Another Hawk Question


Sorry to single you out when there are many other sophisticated audiophiles out there that can answer this question, but some of your responses to other posters has intrigued me.
In the search to find one's own 'best at the moment' receiver, before upgraditis hits, you hvae had a lot of praise for NAD and their capabilities as well as their honest power ratings. However, I have noticed that you have a Denon receiver. While you haven't bad-mouthed Denon in any fashion, it seems to me that you may be saving some moolah to buy a NAD receiver down the line. Because you are so knowledgable about a/v in general, I am assuming(since you purchased a Denon) that at one time, Denon was making a better receiver than NAD and that trend has changed recently. As I am getting ready to purchase my first true receiver, I was thinking along the lines of Denon's 3803 for my HT(no music) to go with DefTech BP2000's, CLR 3000 and BPVXP's. In your opinion is this still a wise choice or would the NAD T752 or T762 (or maybe even the P.E. vsx55txi or upcoming Yamaha rx-v2400) be better suited for that line of speakers?
Also, are the NAD EARS similar to the MCAAC or YPAO?


I hope I can answer each of your questions.

Well, I went for the Denon because it had some great features, like upconversion on the video inputs, seven channels of sound, adjustable subwoofer cut-off, etc. It seemed to have everything that I thought I wanted. It sounded good, too. Then I discovered it really doesn't want to drive the Magnepans that I had, so I started to look into this more.

Now Denon makes a very good receiver, but even after I changed speakers, I found I wasn't very satisfied listening to music. I went to an A/V receiver in part to help my wife who has trouble hearing the TV. The Denon was great on the DVDs and adding volume to the TV, but I have not been enjoying my CDs. So I went back to my Denon dealer who showed me a Rotel. I demo'ed it against my 3803 and liked the Rotel better, but not enough to cough up an additional $400 to trade. So I went on the great quest to find the sound that I really liked to listen to, particularly music, at a price I could afford. (I should have done this before I bought the Denon!)

As I have posted on this site before (not trying to bore the long time readers), I went to another dealer who was hosting double blind testing of several different receivers. Well, I heard one that was incredible sounding, and learned that it was the smallest and cheapest of the lot being tested--the NAD 742. It did a better job of resolving the sound on several DVDs that other receivers had trouble with (Lord of the Rings, Ronin). On music, it was more like the sound of the great stereo amps and receivers that I used to listen to 20 years ago (before IC outputs became so popular). So, I don't know if it is a question that NAD has leapfrogged Denon as much as it is that they are on different paths and I found out I liked the NAD path better. The sound, for me anyways, is smoother, more musical and much more realistic than my Denon. By being more realistic, I find it is more emotionally involving and I enjoy the music or DVD so much more.

As for your situation, I would not pair Def Techs with a Denon receiver (nice speakers, BTW). I have been auditioning a lot of equipment for the past 6 months and I do know that the Def Techs are a very forward sounding speaker bordering on bright (this is NOT a bad thing). The Denon has a very dry sound and is also a bit forward (also not a bad thing, per se). But combined, the Def Techs will exaggerate this dryness and make the sound grainy. To my ears, that is a bad combo. With the Def Techs, I would recommend something smoother with more warmth. NAD would be a very good choice--I think the 752 is one of the best bargains in home entertainment while the 762 is the best receiver out there short of the $4K Mcintosh. I also like a Marantz 7300, which is only slightly behind the NAD in sound quality. Also consider a Pioneer Elite or Harman Kardon 525 or 7200. While I don't like the PE or H/K as much as I like NAD or Marantz, they are nice receivers with a warm smooth sound that will go well with your Def Techs, IMO. I would also stay away from a Yamaha with the Def Techs. Yamahas are even brighter than Denon and my local Def Tech dealer tells me he tries to avoid demo'ing the Def Techs with Yamaha equipment at all costs.

As for your last question, I have not played with the NAD EARS, but it is my understanding that it is more like "Circle Surround"--creates surround sound from two channel stereo sources.

Love your screen name, BTW.

Thanks for your insightful reasoning about this line of questioning. I am planning on spending some time this Tuesday with the Nad 752, 762, Denon 3803 and Marantz 7300 at a local a/v dealer. As a previous salesman had tried to push the Yamaha rx-v1300 on me vs. all other brands, I'll be sure to avoid listening to it altogether! Thanks again and have a great weekend!


My 2 cents! The Yamaha RX-V1300 and RX-V2300 sound great with Def Tech's. As that's what I have, I demoed all of the mentioned units at a local 6ave electronics. The Yamaha's are not bright at all in fact they are very bass heavy.

You must listen for your self as we all hear a little differently!

BTW if you haven't bought anything yet, you may want to gice the new Yamaha RX-V1400 and RX-V2400 a try, they are 7 channel and THX.

the nad t762 or the harman 7200 to play with speakers Bose 701 series II??

Which receivers would you recomend guys?


John Allen
Inn8: "Also, are the NAD EARS similar to the MCAAC or YPAO?"

As a long-committed stereo "purist", I have just tried out EARS on two VHS tapes, Jurassic Park and The Rock. With all channels balanced and speaker settings on all small plus subwoofer, the effect is really outstanding, much better than Prologic. EARS does not give what could be called "circle sound", Hawk, but clear hi-fi sound distributed over the stage at the front with pin-point accuracy of stereo plus crisp center dialogue. By comparison Prologic seems to use only the center channel. But what was really surprised me was the clear and directional surround sound of EARS. The car chase in The Rock is amazing. The music and effects in Jurassic Park are really fine, so much detail I had never heard before. I don't understand how they get the orchestra and to sound like it is set out behind you, as if your surrounds are the front of a good hi-fi stereo. EARS is not "ambient" sound but very directional and involving. I would be hard pressed to tell it was not DTS. And our tapes are old, played many times, and just marked "Hi-fi stereo". How do they do this?

EARS: Enhanced Ambience Retrieval System

I can't comment on MCAAC or YPAO. What are these?

BTW yes, Hawk is a balanced, generous and thoughtful guy. Like him I am enjoying music again, a great pleasure. I have not done extensive auditioning, but have made a couple of expensive mistakes in the past. Getting an NAD receiver a few months ago was the best decision for years. Really.
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