A/V receivers a flawed concept indeed...


Bronze Member
Username: Billdashill

Post Number: 56
Registered: 12-2003
I'm still not convinced that these A/V receivers are reliable products. Look at all the electronics these manufacturers have to cram into these steel boxes. And it's just gonna get worse because of the latest greatest formats to come on line. Does anyone else here share my concerns?

I'm still hearing NAD has problems with their A/V receivers and that is devistating. 3 strikes you're out. NAD should go back to Integrated and Seperates and forget the receiver concept. I bet they can create great multi-channel seperates for around the retail of the new 763 and 773 with NO problem.

I'm sorry, I had to vent.

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 203
Registered: 12-2003
It's perfectly fine to vent IMO as I have done a few times. I do agree that seperates are generally better but there are many fine performing receivers nowadays in all price ranges. In fact receivers are getting better all the time I believe. I do think when the digital age hit several years ago that several manufacturers had major problems producing a good sounding unit as exemplified by my first digital receiver, the Yamaha 992. What a lousy sounding piece of junk that was. Each reciever I have owned since has been better than the last except for my poor choice last year of the Denon 3803, which was much worse sounding than the Denon 2802 I had before. I have had six recievers in the last seven years and my current Elite45 is by far the best yet as Elite's last two model lines have been huge improvements over their previous models. There are good receivers to be had if careful matching it with your speakers.

New member
Username: Sulfur

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2003
IMHO the electronics in an A/V receiver is nowhere near as complicated as a Mac or a PC. I can't imagine people hooking up 10-20 different gadgets to build a functional PC just to surf web.

A/V receivers are sometimes the only option for people w/out budget or space to build a full blown system. I don't think the concept is flawed but here are the 4 biggest problems I see:

1) In order to squeeze in all the components in a single box & at a particular price point, manufacturers often use inferior parts & cut many corners. That's a given.

2) The more you stuff in, the longer it'll take QA to test out all the features properly. That's also a given. Evidently some brands are not spending enough time to do proper QA.

3) Most brands, including high end names, are now forced to play the 1 yr product cycle game. They have to churn out new models every year to complete with everyone else. With so little time to design & test a product properly, you're gonna see some less than perfect models. That's another given.

4) The move to all the digital formats certainly didn't help. You have a bunch of D/A, A/D, DSP & other chips in the box. And they could be from different chip manufacturers. The receiver's firmware (software) has to interact with all these. This is not a simple task & some brands fare better than others.

So like a PC, cellphone, PDA, etc, there's a good chance the initial product will not be perfect, and you're forced to play the firmware upgrade game. And it took NAD about 22 tries (v1.22) to get their 7x2 firmware nice & stable.

eg, when you pop in a BIOS that upgrades the receiver's firmware from 1.06 to 1.22 to solve problems, that's not poor soldering or faulty capacitor, that's buggy software!

Bronze Member
Username: Billdashill

Post Number: 58
Registered: 12-2003
I agree that nost of it is a software issue. There are other factors also.

NAD recently went from one fan to four fans in order to solve the overheating issues. Heat is the number one cause of premature circuit failures. I can name at least 10 high end A/V receivers that don't use fans at all and keep very cool. How do you explain that?

Silver Member
Username: Geekboy

Post Number: 197
Registered: 12-2003
Jeff: large external heat sinks??? :-)

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 29
Registered: 12-2003
I was under the impression that NAD changed their fans in order to make them quieter and more efficient, not to solve any overheating problems.

Operating temperature is a always concern of mine. I owned an NAD 742, and -- while it was by no means a huge receiver -- it ran cooler than the Sony ES, HK, Integra, and Marantz receivers I looked at. Also, many higher end receivers have used fans. The fact is, heatsinks with fans (like NAD uses) are considerably better at cooling than heatsinks, alone.

Bronze Member
Username: Gatt767

Post Number: 20
Registered: 01-2004
Let me explain, Fans doesn't mean lower quality components and premature Failures!

But heat build ups do mean, power offs and premature failures of components within a circuit.

To prevent this, NAD have decided to install its receivers with fans. Jef obregon, most of the high end receivers that you are mentioning aren't even capable in driving a 4 ohms speaker load. It seems that certain brands do pass with everything, while others get shot immediately.
Currently, my T762 is stacked within a unit, with a DVD Player on top of my receiver. My T762 has been driven at reference levels for prolonged periods of time when watching several films and has never had a shutdown due to heat build-ups! So the design seems quite efficient to me.

Onkyo, Arcam, Rotel Etc do install fans within there high end models. So NAD is not re -inventing the wheel by installing fans within its units, but following what is an industry standard!

The internals of a receiver, especially high end models are extremely crammed, therefore heat sinks must be very efficient in dissipating heat. Space is always at a premium, as other components need to be installed within the receiver and must operate within a certain temp. range. Look at Harman Kardon; its receivers do not use any fans, especially the top of the range, which do come close to class A amplification. But its receivers are massive in size and weight as most of the internals are taken with very high efficient Heat sinks to keep heat levels down.

As one knows, NAD has always kept to its promises, therefore if it says that a receiver will pump 100 watts * 6 at any load, then that output will be reached with a very minimum amount of distortion. So to offer that kind of performance in a very limited amount of space, shared with other components within the current chassis, NAD had to install FANS to keep its components not failing prematurely. This design also helps NAD in keeping its chassis small. While a particular chassis can be used for other models within the Range case in point the T763 and the T753, therefore keeping costs down!
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