Factory refurbished- Is it worth the risk? Any problems from those who have done it?



I am new here and am learning so much thanks to all of you. I have been researching different brands and am almost ready to take the plunge to buy our first home audio equipment. I have narrowed it down to either HK receivers or NAD. There are two deals out on the web right now that I am looking at. One is the HK 325 for $460, and then there is the pre pay order at J and R for the new HK 230. ( I called about the new 330 but they don't show it in their system). Then this am I happened upon a refurbished NAD T752 and T532 at dmcelectronics for $850. I have never been one to buy "open box" items for fear of them being damaged. What are your experiences with buying refurbished? Should I go with a new system like the HK or the NAD being it is less expensive as a refurbished item? It seems like a great deal, but if the newest HK or even the older 325 would be better....I really would appreciate your help! Thanks so much!

Everything that I've read indicates that factory refurbished items actually have a LOWER return / exchange rate than new items, just because they get more attention / checking than new items do.

Note that "refurbished" is different than "open box" .. many open box items do NOT get sent back to the factory.

Either way, as long as you have a full warranty and are buying from an authorized dealer you have nothing to worry about.

I have a factory refurbished H/K AVR325(z) and no problems except the ventilation issue I have mentioned in another post. Physically it came with no marks or scratches. The carton was marked as factory renewed but nothing in the receiver had any indications that it was a refurb. The remotes and cables were intact and nicely sealed. The manual, however, was a photocopy and not an original print. One of the optical in covers was missing which wasnt a big deal since I had to remove it anyway.
Harman Kardon gives the same 2 year warranty as for new receivers which made the decision easier for me.

I agree with DWK. I wouldn't buy "Open box" returns because there is often something seriously wrong, but I have and would buy "refurbs", as they are checked to perform up to spec and normally carry the same warranty as new product. But I would only buy a "refurb" it it is warrantied the same as new.

I have a factory refurb Denon and have not had the least trouble with it. I highly recommend you consider getting a refurb if you need to save the money, or, as in my case, buying a refurb allows you to reach to a higher end unit.

Thanks everyone for comments so far. Hawk, yes the reason I am looking into the refurbished unit is to be able to keep our costs down. We are starting from scratch here. I want to get a system that we will have for a long time- with two kids (braces, saving for college, etc) we won't be in a position to upgrade. I do have two other questions that I would like all of your advice on. Do you think I should get a new NAD T742 or the refurb 752. And, should I get the T732 or the T512 DVD/CD player? We don't have a hi def TV, just a 32" Toshiba. I don't see us buying a new one anytime soon, but I thought I read somewhere that the T532 gave a better sound when used for CD's. What are your thoughts? You guys are great!


Sounds like you are living in my house! I have one daughter getting ready for college and the other is getting braces next month (sigh!). I even have a 32" Toshiba for our main TV! Alas, that is largely why I don't have all of the toys I want either.

I am not sure what to tell you about the DVD/Cd player. They are both good units as they both have separate power regulators for the digital and analog sections of the player. This prevents bleed through which can degrade the sound quality ( usually overlooked by most manufacturers in their rush to cut manufacturing costs). However, I do think that the 532 is a better sounding unit, as well, largely the result of really high quality DACs and nice Burr-Brown op-amps. The biggest difference to me is in the video in that the T532 has progressive scan and 3:2 pull down, which you will like having if you do get a HDTV later on.

I really like the special at DMC of the refurb'ed T752 receiver with the T532 DVD/CD player. I have stronly considered getting it myself. That is a killer price as you are essentially getting the DVD player free. I have talked with the DMC people a couple of times and bought some of their Tara Labs interconnects. They seem like good people, so I would recommend the deal if you can afford it.

If not, Saturday Audio has a interesting deal for bargain hunters. If you get both NAD specials on their "Deals Page"--a 742 receiver for $449 and a 512 DVD/CD player priced at $249, they will take another $100 off, so that your total cost is $598. Both are brand new, too. However, be sure you don't need low impedence capability to drive your speakers. The NAD 742 I have learned is not recommended for 4 ohm speakers, but its bigger brothers are 4 ohm capable (752 and 762).

Warmest wishes.


I am sorry to bother you again, but after reading so many of these threads, it seems that you not only have a wealth of information to pass on, but also are in my shoes as far as shopping goes..i. e. want to buy a great unit, but can't spend as much as I'd love to be able to without feeling extremely guilty (two kids, two teachers' salaries, husband watches our budget like a hawk :) ) I am trying to keep all of this under $1000.00, which is going to be hard as I don't even have speakers yet, nor cables. The deal at dmcelectronics is great, but with shipping from CA to here it is another 60 bucks. So, I think I am going to have to settle and go for the T742. Regarding the DVD player, it will probably be 10+ years before we drop more money on a new di def TV. (We just got the one we have for Christmas 2 years ago). So should I just get the T512? Or is the sound from CD's -which is my main emphasis-so much better from the T532? I have a bid on Paradigm speakers on ebay. Sorry for so many questions! I can't tell you how much I appreciate you and the others taking the time to share your knowledge.


You clearly have a wonderful sense of humor. LOL! Look me up if you ever get tired of your husband's accounting.

Hey, lets see if we can really help you. I have a great idea. Get your 742 from Saturday Audio, but then go back to DMC Electronics for the NAD T 531 DVD/CD player (that's right, the 531, not the 532) which they have for $229 for the factory refurbished model. This is the same player as the 532, but it is last year's model without the progressive scan (which you don't need). But it does have the same incredible audio output section and you save some serious cash by buying last year's model (you save $100 over the price of the 532). Also has superb video. DMC throws in a pair of nice interconnects, as well.

Now, in the event you do not get the Paradigm speakers you are bidding on, I highly recommend you look into three speakers for your system:

1. KEF Q1s (MSRP of $449; can be had for $350); Nice two way bookshelf speaker that are a real bargain in terms of sound quality. Beautiful cabinets, too, especially the apple. There is a matching center speaker and surrounds which you can get later on when the budget hawk lets you.

2. PSB Image line: I really like the value here and the sound is very close to that of Paradigm. Don't know what you want or need, but I noticed the PSB Image 3LR can be had from DMC for $299 a pair. Now, these are a little larger than your normal bookshelf speaker, but the entire Image line is very good. If you can't accomodate the 3LRs, check out the Image 1Bs for $189/pair. This is an insanely good price for a very fine speaker, particularly great for small rooms. There is also an Image 2B, which fits between the other two, but I don't have a price on it. I can refer you to a place that sells them new for 20% off. PSB also has nice center and surrounds to match any of these speakers.

3. Ascend Acoustics CM-170: Sold only over the internet (www.ascendacoustics.com), these speakers are winning a lot of awards for their sound and I can tell you they sound great. No fancy wood effect vinyl finish, these speakers are industrial black, but they put the money into the speaker components (drivers and solid cabinetry) that give you that great sound. Worth a 30 day trial in your home and they only cost $328 for the pair. There is a matching center and surround speakers for adding later on.

I think these suggestions will keep you within your budget and give you the musical enjoyment you are looking for. Good luck, and feel free to ask any questions, any time. We're here to help.

Here is an article on buying used audio equipment.

Hope this helps

Hi Guys,
I thank all of you esp Hawk- I have read your words of real world wisdom in quite a few post. Came across this site and all the NAD post's.
I am kinda in Teri shoes- minus the 2 kids- braces and a kid in college- instead I am paying my student loans - could have got myself a nice house in the suburbs somewhere instead (good part- I am educated and live a little above poverty level) .
Anyway just thought I add another question to the above- my budget is about the same as Terri-I am primarily looking to listen to music and maybe watch a movie ocasionaly- 90% music, 10% movies. Have a pair of Sony X70-ED floor standing speakers- I got real cheap- rated at 4 Ohms- am yet to but something to play it. Am debating about a c740 and a T732 or a T752 and a 732(dvd/cd). Any thoughts someone.
Again thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts to folks like myself.

Terri Cooper
Thank you for the advice- again :) I called saturdayaudio yesterday to talk a bit more about the dvd players. I wanted to find out if he had a 531 so that maybe I could order everything from one place. He said that he wouldn't sell me a 531 if he had any- that it had reliablility issues and that the 512 was meant to take its place. Have you or anyone else heard about this?
They (saturday) seem like an honest group of guys, but again I am going into this blind. I did a search on the 531 and it got great reviews, but I couldn't find anything about problems. Thanks for your help!

I had a question on DVD players. How much better, if any, are the H/K, Onkyo, Denon etc brand DVD players compared to more mass market Panasonic, Toshiba, Sony etc which sell for half the price.
Would a Onkyo refurbed DVCP500 make a better buy than a Panasonic DVD-F65S player?


No Terri, this is news to me about any reliability issues for the 531. However, later today I will do some checking around with NAD dealers that I know and see if I can find out anything.


I have now spoken with three different dealers (actually the store manager at three different dealers) and told them what you posted. The universal response was "What reliability issues?" When I told them the price, one guy nearly dropped his jaw--he had one left priced at $399. Terri, I have known a couple of these guys most of my life and I know they wouldn't mislead me, so I have to believe Saturday Audio just trying to sell you the 512.

I have no personal experience with the 531, but if I were in your shoes, I would get the 742 from Saturday and the 531 from DMC. If a problem develops with the 531, it will likely show up within the first 30 days and you can always return it as defective. Then you can get a 512 instead, but I would be surprised if that happened.

Good luck!


DVD players do come in different qualities. Check: http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_list.asp?category=CDV&subcategory=DVPLY

I hope this helps

Hi all,

This site has been very informative to me...I am about to buy a T752 and at least I know what I am about to get into by reading all these constructive feedbacks. By the way it will be very helpful for people to start putting their unit's manufacture date with messages. At least by doing so, all of us will have some idea of when the frequency of problems rose since T752 was introduced. Perhaps we can convey that information to NAD if they care to know... We all can be a part of good consumer watchdogs as well as audiophiles.

By the way I am still buying T752 because I fell in love with the way it sounds despite all these known problems.... Wish me a good luck!
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