NAD vs. Rotel + PSB System


New member
Username: Tully


Post Number: 2
Registered: May-04
{Apologies if this post in in the wrong area}

NAD vs Rotel

I have two system options to compare - would appreciate your thoughts as to which might be better or problems encountered etc.(I live in Indonesia and listening to the total pacakges is tough without importing them upfront)

Stereo pre-amp: NAD C162 vs. Rotel RC-1090
Stereo amp: NAD C272 vs. Rotel RB-1080
CD Player: NAD C542 vs. Rotel RCD-1072
A/V Receiver: NAD T773 vs. Rotel RSX-1067
DVD Player: NAD T562 vs. Rotel RDV-1060

Floor Standers: PSB Stratus Goldi vs. Silveri
Rears: PSB Stratus Mini
Centre: PSB Stratus C6i
Sub: PSB Stratus Subsonic 7

[Also NAD T773 Noise Problems

I am looking at buying a NAD T773 or T762.

I have heard rumours that there is a background noise/hum/hiss problem with the T773 - has anyone encountered this problem?]

Unregistered guest
Rotel is going to generally going to be the better component. That "hum" you describe is probably a ground loop caused by too many points of ground in your system. Hard to isolate which component is causing it, but easy to fix.

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 546
Registered: Dec-03

Good questions. I have both NAD (T753 for HT in family room) and Rotel (RX-1050 for music in my study) receivers, and I have auditioned almost all of the different components you have listed in your face-off (a hobby of mine). I will give you my opinions and you can decide for yourself what weight to give them.

I am going to start first with the CD players because that is where I noticed the most difference. Frankly, the NAD has it all over the Rotel. I was strongly considering adding the Rotel CD player to my music system (which is in my study) since I have a Rotel reciever, but I was very put off by its cold, almost steely like sound. It is rather hard sounding, and I didn't enjoy it at all. In this I was very surprised as the Rotel CD player of about 5 years ago was considered a legend for its musicality, but this one simply doesn't cut it. The NAD 542, on the other hand, is a delightful machine, with good warmth and very clean sounding, to boot. I have elected to keep my old Kyocera as the NAD is not any improvement in sound, but that is actually pretty exalted company as the Kyocera is a wonderful sounding CD player (even if it is 17 years old). For the NAD to be in its class is highly complimentary.

As for the pre-amps, I consider the NAD and the Rotel to be dead even--both are exceptional pre-amps that are a delight to use. The Rotel is a much nicer unit in terms of its looks, but it costs twice as much, too. As for performance, you would be hard pressed to do better at any price.

The amps are also dead even, but there is a difference in sound. The NAD is warmer and has more low end punch. The Rotel is cooler (but I wouldn't say overly cold) and has a very "precise" sound that is lighter than the NAD due to less low end power. Both are extremely good--it really comes down to which sound you like better. As I said, I have both brands and it just differs in ones musical tastes as to which is more satisfying--in short, there is no right answer here. If I had to choose, I would opt for the NAD, but it is a close call. Both are much better than the usual japanese branded electronics. So, I don't believe you can go wrong with either one, especially with those speakers. One final note here, the combo of the Rotel CD player with the Rotel amp (or receiver, for that matter) is a bad one. The steely hardness of the CD players sound is exaggerated by the amp's coolness and makes for a less than enjoyable experience, IMHO. If you do opt for the Rotel, get a different CD player. If not the NAD, consider a Music Hall CD-25 or Rega Planet (I have no idea what is available to you), rather than the Rotel CD player.

Now, everything I have said about the amps holds true for the HT receivers. The biggest difference is the low end punch of the NAD which is absent from the Rotel (probably only by comparison). In one sense, your comparison is unfair as the NAD 773 has much more power than the Rotel. I know they spec at only 10 wpc different, but that doesn't take into account the very high dynamic headroom of the NAD. A very large room might suggest you get the NAD, but I would suggest that is the only real difference other than the tonal balance, which is probably the greater difference between the two, sound-wise. As I have said, the NAD will have more low end power than will the rotel (which accounts for my preference between the two).

As for the DVD players, it seems nearly no one reports any problems with their DVD players. I think both the Rotel and NAD are superb units and I don't believe there is any real difference between the two in terms of performance. As both do DVD-A, as well as DVD, I really see no difference. I have not tried either of these units with a CD, so I can't help as to whether it would solve the problem noted above with the Rotel CD player.

I frankly think there is no difference between the two manufacturers in terms of reliability and defects. Both are manufactered in China at high quality plants. I got my Rotel because it was returned as a lemon by its first owner (channel kept dropping out) and which had been repaired by the dealer. I got it at 35% off list (which got my attention!) and also got a full warranty. Now, no one is immune from problems (just look into the number of refurb units Denon and Yamaha sell through outlets such as, for example). I would suggest you check to see where your warranty work would be done since you have to import these units. If you can get good warranty service nearby for one brand or the other, that may suggest which brand would work best for you.

Finally, as for the speakers, I personally like the Silver-i's better. Both of those speakers are behemoths, but I think the Golds are out of control, IMO, as they are significantly larger than the Silver-i, but the performance jump is miniscule, at best. Again, no wrong answer here as you have selected candidates that are among the highest in quality and performance. So you can't go wrong, but if I had to split this hair, I would opt for the Silvers.

Good luck to you!

Bronze Member
Username: Invierno

Post Number: 44
Registered: Feb-04
I ran into the hiss problem with some 773's. However, many others have had no problems (and the level of hiss didn't bother my wife or friends).

I'm currently waiting on an NAD T973 amp, Rotel RSP-1068 pre-amp, and Rotel DVD player which I'll also use for CD's. I'll try to post my thoughts on the combo once they show up and I've had some time to listen. I do hope I don't get the steely sound you describe!

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 548
Registered: Dec-03

I hope so, too! I was quite disappointed in their CD player. Hopefully, their DVD player sounds better.
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