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NAD T763 Hum and Noise

 

New member
Username: Moose

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2004
Hello all. I have a problem with a new T763 and this forum seems to be the place to talk about it. Here's the deal. I unpacked a new T763 yesterday and hooked it up to my Totem Dreamcatchers. I now have the following three problems:

1. I hear a radio station coming from the surround speakers. It is loud enough to hear ten feet away. It is independent of the volume control. If you set the receiver to Stereo, the sound goes away.

2. I hear a hum coming from all speakers, though you have to press your ear pretty close to notice. I'm not too concerned about this, but after reading the posts here . . .

3. Switching channels on my TiVo, when I hit a show broadcast in DD, I hear a disturbing crack from the receiver and speakers.

So taht's it. I'm going to do more testing tonight. Any ideas?
 

Lars J. Aas
Unregistered guest
Return it for a new one, and test the new one at the dealer's before lugging it home. 1 and 3 is not normal.

Regarding 2, you will hear white noise if you stick your ears to the speakers - that's normal. You should not hear a low-frequent hum on the other hand. Anyways, the hiss/hum problem seems to be most noticable in Dolby Digital mode. Hook it up to a DVD player with a coaxial cable - disconnect everything else to eliminate the possibility of external source interference (even your active sub if you have one). Don't even hook up the DVD-player to your TV. Start playing a DVD with dolby digital and pause the playing. If you hear anything at all in your listening positions (beyond the faint swirring of the receiver fans), you probably have an affected unit. Do the same with a DTS disc for good measure.

I can't believe this - my account is gone *again*.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 44
Registered: Dec-03
Ben, did you have any luck with a replacement 763?
 

Ben Winter
Unregistered guest
Well, I did not get a replacement . . . yet.

With regard to the first problem, I discovered that my subwoofer cable was acting as an RF antenna (not surprising since I live near a small antenna farm). I solved the problem by shortening the sub cable and buying a ferrite choke ($4.50 at radio shack) to wrap around the cable as it goes into the receiver to "choke" off the RFI.

I still get humming, only in surround modes, but you can't hear it from the listening position so I'm not worried.

The dealer said that the crack I heard when switching to a DD channel was normal, and I believe him since this use to happen with my old receiver.

I have two new problems, however, that will necessitate a return. First, one of the optical inputs is defective as you can hear intermittent crackling on it. Switching to the other optical in solved the problem. The more serious problem, however, is that while watching TV in one of the surround modes, occassionally the volume will start to oscillate a db or two before dropping alltogether. Switching to a stereo mode brings the volume up. I think the surround processor is defective.

I will take it back to the dealer when work blows over and let you know what happens.

I know people may wonder why I'm putting up with this, so I'll say this. When it works, the sound from the receiver is simply incredible, and I think I would have difficulty getting that type of sound out of my 4 ohm speakers without speding significantly more money.
 

Ben Winter
Unregistered guest
I returned the receiver to the dealer this week. Their best guess was that there was a problem with the surround processor. They suggested that sometimes, in shipping, the chips or connections can become unseated and cause problems. Don't know if I buy this explanation, but anyway, they gave me a brand new unit. So far, no problems with crackling through the digital in or with the volume in DPLII. The hum issue is the same, as is the RFI through the sub cable. I can live with those minor issues, none of which affect me from the listening position.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cargoil

San Diego, Ca US

Post Number: 17
Registered: Dec-03
Is the sound so much better that it's worth taking a chance on all the different problems I see with NAD. I can't believe there are no receivers you can buy in that price range that don't have a sound at least close to NAD without all the headaches. Just the fact you can take a receiver back to a local dealer has to be worth something. I live in the San Diego area and still have to drive 40 miles to even listen to one. Then they don't sell the other gear I'm comparing it to. I really am glad to see some of the other threads saying it's time to get off the NAD band wagon and lets start really helping each other compare products. As I said on a prior post I just purchased a Denon 3805. I repeat just bought. I love it so far and it was very easy to hook up and worked perfectly the first time I turned it on. What the future holds who knows. I do know if anything happens I can take to my dealer 4 miles from my house. I guess I'm different in the fact I don't buy anything thinking it's worth having to repair it or return it, no matter how great the sound is. When it's not working none of them sound good.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Buckeyeshine

Post Number: 51
Registered: Feb-04
Johnb,
Myself so far I am the happy owner of a NAD T773...5 weeks and flawless operation.

Fortunately I didn't let some negative posts here shut the door on NAD for me. I'm not going to get into what I think would be the case in a side by side comparison with Denon but in my home test against a Yamaha it was no contest (my personal preference).

I agree having close proximity to a dealer may definitely be a consideration. I have a NAD dealer right here in my home town so this isn't always the case for other prospective buyers out there.

I am definitely glad I took the chance on NAD is all I can say and YES...they're worth it IMHO!

It just seemed like you are jumping on the NAD sucks bandwagon based on some posts here and without any personal negative experience to back it up so I couldn't sit idly by...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cargoil

San Diego, Ca US

Post Number: 20
Registered: Dec-03
JDC
You are right. I have no personal experience with the product but it does seem to be the topic of an unusually high amount of negative discussion on some of the threads. I think the real problem I have is the fact that no matter what is said about NAD (from people with 1st hand experience) the 1st receiver that is recomended to all who dare to venture onto this site is NAD. I have seen posts, not to long ago, that if you dared recommend or even mention another receiver you were pounced upon from all sides. All I ask is let's all be open minded to other products and brands. Many of these products have come a long way over the last few years. Perhaps NAD has gone in the wrong direction with some of thier product. I am glad to hear of your good luck with the product and hope others find it to be the same. I just like a good debate and you need more then one product to debate about. By the way, if you get a chance to hear the musical quality of the new 3805 I suggest you do.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 27
Registered: Feb-04
Even though I own a NAD receiver, I too would like to see better representation of other brands on this board. Perusing the receiver threads, one would think this is a NAD forum. I think it's up to Johnb and others to tout non-NAD products. It's refreshing and makes this board more valuable. I would especially like to hear about more esoteric kits, e.g., Arcam, Cambridge Audio.

Reading the love/hate postings for NAD reminds me of the continuing debate on the VW Passat forum. Passat owners seem to put up with the less-than-sterling reliability of the car, especially compared to Hondas and Toyotas, because of the driving experience that it provides. Similarly NAD owners seem fanatical about the brand because of the great listening experience it provides, even though there may be other receivers out there with different strengths such as problem-free operation. (BTW before you flame, I know I'm generalizing. I know there are some problem-free NAD receivers out there.)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 29
Registered: Feb-04
I'd tend to agree with you except this is one of the only good NAD resources available. At AVS for instance, there is no shortage of Denon reviews along with every other brand under the sun. I'm not kidding either. There are at least 4 threads a day over there strictly relating to Denon. I think this forum, in the end, serves it's purpose. That is, getting good info on NAD.

I do see what you mean though. And I'm not flaming anyone, but the guy named HAWK only seems to know three letters......NAD. He'll recommend NAD, but won't post back if you have a problem with it once you get it home. I've seen him ignore posts from people having a problem with their NAD unit after he recommended they get one.

The way I do it is I ignore all posts by Hawk, as I already know where he's coming from, and I ALWAYS read John A's posts. He knows what he's talking about, and he won't BS you. Plus, if John says "get a NAD" he'll help you troubleshoot if a problem develops. Hawk always seems to disappear when things go bad.

To be honest, I found Johnnb's posts about the denon 3805 just as irritating as other posts around here. I mean, he said the same thing in like three different threads. Secondly, I know darn good and well that the 3805 is no match for any NAD receiver. Pure and simple. And I'm a big Denon fan. I've talked with someone from denon who flat out said the 3805 is not the unit enginneers nor marketers who work for Denon wanted. They went cheap and simple on the room eq for starters. If they weren't going to do it right, they shouldn't have done it. Will people be happy with the 3805? For sure. Is it up to a NAD in sound quality? Hardly. Just because you "change" the sound through room eq doesn't mean the "change" will be for the better. Quality control as far as NAD vs. Denon is another story.

In all fairness to Hawk and johnnb, I'd be willing to bet lots of people don't like the way I post either, so I'm not above anyone around here.




 

Bronze Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 29
Registered: Feb-04
AF1,

I'm going to have to start calling you Four Cents, because it seems you get more than your two cents' worth in your posts.

I agree with you that this forum is valuable for NAD info, especially for NAD owners. However, for those shopping for a new receiver, I think this forum may appear biased toward NAD. Among major brands, it's my own opinion that NAD stands out sonically. But I'm sure others disagree and disagreement is healthy unless you live in a totalitarian state (People's Republic of NAD anyone?) I also suspect there are other AV receivers out there that are as good if not better than NAD. Maybe it's not the Denons or the Yamahas. How about the Rotels, Arcams, and Outlaws out there?

This forum wouldn't be better if there were less NAD threads, but it would be better if there were more non-NAD threads. I understand the devotion folks have for NAD receivers and CD players, but recommending NAD DVD players to others, as some have done here, is beyond me. (BTW before others flame, I'm basing the last statement on the two-years-behind technology and mediocre video quality of fairly expensive NAD DVD players.)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 30
Registered: Feb-04
This forum wouldn't be better if there were less NAD threads, but it would be better if there were more non-NAD threads.

Two Cents,

I can't argue with that.

Did I keep it short enough this time?:-)

I do tend to ramble. Have a good one Two Cents.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 30
Registered: Feb-04
You too AF1. Look forward to some more of your long, rambling posts. But now I've got a movie to watch on my HT.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Lexus0829

Post Number: 12
Registered: Mar-04
AF1 and two cents. I like all your comments keep it coming. I hate to say it,but I listen to Denon 3805/4802R, Yamaha RX-v1400 and 2400, Onkyo 901, Rotel 1057, but the NAD receiver just sound better and i only listened to the 752 before even purchasing the 763. I only came to this board to ask what type of dvd to use. I guess I'm one of the pro NAD , but I tried them all first before making the decision. I think only the Denon 5803R which my brother have is what I would buy, but that's out of my price range.
AF-1 and two cents it took me 2 months to decide on my NAD, cause of the features of all the Japanese brands especially the on screen display on the Yamaha/Denon utilizing the component video,svideo and the Denon's 108mhz video frequency, it was very confusing so I based my decision on sound. The Rotel and the NAD were the best, but the Rotel was too expensive and dont offer 6.1, the 7.1 was 2K. Well that's all I got to say to people deciding listen, study the feature then decide if you really need them. I hope I didnt bore you guys....:-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Seamus

Post Number: 11
Registered: Feb-04
As someone who's doing the research before buying a HT, I'm a regular 'lurker' at quite a few forums. What I've found is that each & every forum leans towards one or two brands - I suppose it's got to do with the satisfied (or otherwise actually) owners tending to hanging around together (birds of the same feather...)

So yes, if this forum seems biased towards NAD, there are others with an equally strong Yamaha and Denon focus. That doesn't make them any better or any less - it provides people like me the chance to study each brand in detail, and know what to listen for when going for the physical audition.

So keep it coming guys, it actually is a lot of help.

BTW, AF1, I suppose I should flame you for having influenced some of us to start considering the 973 combo, much to the wife's "disappointment" ... :-)

 

Bronze Member
Username: Buckeyeshine

Post Number: 56
Registered: Feb-04
Johnb et al,
The reason I jumped in on this is 2 fold because it's kind of personal for me.

First, I was replacing my Yamaha RX-V2092 with a new model because the power supply had died on it. I immediately jumped to the Yamaha brand because I had positive experiences with their surround sound quality and I am probably 70% HT/30% music. The local dealer told me it was a toss up between the RX-V2400 and Denon 3803 so I went with the name I was familiar with.

I had a very bad experience with the RX-V2400 which I won't get into all the details of but basically it fried my Center channel speaker twice before figuring out the culprit.

I was both looking for advice on this issue as well as suggestions for alternate brands because the door was once again opened to me to consider other alternatives.

Literally within minutes of browsing threads on this site I found multiple NAD bashing threads using words of rampant quality issues and one would not consider them until they solved all of their issues etc. etc. If you've spent any time at all on this site you know what I mean.

So I recall almost immediately removing NAD from consideration based on this. Then over the next couple of weeks after communicating with some on this site and other sites as well I kept hearing about the positive sound quality of NAD.

So I opened my mind back up to them and found we had a local dealer who I visited and got quite a different story on NAD from him. Obviously he's a dealer so could be biased but I've also know him for quite awhile I just had never pursued him for a receiver before. He is a very high end dealer whose main product is NAIM for those of you familiar with them. He has impeccable integrity in business and spent 3 hours with me in his shop and I respected his opinion. On the other hand, were I to have NAD issues he knows he would be the first one I came to.

This was my first point and only my opinion but the lesson I learned...DON'T LET MERE POSTS ON A FORUM DRIVE YOU TO A CONCLUSION ON WHAT PRODUCT TO BUY.

It is very difficult to derrive quantifyable information on a product simply from posts on a forum. I almost shut the door on NAD because of it and I'm glad I didn't!

Which brings me to my second point...I am now the owner of a NAD T773 because of a test with a T763 in my home woth my Paradigms.

I was a little reluctant to put $1400 down on a receiver with no experience beyond listening to it in a dealer's set up with speakers that are a different brand from mine.

So I asked the dealer if I got it home and wasn't satisfied could I bring it back. He said he'd prefer I bring a demo unit home a try it out. If I wasn't pleased no problem but if I liked it he'd ring me up a new one.

Suffice it to say I was sold within minutes of listening to it! This was virtually in a side by side comparison with the Yamaha RX-V2400 I had at the time and the T763 absolutely blew the 2400 out of the water. It was no comparison for me personally. I am probably lucky myself in that not everyone may have the opportunity to test a receiver out in their home before buying.

I stepped up to the T773 because I already had a 7.1 system before with the speakers and figured a little extra power wouldn't hurt and my budget would allow it.

So my lessons learned on this are to keep your mind and ears open and let your ears be the judge in the end. Don't let posts by me or anyone else solely make up your decision if you can help it. I am certainly glad I reopened the door to NAD.

Also, don't jump on a brand simply because they're mainstream and what you have had in the past. Companies and their products can certainly change over time especially in this day and age of the global manufacturing world we're in.
Mainstream does not always mean the best by any means.

In the end basically my best advice is to test brands side by side whenever possible and let your ears and budget decide for you. I am not at all going to tell you NAD is it and the only brand to consider. There are a lot of good ones out there but one should open their mind, their options, and let opinions on these forums guide you but not absolutely direct your decisions. You will find many here give accolades for Yamaha, Denon, and a host of others. But sound preference is just that...INDIVIDUAL and similar to people's tastes in food. We all have different tastes.

Sorry to go on but again, I am a little passionate about this because of my personal experience.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Buckeyeshine

Post Number: 57
Registered: Feb-04
AF!....I'd have to admit too, if I had gone through what you had I would probably be slamming NAD here every post I could. I know how frustrating that must have been.
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 182
Registered: Dec-03
Hi all,

It has been a few months since we have had a "This must be an NAD forum" thread. https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/7161.html

Let me start off by saying that I truly do sympathize with any on this forum who have had legitimate problems with their NAD receiver (i.e. AF1). As JDG said, if I had had the same problems with my T762, I would probably be slamming NAD at every opportunity also. I truly do not try to shy away from anyone seeking help with their problems...it is just that I do not have any experience fixing any problems. Like I said, I have had no problems with my unit, so obviously I have never had to try to fix it either. Like with the hum issue...I have never had hum...have really never heard serious hum problems...and thus have never had to fix hum. That is why I don't try to help...not because I don't want to...just because I can't. Obviously, I don't know for sure, but the same maybe could be said of Hawk (who I respect very much). So far, he has reported no problems with his new NAD. So once again, we are expecting troubleshooting help from someone who has had no trouble. Also, AF1, I think you might have blown Hawk's lack of help a little out of proportion. I have seen numerous times that he has helped people hunt down and try to cure the causes of their hum. You also mentioned John A. (someone who I respect very much by the way) and how he always tries to help. He had a hum issue awhile back and was able to cure it...so he is qualified to share his thoughts...and often does.

As for the NAD problems, I won't go into that. I have posted many times on this subject and anything I could say would be repeating what I have already stated in other threads. Just keep in mind that we are hearing only the bad things. Most people who have had no problems with their unit have no reason to post on the board...they are spending their free time enjoying their new receiver. To make a generalization about all NAD products (good or bad) based on the comments on this board is simply ludicrous. I have spoken to two separate dealers about all of these NAD problems and they both answered without hesitation that they have had no more problems with NAD than with any other brand...and I truly trust what they say. I have kept quite an extensive collection of threads written about problems with other brands as well if anyone wants to see them (just in case this type of thread ever popped up again). If you like the sound of a particular receiver, then get it, no matter what you read on this or any other board.

And now for this business of this board being NAD biased. I really don't spend any time looking through other Home Audio discussion boards...so I can't speak as to whether this board is more or less biased than any other. However, I do feel as though some of those who are making these accusations are not looking at the whole picture. It is true that NAD receivers are recommended very highly on this board. But, take a minute and look at who the regulars posters are on this board (those with more than 100 postings) and then look at which receivers they themselves have. Many of these regulars do in fact own NAD receivers. These people (myself included) spent hours listening to many different receivers, and in the end, spent considerable amounts of money on NAD products. If NAD sounded the best to them, then why would they not recommend it to others? It seems logical to me. I am definately not going to recommend a product to someone if I myself would not use it. This is a free forum...that is anyone is free to post here. If you like a different brand of receiver, you are as free as anyone else to recommend it to others. If this board does indeed have an NAD bias...the only way to change it is for others to advocate other brands. So those of you who are upset with this apparent bias, you better get posting.

A closer look at what really is being posted will also show that NAD is not the only brand recommended by those "regulars" in question. I cannot count how many times the question "which receiver should I buy" has come up. And, more times that not, somewhere in the discussion NAD pops up. Why is this? One reason is, like I said earlier, many of the "hard core" posters on this forum have NAD receivers...and like I said, it is natural for them to recommend what they have. It is simply a matter of numbers. The majority of the posts on the board are done by NAD users...so the majority of the recommendations are being given by NAD users...so NAD will get more recommendations than other brands. It is a natural occurance given the people that occupy the forum. Another reason that NAD might get so many recommendations is that many people REALLY enjoy the sound of NAD receivers. That is not to say that everyone likes the sound, but even those who are slamming NAD for their supposed quality control problems often start off their posting by saying "I really was sold on the NAD sound". AF1, you yourself made a considerable financial upgrade in your setup just so you could stick with that NAD sound.
Dollar for dollar, NAD receivers are SOME of the best out there. Once again, it seems natural to me that if so many people love the NAD sound (even those who slam NAD for other reasons), they should recommend it.

That being said, I think if one did in-depth look at what actually is recommended on this board, you would find that MANY other brands are recommended regularly. Aside from those very open ended "which receier should I buy" questions, most people on this forum do make unbiased recommendations based on the unique requirements of each individual. I myself have often recommended many other brands, as has Hawk and everyone else (one of the most regular posters goes by the name "elitefan" if that tells you anything). Bottom line...we all try to make recommendations based on what each individual needs. If someone asks "which receiver should I buy"...they are just setting themselves up to get flooded with NAD. If someone asks "which receiver would go well with my speakers"...I think you will see that we do often make other recommendations as well.
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 183
Registered: Dec-03
P.S. If you read that entire rant and didn't fall asleep...you get a cookie! Man, that thing was long. I apologize.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Vulture99

Post Number: 12
Registered: Feb-04
No apologies necessary, it was a good read. I recently purchased a T763 and have been reading the NAD threads with interest. I plan to get it hooked up and configured this weekend, so hopefully I can share advice with the group after that.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 40
Registered: Feb-04
Well said Johnny! You took some of my words right off my keyboard!

I was put off purchasing a NAD receiver not only by the negative posts in this forum but also by by contradictions about NAD issues when speaking seperately with a father and son who run a NAD dealership. One or both were dishonest!

I now have a great relationship with our Marantz SR7300. After solving a heat issue (due to extremely hot weather) I cannot recommend this unit enough, and I agree the NADs sound absolutely wonderful and it is no wonder they receive many platitudes in here.

My overall contentment is due largely to many of those who have contributed herein (including those you were defending)and my own research and auditioning - which is really the bottom line. No one is to blame for any purchase but the buyer!

As much as I enjoy AF1's posts, I too believe he was a little unfair to Hawk. One can only offer advice if one has experience with the issue.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 31
Registered: Feb-04
Alex,JDG,Johnny,Rantz

First off, I'd like to apologize for the Hawk rant as I haven't hung out around here long enough to make comments such as I did. I'm sure most of you know, I post first and think second. As far as slamming NAD, like you say, I stuck with the brand. I think I have been completely honest about my experience with the 773, anger and all. I've had nothing but good things to say about the 973 since receiving the unit. I think this proves my bias is towards current model 773's, not NAD(at least the two I got). I hope you guys don't really think I "hate" NAD......or Hawk.

Seamus, I know what you mean, my girlfriend thinks I've lost my mind. Just keep reminding her that you can hide it out of sight.

You all made good, thoughtful points in above posts.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 41
Registered: Feb-04
AF1
"First off, I'd like to apologize for the Hawk rant . . ."

Forgotten and top marks to you!

No one can blame you for your anger. If I'd spent good money on a box full of bugs I'd hit the roof also!

I'm looking forward to the day when you provide a post after you have included the pre/pro with your 973. You'll be beside yourself with joy and most likely be thanking your hassles with the 773.

Keep them coming!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 366
Registered: Dec-03
Guys (esp Johnny, AF1, MyRantz, JDG)

Thanks for the views and comments. I've learned loads, on this forum, from people disagreeing, often strongly, but taking the trouble to explain why. "Receivers" seems the most informative and fun topic here. It's a pleasure to cross swords with folk who write what they think. I really do not know why NAD arouses so much controversy: is it the brand itself, love it or hate it, or the people who go for it?

I also take comfort that I am not the only one to hit thousand-word posts...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 49
Registered: Dec-03
I would love to hear about the performance of the NAD 163 pre/pro with a 973, if anyone does use it...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cargoil

San Diego, Ca US

Post Number: 21
Registered: Dec-03
I really did open up a hornets nest. The NAD must be diamond in the rough. I do apologize for upsetting anyone with my comments. I feel like I just opened a bottle of beer at an AA meeeting. Where did Alex P find the 3805 to compare? They just got out here to San Diego. Our local dealers don't even have them on the shelves yet. Well I guess I'll just hang my head in shame and have to go find a Denon thread. I wish I had the connections that AF1 has. It may have swayed me too having someone that works for Denon bad mouth thier own product.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Lexus0829

Post Number: 14
Registered: Mar-04
Hey Johnb,

I listen to the 3805 at goodguys, i was just lucky it came in last Friday 3/12 and the sales guy was excited so I waited they disconnected their RX-Z1, and connected it. I was lucky cause they were testing it with the Anthony Gallos Nucleus which is same speakers I have. They also had the rx-v2400 in there and a pioneer vsx55txi, the denon sounds much better than the 2. Also the 3805 have a 108mhz video frequency in it's component video out, and i dont think you need to use the s-video out to get the on screen display...hope that helps...ALex
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 367
Registered: Dec-03
I second Darryl's post. Having always favoured separates, I, too, would love to hear about the NAD 163/973 combination. Did you decide against the 163 because of hum, Air Force One? Did I read somewhere here it is due to be replaced?
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 368
Registered: Dec-03
NAD 753 / 763 has some stuff about the 163, but I think AirForce was worried there about 163 hum without having heard it, just on the basis of bad experience with the T773. Reasonable, but not first-hand. Certainly it is the pre-amp stages of NAD receivers that have given people grief.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 32
Registered: Feb-04
Hey guys.

Johnnb, Don't think I'm "connected" at Denon in any way. It was just dumb luck that I was able to talk to that guy. Plus, he didn't slam the 3805, just the quality of the auto calibration feature. Besides, the enginneers always complain that they aren't given enough resources. And no need to apologize. But let me for getting crappy about your review. There was nothing wrong with it.

JohnA, Darryl, Yeah, I have no firsthand with the 163, just that review I read at AVS that said it had a higher noise floor than the 762. Since the guy was right about the 973, I figure the 163 does have a SLIGHTLY higher noise floor. I haven't read anywhere of any hum or buzz with it though. Like I've said, I'm just saving money right now and could end up with the 163. I've been doing some intentional pouting so my girlfriend will break down and let me go get a pre/pro now, but so far, no luck.



About it being replaced, I don't know, but it sure seems NAD is missing a pre/pro in there somwhere. They have one for 1500, and one for 3500, but shouldn't there be one for 2500? Maybe towards the end of summer??


You guys might enjoy this, I was reading the manual for the silver series NAD S170i pre/pro and it comes packed with a pair of white cotton gloves so you won't scratch or get fingerprints on it when setting it up. Pretty cool huh? I thought it was a nice touch by NAD.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 33
Registered: Feb-04
Also a quick update on the 973 for those interested, it's still running GREAT hooked to my DVD player. I have no regrets. Again, the fans are pretty loud, but that can be dealt with through placement of the unit. If it's not coming from the speakers, I'm not picky. Running my 8ohm speakers the thing as not even warmed to the touch yet. I'm talking COOL to the touch even after dynamic LOUD scenes. Just a reminder as well, if your running a 5.1 system with it you'll have two extra channels of amplification(if you run a powered sub) as insurance againt losing a channel in a few years after the warranty expires. If you guys have more questions about it, feel free to ask.

Have a good one all.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 50
Registered: Dec-03
I, personally, am still mulling over either Rotel (1068) or NAD... I worry about NAD reliability. And the Rotel does have a 5-year warranty...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 34
Registered: Feb-04
Of course, I've got one more thing to say. It comes shipped heavier than what the NAD website says. It's 85 pounds shipped not the seventy something they say. I think the packaging is heavier than what they think but it could be the unit. I haven't tried weighing it .....yet.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cargoil

San Diego, Ca US

Post Number: 25
Registered: Dec-03
Hey: AF1. Maybe roses would help? It's funny but when you heart set on something it's worth going for. Otherwise you will always regret it. Well I finished my brewski and hope I can join the AA
meeting again. I must say one thing about the 3805. I consider myself pretty adept at learning the workings of new components and like I said we set up the Denon in no time but the remote is a bit of a pain. I think they tried to get a bit too cute with this. I'm sure I'll get soon but at 1st it's a bit awkward.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 35
Registered: Feb-04
Darryl, yes, that 5 year warranty would be NICE to have. I've only heard good things about NAD amps though over at AVS and other places. People seem to think it's what NAD does well.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cargoil

San Diego, Ca US

Post Number: 26
Registered: Dec-03
After proofing that last note I must be tired. Sorry! These 14 hour days, at work, will do it me every time.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 36
Registered: Feb-04
Jonnb,

Your a member of the club. No more beer though unless you bring enough for all.:-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 37
Registered: Feb-04
BTW, the 3805 is getting some good early reviews at AVS, but then again most new units do, but here is a user comment I cut and pasted:


I played around with it today(I work at Tweeter), it's a superb receiver. I did the auto setup using the mic that comes with the Yamaha's and it had no problems. The difference the auto-eq makes is nothing short of stunning.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Cargoil

San Diego, Ca US

Post Number: 27
Registered: Dec-03
AF1: Sounds like my kid wrote that comment. He works at Tweeters too but he doesn't get on line much.We felt the same way even on the 1st manual set up try out. I'm glad to hear that at least for now things sound good. I know it takes time to find the true worth of any new component. I hope this one continues to impress. The speed at which it did auto settings compared to the Yamaha 2400 left us wondering if it had completed its settings. After waiting a good 60 to 90 seconds for it store the info we knew it was doing something. Then a check of the EQ and speaker settings let us know it was right on. If I remember right it is to a third of a foot on distance settings. It does make a difference.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 47
Registered: Feb-04
AF1

Forget the roses! Tell her to count her shoes then multiply by the cost of a pair - I'll bet that's a pre/pro and some change to boot!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 376
Registered: Dec-03
Just looked at the NAD S170/S250 spec. Awesome, also awesome price. What does it offer over the T163/T973?

Personally, AF1, I would be irritated to receive a pair of white gloves with my audio kit. What nonsense. Some high-end turntables used to do that. I would ask for a discount if I promised to wash my hands... If you have kids, they'll get chocolate on the controls in no time; gloves are a complete joke. But with kids, so, probably, is the price!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 38
Registered: Feb-04
I still like the idea of the gloves though. It just seems cool.

I think the motorola processing is supposed to be far and away better than what's in the 163. Also, the THX post processing could be helpful. 3500 dollars helpful? I don't know about that.


The S250 amp I can't figure out. It's only 5 channels and the S170i will do 7.1. Where's the reason to buy the amp if you want the S170i?? Another thing, if you check the 973 specs vs. the S250 specs, they look identical. However, the S250 is THX certified but the 973 isn't. The 973 does bare the THX logo on the rear of the unit, not on the faceplate. The 973 was originaly supposed to be THX certified and since it's not but the specs are the same I suspect the 973 is unstable at it's rated output, at least driving 4ohm or 2ohm speakers anyway. I have no proof of this, I just suspect it. I think it's one of those things 99.9% of listeners would never be able to detect anyway, including me.

Any thoughts?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 51
Registered: Dec-03
I suspect that NAD just didn't want to fork over the extra licensing fees to THX for the 973. They probably just don't see enough value in it. They haven't sought licensing for their new receivers and processor, either. And I wouldn't think that a 7x140 NAD amp would fall short of THX specs.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 40
Registered: Feb-04
But see, the thing is, they ORIGINALY wanted to certify because it was advertised on their website as THX certified and bares the logo on the back. They already knew how much the licensing fee would be months before the unit was even finished being designed and were, going by the logos present, prepared to pay it. Something IMO went wrong and NAD, I believe, decided fixing whatever THX wanted fixing wasn't worth the certification any longer. I'm not saying NAD made the wrong decision. I'm just saying it's WAY to easy to say the fee was the problem. Remember, NAD was the first company to come out with THX certified amps. I'm not saying THX is all that, I do believe it's another arrow in our quiver to getting good sound though.

I'm NOT saying the 973 is defective. I do think it would fail THX. Whatever that test truly is.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 41
Registered: Feb-04
I'll keep going in case you've all gone to bed. Over at AVS there is quite a debate going on now about THX and it's value. After reading the thread I've been pretty surprised. Roger Dressler of Dolby Laboratories has posted that THX is in fact a valuable asset to have in your system, as have some serious audio intallers and such. Pretty interesting read, I'll post a link if I can. I'll be back....
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 42
Registered: Feb-04
It's here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=3d9664f02d769286afa278ce73862a85 &threadid=376142

If it's not clickable, try cutting and pasting.

AND READ THE WHOLE THREAD IF YOU GO THERE!!!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 52
Registered: Dec-03
I still think it's a stretch to assume that the 973 would fail THX standards simply because NAD pulled the plug on obtaining THX certification at the last moment. Also, if the 973 would fail THX standards, then NAD's specs would probably have to be wrong, as well.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 53
Registered: Dec-03
I've read many "THX" threads at place like AVS. Most of the time, you've got a bunch of guys who really don't understand what THX certification involves for AV receivers bashing products that have it because people are simply "paying for the logo."

And then you have other guys arguing that many non-THX receivers meet THX specs, failing to realize that, without THX certification, there is no way to know that for certain. Which, of course, is the whole point. Besides, even if a receiver's amplifier output does meet THX Select or Ultra specs, there are also several post-processing algorithms involved for the surround sound decoding.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 44
Registered: Feb-04
Not really. Since we don't know what the THX standards are the "problem" could be related to something that won't show up in manual specs. Like stability at it's rated output.

Even you say they pulled the plug at the last moment. What sense would it make to go through the whole THX song and dance then say "oh well forget it" at the last minute. Seems to me the only thing that could end it at the end like that was an ultimate failure, by THX standards. Like I've said, this doesn't mean the 973 amp isn't 100% tip top. It would all depend on what the reason for failure was, which I seriously doubt anyone could actually hear.

I HAVE to believe if the 973 would have passed THX it would be THX. The unit was advertised for 2000 dollars before and after dropping THX certification. So the final price would not have been affected.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 45
Registered: Feb-04
Yes, I assumed you had read much on the subject. I also have seen you around AVS as I'm sure you've seen me but that thread has a nice twist. Some experts such as Roger Dressler from Dolby Labs posted in it. And hey, we're all just a bunch of guys, just BSing...right? It's not hard to tell who knows what they're talking about and who doesn't in that thread. I came to the conclusion THX is not "all that", but is nice to have, and does serve useful and beneficial purposes. Just my opinion after having read it though.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 46
Registered: Feb-04
Shoot Darryl, you said yourself above that you are thinking maybe Rotel over NAD because of QC issues. Are you telling me THX certification wouldn't make you feel better about the NAD?? Honestly???
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 54
Registered: Dec-03
Hi AF1, I just had a look through some of those AVS pages on THX and, indeed, my response to you sums them up exactly. Let me quote/paraphrase a few of the posters:

"THX doesn't publish their specifications, so they must not want people to know what they are for a reasom."

Not true. They do publish the fundamental elements of their certifications.

"I own Brand X receiver and it sounds just as good as any THX receiver so THX must be worthless."

Well, I guess if you want to buy a non-THX receiver that you're potentially interested in and a genuine THX receiver; bring them both home and hook them both up; and then do an A-B comparison between the two in order to make that determination, great. You can even just risk it and by the non-THX receiver and hope the performance is up to par. Or you can buy a receiver that has been certified to meet a benchmark standard of performance.

People just don't get it. Sure, my NAD 773 or Rotel 1067 or whatever may meet THX specs for amplifier output. But what about that one Brand X receiver that came with a built-in DVD player in a 3" high chassis that's rated at 5x150 Wpc though it's likely to measure something like 50 Wpc on the bench? Do you know whether that will meet THX specs?

"THX is just a badge."

No. It's a guarantee of minimum performance and a suite of processing features specifically designed for optimizing surround-sound playback. It doesn't even mean that your component is better than anyone else's. It's just an assurance of a standard level of performance for a certain room size.

Et cetera.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 55
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

Are you telling me THX certification wouldn't make you feel better about the NAD??




If THX measured quality control, sure... But they don't ;-)

I'm worried about the NAD's reliability and quality, not its ability to output accurate, reference-level surround-sound.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 47
Registered: Feb-04
Like I said though if it's between the Rotel and the NAD wouldn't THX certification help in the decision?

And I'm not talking about processor certification, that's a little different than amp certification since it's more of a performance thing in the amps and a procesing thing in the controllers.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 56
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

Like I said though if it's between the Rotel and the NAD wouldn't THX certification help in the decision?




Keep in mind that Rotel amps are THX-certified and yet I am still considering NAD. But, if I wasn't already confident in the performance of NAD, Yes, it would make a difference.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 48
Registered: Feb-04
I believe that's incorrect about the measuring for QC. Many isssues can and have been caught by THX when testing gear. Will they catch everything? Certainly not. But when sending the unit for final certification, it's another chance for things to be caught before release.

Man, I'm going to get some links for this myself specifically about the QC issue relating to THX. May take me awhile but I'll be back.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 49
Registered: Feb-04
Keep in mind that Rotel amps are THX-certified and yet I am still considering NAD. But, if I wasn't already confident in the performance of NAD, Yes, it would make a difference

I think we agree then actually. I did not know that about the Rotels.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 57
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

Many isssues can and have been caught by THX when testing gear.




Still, THX doesn't measure quality control, no more than you are measuring quality control when you get a dud component. It's just a good example of how they do, in fact, test products sent to them, and even fail them, if they need to.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 50
Registered: Feb-04
Darryl,

What do you think you'll ultimately do, Rotel or NAD?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 51
Registered: Feb-04
Still, THX doesn't measure quality control, no more than you are measuring quality control when you get a dud component. It's just a good example of how they do, in fact, test products sent to them, and even fail them, if they need to.

I agree with this as well. BUT THX is another line of defense for us, don't you think? As far as QC issues? BTW, how are you quoting that way, I can't figure it out?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 49
Registered: Feb-04
AF1 and Darryl

I know nothing about THX except that they pay for the stamp and the unit has to have the power for the differences, select, ultra and ultra2 etc.

Many in this forum say it's not worth the consideration and dolbyEX works well as it is usually an option on THX movies and requires 6.1 to complement the sound I believe. I hired Pirates of the Carribean the other night and the disc had a THX surround test set which I haven't seen before. The rear center goes to the rear surrounds if you have a 5.1 set up like mine. It was great sound anyway besides the usual slamming Gerry Bruckheimer background music.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 52
Registered: Feb-04
Hey Rantz. That's one of the few Depp movies I like, along with BLOW and a few others. Sounds great too.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 58
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

What do you think you'll ultimately do, Rotel or NAD




Don't know yet. How well the 163 performs, and whether it suffers from the same issues as NAD's receivers, will have a big bearing on it.


quote:

BTW, how are you quoting that way, I can't figure it out?




It's rather odd... You can find them here:

Formatting Codes


quote:

Many in this forum say it's not worth the consideration and dolbyEX




Interestingly enough, THX co-developed Dolby EX, and actually had exclusivity for a period of time (it was originally called "THX Surround EX"). And there are also other elements to THX processing, including the taming of bright soundtracks, de-correlation of the signals to the surrounds, and so on.

Futhermore, as I described above, THX certification is a degree of assurance for the consumer since it indicates a minimum standard of performance (adequate power output under difficult conditions and that sort of thing). If you already have confidence in the performance of your receiver then, No, it probably isn't necessary. You could still possibly benefit from THX processing, though some manufacturers have their own versions of this, as well.

In terms of resale value, you could probably get a bit more for a THX product -- since even uneducated consumer electronics shoppers have at least heard of it.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 53
Registered: Feb-04
Thanks Darryl. I'll have to figure that out tomorrow, too tired tonight. Let me know what you end up doing. Take it easy.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 377
Registered: Dec-03
Great discussion.

AIRFORCE: "Since we don't know what the THX standards are "

Darryl: "Not true. They do publish the fundamental elements of their certifications."

Me: "fundamental elements"...?

If the full criteria for THX certification are not published, then it is almost certainly a scam. I favour Darryl's original view that NAD couldn't see why they should pay, and did not wish to pass on to the consumer the fee for displaying a badge.

Can anyone provide the full specification for amp THX certification?

Remember the THX badge, and the glissando fanfare is on some videotapes, too. What does it mean?

I note the technical information THX requires:-

"We will require information on your anticipated sales volume, target retail prices, production schedule and launch date."

http://www.thx.com/mod/cert/index.html

"THX Certification is considered a mark of excellence in the entertainment industry, offering THX licensees a powerful tool to drive sales and increase market share. For consumers, it represents a promise that the cinemas they visit and the products they purchase have been evaluated and tested to meet the highest standards for picture and sound performance."

http://www.thx.com/mod/company/overview.html

In short, it is marketing: a "quality assurance program". If a unit does not have certification, it does not follow that it tried and failed. It might just be that the manufacturer had different prioirities.

They even certify cables:

http://www.thx.com/mod/techlib/interconnects.html

IMHO there are too many proprietary badges in this business, and not enough electronics engineers...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 54
Registered: Feb-04
I favour Darryl's original view that NAD couldn't see why they should pay, and did not wish to pass on to the consumer the fee for displaying a badge.


This makes no sense. You can't say "they don't see why they should pay" WHEN THEY PAID ON THE S170i......DANGIT. THEY DANG WELL ARE WILLING TO PAY!!!! AND PASS ON THE COST!!!! THEY'RE DOING IT NOW!!! I can't believe you guys keep saying this AS NAD SELLS THX GEAR!!! You know right now....at this moment in time.......currently. Or did NAD suddenly get religion with 973??



I don't get this. THX comes up with Surround EX and now they're a scam. Why can't THX be another bullet in the gun so to speak when it comes to trying to get good sound?


Think about this. Lexicon certifies the MC-8 and MC-12 and the people who buy those know what the heck they are doing and don't buy those BECAUSE of THX certification , but EXPECT it. Whether it's of any use, either in an amp or a processor, is up to the individual listener, but to call THX a scam or dismiss it outright is shortsighted. I think.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 55
Registered: Feb-04
I swear, this is what people mean about a NAD bias around here. If the 973 WAS certified you'd be saying it was because NAD wants "the best" in their gear. If it's not certified, it's a "scam". Quit holding NAD up to be some holier than thou company who only looks out for the consumer, never themselves. It's just not true. Didn't see why they should pay and push the cost off on us???? Again, when did they get the "awakening"???
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 379
Registered: Dec-03
AIRFORCE,

Maybe NAD pay the THX dues with the S170/S250, and that explains why they are more expensive....? Wonder what the percentage of each amp retail price we are talking about. Anyone know?

My original question what "What has the S170/S250 got the T163/T973 hasn't?"

All we have so far is a THX badge and a pair of white gloves.

Forgive me for not seeing, straight away, what these have to do with sound quality!

I'll be happy to bash NAD a bit if that's all there is to it.

Could be sour grapes from me, I suppose. I'll brood about that a bit. Anyhow, I prefer grey, one of the very rare occasions when my natural instinct if for the cheaper option...

I have a bit of a raw nerve for badges assuring people of things. I guess it is a question of which way the money moves. If THX paid NAD for the advertisement, I'd take it a bit more seriously. Since (we assume) the money moves in the other direction, you have to admit there are grounds for scepticism. The best of all would be a published spec which, if met, any maker could boast about, for free. Come to think of it, it already exists, and is called electronics, things like Watts, Ohms and Amps.

And if they lie, we sue for misrepresentation.

That's what I call quality assurance.

Beware the middle men. They are taking over, I swear it.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Buckeyeshine

Post Number: 62
Registered: Feb-04
I see the new Dodge Caravans now have THX certified systems in them.

Do I think the sound system in them is superior to my T773? Hardly. I know this argument has some holes but I'm just not buying the THX superiority crap.

This is an interesting debate but I personally think it's one of those certified marketing tools designed to generate cash for the certificators.

And what a CASH COW they have developed with THX certified cables and what not now!! Cables for cryin' out loud!

A little off topic but similar IMHO...

Kinda like ISO 9000/9001 etc... for quality certification in manufacturing plants. I have been in a lot of ISO certified plants that are an absolute joke for quality standards and some that aren't ISO certified that have very exceptional quality systems.

However, in some industries an ISO certification is mandatory to attain future business and recognized worldwide so a necessary evil for the industries to have for survival. There are some good things about ISO qualifications so I'm not knocking it.

But similar to the THX cert. debate, to state a product is superior to another just because it has the THX blessing is a farce in my opinion.

And YES, it's all sour grapes because my 773 isn't THX certified :0)

I'd stack it up against anything in it's class that is THX though.
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 187
Registered: Dec-03
Wow, what a discussion. Things are getting a bit heated in here. Here are my thoughts on this subject.

I can't explain why the S170/S250 have THX and the others do not. All we can do is speculate, and the only way anyone would know for sure is to get themselves a conversation with either an NAD executive or a THX executive and ask them. Since no one on here is likely to do that, all we have are unfounded speculations. For anyone to speculate that any of NAD's receivers are NOT THX certified because they are somehow lacking is in my opinion taking a very big leap of faith and are assuming WAY too much.

All I really know for sure about THX certification is this. Any electronics manufacturer that wants to put the THX logo on their receiver has to pay A LOT of money to do so, and thus has to pass the cost on to the consumer. For this money, the manufacturer is able to bill their receiver as "THX Certified" and thus likely increase sales

Like I have said many times, if I am choosing between two receivers that are exactly the same price, and one has THX and one does not, all other things being equal, I would rather choose the receiver that has no certification because I would rather pay for better components, not a little badge on the front of the receiver.

As has been stated, no one knows for sure what the exact specifications for THX Certification are, but I do know that there are many receivers out there that claim to be THX Certified and do not even fit into the same ballpark as NAD. I won't name any brands for fear of getting flammed, but when a THX receiver can't even meet half of its specified power rating, it leads me to believe that the THX requirements are not really that hard to meet. With all of the quality components present in NAD receivers, I really and truly believe that they would have no problem gaining THX Certification, provided of course they pony up the required cash.

Lets take a look at some of the other receivers that DO NOT have THX Certification.

-At this time, no HK receivers (at least in this country) are THX Certified (except the HK AVR-8000...which I have never heard of...definately not present in the US).

-I only see that one McIntosh amp is THX

-Only the Marantz SR8300 ($1800) and the SR9300 ($3200) receiver is THX...none others are

-Only the Denon 4802($2000) and 5803 ($4400) are THX

-And of course, NO NAD receivers are THX

All of these brands that have very few if no THX products are known and respected as some of the "Best in the business". I think we would all agree that there is a pretty substantial list of VERY high quality receivers out there that DO NOT have THX Certification. Is this to say that all of these receivers that we have come to know as being very high quality are somehow subpar because the lack THX? I don't think so. All we can surmise from this is that NAD is by no means the only high quality manufacturer that chooses NOT to line George Lucas' pockets by paying for THX Certification.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 59
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

If the full criteria for THX certification are not published, then it is almost certainly a scam... Can anyone provide the full specification for amp THX certification?




Whether or not they publish "full" specifications to the general public has nothing to do with whether it's a scam. Unless you're an electronics engineer, they wouldn't be particularly meaningful to consumers. Manufacturers who submit their products for testing are obviously provided with target specifications. However, the specifics of their standard operating procedures are unimportant to consumers. I had their amp specs at some point; you can probably find them somewhere on the 'Net.


quote:

Remember the THX badge, and the glissando fanfare is on some videotapes, too. What does it mean?




THX has a lot of different programs. THX surround-sound optimization when remastering soundtracks has nothing to do with its audio equipment certification.


quote:

In short, it is marketing: a "quality assurance program".




Of course it's a marketing program. Why else would manufacturers consider it unless it could potentially make them money or differentiate them from their competition? This isn't a charity.

Any voluntary third-party validation program in consumer products is a marketing program, whether its toothpaste "accepted by the American Dental Association" or a receiver "THX Select Certified." However, that certainly doesn't detract from its value to consumers.


quote:

Since (we assume) the money moves in the other direction, you have to admit there are grounds for scepticism




You will be hard pressed to find a voluntary testing and certification program of this nature in any industry that will test and certify products for free. After all, someone has to pay them to be there.


quote:

Any electronics manufacturer that wants to put the THX logo on their receiver has to pay A LOT of money to do so, and thus has to pass the cost on to the consumer.




1. This is still a business. 2. A decent quality control system costs a lot of money, too. So when Brand A passes along the costs of ensuring quality and reliability to the consumer, would you complain about that, too?

Yes, if two products are identical and have the same cost, yet one is THX certified, it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that some sacrifices were made. However, even that is an assumption, because consumer electronics manufacturers are all over the spectrum on their profit margins. If we are talking a Sony receiver against a THX-certified receiver from a company with lower margins (like Outlaw) then, No, your assumption does not hold up.


quote:

Is this to say that all of these receivers that we have come to know as being very high quality are somehow subpar because the lack THX?




Of course not. Please refer to my post above where I specifically address flawed accusations like this.


quote:

With all of the quality components present in NAD receivers, I really and truly believe that they would have no problem gaining THX Certification




NAD still uses THX certification, so they obviously see some value in it for certain product lines. However, if they are trying to keep the prices of their receivers relatively low to hit a certain value proposition, then it makes sense not to pursue THX certification in this case.


quote:

NOT to line George Lucas' pockets by paying for THX Certification




You line someone's pockets every time you buy a DVD, receiver, speaker, or whatever. Why do you care whether it's George Lucas or someone else? Did you hate his last movie that much? ;-) Besides, THX is owned by Creative now.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Invierno

Post Number: 16
Registered: Feb-04
Can't resist throwing this on the fire.

From the THX site and that AVS thread, THX certification doesn't just require that specific technical specifications be met, they also require a level of ease of use and control for the various components. I could almost see them telling NAD that they wouldn't certify the T773 because its manual was vague and incomplete.

I've read the pdf of the manual cover to cover perhaps 5 times, in case you're wondering. You can figure out most things but they do have a number of usability issues: Pictures of screens used to change an input name without telling you how to get to that screen, not telling you that DYN RANGE is listed as an option under Listening Mode ONLY when you have a currently active digital stream coming in -- in other words, if you stopped or paused the DVD player, you won't see the option, etc. etc...

Now if THX certification would get NAD to clean up their manual (and the OSD user interface to a smaller degree) that might be worth it for me. <g>
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 60
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

I have been in a lot of ISO certified plants that are an absolute joke for quality standards and some that aren't ISO certified that have very exceptional quality systems.




Which is the problem you face when manufacturers are allowed to police themselves, and exactly why it is nice to have third-party companies test and certify products in industries like this.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 418
Registered: Dec-03
AF1:

G-Man knows far more about THX than I do, but when we have had this discussion before, I have maintained that I do not see the value of THX certification--it certainly appears that NAD, among others, have come to the same conclusion. Certainly, they did pay the licensing fee on earlier products (such as the S170, S250, and the 218THX), but the last two generations of products did not have THX certification. In short, they have abandoned it as it apparently provided no benefit to them. I recently asked a local Yamaha dealer (with whom I have a great relationship) why the new x400 series Yamaha receivers now have THX certification when the earlier generations didn't and he told me it is because Denon is killing them and they wanted another talking point when showing the receiver to consumers.

Personally, while I loved the concept of certification by THX, I now believe THX has devolved into a marketing scam. As I understand the process, THX receives a fee to review the product design for compliance with its standards. If it meets their standards, the maker of the equipment has the right to display the THX logo on its product in within its advertising. However, THX certification is no guarantee of quality. For example, the Onkyo TX-SR900, a THX certified design rated at 125 wpc x 7 by Onkyo was bench tested by Sound & Vision magazine (June '03) and found to be only capable of 54 wpc when driving 5 channels. Now, that is pretty poor performance, especially for a receiver that is priced at $1500! I have read many an equipment review over the past three years that suggested that THX certification guaranteed a certain minimum quality and I simply do not believe that to be true, based upon empirical cases such as the one I cited.

Furthermore, I also have some quibbles with some of the THX standards. For example, THX standards specify that the sub must be crossed over at 80 Hz, but I actually prefer using a different frequency--the appropriate frequency is going to be a function of both the abilities of the front mains and the room's acoustics (as well as the listener's preferences). So, why should a manufacturer pay a licensing fee for something so amorphous as THX certification? As I said, I think THX certification was a great idea that should have provided a real value to the consumer, but in practice it hasn't worked out that way. Instead, it is merely another of the "alphabet labels" found of the front of a receiver or two which will make most of the unsuspecting consumers think the product must be better since it has more labels. But it also jacks the price for the consumer, which I object to since it provides no apparent benefit.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 61
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

For example, the Onkyo TX-SR900, a THX certified design rated at 125 wpc x 7 by Onkyo was bench tested by Sound & Vision magazine (June '03) and found to be only capable of 54 wpc when driving 5 channels.




Actually, if you read the technical summary, the reviewer stated that its multi-channel performance was limited by a protection circuit using his test signal, which was "unlikely to be encountered in real-world music or movie signals." It delivered 184 W with one channel driven, and he stated that the unit delivered "near perfect performance on just about every test."

Not that I would buy the Onkyo anyway, but your statement was a little misleading, particularly in the context of THX certification.


quote:

Furthermore, I also have some quibbles with some of the THX standards... THX standards specify that the sub must be crossed over at 80 Hz




But that is something you can set, yourself, on the majority of THX receivers.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Buckeyeshine

Post Number: 64
Registered: Feb-04
"Which is the problem you face when manufacturers are allowed to police themselves, and exactly why it is nice to have third-party companies test and certify products in industries like this."

Darryl,

NOT true. ISO requires audits by ISO representatives to establish and maintain ISO compliance. And of course these all cost money to attain both in the work involved but of course lining the pockets of the ISO folks. Make no mistake about it these certifications are expensive. There is a whole industry around this.

I am certain THX is just the same. You cannot tell me that if I go buy a THX certified cable that in and of itself makes it superior to one that isn't THX. It is what's in the cable that's MOST important not the THX certification.

I feel the same holds true to components.

I agree with Johnny, there is definitely some dollars folded into the cost of a component that is THX certified. All things the same in cost, I'll take the money added to the componentry over the piece of THX certified paper.
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 190
Registered: Dec-03
I was just sitting here thinking about all of this...and I will admit, that loud thing (John A. calls it a glissando) at the beginning of all of the THX DVD's is really cool to test out how much muscle your system has. It is pretty impressive to have non-HT junkies over to watch movies...they all just drool when that thing plays and the house shakes. I think the newer ones have something with glass breaking. That is pretty impressive as well.

Unfortunately, this is the only real benefit I have seen to having THX DVD's. The "improved sound and picture" doesn't look or sound any better to me...at least not on my system.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 420
Registered: Dec-03
Darryl:

I disagree that my comment was misleading (I did not claim that the amp clipped at 54 wpc, merely that it was incapable of producing more than 54 wpc which is entirely true). I did read the notes (carefully) and yes, S&V did suggest that it was a problem with the protection circuitry, but that merely gives S&V some cover so they are not seen slamming an advertiser's product. The fact remains that the receiver was incapable of more than 54 wpc regardless of the reason! Remember, it is rated at 125 wpc x 7. Subsequent tests of other Onkyos are showing the same thing. See the newest issue of S&V which found that the TX-SR901 was limited to 50 wpc when driving four or more channels. Again the protection circuitry kicked in (after 4 seconds)--but is that what you would want in the middle of "Saving Private Ryan"--for the sound to go dead (because the protection circuitry was tripped)? Or do you prefer the amp to clip? Either way you are not getting quality sound which you were promised and you paid pretty big bucks for. If the receiver's protection circuitry is set to trip around 40% of the receiver's rated power, then I would argue that the power rating is all wrong and misleading to the consumer! And I don't listen to only one channel (and neither do you, I would wager), so that spec is totally meaningless.

The underlying issue remains what does THX certification mean for the consumer? If the commentators in the audio publications are correct that THX guarantees a minimum level of quality, then these two THX certified receivers (and some others I have seen) belie that claim. I have yet to hear of one tangible benefit of having a THX certified receiver. In fact, based upon what I have seen, read, and heard, I would go so far as to suggest that a THX certified receiver is something to be avoided because it appears the certification was purchased by diminishing the level of quality in the parts used in the receiver.

I do see that we agree on something, though. I wouldn't buy an Onkyo either, and I came to that conclusion after carefully listening to them, and before I ever saw the bench tests.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cargoil

San Diego, Ca US

Post Number: 28
Registered: Dec-03
I'm glad i'm on the outside looking in on this one. How are you Hawk? Long time no hear!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 62
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

NOT true. ISO requires audits by ISO representatives to establish and maintain ISO compliance...And of course these all cost money to attain both in the work involved but of course lining the pockets of the ISO folks




ISO is a non-profit organization, not a business. And since when did ISO start sending "representatives" out to police quality control systems, or start collecting money as a result??? (Remember, these representatives are also elected by other non-profit member organizations, and each country is only allowed a small number for a given committee.)


quote:

You cannot tell me that if I go buy a THX certified cable that in and of itself makes it superior to one that isn't THX.




And I have yet to do so. I'm beginning to think that you guys aren't actually reading my responses! ;-)

THX certification does not mean you have a better product; it is simply an assurance of a minimum standard of performance. THX certification does not mean you have a better product; it is simply an assurance of a minimum standard of performance. There, I said it twice this time. ;-)


quote:

fact, based upon what I have seen, read, and heard, I would go so far as to suggest that a THX certified receiver is something to be avoided




Then you would be avoiding the likes of the BK 507, Denon 5803, Yamaha RX-Z9, Pioneer Elite 59TXi, Integra 9.2, and so on.


quote:

The fact remains that the receiver was incapable of more than 54 wpc regardless of the reason! Remember, it is rated at 125 wpc x 7




But that's not what the reviewer said at all. He specifically said that its 5-channel performance was limited at 50 W per channel using his "unrealistic" test method, which may or may not have anything to do with the test methods used by THX.

More importantly, it's not accurate to say that a receiver is "incapable" of delivering power because of protection circuitry. As a matter of fact, there have been a few instances in the recent past wherein manufacturers have simply had to adjust this circuitry because it was prematurely limiting power. (And the 901 was rated for 110x7 at 8 ohms, according to S&V.)


quote:

cover so they are not seen slamming an advertiser's product.




Are you suggesting that an S&V reviewer would use the phrase "delivered near-perfect performance" and "this is about as good as it gets" simply to "avoid slamming" an advertiser?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 63
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

The best of all would be a published spec which, if met, any maker could boast about, for free.




Sure. But until the FTC steps in and requires standardized power ratings, third-party tests by the likes of THX and industry trade journals are all most consumers have to go on.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 64
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

And since when did ISO start sending "representatives" out to police quality control systems, or start collecting money as a result




Actually, it occurred to me that you're probably referring to the third-party quality assurance companies you register with for ISO 9001 compliance, not the ISO, itself...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 65
Registered: Dec-03
By the way, Hawk, just to clarify... I'm not condoning the performance of the Onkyo at all. (As a matter of fact, this kind of performance from many mass-market Japanese receivers has turned me off from them.)

I'm simply saying that, in all fairness to the Onkyo, you need to keep in mind that 1) S&V still spoke very highly of the unit, 2) the test of the unit's power output was limited by protection circuitry not by clipping, which is their usual test limitation, 3) S&V's test is not necessarily a reflection of either THX's test or even real-world use, and 4) This sort of intentional limitation in power could most likely be adjusted, and might even have been different for the pre-production model sent to THX for certification.

Now, I have monopolized this thread long enough...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 19
Registered: Dec-03
Darryl:

"But that's not what the reviewer said at all. He specifically said that its 5-channel performance was limited at 50 W per channel using his "unrealistic" test method, which may or may not have anything to do with the test methods used by THX."

I read the review, and what I understand the argument to be is that these multi-channel receivers rarely, if ever, are running their channels full out. The surrounds, in movies, are a lot of times, not even making much noise and even if they are, there is such a variation in noise and time that in real world operation, the receiver would never handle loads of running all 5, 6 or 7 channels at full loads. Apparently this is true for music too.

So I don't think it has anything to do with THX certification or test methods used with THX.

The objection of some is that the rating 125 x 7 implies the receiver can handle 125 watts into 7 channels simultaneously which the Onkyo cannot. Thus it is misleading at least. The response is that, under real world conditions, the Onkyo does just fine.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 66
Registered: Dec-03
Johnathan, I think the real issue here with the 901 is that S&V couldn't measure the output "at clipping," which is there standard measurement, because the protection circuitry kicked in. Consequently, we don't really know what the receiver is capable of, simply what it is being allowed to produce during S&V's test, which may or may not matter under real-world conditions. It certainly doesn't indentify the kind of headroom you would have while actually using it, which the review notes. I do know that the reviewer thought very highly of the unit, and called it a "superb AV receiver."

I still wouldn't buy one, though. ;-)

Maybe we should move the Onkyo 901 discussion into a new thread though? I feel like we've already hijacked this one enough...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 56
Registered: Feb-04
Hawk, nice to meet you. Johnny, JohnA, Darryl,JDG,Jonnb and Darryl, Invierno,


Well, I won't go back and try and answer every comment as Darryl did better than I could do anyway. I did REALLY like Darryl's post here:

You will be hard pressed to find a voluntary testing and certification program of this nature in any industry that will test and certify products for free. After all, someone has to pay them to be there

A very thought out post that makes sense as far as the extra money is concerned. I mean this IS a business, after all.

It seems after reading this thread that Hawk and John expect THX to make components levitate around the room and magically produce the best sound in the world. If THX doesn't do this then it's a ripoff. You guys miss the point.

Again, I'll repeat: THX IS NOT THE END ALL BE ALL OF HOME AUDIO. All I am saying it's another shot at either better sound or better QC. NOT A GUARANTEE, but a shot. I've never said the NAD receivers would fail certification, just the T973 amp, and I still stand by that. You guys can ignore the fact that they went for certification with it if you want to but that doesn't change the fact that they did and didn't get it.

Again, you guys ignore the fact that NAD went to the trouble of ADVERTISING THX for the 973 amp on their website, then pulled it.

I mean, who cares if the Onkyo is THX certified but doesn't live up to it's rated power?? We all knew that anyway. ONKYO DOES NOT LIST HONEST POWER, THX OR NO THX!! This is where you are supposed to use your home audio knowledge and realize THX isn't going to be a big factor in the purchase. Again, THX has to be everything for you guys ...or it's nothing. Makes NO sense.

Do I care about THX certification in a walkman, or a car audio system, or any other lame implementation? NO! But when I'm spending close to 2000 dollars, then yeah it's a factor.

I'll also repeat this again, if THX is a ripoff or scam NAD has been doing it the longest and was the first. First. First to scam customers, first to overcharge for THX, first to ripoff it's loyal customers and they are still doing it. I don't believe this, BUT you guys must, if you believe your own arguments.

You guys ask more from THX than what it's capable of. It's just another line of defense that, at a 2000 dollar price point, is nice to have. If you buy a 300 dollar THX reciever and expect THX to matter, then that's your fault, not THX's or the receiver's manufacturer.






 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 423
Registered: Dec-03
Johnb:

Uh, oh. From your comments, it may indicate I may have been too strident in my response to Darryl. If so, I apologize as I do not want to be one to throw missles as we have had enough of those already. I respect Darryl's opinion, but I cannot see where my statement was misleading, as he alleges, so I laid it out there. I have been an appellate attorney for over 20 years, and old habits die hard. So, if anyone thinks I went too far, I apologize.

Hey, to answer your question, I am great! It is nice to be back. I have been gone for about a week (and even longer from this board as we had a lot of preparations) as my daughter is being recruited to play intercollegiate sports by a number of major universities. We took a trip out of state to visit one of the real univeristy sports powers and we had a great time--the people were very nice and their program for athletes is absolutely first rate. It will be very hard on me if (when) my daughter goes away to college, but by the same token, I am extremely proud of her and her accomplishments. I am trying to maximize my time with her as I realize she isn't going to be here for very much longer. We had a great time together.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 67
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

So, if anyone thinks I went too far, I apologize




No need to apologize. As long as we are having civilized discourse, and not some infantile flame-war, there is certainly no reason to apologize for stating an opposing viewpoint.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 57
Registered: Feb-04
I haven't seen anything in this thread that anyone needs to apologize for........unless you include my posts.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 58
Registered: Feb-04
I'd also like to apologize to Hawk directly for my crappy comments made earlier. Out of place and out of line they surely were. Again, sorry. I'll try and make up for it by being a more responsible poster.....at least I'll try anyway.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 59
Registered: Feb-04
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
quote:
fact, based upon what I have seen, read, and heard, I would go so far as to suggest that a THX certified receiver is something to be avoided


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Then you would be avoiding the likes of the BK 507, Denon 5803, Yamaha RX-Z9, Pioneer Elite 59TXi, Integra 9.2, and so on.
--------------------------------------------------


Not to mention Lexicon products.
 

passerby
Unregistered guest

quote:

You guys can ignore the fact that they went for certification with it if you want to but that doesn't change the fact that they did and didn't get it.




i don't see how you can claim that for certain, just like i don't see how anyone could claim that they simply chose not to pay the fees at the last moment. i do see how the logos on the display and remotes are suspect...but without clarification from nad...all you're doing is speculating that it failed the exhalted 'thx' inspection.


quote:

I mean, who cares if the Onkyo is THX certified but doesn't live up to it's rated power?? We all knew that anyway. ONKYO DOES NOT LIST HONEST POWER, THX OR NO THX!! This is where you are supposed to use your home audio knowledge and realize THX isn't going to be a big factor in the purchase...
Do I care about THX certification in a walkman, or a car audio system, or any other lame implementation? NO! But when I'm spending close to 2000 dollars, then yeah it's a factor.




so at what price point do you feel that thx becomes a important factor? you cite that it's not important for the onkyo which is a 1500 dollar piece...but that it is important for a 2000 dollar purchase. why wouldn't the consumer use their home audio knowledge for ALL purchases? you claim that thx cert. should be used as a tool, a helpful guide in the consumer decision process...but only for certain products. you claim that you know that onkyo doesn't list honest power ratings...yet their unit was thx certified which you think ensures quality. that seems contradictory to me.

part of the reason that thx certification doesn't hold much weight for me is that it doesn't seem to assure any sort of standard...and just about everything is thx certified these days. there seems to be no level playing ground. i've seen thx logos on such a variety of pieces from inexpensive kenwood receivers with spring clips to pricey receivers that had power issues to tin can sounding computer speakers. i feel that it started out as a noble venture with a baseline standard (i remember when thx cert. required 2 subwoofers), but dissolved into nothing more than a marketing tool.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 60
Registered: Feb-04
i don't see how you can claim that for certain, just like i don't see how anyone could claim that they simply chose not to pay the fees at the last moment. i do see how the logos on the display and remotes are suspect...but without clarification from nad...all you're doing is speculating that it failed the exhalted 'thx' inspection
__________________________________________________

Well, first off the logos are not on the "display" as the 973 has no display. They are on the rear of the unit on the gain controls and there are SEVEN of them.

That's NO. 1 NO 2, I asked my dealer the day I bought the 973 if it was THX certified he said YES and I said I thought so because I just checked the NAD website and it also says the 973 is THX certified and had a full page devoted to this fact. When I went home the THX stuff on the NAD wesite had been pulled. I called my dealer who said" they've decided to not pay THX for something that's useless". I think NAD could have realized that..say... BEFORE releasing the amp!! BEFORE advertising it that way. Ignore reality all you want, it doesn't change the FACT that they went for certification. And yes, I'm well aware it's speculation...since I said so above. Try reading the whole thread.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 61
Registered: Feb-04
We can argue all day as to whether THX is any good or worthwhile, one thing I won't debate is the fact that NAD wanted the 973 THX certified. It's a fact, proved by NAD own website advertising.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 62
Registered: Feb-04
Why it failed certification and if it even matters is open to full speculation. And I have done so.
 

passerby
Unregistered guest

quote:

Ignore reality all you want, it doesn't change the FACT that they went for certification. And yes, I'm well aware it's speculation...since I said so above. Try reading the whole thread.




thanks for the suggestion sparky, but i have read the whole thread. as i stated (if you read my reply) i DO find the pulling of thx info suspect. i also find the fact that the thx logos are on the equipment suspect. but you have stated many times that the unit obviously failed certification...which you have no way of knowing.
just as others have no way of knowing if nad just 'decided' not to pay for certification. i agree with you that they knew the associated costs going into it. it's possible that the certification process changed, that the product manager changed during the product cycle, that nad decided they didn't want to be associated with a creative labs endeavor...truth is we may never know.

and you're right...i wasn't trying to change your mind regarding thx certification...i just wanted to point out your obvious contradictions. thx cert. is valuable for some items but not for others? it's important for $2000 buys but not for $1500 buys? it ensures quality with the exception of true power ratings? your logic just wasn't holding up.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 63
Registered: Feb-04
In fact I'll issue an invitation to the dance.

I CHALLENGE ANYONE FROM NAD TO COME ON THIS SITE AND CLAIM THE 973 WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE THX CERTIFIED. I CHALLENGE NAD TO CLAIM THE 973 DIDN'T FAIL THX CERTIFICATION. THIS IS MY CHALLENGE, NAD. COME PROVE ME WRONG.

Won't happen becuse although I can be wrong often, I'm not here.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 64
Registered: Feb-04
thanks for the suggestion sparky
------------------------------------------------

I least at didn't start the name calling this time.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 65
Registered: Feb-04
thanks for the suggestion sparky
------------------------------------------------

That was supposed to read: at least I didn't start the name calling this time.

They need to start enabling us to be able to edit posts for spelling. This is getting old.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 424
Registered: Dec-03
Darryl:

I think you and I are closer in our thoughts on this that I first thought. With regard to to issue of why the Onkyo failed to deliver the power, I think we need to agree that we are going to disagree on this one. You see an important distinction with the failure of the Onkyo to meet its power rating because of the thermal protection circuitry rather than clipping and I believe that is a distinction without a difference. Like its predecessesor (Stereo Review) S&V never says anything bad about anything they review and they always see the sunny side of the product. But, to me the fact that the receiver fails to deliver anywhere close to its rated power is a fatal flaw regardless of the reason because it is inherent within the product.

You are also correct that THX tests are not meant to certify the product's claimed peformance. I couldn't agree with you more, but that is exactly how THX is being sold in store after store that I visit. I am not blaming anyone here, but trying to alert people that the THX logo is being mis-used. The guys at Best Buy and CC are probably the worst at this. It also underlies every post we see from somebody new who asks if it is important--it is because they have been told it is important by a salesperson and they look here to test that claim. My point is that even some product reviewers were making that claim, but no one yet has identified any improvement in sound as a result of THX certification and it certainly does not mean that the sound is "better," yet, I have heard that claim, as well (LOL!). I merely used a couple of emprical cases to show why I don't think THX certification helps. Onkyo is an easy target--just don't get me started on Sony!

I also understand and agree with your point about the testing of pre-production units, but if that is the case, then Onkyo should never submit a pre-production unit for evaluation. In the absence of information to the contrary, I trust the guys at S&V labs to do an honest bench test which allows me to spot problems in products before I purchase them. I have no choice but to believe that the sample tested is a representative unit of the manufacturers production run--if it isn't then it is the manufacturer's fault because they supply the unit.

I read the entire thread posted above from the avs forum, and I think it is great that THX labs corrects the mistakes made by designers, but what does this mean to the consumer? While I think the benefits to the moviegoer are uncontested, as THX Labs did a great job in getting the movie theaters to clean up their sound systems (and get them to invest in an up-to-date sound system), I cannot say the same thing about their impact on home audio. Clearly, those engineers that use the certification process are going to defend it as it is a point of product differentiation, so I read their claims with a grain of salt.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 66
Registered: Feb-04


and you're right...i wasn't trying to change your mind regarding thx certification...i just wanted to point out your obvious contradictions
-------------------------------------------------
Passerby,


Hey, I contradict myself all the time. Have a good one and come back and register as I hope to see you around. This is actually a pretty cool forum and I like it a lot.


Something tells me Hawk is giving me the cold shoulder. Hey, I said sorry. Will that not cover it?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 67
Registered: Feb-04
Ya know, one other possibility is that NAD felt like something the THX people wanted to do to the 973 would actually compromise it, rather than improve it. In this case, I would welcome THX certification failure. This is just as likely to be the case as failure meaning something was wrong.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 68
Registered: Dec-03
Keep this in mind about THX certification...

Guys like us may already know which receivers perform well, and which don't. Maybe we already know that a particular brand of receivers is notorious for bringing under-powered units to the market, or playing the "ratings game" with their power specs. We hang around these bulletin boards at night discussing the issues, dissecting reviews from the four magazines we each subscribe to, and comparing notes on our home auditions.

But what of your average Joe Consumer? How does he know which receiver he should get? Even if THX certification doesn't indicate which products perform particularly well, it's at least something for those who have no other benchmark to use. It at least indicates which products aren't completely "craptastic," if you will. ;-)

Sure, maybe we're not too thrilled with the performance of certain THX receivers, ourselves, but we know what to look for, and we are generally looking in price categories that usually meet THX standards anyway, with or without the certification. I'm not worried about whether my next Rotel or NAD receiver will deliver enough power. But if I'm looking at a $400 Kenwood VR7070 with THX certification, versus a Sony DE895 without it, the certification will be more meaningful to me as a consumer.


quote:

but no one yet has identified any improvement in sound as a result of THX certification and it certainly does not mean that the sound is "better," yet




In theory, the THX processing was intended to improve surround sound performance, but it's hard to say whether a typical observer would notice the difference. Of course, many an audiophile has claimed to hear the difference between two different brands of high-performance interconnects, so who knows. ;-)
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 381
Registered: Dec-03
Wow, what an interesting thread. No apologies required from anyone. Robust opinions clearly stated are always a good thing.

My point is simple.

If THX (or any "quality assurance" certification) can be claimed by any manufacturer whose product meets a set of defined, published criteria, then it has some value. We can inspect the criteria. The agency can reasonably collect a fee for independent tests establishing whether the criteria are met, and assure us that they are, if they are.

BUT... if the required spec is kept secret by the "Assurance" company, there is a clear case for doubting the value of certification. They are trading, not on ascertainable facts, but on consumer trust. They may have earned it in the past, but eternal vigilance and critical examination are price of freedom and justice, folks.

Darryl wrote:

Whether or not they publish "full" specifications to the general public has nothing to do with whether it's a scam...

I think it has everything to do with it. "Published" means "made public". That's you and me!

Unless you're an electronics engineer, they wouldn't be particularly meaningful to consumers.

People are never harmed by things not being particularly meaningful. Some consumers are electronics engineers. Some aren't, but just prefer to make up their own minds about choices they have, not pay others to do it for them

Manufacturers who submit their products for testing are obviously provided with target specifications.

What are they?

However, the specifics of their standard operating procedures are unimportant to consumers.

Heaven protect us from people who decide, on our behalf, what it is important and unimportant for us to know. Their track record is not good, you must agree....

I had their amp specs at some point; you can probably find them somewhere on the 'Net.

I can't. Link, please, if you have it!

I repeat, the "technical information" THX requires:-

"We will require information on your anticipated sales volume, target retail prices, production schedule and launch date."

http://www.thx.com/mod/cert/index.html

What has that to do with meeting technical standards? Nothing!

What has it do with them assessing have much they can make out of it ?Everything!

If there were published specs, and I made an amp in my shed, it either would or would not meet them, and I could say so. And it might be worth my paying someone to do an independent test, to assure any customer who does not, himself, have the expertise or test gear, and who, rightly, questions my word.

But specs as company secrets are worthless. Charging for testing against them is nonsense.

Moral? Don't buy stuff with a THX badge. A chunk of the price (and you're not allowed to know how much, either) went to people who sold the legal right to display a badge..."offering ... a powerful tool to drive sales and increase market share." (http://www.thx.com/mod/company/overview.html)

Personally, I'd go for the idea of making a better product. And buying one.

Blessings do no harm. Charging for them does: it's called "protection". Manufacturers might reasonably worry about the effect on sales of not being blessed. You might as well go round restaurants, selling fire insurance. Or clothes-pegs at doors, promising not to curse people if they buy!

That's my case. Pure Adam Smith, I think, though I didn't pay to use that name, and you have every right decide for yourself if it is true....
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 68
Registered: Feb-04
I'll agree with everything you say IF you flat out state that everytime NAD sells a THX certified product they are scamming people with the THX "badge", overcharging for it, and not delivering anything for it.



John A said:

Moral? Don't buy stuff with a THX badge. A chunk of the price (and you're not allowed to know how much, either) went to people who sold the legal right to display a badge..."offering ... a powerful tool to drive sales and increase market share." (http://www.thx.com/mod/company/overview.html)
-------------------------------------------------

Why do you keep fingering THX as an offender when NAD and THX are working together?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 69
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

Published" means "made public". That's you and me!




Actually, my emphasis was on "full." You can get the "general" requirements. The specifics of the requirements are, for several reasons, not published in the public domain, though all manufacturers who apply for certification are certainly made aware of them.

For instance, speakers must have a certain dispersion pattern and a flat frequency response, amplifiers must be able to drive a certain load with stability and a minimum amount of THD across the frequency response spectrum, controllers must have certain processing features (like decorrelation, timbre matching, bass management, and re-EQ), and so on.

THX Select requires reference level peformance (probably capable of 75 to 80 dBs) in a room size of 2,000 cubic feet. THX Ultra is intended for a larger room size of 3,000 cubic feet. This is all information you can get on their site. And what more does the average consumer really need to know? (That's a rhetorical question; I suspect our opinions on the knowledge and concerns of the average consumer differ considerably.)


quote:

People are never harmed by things not being particularly meaningful.




There's an expression, "Knows just enough to be dangerous." ;-) It doesn't take much useless technical content to overwhelm most people.


quote:

Some consumers are electronics engineers.




But the vast majority don't even know what an "ohm" is.


quote:

If there were published specs, and I made an amp in my shed, it either would or would not meet them, and I could say so.




Which is exactly why they don't publish the specifics. Here is what THX has to say on this issue:

"A manufacturer could build gear to meet or exceed THX standards, and many do. However, while the basics are well known (subwoofer crossover frequencies, amplifier total harmonic distortion, speaker dispersion characteristics) the standards aren't published in the public domain - they're part of a licensing program. Even if our manufacturer did follow the same guidelines, they wouldn't be able to advertise that they've done so, because "THX" is a registered trademark.

Even if the manufacturer implied somehow that it met/exceeded THX standards (perhaps by posting a list of the standard specifications, and putting check marks next to each item), the consumer still wouldn't have independent verification that these claims are legitimate. THX actually tests a sample of the gear bearing their logo; our non-certified manufacturer has no independent third party ensuring that these specifications are, in fact, met."

And your missing another big point, John. You're complaining about not knowing THX's specific requirements, but how many receiver manufacturers out there (with or without THX certification) currently provide that level of detail for their own products? Heck, you're lucky to get basic and accurate power output specifications from most manufacturers. And hopefully their signal-to-noise ratios weren't completely made up. And they are required by the FTC to show this kind of stuff.


quote:

Personally, I'd go for the idea of making a better product.




And I'm sure the folks at THX would argue that their certification assures the consumer that the manufacturer has done just that.
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 191
Registered: Dec-03
Wow, I go away for a few hours and all the sudden this thing is over 100 posts long!! I am not going to get into the discussion any more as I have said my piece earlier and I think we really have beaten the proverbial dead horse here.

I will leave you all with something though...a bit of newfound joy on my part. I suddenly found out today that there is an NAD and PSB dealer in my city! I had been driving almost 2.5 hours to Kiefs when I had a dealer in my town all along. For some reason, this dealer is not listed on NAD's website (which is why I didn't know of their existence)...but the owner assures me that they are an authorized dealer. This dealer is actually a computer and home security store, but does have some home electronics stuff as well. Since they were not on the website, and I had never had any need to go into the store before today, I didn't know they had stereo equipment at all...much less NAD. They also sell Legacy equipment (which I had never heard of before). They have one set of Legacy speakers that sells for $6000 a pair...and a Legacy stereo amp that is 600 watts per channel!!!

I am still a bit skeptical though...why was this dealer not listed on the NAD website as being "authorized"? I think I will have to inquire further before I purchase anything from them.
 

passerby
Unregistered guest
i wouldn't count on nad's authorized dealer locator on their website...it seems outdated at best. there are three dealers listed in my area, and out of the 3 only 1 exists. the other 2 do not exist at all. i had contacted nad about this several months ago, and received a reply that the dealers must have closed since they last updated their site (but at one of the places listed there wasn't even a building). their site still hasn't been fixed.

the part that bums me out about that locator being inaccurate is that their products aren't all over the place like some other brands. in some areas (mind included) they are somewhat difficult to find. they hold the 'authorized dealer' banner over the customer's head. the program is meant to protect the dealers and the customers...to provide the customers with better service and a place to audition equipment...but how strict are they with authorizing dealers if they can't help you locate them?
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 382
Registered: Dec-03
After reading the last two posts (welcome) I still have to get boring and back to THX, since I wrote something off-line in response to the direct challenges and questions to me. Miss the next post is you think, with Johnny, the horse is dead. Apologies also to Ben Winter and earlier posters on NAD T763 Hum and Noise. I hope you will understand that I can't just duck out of responding to AIRFORCE and Darryl, also agreeing with others such as JDG. My time zone is a bit "out of the loop" for this thread - not much I can do about that.

BTW I spent part of Saturday relocating our sub, with a new 15 meter (nearly 50 foot) cable. It is well made, works fine, and cost about the same as one CD. On the outer cover is printed all the quality assurance I think I need: maker's name and "75 OHM".
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 383
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, guys. This is enjoyable and instructive. I had never thought seriously about THX before. "It shows", you may say!

AIRFORCE,

I'll take you up. But change it slightly:-

Everytime NAD sells a THX certified product they are scamming people with the THX "badge", by passing them the tab for protection, not sound quality

My guess is that some NAD lines carry "THX", while others don't, because NAD is in the position of not being sure whether it's worth shelling out. It is a bit like the housewife unsure about buying the pegs from the gypsy (no offence intended or implied to any ethnic minority!) or the child wondering what will happen if it doesn't pass on the chain letter. It could simply be that NAD has decided THX is good for the brand positioning of one line, and not another. Most manufacturers these days do some market research, and have their potential customers sussed, to some extent. We are probably helping them, right here.

But I'll betcha whether to pay for those three letters on the front panel is market analysis/boardroom decision, not an engineering one - NAD's designers and engineers are probably streets ahead of those in THX. They have to be. Build a cr*p amp, and you disappoint customers. The word will spread - and here we come in, guys! - and people will stop buying it. You lose sales, and market share. However, if you work for THX, and if you scr*w up in an evalutation, the worst that can happen is that people without independent access to the criteria go round in circles discussing why "x" has THX, while "y", which seems to be better, doesn't. See above about Onkyo. And, human nature being what it is, a sweetener from certain companies who would rather spend on bribery than product development is not altogether unimaginable. For example, there is a well-known software giant...

I submit that secrecy isolates and protects malpractice. As Darry quotes: "the standards aren't published in the public domain - they're part of a licensing program. Even if our manufacturer did follow the same guidelines, they wouldn't be able to advertise that they've done so, because 'THX' is a registered trademark." This seems to me like a licence to syphon off money. Ours.

Darryl,

I still disagree, but I do thank you, too, for making your points so clearly and forcefully. I mean that!

The saying I know is "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". But you can always build on a little knowledge, and learn more: it is preferable to ignorance. The examples you give of broad technical requirements are all highly debatable, and, in fact, the essence of many debates here. Other "technical requirements" are completely arbitrary. Hawk cited the case of the fixed sub cross-over frequency of 80 Hz. I actually think the whole idea of an active sub is still suspect, from an audio point of view; same with a center channel. But industry standards give us, and recording engineers, almost no option. There are the sorts of areas where certification can be an obstacle to progress ( I am tempted, but will not digress onto DVD-A and SACD).

The point comes back to this: if an amp-receiver has no THX badge, then all you can say is that one criterion, at least, was not met. The first one to think about is whether the maker thought it was worth applying, and paying for. AIRFORCE's is assumption that with the T973 that NAD payed, applied, and then the product failed the test, seems a bit naive, honestly. But it's obviously in THX's interests to have us think that way.

THX has a financial interest in us not knowing the precise basis of its quality assurance certification. In such cases, we should always ask whether the emperor has any clothes. If THX is just selling the comforting feeling of recognition of its logo, OK, but it is still reasonable to ask whether this necessarily means anything as regards sound quality. All the indications are that it doesn't.

Massive post. Let me try lighten up.

1. This is a great forum, I agree, AF. If I had to choose between a premium price for a three-letter badge, and the free, informed, critical, and honest recommendations of a bunch of argumentative amateurs, then I'd choose us, every time!

2. The THX test set-up sequence is fun, I agree. It think it is partly designed to make people yearn for a sixth channel. Personally I get a perfect rear center with no rear center, just 5.1. But I am obsessive about speaker positioning, and have an indulgent family. They like the results, too.

3. The THX fanfare is a surround-sound, contrapuntal glissando, electronically generated. The treble slides up, and the bass down, two full octaves, I think. It is designed to make us think "Wow, I didn't know my system could make sounds like that!" It succeeds, just as Johnny says. Personally, I love the DTS Yamaha grand piano. If you have good video, you see the hammers strike dust (talcum powder?) off the strings. If you have good audio, you hear the full frequency range: a concert grand piano is an awesome benchmark for real sound, 22 Hz to the upper limit of hearing, plus all the transients and nuances in the book. The point where the last hammer gently stops the string in order to generate the quiet, upper harmonic: that's cool. But I even like Dolby's passing steam locomotive and circling helicopters. I like audio.

4. A pleasure to see many familiar names here on one thread, and, as AIRFORCE says, why not drop in more often, Passerby? You don't have be crazy, but it helps.

5. Great to read your opinions again, Hawk. I didn't know THX was another recurring theme, like cables. Congrats to you, and your daughter. I know just how you feel. Ours is accepted by the other place. That's something. Off she goes in the fall. She was the first person to whom I gave a CD as a present. Kids taking away CDs you bought them for their fourth birthday is tough, but better than my (our?) generation's plague of splitting LP collections, I think.

6. Best to all. Sorry for the length. I did my best for content!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 73
Registered: Feb-04
I'll take you up. But change it slightly:-
---------------------------------------------

Do I still have to agree with everything you've said since...you did change it?:-)

At any rate, John I don't see why you guys fight me on this 973 thing. I think it's naive to think it wasn't supposed to be THX.

An analogy of sorts: It wasn't as if NAD and THX were still in the airport terminal, readying to board the plane together when they went seperate ways on the 973. They were on the plane, hand in hand, barreling down the runway when something happened to cause the plane to stop at the end of the runway.

I would consider the THX logos on the rear of the 973 the airport terminal. Advertising the 973 as THX on NAD's own website, months after release, I would consider barreling down the runway together. Pulling the THX info from their website, is the plane coming to a stop at the end of the runway.

I for one like your long post as it gives me something to read when I log on. Good read, BTW



 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 386
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, AIRFORCE.

Proposition: It is always worth paying a bit extra for a unit with THX certification.

In favour: You, Darryl, thousands out there, today, deciding what to buy.

Against: Me, JDG, Passerby, Johnny, Hawk.

Undecided: Invierno, Jonathan, MyRantz.

Wondering what happened to their thread: Ben, Lars, johnb, Two Cents, Seamus, Alex. Mike.

I believe I derailed this with "What has the S170/S250 got the T163/T973 hasn't?" Itself it is off the topic of the thread, but I thought it was interesting, and I still see no answer except "THX" (and "white gloves"). I recall you were worried about possible hum on the T163. I really think THX won't help you, there, but listening certainly will.

Now you say NAD's early promotional stuff said the T973 was going to be THX, and I am sure you've got you eye on the ball and seen this yourself.

I still think the most likely explanation is that NAD got a quote from THX, maybe tried to negotiate, and then decided they have better things to do with their money.

Then the question arises (and no answer here, either) - how much would it have cost? Another trade secret, I guess.

But the value to THX of getting its print on already highly-regarded stuff must be considerable: they wish to build their image, too. So perhaps NAD thought its 973 was worth more to THX than THX did, while THX thought "THX" was worth more to NAD than NAD did.

Noting NAD is in the business of making audio components, and THX isn't, I draw my own conclusions.

If I made a John A. surround receiver, I doubt THX would even look at it. Track record: a small transistor radio, from a kit, years ago, as a teenager, and a few DIY repairs. Sales: None. Reputation: None. Future Plans: None.

If, say Sony made a new surround receiver, and it was powerful and expensive, it's a completely different prospect from the "assurance" point of view. And Sony has huge brand recognition (deservedly so for past innovations) and probably doesn't need someone else's badge on its products, anyway. There's also probably a price theshold, as disussed above. THX is not attempting to say it certifies value-for-money, just "quality".

Like many here (though not all), I am interested in quality, too, but primarily in getting the best sound for my all-to-scarce resources. I am still of the opinion that buying something with "THX" on it is almost certainly chucking money away.

Thanks again for responding, AIRFORCE. Glad you stayed awake with the last one. Sometime my posts extinguish lively discussions. Perhaps I could get a small fee for promising not to invade people's threads...?

In your place, with a T973, I would definitely have a good, hard look at the T163, and forget about THX. It's fluff. And it costs.
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 193
Registered: Dec-03
Let me see if I can put this issue to rest here...and come up with a recommendation that we can all agree on.

Don't buy a receiver just because it has THX Certification, and don't discount any receiver just because it is THX. There are many fine receivers (and many crappy ones) that are THX...and there are many fine receivers that are NOT THX Certified. If you like the receiver in and of itself (without taking THX into account)...then get it.

Before I got my NAD, I came pretty close to getting a Pioneer Elite 55TXi...which is THX Certified. A fine receiver...but it just didn't have the NAD sound that I liked. THX was no consideration for me. Would I have been "selling out" by getting the 55 and feeding the THX monster...absolutely not. Moral...whenever you go looking at receivers, put "blinders" on and don't even take THX into consideration...then, buy whatever receiver you like...THX or no THX. If one follows this approach, you really can't go wrong.

Kind of getting back to the original thread topic...I visited a third NAD dealer yesterday (see my posting above) and spoke to him about the "quality issues" spoken of here...and once again, he reported that there were NO more problems with NAD than with any other brand.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 70
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

Then the question arises (and no answer here, either) - how much would it have cost? Another trade secret, I guess




I've spent a considerably amount of this thread sharing my views on your other comments ;-), but I will say that I've seen $400 Kenwood receivers with THX certification, so it can't possibly cost that much. (Though it's probably cheaper per unit for huge mass-production companies.)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 52
Registered: Feb-04
From John A "Undecided: Invierno, Jonathan, MyRantz"

Undecided - me? Maybe not. The awe inspiring THX intros make me say "WOW" but that's listening to it on a non THX certified Marantz SR7300. I wonder how many people say this THX stuff is awsome even though when hearing this intro on non THX equipment. GREAT MARKETING don't you think.

THX for sound improvement - I don't think so!

THX for a sign of quality equipment - not necessarilly. The test machine may have been okay but what further production runs?

THX for passing certain criteria - maybe! Just another way of ensuring adequate surround sound output for room sizes. But honest receiver specs and auditioning can achieve that also.

THX for making money - definately! Though I'm not against anyone making money.

THX for snob appeal - Yes!

THX for product purchase decisions - not for me but a great tool for the salesman.

I have no technical knowledge so my opinion doesn't count. When people see a THX badged movie in a theatre do they know if the sound equipment is THX certified? Because the movie might sound great anyway it might be enough for some patrons to demand THX when purchasing their HT gear. So we are back to Great Marketing!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 74
Registered: Feb-04
I believe I derailed this with "What has the S170/S250 got the T163/T973 hasn't?" Itself it is off the topic of the thread, but I thought it was interesting, and I still see no answer except "THX" (and "white gloves").
--------------------------------------------------

JohnA, The S170i has the Motorola processor in it. From what I understand, the Motorola DSP is VERY highly regarded. MANY nice units use Motorola. Whether that alone is worth it I doubt, but I think the S170i is a totally different design than the 163, and probably shows it with it's sound. There's a reason it costs twice as much, and it isn't THX.
_________________________________________________

Now you say NAD's early promotional stuff said the T973 was going to be THX, and I am sure you've got you eye on the ball and seen this yourself.
--------------------------------------------------

Certainly. I wouldn't say it was on their website unless I had seen it myself. Numerous times.

__________________________________________________

In your place, with a T973, I would definitely have a good, hard look at the T163, and forget about THX. It's fluff. And it costs.
--------------------------------------------------

I'm leaning away from the 163 because I think it would be a waste to spend two grand on an amp on not connect a really nice pre/pro to it(among other reasons). Like I've said the B&K Ref50 was originally 3500 dollars and now can be had for undeo 2000!!! That's shocking to me. It's also been out for a year and a half and has had all "issues" dealt with through firmware. As close as the Ref50 is in price to the 163, it would seem dumb to me to get the 163 over the Ref50. The Ref50 is THX. So what. I'm not wanting it BECAUSE it's THX. I want it because it's a better quality unit than I could usually afford. THX is just sugar on top.
__________________________________________________

Don't buy a receiver just because it has THX Certification, and don't discount any receiver just because it is THX. There are many fine receivers (and many crappy ones) that are THX...and there are many fine receivers that are NOT THX Certified. If you like the receiver in and of itself (without taking THX into account)...then get it.
--------------------------------------------------

I can MORE than live with this statement. Sounds accurate to me.

I doubt we've stepped on anyone's toes in this thread. Besides, I'll bet NAD is happy that a hum thread stayed on the topic of hum for all of 5 posts.

Have a good one all.....
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 71
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

I wonder how many people say this THX stuff is awsome even though when hearing this intro on non THX equipment.




Just the ones who realize that the THX intro on your movies, which refers to the optimization of the soundtrack for surround sound, has nothing to do with THX certification for components. ;-)
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 394
Registered: Dec-03
Johnny, Darryl, MyRantz,

Thanks. I particularly like MyRantz's point about saying "Wow!" about the THX fanfare on non-THX equipment.

A few years ago I saw ads for DVD, illustrating how much better it was than VHS tape, all on VHS tape. I guess many people don't think too critically about things.

Yes, if we are right, Darryl, you will see THX Kenwood because the unit cost of certification is low and there will still be returns for THX: Kenwood sells in huge numbers. It is just a question of matching the perceived cost/benefit to THX with that to the manufacturer. A limited-sale but expensive unit would also make it: an exceptionally high value, low-budget unit would not. So I stick with the idea, and MyRantz's, that it's marketing, in the end.

And what I, for one, need, is high-value, low budget. I can't afford snob appeal. There comes a point, for the seriously rich, where part of the return is advertising to other people how much they spent.

Can't imagine that goes far "down-under", and I doesn't with me. Must be off... Thanks again.

PS Johnny: if it's possible, and in your town: go to your local dealer, ask for an audition of the S170/S250 and the T163/T973, and report back - for AIRFORCE's decision and our peace of mind! I can't do it here, unfortunately.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 395
Registered: Dec-03
AIRFORCE,

Nice one. Didn't mean to ignore you: I must have been typing when you pressed "post".

I think we agree, really. I am happy to blast hum, and NAD or anybody else if they defend it.

Yes, Motorola processor. That's a difference. B&K is clearly serious kit. Splitting pre- and power- amps is unusual, but there is no reason why not, and you can aim to get the best of both worlds. I ran an NAD stereo pre-amp with a Sony power amp for years, no problem, until I got into this HT stuff about a year ago.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 75
Registered: Feb-04
Oh, Yeah I never said why I was willing to split the amp and pre/pro. I've listened to the analog section of this denon 2900 MANY times through several devices and have learned exactly what the Denon sounds like. Running the denon through the 973 produces the "same old Denon sound" that I always hear from it, just louder if I want. Since the 973 appears to be transparent, without any coloration of the sound, I figure I'm free to go with any pre/pro I want. Personally, I wouldn't call the 973 warm or bright. I guess neutral is the right word.

Yeah I think we agree more than anything. We argue because what would be the point of posting if we all agree? Plus, someone can go back and read all this and maybe get a question or two they had answered.

Have a good one John.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 76
Registered: Feb-04
I also want to make sure you guys don't think I threw a dig in at NAD about the hum thread. It really is a good sign when a NAD hum thread doesn't last long. To me, it means if there WAS a problem they've dealt with it, or are in the process of dealing with it. Hopefully people who hear buzzing or humming are getting traction with their dealer and NAD and don't get to the point where they have to post about it. Something in my gut tells me the power supply caps are doing the job.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 53
Registered: Feb-04
Darryl

Yes, but how many people know that! That's my point! I must have THX certified components because I've heard that great sound in the theatre!

Components aside, do you think THX optimized sountracks are any better than well recorded non THX movies? No argument - just interested in your opinion.

I don't necessarilly believe there is anything wrong with THX certification of components and charging manufacturers for such is just business, but at what cost to the consumer?

I was once in the floorcovering business. Many customers would not have anything but more the expensive Dupont Stainmaster carpets yet many other treatments were just as good. That's Marketing!

As I said, my opinion doesn't really count here on this topic especially considering the more knowledgable such as yourself, John A and others. It's great reading these posts and many of you put forward some great arguments on this subject. I'll most likely learn more here than from company generated material and my opinions are certainly from a novice's aspect. So, being so many like me out there, it's very easy to see why many people get caught up in the marketing hype.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 54
Registered: Feb-04
"A few years ago I saw ads for DVD, illustrating how much better it was than VHS tape, all on VHS tape. I guess many people don't think too critically about things."

John A

I remember that well and my wife and I could never get over the irony - they still run it on DVD's too. So those with surround HT already know and those without must wonder what the fuss is about! Fancy that - ads that tell people to get what they already have!

Marketing!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 20
Registered: Dec-03
Don't forget the ads for higher tv picture quality showed on your low quality tv. How did they get those pictures to look so good on my crappy tv?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 72
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

Yes, but how many people know that! That's my point!




Actually, I would say that most people know it, which is my point. I would say that the vast majority of people who watch that "cool" THX introduction are doing so on non-THX gear. However, because of seeing such introson their video tapes, or enjoying THX theaters at the movies, they have come to appreciate the fact that THX is a big player in cinema sound.

This is the essence of brand marketing. There is quite a bit of value in the THX brandname, which is why THX advertises it as a potential marketing tool. It's not unlike the leather jacket I recently bought that was protected by "Teflon." Dupont's brand, which was once associated only with cookware, is now a brandname respected in many applications of surface protection.


quote:

Components aside, do you think THX optimized sountracks are any better than well recorded non THX movies?




I think that THX knows a helluvalot about surround sound, in general. They have made massive strides in the technology, from the theater level to the home theater level. Does that mean that anything "THX" will be better than anything non-THX? Of course not. But does the brandname "THX" imply a certain level of technical competence, which many consumers have come to appreciate? I think so.

I still think many of you simply fail to see the big picture with THX, perhaps because you've convinced yourselves that you must hate it. ;-) Many of you also fail to realize, when you're attacking THX's decisions on subwoofer cross-over frequencies and that sort of thing, that 1) THX has put a helluvalot more thought into it than we ever have, and that 2) THX has at least helped develop some sort of standardization, whether we agree with the specifics or not.

Now, while I'm not suggesting that you should or should not by THX products, or even that I personally plan to buy any, I am simply saying that I do respect and appreciate what the company represents, and that often attacks against it are somewhat misguided. (And, no, I'm not saying that of anyone here.)

Anyway, I would love to hear more about NAD 763s and hum, or whatever this thread was originally about... ;-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 55
Registered: Feb-04
"perhaps because you've convinced yourselves that you must hate it."

Last word - Don't hate it at all and I don't deny the many talents of Lucas, including his forseeing a wonderful marketing opportinity with the finances to do it on a grand scale - and good luck to him. I wonder if the appeal would be the same if the concept had come from a no-name backyarder? Just MHO and I do appreciate your comments.

Back to the hummmmmmmmmm
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 397
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, guys. Insomnia gives me a chance get in a quick word, not write another essay after the event.

Darryl, no question THX has informed audio experts and surround experts. But see my point, March 21: compared with, say, NAD experts (or anyone actually designing/making the stuff), THX's experts are isolated - protected - from the consequences of screwing things up. That's because we, the customers, have no choice but to take their word for what they say; have no means of checking for ourselves what standards they apply. If they were honestly providing this great service of quality assurance, they would welcome scrutiny. You said earlier "I had their amp specs at some point; you can probably find them somewhere on the 'Net. " I've tried and failed. Please let me know if you find a link or other published document.

AIRFORCE,

For me, you have written the best NAD testimonial, ever, on this forum. :-

"Since the 973 appears to be transparent, without any coloration of the sound, I figure I'm free to go with any pre/pro I want. Personally, I wouldn't call the 973 warm or bright. I guess neutral is the right word".

So, you put a Denon pre-amp with an NAD power amp, and it still sounds like a Denon. That is the right answer, and means the power amp is GOOD. Any pre-amp should have about the least colouration of any component in an audio system: an ideal pre-amp is a source selector and a volume control and does NOTHING to the signal itself. To me, your experience shouts out "Get an NAD pre-amp". If that is neutral, like the power amp, then what you will hear is the music. And that's the name of the game.

MyRantz,

Yes, the power of marketing. In Europe there is this logo "Die Gronne Punkt" (that may be spelt incorrectly) - a green spot - to indicate a product is environmentally friendly. How do they know? What a nasty question. Trust them, they are experts: they know what is good for us, and for the planet.... ARGH. And then consensus: sensible people already agree, and the majority is always right. The human capacity to evade personal responsibility. History tells us where it leads. There have been some great movies on this theme in recent years... People will even PAY someone else to tell them what to do. It's all very strange.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 73
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

NAD experts (or anyone actually designing/making the stuff),




Actually, I saw this point earlier. I just didn't have the heart to tell you that much of NAD's components in their AV receivers are OEM. ;-) Same supplier that Arcam uses, I believe.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 398
Registered: Dec-03
Darryl,

Thanks.

But "OEM"? Used frequently here, I know. I'd better not guess or half-remember.

I have read here also that NAD has some component supply and manufacturing in common with Arcam.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 75
Registered: Dec-03
"Original Equipment Manufacturer"... Meaning that NAD uses and assembles a lot of components that are actually made by another vendor (probably a company in China that specializes in hi-fi electronics). Or perhaps they even just have this company just build them receivers to spec.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 399
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, Darryl.

Open up an NAD, and you find the components have different sources, mostly far-Eastern, as pretty well all are, today. And yes, I knew the units are assembled in China, too. But that is no different from almost all consumer electronics products, wherever the companies are registered (that includes Japan). BTW I've been told that BEE, the Norwegian "design guru", actually lives in China, in close contact with the manufacturing plant. I guess that's his business, not ours, difficult to substantiate, and maybe irrelevant, anyway.

I can see my NAD receiver panel display is generic if I switch on all symbols ("icons") with the key combination video 1 + Ext 5.1 + display. Apart from "Dolby Digital" "DTS" etc., it includes some very un-NAD-like surround modes: "jazz", "hall", "stadium". Even "karaoke"!

"OEM", no problem. That's a potential saving, not an extra cost. Also, OEM puts the designers/engineers even more on the line, I should think. Consumer electronics is a highly competitive business, and mostly multinational, today. In contrast, I wonder if THX has competition at all. That wouldn't make a lot of sense.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 76
Registered: Dec-03

quote:

But that is no different from almost all consumer electronics products, wherever the companies are registered (that includes Japan).




The difference is that, in most cases, the company has its own manufacturing facilities, even if they are located in another country. In an OEM situation, the company actually pays someone else to design and/or manufacture its product, whether it's in another country or not.

By the way, you'll also notice a "THX" icon on that NAD's OEM display... ;-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Buckeyeshine

Post Number: 65
Registered: Feb-04
Darryl,

I'll challenge your statement in that "...in MOST cases..." companies DON'T actually own their manufacturing facilities.

Contract Manufacturing (you are misusing the term OEM a little) is the fastest growng manufacturing segment in the world right now.

There are companies that operate under an "Acquisition" model. This would generally be what you are referring to as OEM, where a compay pays another to design and build their product with their brand name on it.

The company with the branded name on the product has some say in the design peice but it is limited and generally uses a similar design base that already exists for the designer/manufacturer of the product.

Then what is more common are companies operating under contract manufacturing where they design the product themselves but have another company manufacture it for them. The contact manufacturer is only responsible for the manufacture of a product and has nothing to do with it's design.

The latter of these is much more common these days since companies are leaning away from "brick and mortar" operations to save cost.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 401
Registered: Dec-03
Seems NAD does Contract Manufacturing, then. Thanks, JDG. Obviously "Design" and "manufacturing" are quite different things.

This issue came up on other threads. Audio Partnership has some famous brand names, for example Cambridge Audio and Mordaunt-Short; and an interesting take on all this.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dmeister

Post Number: 77
Registered: Dec-03
I have no idea whether NAD is operating with an OEM or "contract manufacturing" model, hence my vagueness/ambiguity. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt by using the term "OEM," since it implies that they are doing much of the work themselves, rather than simply paying another company to make the product for them, as is the case with "contract manufacturing."

Unless you know for a fact that they are doing one or the other, we are only speculating. And while I doubt that the majority of AV receiver manufacturers, including the likes of Sony, Pioneer, Denon, and so on, are using contract manufacturing, as you suggest, I certainly won't discount the possibility. Personally, I'm not that intimately familiar with brands I have no interest in buying. ;-)
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 406
Registered: Dec-03
March 22, 2004 - 12:43 am: "I just didn't have the heart to tell you that much of NAD's components in their AV receivers are OEM."

Courage, Darryl. I think I could have taken this terrible news.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Airforceone

Post Number: 78
Registered: Feb-04
The one thing I will forgive NAD is having the inactive THX logo on the receiver displays. You can't begrudge them wanting to save some money by using the same display in all their units. Wouldn't make sense to manufacture a new display for each receiver. Although, after reading you guy's latest posts, I'm not clear on who's manufacturing what anymore.
________________________________________________

For me, you have written the best NAD testimonial, ever, on this forum. :-
--------------------------------------------------

Thanks John. I guess I can quit feeling guilty for slamming NAD around here. I've been concerned that I may have cost them money. Then again, rather than turning anyone off NAD, I seem to have turned them onto the 973/163 combo. If true, NAD owes me a complimentary 163.:-)

Just kidding NAD.

Later guys, have a good week.

 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 407
Registered: Dec-03
AIRFORCE,

As you know, Darren on NAD T753 audio hum... seems pleased with the 973/163 combo. Maybe he'll complain to you, if it fails to satisfy...!

All the best.
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