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Is the NAD T 742 right for me?

 

AaronE
Unregistered guest
From reading other posts I've come to conclude that #1) the NAD T 742 is a fantastic home theater receiver and #2) Not too many people are comfortable enough with Wharfedale speakers to discuss them critically. Despite that, I was wondering if anyone had ANY thoughts on pairing the two?

I currently have a set of Wharfedale MFM-5 Monitors. Floor [tower] speakers with nominal Impediance 8 Ohms, 125W (PROG-whatever PROG means?) I'm currently driving them with a Sherwood RD-7106. The produced sound is not satisfying to me at all. Flat, best describes it. At higher volumes there is a pleasing fullness that develops, but that requires a level that's too loud for casual listening.

Does anyone have any thoughts about how the NAD would perform with my Wharfedales? Would the it push out the kind of power at lower levels that would create a "fuller" sound than that produced with my Sherwood, or should I be investing in new speakers as well?


Thanks,

Aaron
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 356
Registered: 12-2003
Aaron:

I didn't respond to your earlier post inasmuch as I do not know your model of Wharfdale speakers. I generally do not respond to posts where I haven't heard the unit or units in question. In my case, I have not heard Wharfdales since I left Northern California 18 months ago. I just have not found a Wharfdale dealer in my area to keep up with their product line. However, this time you have posted the info in a way that I can respond and hopefully provide some meaningful help.

Now, I do know the NAD 742 receiver--I looked long and hard at one after it absolutely smoked more expensive competition in a direct comparison with a Denon 2802, an Onkyo 700 and a Harman/Kardon 325. I attended this receiver comparison and was absolutely shocked at the differences and how much better the 742 sounded. So, I fully agree it is a fantastic sounding home receiver and a wonderful value.

Knowing what it did against much pricier competition, I also know it will sound much better than your Sherwood. I have likened the sound of the Sherwoods to the lower end Pioneer and Onkyos I have heard--pleasant, but not a lot of detail and the amp sounds like it is straining a bit (I call it "consitpated sound"). Conversely, the NAD sounds effortless and much more dynamic, despite its lower power rating. I think you have put your finger on it when you ask whether the sound would be "fuller." In a word--yes, it will be much fuller sounding even at lower levels. That is exactly what I heard when the 742 was being compared to the other receivers.

Now, although I do not know your particular Wharfdale model speaker, I generally know Wharfdales and let me set forth what I have heard to see if it coincides with your observations. Wharfdales I have heard are very pleasant, reasonably neutral (that is, neither real forward or laid back), and slightly warm sounding. They have a very pleasant and non-offensive sound that really works well with many receivers. To me, the difference between them and many higher priced speakers has been a lower level of detail from the Wharfdales. But for the price, they present good sound and are a very good value (and are often better than many speakers costing twice as much).

Consequently, I think your Wharfdales will work fine with the NAD 742, and I wouldn't be concerned about "needing" new speakers if you got the 742. Now, the I am sure you will hear greater detail just by changing to the NAD alone (over the Sherwood) even keeping the Wharfdales, so you may well find that is good enough for your needs. However, if you like what you hear with the NAD driving your Wharfdales (and I am sure you will), you may "want" to upgrade your speakers at a later date to get even more detail. If so, the nice thing is that the NAD generates a good enough signal that new speakers can take advantage of it revealing even more detail.

So, I would go for it. Until you have lived with the combo for a while, you will never really know. But I have heard enough to know that the NAD will be much more satisfying to listen to and is worth the upgrade over the Sherwood. I do not see that the speakers need to be changed at this time.

Good luck!
 

AaronE
Unregistered guest
Hawk,

As far as I know, you're accurate with your assesment of the sound from my Wharfedales. I honestly don't feel that I've ever heard what they are fully capable of, but when I push them to higher volumes it is a pleasant warmness that I begin to hear. I am not comfortable enough with the terminology/audiology to accurately discern between forward and laid back; I often refer to them as sounding "natural"... as if they don't add or subtract too much - perhaps that is the same as neutral.

You're statement about the NAD "sound[ing] effortless" was a key point for me. While this is what I hear from it when on display, I am rarely comfortable enough with the speakers being used to know how much they are adding to the overall sound. However, it sounds like this may be more of a "standard feature" of the NAD that is somewhat independant of what its driving. Obviously the speakers play a large part but... I think you know what I mean.

Many thanks for your time and thoughts. I'll be taking another listen tomorrow and who knows, maybe brining one home with me.

Thanks again,

Aaron

P.S. Amazing memory - that post of mine that you recalled was months ago...
 

AaronE
Unregistered guest
One more question...

I just realized that my local dealer (along with many others I believe) is currently offering a deal: buy both the T742 and T512 for $650.

Is the T512 an exceptional DVD player? I have a smaller TV (24" WEGA) of which I've never felt a huge need to deeply invest in a DVD player for, but $200 isn't TOO far beyond what I would consider paying.

Anyone have opinions on it? Are there better things out there for less / comparable $$$ ? I might pick up the T742 tomorrow and won't have too much time to research the T512 before then, so any experiences would be helpful.

thanks,

Aaron

 

New member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2004
Aaron,

Personally I think you can get a better DVD player for the money. The T512 has very few features. It doesn't play DVD-A or SACD. It doesn't have component output, which is important for picture quality. (I'm not sure if it even has progressive scan.) If you plan on keeping the 24" TV for a while, it won't make a difference.

Maybe these things don't matter to you. In that case, it would look sharp on the same rack as the T-742. It also got a good review in one of those British mags (check the editorial reviews on this website).

Seriously, you might do better with the Pioneer 563A if you're at all interested in getting into DVD-A and SACD and it's 50 clams cheaper than the T-512.
 

AaronE
Unregistered guest
Thanks Two Cents. I took a look at the review you mentioned as well as another I found on the web... while it seems to do what it can do very well, you're right about it lacking format support. If I'm going to spend the money for a new one, Super&DVD audio are things I would expect to get these days...

Thanks for the suggestion of the Pioneer 563A as well, I will take a look at that one.

 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 271
Registered: 12-2003
Aaron,

The new NAD T533 player has DVD-A, progressive scan, and component video out. I have a T532 and am thinking of changing it for the T533. For me there is nothing wrong with the T532 except it does not do true DVD-A. It is an outstanding CD player, too. The combination 742 receiver/533 player should be wonderful. See if the dealer can offer you something on that. Where I am, the T533 is the same price a new T512 was a year ago. Another well-reviewed DVD-A player is the Cambridge DV57 at about the same price. I personally do not wish to follow the SACD trail: you are paying Sony for elaborate copy protection and for the right to play discs in a format it owns.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 377
Registered: 12-2003
Aaron:

I think the 512 DVD player is a good player, although it is not long on features, its strength lies in the digital to analog conversion and the analog section (like most NAD DVD/CD players) as NAD has spent a lot of time making sure the analog sound output is very good. I do not know the Pioneer suggested by Two Cents, but generally Pioneer has also done a pretty good job with their DVD players, so I would defintely check it out. The key here is that since you are likely to be using your DVD player for CD playbeack as well, you do want something that is going to extract good sound from the disk and provide a good signal to the receiver to amplify (unlike many mass market disk players whose analog section is merely an after-thought). So I would definitely check out the Pioneer.

However, I did have another thought. I know Saturday Audio is offering a package deal on the more feature rich T532 DVD/CD player. MSRP is $499, and they offer it for $299, but if you buy an NAD AV receiver (such as the 742 for $449), they will deduct another $50 from the price of the 532, so that it would only cost $249. See if your dealer would be willing to match that price, which would be $698 for the pair. The T532 has all of the nice goodies like progressive scan, 3:2 pulldown, MP-3 decoder, etc. As John A. suggests, it only lacks support for DVD-A, which was a very expensive capability until NAD introduced the 533.

Good luck!
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