Which one? NAD 762 / Pioneer 45TX / Denon 3803


I am ready to buy a receiver that is worth the money for the sound quality. I have heard that the three models above are good (NAD 762 / Pioneer 45TX / Denon 3803). I'd like to hear the pluses and minuses of each and your recommendation to choose which receiver.
I have invested in more than $3000.00 in a 6.1 speaker system. I want to buy a receiver that can perform home theather as well as music video and work well with a karaoke system. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Daniel Benatar
The NAD T762 Is the best receiver in the market today. The sound quality is clean and without
any side sound effects. Then is the Denon, sound warm. With tese two AVRs you can't compare the
Pioneer - two level below Denon, and 6 level below the NAD. The NAD T762 close the gap between the sysstem of pre amp. and amp. and receiver.
If you will wait another 2 months, a new model of NAD T773 will be launched and the price will
be ~ $1800 usa (with 7.1 configuration and ~ 115 watt). Another receiver that I was loking is the
Yamaha rxv 3300, but it is at the same level as the Denon 3803, lower sound quality than the NAD.
I advice you to evaluate the NAD T762 with Snell speakers - excellent performance! Good luck, Daniel


I have the Denon, but I must admit that I believe the NAD is clearly a much better receiver, sound-wise. I find the Denon to be a bit dry sounding. It is very clean, but when I compared it to my buddy's 762, I was blown away. The NAD was cleaner (I didn't think that was possible), the movie dialogue could be heard much more clearly , and the NAD absolutely shines when playing music. I felt I was in the same room as the performers, not a recording. In short, it is as good or better than many separates systems that I have heard.

Now this is heady company and the Pioneer Elite is a very different receiver. Their engineers long ago announced their objective to bring the sound of a tube amp to their line of receivers. They use MOSFETs in the output stages and their amps are very warm, much warmer than any other line of receivers to my ears. But when comparing the Elite to the NAD and the Denon, the Elite sounds fuzzy, less distinct, in its reproduction of both music and movie soundtracks. It was like the whole sound system was behind a big heavy stage curtain (it seems to sound a bit muffled to me). Part of the problem is the DACs--they are the real weak point of this receiver and I hope Pioneer fixes them in their next generation. Now you may prefer the sound of the Elite because it is really different from the other two receivers and you may well prefer the warmer sound, but when I have compared it head to head with both the Denon and the NAD, the 45tx was an easy third place finisher, IMO.

I have also spent a considerable time auditioning the big Yamaha RX-Z1 and the Marantz 8200, but the NAD, which is half the cost of the Yamaha is easily the best receiver I have heard (after a lot of listening).

I hope this helps.

I must come to the defense of the Elite 45tx.This is a very fine receiver in all respects. I have had both the 3803 and 45tx in my home and I prefer the Elite. Hawk states that the Elite is "fuzzy" sounding. I do not hear anything like that in my system.[Monitor Audio speakers]In my system the Elite is warm, pleasant and detailed. Elite receivers are not 2 notches down from Denon. I used to have a anti Pioneer bias until the dolby digital era when i was introduced to the vsxd-906s receiver. I loved that unit and have liked the Elite line ever since. Both Denon and Elite are well built, have large power supplies, use quality components and are good values. I have not heard the NAD but did read a good review in "The Perfect Vision" and only negative was a noisy audible cooling fan. It's hard to tell you what to buy as I don't know what speakers you have. I can tell you that the Elite is a terrific receiver.
Even though I disagree with your assessment of Elite receivers I want you to know I respect your knowledge of a/v products. We would have a good time hashing this out if we ever met. I look forward to responding to you agin on other postings.

I have the whole line of M&K THX select speaker system (6.1)

Anybody knows if the NAD T762 can handle 4 ohm speakers like the m&k LCR-750THX ? I know there should be no trouble to drive 4 ohm speakers with the Denon 3803. Please post your thoughts. Thanks


The NAD can not only hadle a 4 ohm speaker load, their receivers are even rated at 2 ohm loads! No other receiver would even dare to try a 2 ohm load. I actually returned my Magnepans because the Denon was having trouble with their 4 ohm load. In all fairness, however, not all 4 ohm loads are the same and the denon may handle the M&Ks just fine. I just don't know.


I respect your opinions as well. Your posts are thoughtful and articulate and I always enjoy your weighing in on these issues. I should clarify that when I say "fuzzy", it is only in comparison with some other products when I have compared them. I have never walked in and heard something by itself and said: "Hey, that sounds fuzzy!" No, modern electronics are too good for that and let's face it, even HTIB systems sound pretty good. We are splitting hairs here, but my attitude has been when they are asking me to spend $1K, I absolutely want the best I can get. Or, put another way, "Good enough, isn't."

My ears are currently tuned to my Denon, but I have to admit that lately I have become aware of how "dry" my Denon sounds, especially after comparing it to other receivers. By that I mean it doesn't have the warmth or seamless (almost liquid-like) sound of your Elite. As I have said before, there is no one receiver that is right for everyone. And, as subjective as this all is, I may not be hearing the same thing you are!

What I would most enjoy is a chance to hear your system. I moved to an area a year ago and I have not yet heard the Monitor Audio speakers paired with a Pioneer Elite receiver. I have only heard them separately at different dealers, but your system sounds most intriguing. By your posts, I can tell you are vey pleased with it and that is the most important thing.

So keep posting, my friend!

Adam C
Yeah, in respect to hawk, i have also noticed the denon avr-1803 dry sound, comparing between my slightly older poineer vsx-d510, sure the denon is leagues ahead in terms of functions to the d510, but there is a difference, on both i was comparing the stereo functions only to be far.
But if you want to cheat somewhat just simply buy a power amp, it satisfied me.
And only cost £80 for 300w rms 4ohms x2 of juice. mind you it was second hand, but i have only 1 complaint, and that is that its fan is loud.

Has anyone tried the s-video to component video upconversion feature on Denon 3803? Does it work well? Also, is 100Mhz bandwidth for component video switching good enough?

I read that Rotel 1055 has a computer I/O and they just released upgrade for their component video to 200Mhz. Would it make any difference?

I like what I have read about Rotel 1055 and NAD 752/762, but wish they also had this s-video to component upconversion feature.

I suppose if people really want to have better sounding music, they could buy a separate NAD 2-channel amp and drive the front speakers with them instead of through Denon.

I'm compairing the NAD 762 and the Rotel 1055. I have Paradigm monitor 7's and a small sub also paradigm.

I really listen to more music (wide variety) than theatre...my main interest is in the music.

Any thoughts?


You have often said the Denons sound 'dry'. Would it make any difference if it were combined with 'bright' speakers like say horn loaded Klipschs?

Just curious.

A combination of Denon with older Klipsch like the LaScala or Klipschorn would probably be tolerable but there are better options like NAD, Elite and Marantz. Denon with newer Klipsch models is a terrible combo. Both are very,very bright and sibilant. I have a local store that sells Klipsch and Denon, SonyES and Elite and the Elite's are the only one of the three that sound good with the Klipsch. I know you didn't ask me but I have heard all 3 combos and thought you'd like to know from someone who has.

Your views and opinions are always welcome and respected


"Dry" to me is a sound that is generally does not work with a "bright" sounding speaker. In my view, anything that is exaggerated in the sound of a component can either be magnified or smoothed out by other components. A dry sound would tend to make bright sounding speakers a little less coherent and rougher sounding. Now, Klipsches are pretty bright and while I admit I haven't heard the combo (horn loaded Klipsch with a Denon receiver), based upon what I have tried my Denon, I don't think that would work to my satisfaction. Bright speakers can be a bit rough sounding with the wrong electronics and this would be true here. I did try the Denon with a set of JMlabs and I didn't like the sound at all. The Jmlabs were too bright and the sound was very clear, but also very rough sounding.

I think a smoother British style speaker, say B+Ws (which I have tried) work better. I am also hoping to try out my Denon with my Mission M71s later this month (when I get some spare time) just to see how they combo.

Thanks Hawk. I was just curious
Please do let us know what you think of the Denon/Mission Combination

I recently purchased NAD T762 and very happy with the sound. Unfortunitly after 2 months the 762 developed a fault causing a power pop through the rear speakers when changing inputs. The amp was replaced with a new 762 which developed the same problem after 3 days. I have been told that NAD is having some quality isues. Has anyone else had problems??? I have exchanged it for the Denon 3803. Still making my mind up > Should I try another NAD 762???

mark veenis
Some dealers here in Holland no longer sell NAD because they got tired of all the problems their customers are getting.


I have tried all the receivers that are brought up here on this thread, my speakers consist of Monitor Audio Bronze 4,2 Center and a Velodyne SPL 1000 as a Subwoofer. The Nad is without question a very respectable product and is without question the hands down winner for a music only system. When however it comes to Movie sound it may be a little too laid back in timbre. It just does not add the excitement and energy that some receivers give. The Elite is actually a very good compromise for music and movies. ( a good choice indeed. The Denon however in my system was as stated DRy and lifeless, not very emotional, just artificial sounding. Again, as some of you have noted from speaker to speaker we may be hearing different timbres altogether. Let me throw a curve ball to everyone here and have (if you have the Chance) you guys audition the new Harman Kardon AVR-630 which price wise is very competitive. I currently own this piece and can honestly tell you, through owning almost 8 different receivers that this thing is a treat. It has 90% of the NAD music sound but it's the movie sound that's killer. I think it's the new Cirrus Logic CS49400 chip that is the secret here. This same chip is found on high end processors such as the likes of Rotels top of the line preamp.

To sum:

Nad T762.... Good choice, best for Music die hards, Reliability issues may still be downside.

Denon AVR-3803.... a tweakers delight, not very involving, built like a tank. Too dry..Can drive anything out there.

Pioneer VSX45.... Not too shabby at all. Excellent comprimise, for music and movies.

Harmon Kardom AVR-630... An underdog, but try it and see for yourself. Also built like a tank. Has however had past reliablitiy problems.

Thanks guys...

i am going to be buying klipsch RF-7 speakers what a/v receiver would best accomodate them ive heard NAD is a good product

Buy a mellow receiver like a Elite, H/K, or Marantz with the Klipsch as they are very bright and harsh sounding to my ears. A mellow receiver will tame some of the harshness of the Klipsch and be less fatiquing than say a brighter brand like Denon or Yamaha. Have you considered other brands? Why Klipsch?
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