Receivers

NAD T785 7.1 A/V Receiver

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

As I mentioned, the T785 has a twin toroidal transformers inside of it, which causes the left of the receiver to weigh far more than you would expect a receiver to weigh. Once I maneuvered it into my rack and hooked up all of my components, I began by setting up my inputs. Unlike most receivers, where inputs are labeled as DVD, Cable/Satellite, CD, and so on, the NAD just labels the inputs as Input 1, Input 2, Input 3, and so on, and then lets you create a custom label for it once you have set it up. For each input you set a video source (component, composite, HDMI), a digital audio source, an analog audio source, a name, gain (for level matching across inputs), an A/V Preset (covered later in this review), and triggers. For HDMI devices this is fairly simple, and you will probably use the same HDMI input for everything and skip all of the analog choices.

There is also a table mode that you can use to set this up. While it looks pretty busy and complex at first, once you figure it out you can set up the whole system very quick this way, and come back to easily make changes later. The only issue I had when setting this up was that the input scheme for the remote is not what you would expect. You don't use the OK button and the arrows in the normal way most would assume, so I often found myself making mistakes when trying to input a value. I understand why NAD did it this way, but I wish they stuck with a more conventional scheme, even if you can't do it as quickly once you learn it.

The AV input Presets that I mentioned above allow you to completely customize your sound and video settings on a per-input basis. Although your initial setup can take a bit longer to do, in the end it is worth it. For example, if I want to always get 24p output from my Blu-ray player and send that to my TV, but for my TiVo I want everything to be converted to 60p and sent over, I can setup two different AV presets that will handle those variations and assign them to the different inputs. Additionally, if I want to run a speaker setup with a crossover for my fronts, center, and surrounds for movies, but for multichannel music I want to have a new preset that runs the fronts in full range with no crossover, I can set that up as well. You can configure up to 5 different presets and assign them to inputs, or select them from the remote, so you don't need to adjust anything in the menus if you want different profiles for different types of material.

Once everything was configured, I ran through Audyssey setup, which runs just like any Audyssey setup will. It properly detected my speaker distances and was close on the crossovers (a little high, but I'd rather it be conservative than miss some mid-bass since it set the crossover too low), and it offered me the choice of Audyssey curves. NAD also has their own custom Audyssey curve, which was developed by Paul Barton at their sister company PSB Speakers and approved for their exclusive use by Audyssey. The NAD curve setting seems to have a bit more bass and a bit less high frequency response in comparison to the standard Audyssey curve when I listened to it. I often lean towards the flat curve from Audyssey, as I have a bit of a bass hump in my room response and that can help to tame it down, but I liked the NAD curve as it didn't have too much bass, but also helped to keep the high end from being too harsh or fatiguing. Of course, it's easy for you to listen to the different curves and make your own choice, which is what I'd always recommend.