NAD Sound Cards & Media Devices Driver Download

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For the few readers unacquainted with NAD, this British-turned- Canadian audio brand first became famous for the legendary 3020 stereo integrated amp. Now part of the Lenbrook Group, which also markets PSB speakers and Bluesound streaming audio products, it has a healthy line of two-channel and surround products. PS Audio’s Paul McGowan heard a prototype, loved it, and agreed to build it. VF thought it was easily the best digital sound he’d heard, but the DAC needs lots—probably 500 hours—of break-in. Recently available is the PS Audio MQA Bridge Card for MQA-unfolding at $899 (see Music Servers).

NAD T 748 AV receiver

Summary

  • Product Name: T 748
  • Manufacturer: NAD
  • Review Date:August 13, 2011 03:20
  • MSRP: $900
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting

Amplifier Section

  • FTC: 2 x 80W
  • Full Disclosure Power (all channels driven simultaneously): 7 x 40W
  • IHF Dynamic Power: 8 ohms, 2 x 110W; 4 ohms, 2 x 160W
  • Total Harmonic Distortion at rated power: <0.08%
  • IM distortion at rated power: <0.08%
  • Damping Factor, 8 ohms: >60
  • Input Sensitivity and Impedance: 250mV/47kohms
  • Frequency Response: ±0.5dB (ref. 1kHz, 20 Hz - 20 kHz)
  • Signal/Noise Ratio: >100dB (ref. rated power at 8 ohms, A-WTD); >90dB (ref. 1W at 8ohms, A-WTD)
AM Tuner Section
  • Tuning Range: 520 kHz - 1710 kHz (120V version, 10kHz steps)
  • Usable Sensitivity: 60dBuV
  • Signal/Noise Ratio: 40dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: <1.5%
  • Loop Sensitivity 20dB S/N: 60dBuV
FM Tuner Section
  • Tuning range: 87.50MHz - 108.00MHz
  • Usable Sensitivity: Mono, <10dBuV
  • Signal/Noise Ratio: Mono 65dB; Stereo 60dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: Mono 0.25%; Stereo 0.5%
  • Channel Separation: 30dB
  • RDS Decode Sensitivity: 28dBuV
General
  • Idle Power: 50W
  • Standby power: <0.5W
  • Dimensions (includes feet, knobs and terminals): 17-1/8' wide, 6-5/8' high, 15-11/16' deep
  • Weight: 25.3 lb

Executive Overview

It's a good time of year. Right now, everyone is trying to get out their new gear in time for CEDIA...or Christmas...or CES. Regardless, it means a ton of stuff to talk about. Traditionally, pre-CEDIA is receiver time. NAD already announced their new T 757 MDC (modular design) receiver. Now they are giving us a new 3D capable receiver at their lowest price point - $900 MSRP.

NAD has, traditionally, been a company known for focusing on audio rather than stuffing their gear full of features. NAD is trying to satisfy both camps with their new T 748 receiver. From the press material:

Most A/V receivers available on the market today focus predominantly on the Videoand Surround Sound aspects, leaving audio circuitry almost as anafterthought. NAD designers firmly believe that there are many peoplefor whom music will always come first. With NAD's reputation for highvalue / high performance, the T 748 was clearly developed to satisfyboth audiophiles and videophiles.

First and foremost these days is 3D. If you don't have it, you might as well be chiseling your user's manual on clay tablets. NAD has included HDMI 1.4 connections that support 3D video and ARC (Audio Return Channel). The T 748 has four HDMI inputs and one output. There is no front-mounted HDMI input, though there is stereo analogue audio, composite video, S-video, and an optical digital audio input. The Mic input on the front doubles as a 3.5mm jack for connecting your MP3 player, phone, or iDevice. We did notice one strange warning in the user's manual:

Before connecting and disconnecting any HDMI cables, both the T 748 and the ancillary source must be powered OFF and unplugged from the AC outlet. Failure to observe this practice may cause permanent damage to all equipment connected via HDMI sockets.

Computer Sound Cards

We've not noticed this particular warning with any other HDMI gear and have, in fact, hot swapped HDMI cables on tons of receivers, players, and more without a problem. We're not sure if this is a design flaw, or if NAD merely has some outdated or erroneous information in their manual.

The back of the NAD T 748 is fairly spartan with seven pairs of five-way binding posts, one for each channel. The T 748 doesn't support a second zone of audio so you can either use the surround back amps as intended or to bi-amp your main speakers. There is a single component video input, two composite video, and one S-video (other than the ones on the front) inputs. There are two each coaxial and optical digital audio inputs. An RS-232 serial connection and IR jacks are available for custom installers. There are also 7.1 channel analogue outputs for integrating an external amp.

The T 748 is really designed to route all inputs to its single HDMI output. While there are component video and S-video inputs, there are no matching outputs for these formats. Also, while the NAD T 748 upconverts all video to HDMI it lacks scaling, so that HDMI output will operate in 480i/p for all standard definition signals input into the receiver (your television can handle the upconversion, so this isn't a significant issue). The composite video monitor output must also be connected to the display to view the text-based (not graphical - think Denon/Yamaha menus from about 4 years ago) On-Screen Display. From the menu, you can set up to five AV presents for different types of program material, changing such characteristics as surround modes and speaker settings.

The NAD T 748 brags 80 watts per channel with two channels driven and 40 watts with all channels driven. It weighs in at a respectable 25.3 pounds and we think this is really where NAD will shine (audio performance and amplifier quality). As well as supporting all the latest HD audio codecs and most of the DSPs (those with extra height/width channels are not supported), NAD has included their proprietary EARS surround mode DSP. While they don't say much about why their receivers have their specific NAD sound, NAD does seem to suggest that their receivers offset the apparent lack of comparative features with increased audio quality.

And there are quite a few features missing. Aside from the lack of multi-zone support, there is no networking, no native iDevice integration (there is an optional dock available), no HD radio or SiriusXM, no video scaling or speaker calibration, and no second subwoofer output. Heck, there isn't even a USB port on the receiver. There is an auto-setup system integrated into the T 748 and you can manually adjust the tonal quality (bass/treble) of each speaker, though it is unclear how well the NAD system would measure up to the more sophisticated room correction systems available on receivers that cost much less than the T 748.

Conclusion

If you are on the market for a NAD receiver because you are a fan of their sound, you are probably not going to care much about the missing features. And maybe that's what makes NAD so attractive - they are still focusing on what's important to hardline audio enthusiasts. But if you want a full featured receiver, this is not it. The focus on NAD sound is clear in the marketing material and in the fact that one of the most advanced features on the T 748 is analogue pre-outs for connecting an external amplifier. It is hard, however, to accurately reflect how much this signature sound will offset the lack of features that many consumers expect at a $900 price point.

For more information, please visit www.nadelectronics.com.

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Recent Forum Posts:

After living with the T748 for a few months I must say that I am very happy with my purchase. I demoed the unit with a suite of PSB Imagine speakers and was quite impressed. It clearly sounded more powerful than the specs given. Nice video processing as well-both 3d and 2d. My system consisits of Thiel CS2s for the mains, a Kirksaeter center and Kirksaeter towers in the back. A mirage sub handles the bass. Using the pre-outs, a Crown Macro Reference drives the Thiels. This combo provides a wonderfully satisfying experience for movies and music. Surround processing is precise and convincing in my large family room. The sound is, too me, neutral to warm. Blu-Ray movies and concerts are stellar. I feel that Im enjoying a performance -not watching/listening to gear. Equally or maybe even more impressive is 2 channel audio performance. The preamp section seems to match nicely with the Crown amp. Smooth and non fatigueing, the music really comes through, The Thiels really sing! I cant wait to upgrade my Samsung 3d player or add a seperate higher quality source component. BTW calibration was not too difficult. Using a Radio Shack spl meter-thanks Audioholics-I was enjoying music and movies in under an hour. If one has efficient speakers, the NAD is a fine option. With additional power via an external amp, it reaims a great option. As always, trust your ears.
Good listening!
Mike
BTW asny recs on a source upgrade?
Corrections
This “preview” and some of the comments here have some incorrect info.
1. The receiver's OSD is transmitted over HDMI
2. The receiver supports DTS-HD Master Audio
3. There is no relation of this model to any Harman Kardon model that I'm aware of
4. This AVR has pre-outs to support the addition of an external amp and 12v trigger, something some competitors lack at this price point
Definitely not everyone's cup of tea without Audyssey and more power.
guitarguy, post: 827257
Wow - some unfounded (IMHO) shots against NAD here.
I've had good experiences with their products (an integrated amp most recently), and as an engineer I would say they are well designed and built.
I do agree they need to get Audyssey into their entry level AVR's to compete better.
As noted they tend to under-rate their power specs and they divulge output into all (e.g. 5/7) channels driven simultaneously, which puts them at a disadvantage marketing-wise compared to the Denon's/Onkyo's/Yamaha's/Marantz's/Sony's/Pioneer's of the world. Honesty hurts sometimes.
As far as sound quality, subjectively I've had trouble matching the NAD sound with the more mainstream brands. The sound is really quite addictive.

Not possible to get Audyssey in the 748…
The 748 uses the Cirrus Logic CS49700, and it does not have enough MIPs resources to run Audyssey and DTS Master Audio..
So to have these features NAD needs to step up to the just released triple core CS49800..
Just my $0.02…
NAD Cheap Shots
Wow - some unfounded (IMHO) shots against NAD here.
I've had good experiences with their products (an integrated amp most recently), and as an engineer I would say they are well designed and built.
I do agree they need to get Audyssey into their entry level AVR's to compete better.
As noted they tend to under-rate their power specs and they divulge output into all (e.g. 5/7) channels driven simultaneously, which puts them at a disadvantage marketing-wise compared to the Denon's/Onkyo's/Yamaha's/Marantz's/Sony's/Pioneer's of the world. Honesty hurts sometimes.
As far as sound quality, subjectively I've had trouble matching the NAD sound with the more mainstream brands. The sound is really quite addictive.
I knew that….I must be going senile.
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