NAD vs Outlaw vs HK


K Mac
High quality sound is my overarching priority in shopping for a new receiver in the $500 range, I'll use this 85% music, 15% HT. I've scoured these posts for the last couple of weeks, even sent one in earlier. Seems like a few receivers rise to the top in terms of musicality -NAD, Outlaw, and HK. Each of these seem to have some points about which I have reservation.

NAD - many sing its praises in terms of sound, but I've also run across a lot of dissent because of reliability and quality control issues. Right now the T742 (new), T751 andT761 (both refurb) are available at this price point. I'm scared to death of the 7*1 models after reading reviews and can't seem to find any information on the T742 from someone who actually has owned one for any length of time. I certainly trust Hawk's blind demo in terms of sound quality, but can anyone address reliability and quality control?

Outlaw also gets high praise from many re sound, but also gets bashed about because of older design and the lack of prologic II. Similar to the NAD T742, I see very few posts from anyone who actually owns one. How well does the Outlaw proprietary substitute actually work compared to prologic II in terms of turning stereo or mono signals into multichannel? How good is the sound quality for music? Reliability and quality control?

Same questions on the HK 325. From reading this and other venues, HK seems to get high praise for sound. However, some criticize it as being too warm, lacking definition in sound quality. Other detractors complain of overheating and fan noise. However, many rate it higher than the other two for features.

Any thoughts to help sort through all this would be appreciated. Thanks to the ecoustics forum and kind folks who answered my earlier posts - I've learned a lot!

Interesting, that's the same choice I'm trying to make.

You may want to take a look at the Outlaw 1050 BBS on the website. The Outlaw has a proprietary 6.1 decoding algorithm for deriving a 6th channel out of DD 5.1, from reading several reviews it seems close enough to the real DD-EX, however it doesn't work on DTS-ES, you have to use an external decoder and the 5.1 ch. inputs and force the 6.1 encoding on instead. They have no substitute for DPLII, only DPLI which of course has a bandwidth limited mono rear channel. There are also problems with some newer 6.1 DD-EX DVDs if you don't have a 6th speaker hooked up. The lack of DPLII and the fact that I wouldn't use a 6th speaker has killed the 1050 for me. But I'm hopeful they'll come out with a newer receiver soon.

The AVR325 easliy has the most features, 7 amps, triple-crossover bass management, MP3 decoding, and the list goes on and on. I auditioned it in a store and it sounded good but I haven't listened to a NAD T-742 yet.

I never heard anyone complain about the sound of the NAD line but it certainly has build quality problems. The T742 is a 5.1 receiver only which is fine for me.

In my case for about the same price I can either buy the NAD locally or order the AVR325 online, this is also influencing my decision more towards the NAD. If I lived in the States and could get an AVR325 from a local dealer for a decent price, I would probably do that.

You may want to consider Marantz as well.


I am making the same decision. I seem to be more inclined towards HK325Z and Onkyo SR601.
The NAD has too few features and I would be using the receiver for TV/DVD mainly. I don't know which receiver would be more 'futureproof'

I think K-Mac's assessment is correct about the receivers that are more musical. In my mind, excepting out the McIntosh $4K receiver, the best receivers are the NAD and the Outlaw, sound-wise. They were built with the target being quality separates and they have largely succeeded. For me, the H/K is a little too laid back and a bit dark, to boot, but that is in comparison to the other two.

I cannot understand this "urban legend" that NAD receivers have more problems than other brands. This forum has had at least 15 posts from people who were thrilled with their 742s just in the past two months, and no reports of any problems. Now, no manufacturer is 100%, but there have been far more problems with Marantz, Onkyo and Yamaha since the first of the year. It is true that there were some problems with the 7*1 NADs, but everything I hear is that they were software bugs and they have been fixed. Certainly John Allen, a frequent guest on this forum and owner of a 761, is very satisfied with his receiver and I cannot ignore the fact they they consistantly get great reviews from the audio press. I have been seeing enough posts here by people knocked out by the sound of these units that I am strongly thinking about getting one myself to replace my Denon (the gutless wonder).

As for making a receiver future-proof (sigh!), I wish it were possible, but I am sure that the engineers at Dolby Labs will come out with a new format a week after I buy my next receiver. I have noticed NAD has tried to address that by having pre-outs for all channels and 5.1 or 7.1 inputs, so that you can insert an outboard decoder (the way we older people used to insert a graphic equalizer) between the pre/pro section and the amp section of the receiver), but I haven't seen any outboard decoders offered, so who knows.

It seems like the choice is almost always between sound quality versus features. Last purchase was my Denon and I bought it for its impressive features. I have regretted my choice (like the self-loathing one experiences the "next morning") ever since. My next purchase, after I satisfy my daughter's tuition requirements, will be for sound quality. I will not make the same mistake twice by getting another mass market receiver from the japanese audio cartel.

Hawk, I didn't mean to imply that the NAD has more problems than other brands, it's just that I'm very close to deciding to purchase a T-742 and am just sharing my concerns from reading reviews on and other websites of the T-752 and the T7x1 products. I've certianly seen people complaining about problems with their HK AVR525s as well, but haven't seen much on the AVR325, maybe it's just a less popular receiver.

Personally, being in Canada, I wouldn't mail-order one, I'd buy one a reputable local dealer so that if it does need a firmware upgrade or has other problems is not a huge hassle. Maybe they have fixed all the known bugs in the 7x2 series with the latest firmware, I hope so. It's nice to know that the firmware is upgradable.

I don't think NAD is any less reliable than other brands. I did read about the bugs in the 7x1, but since I work with computers, bugs are pretty common to me, almost expected. The firmware upgrades for the 751 are almost like the bug fixes for Windows or a motherboard bios upgrade, just not as easy to install. At least they can be fixed.

I've owned 3 HT receivers, one Yamaha, one Newcastle and an HK. None of them is perfect. If you poke around with all the features and user interfaces you're bound to find something about it you don't like. Maybe there is a perfect unit out there but I'm sure it cost way more than the $300-$450 I've paid for any of my receivers. I've managed to find great deals so I guess I shouldn't complain.

I went for sound quality over features with my Newcastle R-956 receiver. Yeah its powerful and sounds great but its not user friendly, almost irritating in some respects. My HK sounds good, has all the features I want and is user friendly.

Smitty, if I were getting an NAD I'd pick the 752 over the 742 because of the 7.1 capabilities. Even if you don't need 7.1 now, you'll be able to later by adding an amp. Plus the abundance of digital inputs.

When I buy my ultimate system I'll probably look at the NAD 762 or HK AVR-7200. But that will be a ways down the road.

Now if I was average Joe consumer and I had to keep taking my receiver in for firmware upgrades to fix bugs, I'd be pretty upset.

Hi all I just want to summarize what I have learned from other informative postings so far:
- seems like most of the complaints for T752 were for earlier firmware versions v1.0x (ie people who bought when it just came out, or from dealers with old stock).
- owners with late v1.1x or v1.2x are generally happy.
- NAD realizes these problems & has free bios or firmware upgrades if you bought from authorized dealers

There is a quick way to get the NAD to show which firmware version it has:

Thank you forum members for your valuable inputs. I am going to bring my fav CD/DVDs to the local authorized NAD dealer this weekend & hopefully get a T752 if they give me a good deal. If not maybe a T742 for now. :)

Thanks for that link ~ very very good 2 know...

Would appreciate a mini-review of your NAD experience this weekend if posssible...

I too am thinking of the going with a NAD T752... :)

Well just my luck, I went to the store on Sat & they were *sold out* of the T752! Yes even the demo is gone! Which must mean many others also find this model most attractive for the price.

I listened to both T742 & T762. The T762 is over my budget so I will wait till they have T752 stock again.

I did open another can of worms. I went to another store & saw an older model Rotel 5.1 marked down 30%! I forgot the model # but I *think* it looks like the 1050 but has a 9xx model number. With the sale it is now priced exactly 1/2 way between the NAD T752 & T762. The only downside is it does NOT have preouts for 7.1 so no way to hook up a 2nd amp in the future. Really no biggie to me.

Should I take a Rotel over a NAD? I know Rotel is known for its separates but what about their attempt at doing HT Receiver???

Should I take a Rotel over a NAD? I know Rotel is known for its separates but what about their attempt at doing HT Receiver???

I would prefer Rotel any day. Its far superior


You should listen to both. I would also recommend that you look at the older receiver reviews on this website to learn about the earlier generation of Rotel receivers (the 9xx)to see what they found. I have heard the current generation of NAD and Rotel receivers and they have a very different sound. The Rotel is leaner, crisper and a little laid back (not much, though). Some people like it better. The NAD seems fuller, more powerful, and a bit more forward (again, not much). Some people prefer the NAD sound.

I would listen to both and see which sound you prefer. I do not believe one is superior to the other, as both are very high quality sound. But there are differences as each company has made design choices to achieve what they like best. It is safe to say that either is far better than any mass market receiver from the usual suspects.

I just bought a NAD T752 receiver and although I've only had it for a few days, the only problems I found so far was that it locked up when changing surround features. After reading the above reviews I checked the firmware revision and found it to be 1.06.

I bought this while on vacation and would rather not have to courier it back for the upgrade. I already sent back my Yamaha RX-V2300 and traded it in for the NAD as it sounded just too harsh for my liking.
Do you think the upgrade is imperative and do you think another dealer would repair it?

I would appreciate any thoughts.


I believe I responded to this on another thread. Get the upgrade and have the dealer do it. It should be no problem.

Thanks Hawk:

I am in the process of doing that now. I've asked the dealer for a new receiver since mine is 4 days old and I'd feel better starting with a new one. This receiver was his last one in stock and on display anyway. Unfortunately he has no more in stock as they are on back order. At least I'll get the latest version when it comes in.
Nad has told me the latest firmware rev is 1.20 and has been out for approximately three months (he wasn't positive).

I have enjoyed reading your responses to others and would like to compliment you on the professionalism of your replies.

BTW I am using Athena Audition series speakers which sound very good with the NAD.


Vicky B

I am looking at buying the NAD T762. Are there any upgrade issues with that as well?

John A
K Mac,

Getting back to your question, I don't know about Outlaw's proprietory equivalent of Prologic II, but I do know about NAD's. This is EARS. Stupid name, fantastic sound; sounds like genuine mutichannel with no gimmicks. I seem to be on my own with this one here. It took me months to try EARS in place of Prologic; life is short, and recognizable names are reassuring. But I won't go back and would get an NAD for EARS alone, not that there aren't many other good reasons.

I have an oldish NAD receiver and have had no firmware or upgrade problems.

HELP!! I have a system based on NAD T762 and M&K speakers and purchased a Pioneer Elite 300+1 Cd player. Player played fine for brief period (hours) and then we started getting a GOD-AWFULL THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP sound and NO music. THUMP would stop momentarily and music played when changing audio input (is hooked up via optical cord), but then the THUMP resumed nearly immediately. The rub is I had a Pioneer 50+1 NON ELITE prior to this hooked up to the NAD and it did the same thing. Was told by a repair shop that the Pioneer processor had gone "BAD." Does ANYBODY have ANY suggestions (SHORT OF GETTING RID OF THE PIONEER OR THE NAD) and what the problem coud be. the OLDER Pioneer had been hooked up via ANALOG cable, so confused as to WHY I would get the same problem optical AND analog. Also, when the THUMPing is going on, the CD counter continues as if the music is still playing. Right now my NAD dealer has my Pioneer Cd player and is seeing how it works with his other NADs. ANY suggestions or observations would be appreciated.


I am not aware of any software upgrades for the 762.


I responded to your post on the other thread (the one you started).

NAD, NAD, NAD this site is becoming a NAD commercial. Is there anything else that people can talk about? It sounds like there aren't any other receivers even worth looking at, and maybe that's they way everyone feels on this site. I don't understand how anyone can buy a new receiver, like the NAD, out of the box and expect to have problems with it right away. I don't know about you guys but I expect to have something work the first time I plug it in. Whether it's software or anything else I don't want to be taking my new receiver back for repairs or upgrades when I get it. Please let's get back to talking about alternatives and innovations. Not just one sided recommendations. Every time someone asks about another product they are made to feel like an idiot for even looking at something other than NAD. If that was the case NAD should be the largest seller in the world, bar none. All other manufacturers should just fold there tent and go home. I know a lot of supposed facts are thrown around here but not all are what they seem. Just because one person on this site likes only one receiver or one set of speakers and he sounds like he knows everything about everything it is not always the right thing for everyone. Let's get back to sharing ideas and have a real conversation about all the products that are available to the people out there. Maybe they want some alternatives and are not quite as smart as the people that now dominate this site. There are many innovative technologies out there being offered by several different manufacturers and guess what every one I ever bought worked right the first time.


The others Onkyo,Pioneer and HK etc... are just border line good.

If you want to talk about your good experiences with other brands nobody is stopping you. Start a new thread, thats all.


I agree with the post above. No one is stopping anyone from posting their opinions on other brands. I for one prefered the Harman Kardon AVR325 to the NAD T752. No one is forcing anyone to buy a certain brand. I wouldnt have even considered a NAD but for this site. I auditioned the NAD and 'I' didnt think the NAD's $499 min price justified its sound compared to the HK (plus additional features). But thats my view and others are entitiled to their opinions. You can't blame the forum if only the NAD supporters post often enough

Anon above:
I disagree, I dont think NAD is the best bang for the buck. I would think the Onkyo TX-SR601, specifically, is the better value for money. More features and it doesnt sound crappy. Depends on what you what. The NAD T742 costs more than comaparable HK or Onkyo and 'I' didnt think it sounded that superior. When looking for the best value, I would expect some compromises in the price/features/sound trio.
My 2 cents..

Except for certain online resellers, you will generally find that NAD, Arcam, and Rotel are sold exclusively at salon audio/video dealers. You will also notice that salon audio/video dealers won't normally sell the receivers of Pioneer Elite, Onkyo, etc. as they like to sell product at full price and these can often be gotten at much less elsewhere. You will also notice that salon audio/video dealers advertise A LOT in tweako magazines--hence the magazines "watch their back" by normally extolling the virtues of NAD, Rotel, and Arcam.

You aren't going to find Circuit City, Best Buy, or other chain retailers advertising in the tweako mags. I have noticed that Stereophile (the major tweako audiophile mag) will sometimes give a good review when some of the more common brands really demand attention. For instance they gave a rave review (which can be read in their online archives) for the Pioneer Elite 49txi.

This is not to say that NAD doesn't make fine products--they generally do. But my feeling is they get far more attention than they merit do to the exceedingly close relationships between the salon dealers, the tweako mags, and hence the audiphiles that religiously read those magazines and then regurgitate the information to everyone they meet as some sort of gospel. I have seen it first hand how many salon a/v dealers prey on the average consumer pumping them with false information and proceed to lead them down the garden path to buying the best equipment (which coincidentally--is the equipment they have).

Again, I don't want to imply that there aren't honest and great salon a/v dealers. But there aren't a lot of them. If you find one that is honest about speaker wires, then you have found a rare bird and an owner that should get your business.

Further to what G-Man above pointed out.

Rotel dealers are prohibited from selling our products via mail order, or over the internet. In some circumstances, dealers may provide information and accept payment for product through these methods, but the completion of the sale requires the dealer to personally deliver the product, or the customer must visit the store to pick up their purchase and be fully informed of the products' operational features.

The above is taken from Rotel's website

I felt that was offensive to the consumer's intelligence

I don't want anyone to presume that I don't like NAD receivers. I DO!!!. And if I had 4 ohm speakers and wanted to drive them at a reasonable price I would either get the Outlaw Audio receiver at $499 or one of the NAD models.

Once you get to $1500, your choices greatly expand to what you can get that can drive 4 ohm speakers well. There are a number of other receivers plus a lot of separates that do a great job, plus have more features than the NAD's.

This is one of the reasons I recommend 8 ohm speakers for most people. It gives the consumer a far wider range of receivers to buy that are compatible.

Onkyo,Elite and H/K just border line good? What have you been smoking? That's just a plain crazy statement to make. How many postings of these brands which have problems have you seen? Your beloved NAD[which I like] is seemingly beset with various problems so that makes them so much better huh? Give me a break.

Hmmm...surprisingly similar to the NAD website:


NAD Authorized Dealers do not solicit business outside their local trading area. While the Internet is a great place to gather information and to find a local Authorized NAD Dealer, we do not believe it is a good place to purchase highly sophisticated electronic instruments, like NAD components. It is impossible to evaluate the sonic performance of any electronic component, without actually listening to it -- specifications simply don't describe sound quality.

I don't really mind this policy so long as the prices at the local Dealer is reasonable, which seems to be the case for NAD in Canada anyway. I was initally interested in HK but the high retail prices sent me looking elsewhere. C$850-950 gets you either the HK AVR225 (now on sale for C$700 at FS), NAD T742, Denon AVR1803 or Onkyo SR601. I don't think I've seen anyone recommending anything but the NAD out of this group, unless you want 6.1. Of course, nobody seems to carry a combination of these receivers so a comparison is difficult. I'm in no particular hurry, so I've decided to wait for the HK AVR230 (C$950) and NAD T753 (probably around C$900) to see which one I like better.


J&R has the HK AVR325 for sale at $499 + free shipping within USA + no tax outside NY. They claim they do ship to Canada.
I bought the AVR325 factory renewed from Onecall and so far I am happy with my purchase. I listened to the NADT752 which sounds good but I figured I didnt want to pay $649 + tax to the Authorized dealer (who didnt seem to know much of the technical details and kept shoving the manual at me) and get less features and arguably similar sound.

Did you consider the Outlaw 1050 receiver?

I think anyone who is buying such sophisticated electronics knows what he/she is buying to be able to hook up speakers and components together. For those who cannot, the dealer is always there. But not giving an option is something I dont agree.


Update: HK AVR230 Pre Order at J&R for $379.88 + free shipping

I am looking to buy my first HT system. The following is some of the items I am looking at:

Paradigm Studio Speakers for front, center, and back
Paradigm Servo-15 for subwoofer

Room is about 20' x 15' with 9' ceilings

I have been leaning towards one of the new NAD AVRs, but want to consider other alternatives. I am looking to spend $1.5K - $2K for an audio/video receiver or separates. I really do not know much about the different companies and what they offer in this price range.

Of particular interest is the Outlaw 950 and 7100 combination. Are these quality products and would they be a good fit for the speakers I am looking at? Also, do they have a good set of features that would be useable for the near future?

Also, how do the Outlaw's compare against the NAD 7x3 units that are to come out or the existing 7x2 units?

I do not have to stay with the same company for pre/pro unit and the amplifier.

Suggestions as to what to consider and why would be greatly appreciated.

Is the HK AVR230 the replacement for the 325? I,too, am trying to decide. I had narrowed it down to the NAD 742 or the HK 325, but I like the pre-order price of the 230 you mentioned above. Is it to be considered as well? I want our system for music mainly and want a good, rich, warm sound.

When someone asked yesterday about receivers for Paradigm speakers I responded that as far as I knew Paradigm's are easy to drive--being 8 ohm speakers, and that any reasonably well-powered receiver should do a good job.

Since I was only 99% sure that my answer was on firm footing I went to the Paradigm site and sent the tech dept. this e-mail:

"....asked if a Pioneer Elite 41tx is adequate for driving either Paradigm Atom's or Monitor 7's or should he get a more expensive NAD T752 or T742 receiver. I told him I would write you and ask. I was of the opinion that although the NAD might well be a better receiver, the Elite 41tx should be more than adequate to drive a pair of Atom's or Monitor 7's"

This is the reply--

Hi Greg

Paradigm doesn't recommend any particular brand/model of receiver since our speakers are designed to work well with a wide variety of equipment.

An 80 watt/ch or 100 watt/ch receiver should allow the Atoms or Monitor 7's to be played at quite loud volumes in an average listening room. On our higher end models this is even true, although they can benefit from high-powered separates and receivers.

But to repeat, most any well made 80 watt/channel (or greater) receiver will power our speakers more than adequately in an average listening room.

Gary Takeda
Paradigm Technical Support

Anon, Thanks for the pointer to J&R. I'm reluctant to order from the US because I'd have to ship it back there for any warranty work. There is an e-tailer in Alta. that buys from a US HK distributor and offers a 1-year warranty, his prices are a bit more than J&R but significantly cheaper than buying locally.

Terri, specs and manual for the AVR230 is available on the hk website at:

Price-wise it's a replacement for the AVR225 but has many more features such as 6.1 support, triple x-over bass management, pre-amp outs for all channels, 35 amps of HCC. There is an AVR330 model that has similar specs. but is 7.1, I'm guessing this is the replacement for the AVR325.

Personally, I like the feature set of the AVR230 since I was initially looking at the AVR225 but it was just missing too many things. They seem to have added all of these in the AVR230 without increasing the price. The fact that there's no fan probably means it doesn't have any over-heating issues.


If you want to spend $1500 to $2K I would say the Outlaw combination you mentioned is outstanding. It has a much more robust power supply, is a far superior pre-amp with far more features, and has a much better remote than the NAD T762. For that matter it is far superior than anything else at $1200 or less.

If you wanted a receiver that was more comparable to the Outlaw and can be gotten on sale at about $1650 I would say the Pioneer Elite 47tx. It has the same "honking" power supply as the top of the line 49txi (over 130 watts to each channel with all 7 channels driven) and is conservatively rated at that, which is probably why it weighs 63 lbs. It also has better DAC's and a far superior feature set to the T762. Then again, it is $600 more expensive than the NAD. And I would get the NAD T762 over most other $1050-$1100 receivers, and any other if I was driving 4 ohm speakers.
You are powering fairly easily driven 8 ohm speakers--so you are at the point of really guilding the lily here, as far as receivers or separates are concerned. But there is nothing wrong with that.

It's a Tim Allen thing--no such thing as too much power and having too many features:-)

NAD NAD NAd and more NAD!!

I am awaiting my 3rd T752 due to firmware problems. Ver 1.1x had various OSD glitches, Ver 1.20 is much better,and although the previous niggles are gone, a few new ones have slipped in. Should be collecting my replacement this week with ( I believe) the latest firmware, ver 1.22, lets hope all works now.

It is very frustrating to buy a new device and have to send it back all the time. The dealer adn importer are being very friendly and helpful, but this does not make me feel any better about my brand new equipment that has been replaced 3 times.

NG, Not very smart. Why did you buy a 752 if you knew that there were problems? Don't tell us you didn't know about it either, moron.

I've had an HK 325 for a week now. Sounds great & plays loud. Excellent bass management, a-bus, rs-232 & zone 2.
Doesn't up-convert composite to s-video though, & I don't think the parameters for dolby prologic II are adjustable. Minor inconvieniences, though. It's last year's model, so you should find a good deal.

Hi Chris

I am in the same boat as you. 2 weeks into AVR325.
What parameters of DDPL-ii are you trying to adjust?
Also you listed A-Bus, RS232 as its pros. Curious have you found any useful use for them? I thought the RS232 port was for H/K techs only

Hi Kar.
I guess the rs-232 isn't really a pro, unless HK has a software upgrade. My HT's in my basement, so I plan on using zone 2 in the living room & the a-bus in the back yard (or vice-versa).
In most reviews I've read, for DPLII, you can adjust things like panorama, dimension, and center width, at least for the music setting.

Hi Anonymous,

Unfortunately in our country, there are only 3 options, Yamaha ( I really didn't like the sound and it didn't like driving my magenplanars), Rotel (entry level costs 3 times that of the 752) and NAD. So it was a no brainer really, and I was told about older versions having problems, but that the new ones were ok, sily me for believing that.

The first receiver ever purchased by me was the HK PM 650 integrated amplifier. I was thrilled with it. I have owned a receiver made by Toshiba. Model number I don't remember. I was given an Onkyo TX 4500 MKII as a gift which I still have. The string on the flywheel popped so I had to purchase a tuner to have radio.
I've been wanting to purchase a decent surround sound reciever and have been checking out a lot of bands. I cannot afford high end so I'm considering some middle range products in what I'll call 'working class high end'. I have been considering the HK 525 since the beginning of the year waiting for the price to come down. It is now near a price that is best for me ($649.88) at J&R Music and Computer World. I'm trying to hold out for $599.99 w/no shipping charges and if I get sales tax either. Anyway, now the new product line is coming out and as far as I know the 525 remains in the product line. I also read a review about it that complained about the fan noise. I've also considered the Onkyo TX-SR800 and one by SONY that is also 7.1 w/multizone source/sound output for around $500.
All I really know about surround sound is that I like it! I am also settled on an DVD Audio - SACD DVD player by PIONEER.(DV-563A) for $199.99 also at J&R.
I don't want to wait anohter year before I make a purchase. Technology moves too fast
Please help me make a decision as to what receiver to purchase before the new models completely replace these models.
Thanks to everyone for your anticipated help.

Terri Cooper
Hi Vip John,
I just ordered a H/K 525 ( after much debate, deliberation and wonderful advice from all of the great people on this forum). I first saw it for 575.00 + shipping at I was a bit concerned that H/K didn't have them listed asone of their authorized dealers, but called to double check. H/K said they would honor any repairs if bought at 6ave. I called jandr and to match 6ave's price. onecall actually beat it by a few dollars ( and they were so helpful on the phone- as was jandr's salesman). The 525 will probably keep going down in price - hopefully by not too much more! Take a look at those three dealers and don't hesitate to haggle with them! Good lucK!

Todd DeSaix
MY receiver experiences-

First off, I'm a college student/young audiophile and I work part time at Circuit City for the excellent discounts. Unlike most of the morons that work at the major electronics retailers I try my hardest to help people figure out which receiver fits THEM best. I have spent countless hours comparing the H/K, Onkyo, Sony, and Panasonic units that we sell, and have spent a few hours at other stores listening to the other major brands just for good measure. I currently use an outlaw 1050 driving Polk lsi's all around. (Speaker discounts are truly disgusting for me)

Of the brands that CC sells I mostly enjoy Onkyo and H/K. In each price range you will usually find about the same options and inputs, so after you figure out what features you are looking for it really comes down to personal taste in tone and then how much you are looking to spend on sound quality.

H/K - The AVR125 and AVR325 are OK but I don't think that HK really shines until the AVR525 series. To me the lower models sound too crisp and harsh, not something that i would want to sit down and just listen too for a long period of time. Many people at first interpret this for accuracy, but after extended listening it begins to wear me down. The difference in realism and warmth between the lower ones and the 525 is immense- I highly recommend the 525 and above.

Onkyo- The first thing about the onkyo that i enjoy most is the ease of use. The menu systems and settings are straighter forward and require less searching to find what setting you need to change. This may seem like a small point but when you play with them all day you start to appreciate the way the onkyo's are set up. Secondly the sound quality on Onkyo's lower end models is much more natural sounding than the H/K. It just sounds right, like the music should, not harsh, nor brassy, just smooth- doesn't draw attention to itself. I personally have a TXSR500 in my gaming room and am always impressed with its pleasant sound. The higher end onkyo's such as the 60x,70x,80x series continue with this warmth and add more definition and punch to the bass along with clarity and accuracy to the highs and mids.

I find both HK and Onkyo to be very good products. If you are looking at spending less than the HK AVR525 I would recommend the onkyo's, else the HK's are great. One exception would be the TXNR900- an Ethernet input? How cool is that. :o)

Lastly Outlaw.

I own the 1050- wow. Let's start with the cons: lack of PLII, lack of component switching (which you shouldn't use b/c it degrades pic anyways), and the analog inputs just not being on par with the sound you get from the digital.
Pros- At 500 dollars this unit is a steal. Only 65w per channel might deter some, but trust me, it is just awesome. Movies are just jaw dropping- so clean, loud and real. Dolby Digital and DTS are out of this world. Using digital inputs for music with the 1050 driving my two Polk lsi15's and a sub it is breathtaking. My friends constantly bring CD's over just to hear what they Should sound like. The clarity, strength, and simple design of the 1050 make it wonderful.

If you don't mind the few shortcomings and want a great receiver that does what a receiver should do- sound great; the Outlaw 1050 is by far the best product in this price range.

What it really comes down to is what YOU like, you don't go buy a car or pair of shoes b/c some guy on a forum said that one particular brand/model is the best- you go try them out for yourself and then choose the one that best fits YOU.

If you actually read all this I would like to apologize for my rambling.



Thank you for your personal experiences--it is particularly meaningful since you are in the industry and listen to a lot of these products.

I would agree with you that the H/Ks really don't shine that much until you get to the 525. something about that price point seems necessary to get really high quality sound. For additional support of this thesis, i would point to the Marantz line, which is another one that doesn't really shine until you get to the 7300 (which by the way is priced at about the same point as the H/K 525).

Most of all, I really liked your description of the Outlaw (probably because it coincides with my own experience). You are correct that a buyer loses some features, i.e., DPL II, but the sound is so much better than the usual japanese mass market receiver. As a buyer, I have come to believe that the quality of the sound is the one paramount quality that a receiver must possess. Like real estate, where the three most important features are "location, location and location", for me the most important features of a receiver are "the sound, the sound, and the sound."

Again, thanks for the post.

Hawk & Todd,

You guys really think there's a big difference in sound from the HK 325 and 525? I thought the break in build and design would be from the 225 to 325. The 325 & 525 have the same build and feature set with the 525 adding HDCD and bass management on the analog 6 channel inputs.

The 225 & 325 are far apart in features and weight, about 12lbs difference. The 325 & 525 weigh 40 and 44lbs respectively. I've looked at the comparison chart on HK's site and the 325/525 are pretty much the same with a little more power going to the 525.

What do you think causes the difference in sound?

You've got me wondering since I "only" have a 325.

Todd, Thanks for the reviews. Like GT, I would have guessed as well that the difference would have been between the 225 & 325 models. I notice you have Panasonics at CC, have you heard the Panasonic HE200 at all? I hear pretty good things about it (for the price) but find it hard to believe it's in the same class as the other receivers you mention.

Would you consider the AVR525 to be better than the Outlaw 1050 sound-wise? I had stopped considering the 1050 because of lack of DPLII, problems w/o a 6th speaker on some DD-EX discs & lack of DTS-ES but if it sounds that much better maybe it's worth a second look.

Are those Polk speakers 4ohm by any chance? If so, have you listened to any of the HK series with 8ohm speakers?

Thanks for any answers you can provide.


John Allen
I also appreciated Todd's experience and views.

Yes, sound quality is my first priority.

With Outlaw, how much of a loss is Dolby Prologic II? A dealer told me it was a great improvement Dolby Prologic, and it was not to make a sale - I was considering his non-DP II older NAD. Which I bought. No regrets at all.

I have NAD's EARS and it is superior to Prologic (I) in my opinion.

BTW I looked for the info Outlaw web site and they have a good case for not having Prologic II. Also I see the Model 1050 Receiver only accepts a 110 V 60 Hz mains supply, sad for Europeans, Australians, etc. Though I have had friends with US-purchased gear with a transformer for UK use. Also the matrixed sixth channel is not available with DTS.



I have NAD's EARS

What's the treatment for that? (And where do you get it?) :)
Sorry, couldn't pass it up.

John Allen
Stands for "Enhanced Ambient Recovery System". How boring. Contrived to make "EARS" I expect. Wonder what DOLBY stands for... The EU in Brussells wins hands down on infantile, punning acronyms. I believe they employ a Commission Reviewing Acronym Procedures or similar.

Hello Terri:
Thanks for the response.
I hope you enjoy the set. Hooller back and let me know if you have any problem with the fans kicking on and if they make as much noise as some say they do.
I read a review on one of the 'opinion' websites and the guy said that the fans would kick in at low listening levels and would be so loud as to disturb his listening to the music. The people at say that the fans will only kick it at extreme volume levels that call for a lot of power and if one is listening to the music that loud they won't hear the fans anyway!!
What kind of speakers are you using.
I have a pair of KLH Twenty-Two's that I've have for about 10+ years that I'll use for second zone speakers.
Who makes a good surround speaker package in the $500-60 range?
Anyone can respond.
I listen to a wide range of music and watch movies of just about every genre. Some DVD's such as Pink Floyd's-The Wall I purchase solely for the music. Occasionally some soundtracks are better than the movie, e.g. House of 1000 Corpses!
And to Todd DeSaix: ramble on as much as you like. I appreciate your opinion and most of all what you said last..."What it really comes down to is what YOU like, you don't go buy a car or pair of shoes b/c some guy on a forum said that one particular brand/model is the best- you go try them out for yourself and then choose the one that best fits YOU."

John Allen:

Loved your charecterization of the EU! I almost went to work for them 20 years ago and I have no doubt today that I was correct to pass on the opportunity. Bureaucracies drive me nuts, and I am getting more intolerant of them as I get older.

Dolby Pro Logic II is definitely superior to the older DPL, but I think the EARS is a better system. I have also heard the H/K version, which I think they call Logic 7 or something like that (I have a hard time keeping all of these proprietary labels straight). It is also quite good. The Outlaw has vexed me for some time. The sound is great, but I often wonder if I will miss the extra "features" (there is that word again!) like DPL II. Don't know, but I have decided to not worry about it any longer as I am going with a new NAD. I have spoken with my dealer and he is reserving his first NAD 753 for me. I am looking forward to it.

Warmest regards.

John Allen

Thank you! What a pleasure it would be to compare notes on bureacracies, but it is off topic. I could write reams on the EU. At least they look after their employees. Mind you, in response to your comments under "Is Onkyo Japanese?" I wonder if Sony, for one, now designs by committee, with middle managers and accountants calling the shots, after close study of market research figures. It must be awful to be a skilled engineer and have to answer to corporate exectives with MBAs who have never heard of Ohm's Law and think deciBell is a brand of ice cream. I wonder if NAD under the Nordic holding company had this problem, and are now better off under Lenbrook, which specialises in audio manufacturers and must know the good ones have their own standards. Outlaw sounds like a company with audio engineers in control. Great to read Todd's comments.

EARS somehow manages to separate R and L surround channels, and it also spreads out the front of the sound field better than Prologic. EARS is very convincing for movies, quite amazing, in fact. We re-watched Jurassic Park on VHS the other week and my astute and perceptive wife really though I'd got it on DVD without saying.

I have a feeling it is not so difficult to design and make a processor that extracts phase information from stereo, and, if you can do that yourself at least as well as Dolby, maybe better, then why pay for a name? That would be the engineers' solution, and mine. You can wire up any amp with two sets of speaker outlets to get two rear channels and surround effects - these are "Hafler" connections if I remember right. This has been possible since the beginning of stereo, and requires no DSP chip or surround processor at all.

So you finally decided?! I have been wondering for weeks... Attentive readers here will have been on the edge of their seats. I feel I would like to start a new thread with this important news. Apart from many nice things, the T753 will have both Prologic II and EARS, so perhaps you can let us know how they compare. Any hums, pops, or quality issues, and you must promise to report back pronto!

The first T753. Wow. Good luck. That is a great choice, as you well know. And you are putting your opinions on the line by being first in the queue. When can the dealer deliver?

John Allen

6 x 70 W. Lucky fellow! Thus you can also tell us your experiences with 6.1 vs. 5.1. You will need a rear center speaker, of course....

Scheduled for late November. Patience required. Hope TCS gets his T752 sorted out. Curiously his story is a kind of recommendation - NAD clearly wants to find the problem and fix it.

I wonder what is your DVD player?




I currently have a Sony DVP-755 DVD player, which has progessive scan, 3:2 pull-down, and SACD. I don't have any SACDs yet, but I will probably look for them before long--when I have seen them in stores there are very few and I guess I just haven't had the urge to buy any yet.

Yes, patience will be required on the arrival of the 753, but the money is a bit tight right now, anyways, so it isn't like I have a choice! However, my dealer friend already has in his price sheets from NAD. He thinks they should be in around the end of this month/beginning of November.

Interestingly, my house cannot accomodate a sixth channel. I had it pre-wired last year for 5.1, but our family room (which is where we will locate the sound system) has a huge picture window (now covered by plantation shutters )in the center of the rear wall. Since the room is somewhat shallow (but very wide), we have to have the furniture up against the rear window. It pretty much precludes the location of a sixth center channel. But, I figure the 753 is probably a 80 wpc x 5 receiver, just like the 752.

I am also saving my pennies to get new speakers--probably Dynaudio Audience, but the Krix KDX-Ms are definitely in the running. The Krix are an Australian speaker that is very, very smooth and images beautifully. Tough choice, but hey, I love figuring this stuff out!

Warmest wishes.

John Allen

Thanks for the info. Sony do some things really well, like video, and that sounds like a great player. There should be no distinctive sound from a digital stream, and I think the NAD DSP will do the 1s and 0s from that just as well as from anything. For years I used an NAD pre-amp to a Sony power amp and they were quite compatible even for analogue. The analogue pre-amp inputs to the NAD receiver are a very useful feature which should allow connection of anything, including "true" DVD-Audio, and your Sony for SACD.

My guess, and I think you have said the same, is that the sixth channel does not do much, at least with current discs. You essentially have stereo behind you with 5.1, already. I see and, of course, hear, the value of a center channel in front of you, for dialogue. I suppose a rear center might help if you want the exact sound of someone whispering in your ear in a rainstorm, or at a funfare or something. I read one German recording company has plans to use the sixth channel for height; none of the current formats cater for the missing vertical dimension to recorded sound, which we can hear perfectly well. You would hang the speaker on the ceiling, I guess. I could buy that argument, but most recording companies do not seem to have thought of it.

You are way ahead of me on speakers and I cannot really comment. But don't you want something to go with Magnepan mains?

I still prefer stereo for music, unless playing a real multichannel recording. DVD-A discs all have a 5.1 DTS track which I think is probably as good as "pure" DVD-A though others posting here disagree, and I am not in a position to compare. The new NAD models will be like the old and have inside them what is really a top-quality integrated stereo amp, and a powerful one, too - the power rating goes up even higher on two-channel, I believe.

You know all this already, I am sure.

Greetings from over here in Europe. If you could enjoy a v....n* "Blonde on Blonde" SACD, definitely a classic, let me know...

Jeez, would you believe I got (edited):-

The following words are not allowed on this discussion board:


Please revise your post to remove the words indicated above.

No word is purer than that! I will never understand American or Americans.... In student days, my hi-fi savvy friends (with more money than I) popped down regularly to Richard Branson's dilapidated shop on Tottenham Court Road, named "V....n Records" (a great name because it indicated the records had never been played). The guy now owns a major international airline and half of UK's rail infrastructure, all with same unpostable name. How can this be profanity? [Seriously off topic...]

NAD vs. Outlaw...
I have a need for B front speakers for another room. I prefer to not use an inferior (or expensive either) speaker switcher and compromise my sound in the primary audio and HT room. If the preamp out plugs are sent to a second reciever (such as my older HK AVR10) is there still signal sent to the front channel speakers in the primary room, or does the preamp out plug divert it all? Or do I just need to wait for the 743?

Also, I'm confused about the lack of EX on the outlaw. What happens if you don't do all the tricks when you listen to discs encoded with EX?


John A.

The pre-amp out carries the signal in addition to the signal which goes by default to the internal power amp - the latter is unchanged. So, yes, you get the sound in both places.


Have a look at the HP COS thread on the outlaw 1050 discussion BBS for details of the problem running without a 6th speaker on some DD-EX discs. Basically, some surround information will be lost if you don't have a rear centre on some disks. If you do have a rear centre speaker, all is fine. Something to be wary of if you plan on running 5.1 only.

John A.:

Yes, I got bleeped for using the words bl@@dy, s#xy, and using the letter "P" in succession when mentioning the product designation of the NAD Phono preamp, which I solved by dropping the hyphen to read "PP2." I find it pretty frustrating as I see other posts where they really do use some profanity.

John A.

Thank you. It is good to discover one is not alone!

I cannot even guess the problem with "P".

I think because it is the words kids use when referring to urinate.

John A.
That is spelled "p**", and even then is fairly inoffensive!

[The following words are not allowed on this discussion board:

p** ]

John A.
Thank you Hawk! This is seriously off-topic, but Austin Powers 2 (as our children are careful to call it) in its US-release title would cause equal offence to UK ears if called "The Spy who f***ed me"; it means the same thing. There must be an ecoustics dictionary of all the words we may not post. I wonder who decides. He/she she must have a vivid imagination and a warped mind.

Yeah, I was aware of the English slang in the Austin Powers title from my days at Oxford. I was seriously mortified when my 9 year old got a hold of a DVD of that movie and asked me what "shagged" meant.

John A.
Sorry, I am old fashioned, reading that word here makes me cringe! And ecoustics lets it through.... It is not slang, it is in the OED. In UK English those two words (I shall not repeat) are exact synonyms.

Oxford. If you were into audio then, perhaps you visited the legendary Horne's in Summertown? I heard the Quad ESLs there and it was so vivid I shall never forget it. I had just gone in to buy a dustbug and the guy gave me a full demo in their upstairs room. Not having that sort of money, I eventually took their recommendation for KEF and that's where my loyalty stays to this day. But Magnepan is now on my list for when the ship comes in!

Sorry, everyone else, I now wish for the nth time to buy Hawk a beer and have a general chat...

Ah yes Hawk, Oxford. That would explain why your writing is as refined as it is. When I read the thread were you used the word "pejorative", I felt you either had a British background or have studied English at a post secondary institute.

I also notice that you avoid engaging in useless brand bashing or personal verbal conflicts.

My compliments.



My apologies. I wrote it wondering if it would get through and then forgot to change it once I got to the preview screen. Sorry !

John A.

Thank you. No problem, I was not complaining. It is becoming an allowed word. Excellent movie "Sliding doors" has Gwennyth Paltrow using it all the time, I doubt the f-word appears once. I am the sort of pedant who sighs at the spelling in p**n-promoting e-mail spam. Re TC, I think there is something deeply different about US and UK attitudes to all this, but it is miles off topic, though from Canada you might have an independent view. There is a theory that America being founded initially by puritans... Too far off topic. I don't like to wrap our kids in cotton wool, but the I do worry sometimes about all sorts of things Hollywood implies to be normal/acceptable, not just language, and HT now brings it all into the home. Let's invite TC for a beer, too. This thread would be better off if it had a break from my rambling. It has wandered far away and I am mostly responsible. Sorry! Parting digression. Googling "Hornes" I found this cameo about the Oxford Radio Society.
Post-Script. I am not even allowed to write "p**n"! It is so difficult to distinguish between a word and the thing it represents?!

John A.:

As the father of two daughters, I share your concerns. I am not a prude, either, but some of the stuff I see coming out of Hollywood and presented as "normal" scares the stuffing out of me.

Thanks for the link--it brought back wonderful memories of my days at Magdalen College (for those of you here in North America, it is pronounced "Maud-lin"). My room was just above the Cherwell not far from the bridge.

Don't know if it is still there, but I used to frequent the Blenheim Arms near Carfax Tower--a wonderful place to share a pint with you and TC! Now, I had best stop now or I will become maudlin remembering the old days.

Cheers, my friend.

Gentlemen, I would greatly enjoy the opportunity to share a pint with either or both of you.

I too have a daughter and share the very same concerns. Because it's impossible to protect her from what is, unfortunately, present everywhere, I can only educate her to the best of my ability.

Hopefully the values we have taught her will be front and centre at the crucial moment.

But, as you mentioned, we digress. Thanks for everyone's patience indulging some concerned fathers.


Three pints of Morrell's, then, please, landlord.
What a pleasure it would be. In my travels I would rate Oxford and the SF Bay area as prefered places to live, though I once spent just three days in Denver and liked it, Hawk. There was a fine beer brewed in Boulder, I forget the name. Someone please resume the topic...
Here's to music and cinema in the home.

John A.

"Export" means only "to Canada" as far as I can see on the otherwise informative Outlaw web site. Some of their models are made in US, some not, and this affects Canadian import duty, for some reason.

"Foreign customers (excluding Canada) please call for pricing and delivery options".... "Telephone (866) OUTLAWS". I think you have to have lived in the US to recognise that as a telephone number.

There are excellent reviews posted from one or two people in UK and Scandinavia, but how actually to audition and perhaps buy one is not very clear:-

"Check out pictures at Outlaw's website ( If anyone is after a European model you need to get in contact with Robert ... at ...the Finland-based importers of Outlaw products (and working with European distribution....Outlaw's business model precludes regional distributors)".

Imagine having to phone Tokyo before deciding whether to buy a Sony.

"Some of their models are made in US, some not, and this affects Canadian import duty, for some reason."

Yes it does. You can thank NAFTA for it.

John A.
About Hollywood in the home, Gangs of New York is our biggest mistake yet. Defamatory to Americans, also to the Irish; offensive to everyone. Gratuitous violence, sanitized for entertainment, in every frame. I stuck it out to 36 mins. Perhaps it lightens up in the remaining two hours or so. I do not wish to know. I suppose I should have checked, first.

Hey there all, is the Onkyo tx-sr501 ok to buy refurb? I saw ecost had them for &179.00. I believe they carry the warranty too. I have always looked at refurbs as Great things to get when your looking to save the bucks. do you agree?


Mike :

I have just purchased a NAD T 762 four weeks ago. And I have suffered from the same explosive thump sound when changing from one surround mode to anther. I have written NAD and am waiting for a reply. Some other owners on another forum seem to suggest it may be a raw digital sound from the CD that is unmuted. The T 762 mutes the first second or so (hence the dreaded drop out on the first track)and if it shortens the muting time, the raw sound may pass through to the speakers. An analog connection to the receiver from the CD helps. In any case I do like the sound. No one will go wrong in getting this receiver, but perhaps wait until NAD starts to sell the 763 or their flagship 773? You may compare that with the Rotel and Outlaw Audio. As to the comments of some about bashing NAD, it is not really so. Manufacturers should appreciate the feedback. Plus, if there is a persistent problem of such as loosing the first second or so of signal from a CD (provided it is connected via a digital cable)we all have the responsibility of informing eachother. After all this is why we have such user forums, free from manufacturers and dealers influence and pressure.

John A.

I just wanted to say agree completely. Manufacters should value the sort of feedback they get here.

Today I have read two other, separate threads here concerning the "play-delay" on NAD receivers. Clearly it is an issue.
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