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NAD T742 vs. Marantz SR 5400

 

New member
Username: Aaderca

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-04
I am looking to upgrade my home theater receiver- most of the listening is done in a small living room (so power output is not a big concern), driving a pair of PSB Alpha towers (balance is Cambridge Sounworks center, subwoofer and surounds). It would be ~ 70% music and 30% movies, for music I am looking mostly at a direct feed from SACD.
Both receivers sell factory refurbished for $399, which one would you recommend ?

Regards

Andrei
 

New member
Username: Rjw1138

Regina, SK Canada

Post Number: 3
Registered: Nov-04
Hey Andrei, you might benefit from searching this forum. There's been a lot of talk about NAD T742's here over the last few years. There's been several people faced with the same decision as you. Try to find Hawk's testimonial regarding a blind-listening test involving the NAD T742, A Marantz SR5300, and a few others. Reading a lot of those discussions was a key factor in my decision to buy one myself. There's not much point in restarting a subject that's already been discussed quite heavily on this forum. Check it out, and good luck in your decision!
 

Silver Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 122
Registered: Dec-03
For the money, I looooove the sound of the Marantz and you rarely here about the QA problems with their units. I am really close to selling my H/K set up for a marantz H/T system.
While they sound good NAD can result in QA issues. If you happen to get a good NAD receiver you will be fine.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Agimat

Post Number: 63
Registered: Aug-04
You may consider Cambridge Audio Azur 540R
 

Silver Member
Username: Falp

Portugal

Post Number: 124
Registered: Mar-04
Cambridge Audio Azur 540R also has QC issues...
 

Silver Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 148
Registered: Dec-03
I would rate the Marantz SR5400 over the NADT742 unless you had low impedance speakers which I don't think you do. The Marantz has a genuine 90 watts per channel. Now a harder question would be the T753. I have had the Marantz SR5300.
 

New member
Username: Rjw1138

Regina, SK Canada

Post Number: 4
Registered: Nov-04
I dunno Jonmoon, the Marantz may do 90 W to a few channels at a time, but I'd be skeptical that it would do 90 x 6, all channels driven. In fact, I found some (unofficial) literature claiming about 70% of its per-channel power with all channels driven, which would put it at about 63 W x 6. The NAD is guaranteed to do 50 x 5, all channels driven, so the difference is not nearly as large as it would appear to be at first. I have nothing against the Marantz at all, I just aim to dispel false power ratings...

As for QC problems, the T742 was one of the NAD units that was NOT affected by the myriad of recent QC problems.

Anyways, I basically think that this is a fairly close contest, and one probably can't go wrong either way. If you want the 6th channel, or the extra features, go with the Marantz. If you want the *generally accepted slightly better sound quality, get the NAD.

* There appears to be concensus regarding this, however one should make up one's own mind for him/herself
 

Bronze Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY USA

Post Number: 44
Registered: Oct-04
I own the Marantz SR5400 & I love it. Hurry up & get one if you want it, it's discontinued now.

You can get it still @ hifi.com for $449., or @ acccessories4less.com refurbished for $399.

However, if you want to save a boatload of money, consider the Marantz SR4400 for $299. from Hifi.com, or further still, consider the Pioneer (yeah, I know it's a Pioneer) VSX-D912 for $255.(or less) on eBay http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=39799%26item%3D5735060144 or the VSX-D812 for $180.http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=39799%26item%3D5735273733

 

Bronze Member
Username: Claudermilk

Post Number: 58
Registered: Sep-04
I just got my 5400 about three months ago and am another very satisfied owner. Sounds terrific (I'm listening to way more music than before). I didn't have an opportunity to listen to the NAD, but after reading all the problems with them, I really didn't look for them all that hard.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY USA

Post Number: 45
Registered: Oct-04
Yeah...I've heard of the NAD problems as well. The NAD's do sound sweet, but at the prices they charge they should be problem free.
 

New member
Username: Jupriet

Post Number: 4
Registered: Nov-04
Anyone:

I'm putting together my first system. I've read a lot of good things about the Marantz 5400. My question: is the power output of the 4400 suitable for the area of my living room (500 ft2) or do I need the 5400? What are the differences between the 5400 and 4400 besides the power output? Please enlighten me.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 149
Registered: Dec-03
RJW1138, I am pretty sure that Marantz got its act together after the x200 series and that the ratings of its receivers is with all channels driven. I recall seeing some charts of different receivers and that the Marantz was correctly rated. I still stand by my opinion. I think that the NAD T742 (I own the NAD T763) is the choice if you have low impedance speakers (obviously) but that the Marantz 5400 compares pretty favorably with the NAD T752. Now I have also heard that the Marantz SR5500 is nice and there is an SE of that model which may be the ultimate choice. I do prefer the NAD sound and, with everything else being equal, would opt for the NAD.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 150
Registered: Dec-03
Ok, I found a similar thread with a link to a chart of receiver ratings which includes the Marantz SR5400:

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Hollow/3401/ratevsac.htm

It shows that both the NAD (the T752 not the T742) and the Marantz performed better than their specs driving 5 speakers to clipping and the Marantz clips at 103 watts per channel.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY USA

Post Number: 46
Registered: Oct-04
All things are not equal between the NAD T752 (which has been replaced by the T753) & the Marantz SR5400 (which has been replaced by the SR5500), namely the price. You will save money opting for the Marantz, regardless of the model, over the NAD, and to me that matters.

The NAD T742 sounds great also, but will limit you as far as in/outs are concerned. Overheating may be a problem as well. I've seen it for $369. refurb. from spiritedsound.com.

I've been haunting this board for a while now, and there is definitely a NAD bias. Don't get me wrong, NAD's are very nice, but if price matters (and it usually does), then there is usually a better value to be found.

I bought the Marantz SR5400 for $449. from Hifi.com & Monitor Audio Radius 6-speaker system for about $1100. I also bought a Marantz DV4400 DVD player for $179. refurb. from accessories4less.com

I got caught-up in this, and found myself spending alot of money (for me, more than I ever intended) on a nice system. But if I had it to do over again, and I knew then what I know now, I would have made a few different choices & saved a few bucks in the process.

I would recommend the Marantz SR4400 for $279. refurb. from accessorie4less.com. The SR4400 is 80w vs. 90w for the SR5400, that shouldn't matter for most. They're a few other minor differences. Also, consider the previously mentioned Pioneer models I referred too in this tread. I've heard the Pioneer VSX-D514 and it sounded pretty good, and it could be had for a song (about $125.) refurb. from Pioneer on eBay.

I like my speaker choice, but I I overdid it with the rears & center. I could have saved money & been just as happy if I was willing to mix & match, but I'm too analretentive to do that.

The same goes for the DVD player, I needed to match the Marantz faceplate & spent $179. to do so. My $79. DVD player was (& is) just fine.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Christopher,

whew, it's a nice change to hear from someone with a FINITE checkbook around here!

However a friend of mine has the Pioneer VSX-514 and it didn't impress me at all, running his Wharfedales. Plus the setup and manual were a pain in the butt.
 

New member
Username: Rjw1138

Regina, SK Canada

Post Number: 5
Registered: Nov-04
Right on Jonmoon, thanks for the awesome link. It appears Marantz has significantly improved its power delivery since the x200 series. They are now beginning to look like the price/performance kings of the mid-fi world out there.

Now it would truly be interesting to compare an equal wattage current-generation Marantz to a NAD, and see exactly what the sonic differences are. Since Marantz's new models now have the power and distortion figures that they claim, I wonder if the sound quality has likewise improved and reached the level of sufficient transparency.

Anybody out there been able to directly and accurately compare the SQ of comparable new NAD's and Marantz's?

If the Marantz sound is near the quality of the NAD sound, then they definitely are price/performance killers.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY USA

Post Number: 47
Registered: Oct-04
Are you sure it was not the Wharfedales? Were they the Diamond 8's, because I'm not too keen on them.

I liked the Pioneer, and I could tell the difference between it and the better sounding Marantz, however for the average person, you would be hard pressed to find a better value, well maybe the VSX-D412 for $97. refurb., but that's another thread.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Not sure which Diamonds they were, either the 7s or the 8.1 I think.

I have a Pioneer head unit in my car, good performance but the controls are very counterintuitive and the manual is useless. Took me a good 2 weeks just to figure out how to use all the functions.

Kind of the opposite of Sony products, which are usually mediocre but very easy to use.

Don't know why these manufacturers can't pay some poor starving fresh-out-of-college English major to write their manuals for once.
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 509
Registered: Dec-03
Christopher,

"Don't get me wrong, NAD's are very nice, but if price matters (and it usually does), then there is usually a better value to be found"

I would like to address this statement if I may. I think that statement can be true or false based on what your expectations are. I guess if all you are looking for is a system that will sound "ok" and are someone who tends toward the mass market stores, then I guess yes, NAD's are a bit expensive and there are better "values" out there (although I would challenge anyone to find a better receiver than the NAD T742 at under $400...definately not expensive).

However, for those who expect a little more out of a receiver, I think that NAD is an absolutely wonderful buy, and that there aren't many better values out there. I would argue (as have many others) that NAD has a very "audiophile" sound and actually starts to get close to the sound of lower end separates. It is difficult to find any separates for under $2000. So, if NAD receivers have a sound that would rival many separates, and you can get the NAD for less than half the price, then it seems to me like NAD suddenly becomes a huge value.

Like I said, I guess it just depends on how you look at it. Anyone can get a cheap "value" receiver, but how does that receiver sound? The real trick is to get a great sounding receiver at a decent price. I will agree that those receivers are great for the price, but they really aren't that much cheaper than NAD...and most of the models you listed are refurbished. You can find refurbished NAD's out there for those kind of prices too. When you compare apples to apples, NAD has very compeditive prices, at least I think so.
 

sid
Unregistered guest
Don't confuse the the SR4400 as just a lower priced/lower output 5400, there's more to it than that. The 5400 has a better dsp chip and better quality amp section (higher grade components). This translates to improved detail retrievel and resolution, improved steering and a more effortless, refined sound. The 4400 is not much different from it's predecessor the 4300.

What I'm getting at is try not to scrimp to the 4400 if at all possible, the 5400 is worth that bit more even if you feel you don't need the extra power.

Go listen!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY USA

Post Number: 48
Registered: Oct-04
I agree the SR5400 is better than the SR4400 in the ways mentioned, but if money is an issue I would have no problem with recomending the SR4400. It's a very nice unit.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY USA

Post Number: 49
Registered: Oct-04
As far as my earlier NAD statement, I stand by it. At under $400. you can get a refurb. NAD T742 or a refurb. Marantz SR5400. I think given that this unit will be used at leat 30% for movies, I think the Marantz does a better all around job.

I don't deny that the NAD is slighty better better handling music, but the Marantz is better at home theater and is very good at music.
 

Silver Member
Username: Falp

Portugal

Post Number: 125
Registered: Mar-04
The SR5400 is just as good good as the 742 in stereo but much better in surround.

The 753 may outperform the 5400, but in surround...

The SR4400 has an outdated processor unit and 100Hz only Xover, it should still be named 4300...

Take a look at the SR4500/5500!
 

Silver Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 154
Registered: Dec-03
Christopher M: When I said that all things being equal I prefer the NAD sound to the Marantz, I meant if there were no other real standout considerations. Obviously, if there is a real price difference and price is of big concern, all things are not equal. As to the NAD bias, there are those who like NAD on this board and those who loath NAD as well. My assumption is that anyone who learns about NAD on this board gets enough information to make an informed decision. For my part, I provide information about NAD, give my experience if asked and thats about it. I have not listened to or checked out many brands including Yamaha, Denon, Arcam, Rotel, Sunfire etc etc so I would not presume to know what is best. I have had NAD and Marantz so I do feel comfortable comparing the two. Despite preferring the NAD sound, however, it is clear to me that the Marantz SR5400 is a step up over the NAD T742 and UNLESS driving low impedance speakers is a problem, the Marantz easily should win. Much closer comparison between the NAD T752 and the SR5400 and price could be a big factor.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY USA

Post Number: 50
Registered: Oct-04
OK, I'm good with that.
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