7
    HWT F tin ear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2chAlex
    ahh Tin Ear I thought this might happen. First some new speakers then,well maybe my rcv'r is in need updating Man you been bitten, ain't it cool

    -Jon

  8. #8
    Forum Regular likeitloud's Avatar
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    This is the way to go. Adding an amp will really take some load of the receiver, runs
    cooler, speakers more efficent, there's no downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Keep in mind that most multichannel receivers are not rated for 4-ohm speakers. Or if they can accommodate 4-ohm speakers, they recommend only powering one pair of them at a time. This doesn't mean that those Onkyo and NAD models you're considering can't handle low impedance speakers. It just means that you should prepare yourself to add an external amp if you decide to go with a 5.1 setup using all 4-ohm speakers and the receiver starts going into protection mode.

    If your Sony has six-channel preouts, your investment might be better served by getting an external two or three channel amplifier and connecting the front three speakers. That way you can opt for 4-ohm speakers and not have to worry about whether a new receiver can handle a full five-speaker setup by itself. And you still have the option of adding a new receiver anytime you feel that the format decoding, and audio and video switching functionality needs upgrading.

  9. #9
    HWT F tin ear's Avatar
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    4 ohm

    Not really planning on running all 4 ohm spkrs, but having that ability would be good, I think. Just like, I drive a V-8 although a 6 banger would do everything I need to >99% of the time. There's extra oomph there in reserve if I need it, though.
    Does that analogy work here?

  10. #10
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Not Really...

    Quote Originally Posted by tin ear
    Not really planning on running all 4 ohm spkrs, but having that ability would be good, I think. Just like, I drive a V-8 although a 6 banger would do everything I need to >99% of the time. There's extra oomph there in reserve if I need it, though.
    Does that analogy work here?
    6 or 8 cylinder is just a number, even a 4 cylinder car should do everthing a car needs to do. I happen to drive a V-8 too, but not all V-8's have the power-to-weight ratio.

    The problem with a reciever that is not rated for 4 ohms is that it may have protection circuits that DO NOT let you play a 4 ohm speaker. I ran into a highly rated receiver that absolutely did not like my 3.6's and went into protection mode by just hooking them up.
    My guess is that the Onkyo WILL NOT do this, and most likely WILL be able to play five 4- ohm speakers. The NAD is guarentteed to do it.
    Audio;
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    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
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    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  11. #11
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Right now Circuit City is selling the black version for 569, at least on the web. It may also have an option to pick it up today at the store but who knows until you try. As you already know, CC has a marvelous return policy should it not work out. I'm not a huge fan of Onkyo's receivers but one thing I've always really liked was the intellivolume features that keeps the volume the same across the range of inputs. Very nice little feature.

    Maybe you'll need/want more but it could be an easy way to try it out.

    jc
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  12. #12
    HWT F tin ear's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Exactly what I needed to know.

    Thanks, y'all!

    -j

  13. #13
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    I think of these two you'd be better off with the NAD. There may be one by Outlaw that could be better. http://www.outlawaudio.com/

    Or one of the Arcam line.

    Or you could go with a cheaper model that has pre-outs and get external amps.
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  14. #14
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    As the satisfied owner of a NAD T763, let me cast a vote for this wonderful unit. It may not have all the bells and whistles of the Onkyo, but, as a previous owner of two Onkyo receivers, I can say that there is really no comparison. The NAD's core sound is just so much more REAL than the Onkyo. And (so far) it has never run out of gas, even on congested or bass-heavy musical passages. I can't say that about the Onkyo receivers that I have owned (the Onkyo has a more shrill, more biting presentation). Bottom line: the NAD sounds much closer to real than the Onkyo.

    Happy Hunting!

  15. #15
    HWT F tin ear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    I think of these two you'd be better off with the NAD. There may be one by Outlaw that could be better. http://www.outlawaudio.com/

    Or one of the Arcam line.

    Or you could go with a cheaper model that has pre-outs and get external amps.
    Thanks GMichael - yeah my new audio dealer was talking up the Arcam as a step above NAD. Not much more $$ than the NAD. I'm on the research trail now.

    Only thing was, the Arcam of similar price had a rating of 75W/ch, while the NAD was 100W. Always was a 100W/ch kinda guy; would the Arcam do me, or should I bite the bullet and step up to the next higher Arcam? Or is there a super-clean 75W, big headroom thing going on with the Arcam? I used to live on a ranch where nobody cared how much I cranked it up. Things have changed, though; I wonder if 75W w/ massive headroom would suffice.

    I believe the NAD is China made; I heard a rumble somewhere about QC issues. Dealer tells me that Arcam is a British company; don't know where they are made. I assume both would have adequate return policies, or my dealer would.

    As to cheaper models, are the pre-amp sections usually pretty clean? Cheaper, I mean, not cheap-o.

    Thanks
    -Jon

  16. #16
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tin ear
    Thanks GMichael - yeah my new audio dealer was talking up the Arcam as a step above NAD. Not much more $$ than the NAD. I'm on the research trail now.

    Only thing was, the Arcam of similar price had a rating of 75W/ch, while the NAD was 100W. Always was a 100W/ch kinda guy; would the Arcam do me, or should I bite the bullet and step up to the next higher Arcam? Or is there a super-clean 75W, big headroom thing going on with the Arcam? I used to live on a ranch where nobody cared how much I cranked it up. Things have changed, though; I wonder if 75W w/ massive headroom would suffice.

    I believe the NAD is China made; I heard a rumble somewhere about QC issues. Dealer tells me that Arcam is a British company; don't know where they are made. I assume both would have adequate return policies, or my dealer would.

    As to cheaper models, are the pre-amp sections usually pretty clean? Cheaper, I mean, not cheap-o.

    Thanks
    -Jon
    I have heard both and thought that both sounded equally as enjoyable to my ear. It would be hard for me to say if one was any better than the other. I have heard of the NAD reliability problems, but don't know how true they are. The Arcam I heard was driving a pair of Magnapan 3.6's. It didn't seem to have any trouble at all. The NAD was driving Totem winds and also had no trouble. Both filled a room that was about 35 by 50 feet with plenty of volume.
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  17. #17
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I like the NAD T-763 as a workhorse receiver that will deliver good soundquality and flexibility for most speakers, for both home theater and 2-channel listening. That said, the Arcam, IMHO, is a good step above a the NAD in terms of sound quality and general quality based on my experiences. I have not heard a receiver under $3000 that sounds any better - might have more power and features, but not better sound. Those Arcams have become quite popular among the old 2-channel purist crowd because they sound much more like a system built on separates, and don't break the bank. They are fantastic units. And I don't own one, so I'm not shilling here.

    I like the NAD T-763 it's a great, powerful unit with good sound...compared to the large Japanese mid-fi receivers though, I just feel it's a bit overpriced. One would be better using the Onkyo you suggest as a pre pro, and buying a decent multi-channel amp used, or a few stereo amps, to get all the features, power, and arguably equal sound quality, at least with digital sources. It certainly wouldn't be far behind, at upgrade time, you'll be further ahead.

    I wouldn't worry about Arcam's 75 watts - It'd be a lot more power than Onkyo's 100 watts under heavy loads. There's lots of headroom built into those Arcams, and unless you're using 82 dB efficient speakers at 105 dB average volumes (speakers set to large, no subwoofer) in your home consistently, it's enough power for your needs - maybe add a power amp if need be...
    Rotel makes my 2nd favorite receiver right now - sounds almost as good as the Arcam, and is similar in price again. Both of these are step up on the NAD model IMO.

    You could try Outlaw Audio as well. I've heard very mixed reviews on their new receviers - owners of the previous generation claim they've gone too mass production and sound no better than your basic mid-fi japanese model, but they've got a strong, loyal fan base as well. I wasn't a fan of their last receiver model for the money so I'm not a good one to talk to. Their amps are excellent values, so I like the company though - I think N. Abstentia just bought a big Outlaw, maybe PM him, he's raved about his and he came from an Onkyo, as I recall.

    One last consideration:
    Buying a receiver now is a bit sketchy. In 2-3 years (maybe less) we're probably going to be seeing a wide selection of HD-DVD/BluRay generation receivers with the latest DTS-HD and Dolby Plus decoding, the proper HDMI connections, etc...
    Not sure how long you own your receivers for, but it might make sense to buy the Onkyo for now, add some good quality power amps, and run it as a pre-pro...at upgrade time, you won't be out nearly as much money, and at least you'll have a new receiver in the meantime?

    I'll leave those logistics up to you though....happy shopping!

  18. #18
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tin ear

    As to cheaper models, are the pre-amp sections usually pretty clean? Cheaper, I mean, not cheap-o.

    Thanks
    -Jon
    Oops, missed this part. Maybe not as clean as a preamp or higher end receivers, but still not far off. Something like the Yamaha HTR-5860 could be had for a very good price. Add an amp or two and you'll be set until the bug hits you again. By then you may want to add a pre-amp, and the Yammie could still be usefull in another room (if you give it easier speakers to drive). I am using an HTR-5740 in my bedroom. It has no trouble driving 6 JBL E10's to levels louder than I need.
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  19. #19
    HWT F tin ear's Avatar
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    Smile Thanks!

    Once again, y'all have provided me with a wealth of info. I think I am way better prepared now than I was before.

    jon

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