NAD T752 vs. Denon 1804


I know that the NAD would probably sound at least a little better than the Denon, but are the differences worth spending over $300 more for. The money is not necessarily a problem, but I am a somewhat "thrifty" person and don't want to spend that much more money and just have it be "a little" better. I will spend the extra money, I just want to make sure I am getting my money's worth. Also, I see that the NAD has 80 wattts per channel "continuously driven". Does the Denon have this? Is this something worth fretting over? Right now I have Polk speakers, but am likely going to upgrade to Paradigm's in the near future.

Hawk, you seem to be a big NAD fan, and I think you said you had a Denon right now...what do you think?

By the way, I use it for about 90% movies and 10% music.


Get the NAD. Yeah, I am a fan of NAD but it is because they are focused upon getting the best sound, not on the cheapest manufacturing techniques. I have a Denon 3803 now and I would trade it for the NAD in a heartbeat.

The Denon is a very competent unit and I believe it has its uses, but all of the NADs simply sound better: cleaner, with more clarity, and more engaging sound.

You raise a good point about the power. Yes, the NAD is an honest 80 wpc x 5 channels, and the Denon is not. I know this because Sound & Vision tested the NAD 752 and it tested out at 92 wpc x 5! That is a 15% bonus in power. Conversely, they also tested a Denon 2803, which is rated by Denon at 90 wpc x 6, but S&V found it only capable of only 62 wpc x 5. That is more than 30% below spec. Other Denons have tested similarly, so I know the 1804 won't be any different. While you aren't listening to 60 wpc on a continuous basis, you will have bursts of sonic energy (musical transients) that can easily hit that number, so you need a receiver that can handle it.

If you want to save some dough, however, have you considered the NAD 742? It is only five channels and doesn't have any of the six channel formats (I never use them), but it has a lovely sound that the Denon cannot equal. Last I heard, Saturday Audio Exchange was still selling them for $449, and I compared a 742 directly to a Denon 1803 (along with several other receivers) and the NAD's sound was far superior.

Paradigms are a great choice for the NAD as they are accurate enough that you will hear the improvement with the better sounding receiver. The Denon is a bit too polite sounding to work well with Paradigms IMHO.

Well I have a denon 1803 ( which is equivilent to a 1804 IMO ) and a NAD T752...

Trust me there is a big difference when going up to the NAD...

I like you watch a vast majority of movies...

I got mine through saturday audio for $700 including shipping, so when you consider retail, the nad T752 was only $200 more than the denon...

Hawk and Anon...thank you so much for your advice. I am going to go audition the NAD's soon...but since there is only one dealer in the entire state that carries them and thus have to drive 2 hours to do so, I might not get to it for a few weeks. I had one other question though. What are the differences between the NAD 752 and 762? Once again, I can handle spending more money, I just want to make sure that the differences are large enough to justify the larger price tag (about $300 I think). I know that the 762 has more power (80 compared to 100 wpc), but my room is smaller, and I don't know that I would use the extra power anyway. Also, if I am to double upgrade from the Denon 1804 all the way up to the NAD 762, I would be spending somewhere around $1000. Are there any other receivers in the under $1000 that would be better?

Hawk, I wonder why you said this:

"Get the NAD. Yeah, I am a fan of NAD but it is because they are focused upon getting the best sound, not on the cheapest manufacturing techniques."

Isn't NAD manufactured in the Peoples Republic of China? If that isn't the low wage capital of Planet Earth where else?

If NAD wasmanufacturing in the USA or EU or Japan, maybe that statement of yours would be strong. But China?

John A.
Anonymous, (Oct 13, 9:20 p.m).

There is no contradiction between Hawk's statement and manufacture in China. The Japanese electronics giants now have their assembly plants there, too. "Made in Japan" was once a suspect label, but it eventually blew away sometimes complacent N. American and European (especially UK) manufacturers for many commodities, purely on consumer preference for high quality/cost. And the Japs were playing uphill, as other countries now have to (see recent WTO conference fiasco, sorry, off topic, but there it is). If we are into movies, there is a really bad one called Roustabout from the early sixtees. Elvis was a rebellious all-American biker. The incredible thing was, he rode a Honda.

The cheap manufacturing techniques Hawk refers to are, I think, to do with design, construction, and component specifications. NAD keeps those high. NAD receivers have excellent built quality, apart from great sound. Go take one apart and have a look. Or just lift it...

Yo, big difference here. The Japanese where designers, manufacturers, creators. China is used by Japanese & Americans mostly for low cost manufacturing. Not design, not creativity. Simple low cost, very low cost labor. That is why I disagree with Hawk's opinion on NAD not pushing the low cost envelope. Sorry if I was paying top dollar for NAD 5 years ago, why am I still paying top dollar for NAD built in a country with 20% of the labor costs of the Japanese, Brits, Americans? Doesn't make sense to me.

John A.
Thanks, Anon. Good point. But the original Japanese exported goods were not original at all, not much design or creativity back then, just low-cost and zero tolerance for defects. That changed, later, of course. Look at Sony. But you are right, there is a lot of difference if the company is owned somewhere else.

Sure, NAD want to keep costs down, who would want to keep them up in a competitive market? But their priority is still value to the customer, and the manufacturing techniques don't have to be "cheap" just because wages are low. Chinese are skilled people, like anyone else.

Maybe you would be interest to see the case for making quality "British" audio in the Far East by these guys

They have some deal with Marantz who are their distributors in US, I think. It is getting hard to know where anything is really made these days.


I have news for everyone--China has more ISO 9001 compliant manufacturing facilities than any other country on earth. NAD is designed primarily in Great Britain (some is done elsewhere in Europe), but manufacturing is done by ISO 9001 facilities all over the Far East, but primarily China because there are so many good facilities over there. Interestingly enough, one of NAD's major suppliers is Onkyo, who runs a number of Chinese factories for both their own products and as OEM products. Furthermore, the reason labor is so cheap in China has nothing to do with low wages. It isn't that the workforce is unskilled. The real reason is the low exchange rate between the Chinese Yuan and the American Dollar. The Chinese do not allow their currency to float--it is fixed against the dollar at a very low (and unrealistic) rate. Hence the trade tensions between the Chinese and the Bush Administration.

Rotel and Arcam, two top audiophile type brands, are made in China (one British audio mag even says that the Arcam 200 receiver and the NAD 752 are essentially the same receiver--both are made on the same assembly line in a Chinese factory!).

I went to college thirty years ago at a major west coast university. We had a huge number of Chinese then who attended the Engineering College and they totally dominated the Electrical Engineering program even then. Seems very few Americans wanted to learn to be an electrical engineer. Well, where do you think all those electrical engineering grads ended up? China, my friend. They have a wider, more talented pool of electrical engineers than any other country on the planet. Most of the world's chip fabrication is now made in China, for example.

I remember as a kid how many people would sneer at any product that had a "Made in Japan" sticker as something that was cheap and of poor quality. When I was 8 years old, I bought a Sony AM transistor radio and most of my friends' dads had to see it and tell me what junk it was. I used that radio alot over the years and I still have it--it still works great. Their Motorolas, Philcos and Zeniths have long since died. Well, Japan became the major industrial power of the last quarter of the 20th Century. But this is a new century and the #1 industrial power is China, not Japan. Heck, even Japanese companies are having more and more of their products built in China.

Also, many brands you think of as being sourced somewhere else are designed and built in China. I was even shocked to learn that KEF is now owned and operated by a Chinese holding company (sorry John A.). They make everything in China except their Reference line. My Denon was even made in China!

This isn't 20 years ago. China is a major industrial power and this is a fact ignored by our news media entirely, as your post clearly shows. Come to think of it, can you even name five brands, other than McIntosh, that doesn't source products from China? I don't think I can and I doubt if you can either.

My statement that NAD is interested in getting the best sound is true. If you look at their products, that is, tear them down to see what they are made of, you will find much higher quality parts from the switches on the front to the output transistors. And don't forget the power supplies, the component usually ignored by the mass market audio makers. A Japanese sourced receiver at the $500 level usually uses IC outputs, but even the lowly NAD 742 uses high quality bi-polar transistors. And the power supply in a 742 is better than the one in my $1200 Denon.

NAD is not a "cost is no object" concern--few companies can ever adopt that attitude. But they don't skimp on the components, either.

Sorry to rant.


The 762 has many features over the 752, but from the sound of things, it isn't anything you would likely use. For example, besides the higher power, it has six channels instead of five, A/B switching (that is, it has Speaker A terminals and and another pair of terminals for B speakers), HDCD processing, three component video inputs instead of two, 2nd Zone control and separate remote, and three 12V triggers instead of two.

As for other receivers for under $1K, there is only one that I think comes close to the NAD in terms of sound and that is the Marantz 7300. Cost is the same as the NAD 752, but it has six channels instead of five. Some people prefer the typical black fascia of the Marantz over the NADs industrial grey finish, but otherwise they are very similar. I think the NAD has the better DSP and DACs, however. Check out the Marantz, too, if you can. Always helps to compare.

A few more things...and I promise I will stop hounding you guys. Is it a problem that the NAD 752 is only 5.1? I know that right now there are relatively few DVD's that even have the capability to go beyond 5.1, but I also would like to "future proof" myself as much as possible as well. In the world of technology, things seem to change pretty fast. I don't want to buck up $700 now to buy the 752, only to have to spend even more than that a second time in a few years to upgrade to a 6.1 or higher when the majority of the DVD's turn that way and 5.1 is a thing of the past. Right now, it seems like the transition from 5.1 to 6.1 is moving very slowly, but I think it will happen eventually. What are your thoughts? Finally, a question specifically about the 752. It is only a 5.1 system, yet it decodes DDEX and DTSES, which are both 6 channel formats. How is this possible? What happens to the 6th channel of sound? Thanks again for all help.

I have read at certain places in this forum that there is a NAD T753 out there somewhere, yet it isn't listed on their site. Is it really new? When is it due out? How much better is it than the 752?


You aren't hounding us--this is why we frequent this board.

I don't think getting a 6.1 or 7.1 receiver makes your receiver "future-proof." They will not stop making 5.1 encoded disks because that is the standard and will continue to be a standard. So, in the future, will they start encoding a 6.1 or 7.1 disk? Probably, a few will be made, but they will still be encoded in 5.1, as well. Besides, what is the alternative standard. Just when it looked like 7.1 might take off, Yamaha is now touting their new 9.1 receiver. I have even seen product advance sheets for a pending 12.1 receiver! This is all nuts! With the Japanese, it never ends. Because of all of this one-upmanship, they will never settle on a standard and it will remain 5.1, IMO.

30 years ago, they tried the same thing with something called "quadrophonic sound." As its name implies, it had four channels and was pretty good, too. But the makers could never decide on a common format (JVC pushed discrete quad and Sony pushed matrixed quad). Software makers didn't know which way to go so they stuck with stereo and quad died. So stick with 5.1--it is all you will ever need.

However, as for why the 752 decodes 6 and 7 channel formats, NAD was ingenious in providing the 752 with the necessary pre-outs to allow it to be converted to a 7.1 channel receiver with the addition of an outboard power amp, such as their C270, which can be obtained for just a little over $400. So, it is as "future-proof" as you can get these days.

Brad C.
The biggest question is not whether or not they are encoding the discs in 6.1 or 7.1 or whatever...

Its more of a point can you fit 6 or 7 or 9 or 12 speakers into your setup ? ;)

Most people can barely get two surrounds in proper or decent placement in their current setup = why 5.1 will most likely be a standard for a long long long time IMO...

John A.
I have just caught up with this. Hawk, that "Rant" of Oct 14 is oustanding and completely correct. Wish I'd said that. Thank you for remembering I'd said somewhere KEF were still UK-made. I stand corrected. I learn something from your every post. There is a watershed recorded somewhere deep in the terrible movie Roustabout. It goes something like "Ain't an American motorcycle good enough for you, boy?" to which Elvis replies, from the saddle of his red Honda 1000 cc., "Sure, and this one goes fine, too, don't they teach you nothin' 'bout economics in your fancy ivy-league college?".

John A.:


John A.

Thanks ... and I think Elvis then does a really hopeless song called "Poison-Ivy League". Sorry about this; I saw that movie at an impressionable age. All the best.

I went last night and auditioned the Denon 2803 and 3803. Both were competant units, but overall, I was not very impressed. They were both paired with B&W speakers. The volume and power was definately there, but I just was not happy with the detail that either provided. Certain nuances of the track (the pod racer scene from Star Wars Episode 1) such as switches being flipped or other small sounds were not brought out as well as I would have liked. Also, the clarity was not there either. The sound seemed muddled at times. Every sound was at the same "level" or "range". I can't explain it any differently. Does that make sense? Some of this might have been the speakers. I don't know much about speakers, but the salesman said B&W was a great brand, so I doubt that was it. Especially with the 3803 which is priced at $1000, I expected more. Maybe my expectations are too high for a receiver in this price range, but I hope that the NAD's will do a better job with these little nuances that make a movie come alive. From what I have been reading, I think that they will. I can't wait to go audition these soon.


In case you have missed previous posts, I have the 3803 and you have precisely summarized my dissatisfaction with that unit. Things do sound "muddled" at times, something I find intolerable in a $1K receiver.

It is also why I have been so impressed with the NADs. Even the bottom of the line 742 does a better job of resolving the sound--it is cleaner, clearer, and more life-like than any other brand I have heard for $1K and below. It embarrasses my Denon when played side by side.
« Previous Thread Next Thread »

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us