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Stereophile Ultimate AV T 773 AV Receiver

November 20, 2004

Stereophile Ultimate AV
November 2004
Reviewer: Barry Willis

...The T 773 was extremely easy to use, whether via the front panel or the remote.

...Very little instruction would be needed for even the most technophobic movie fan to get comfortable with it. It's capable of deep tweaking for those who care to explore the setup menus, but most folks will be happy with the default settings. The display labels can be changed—say, from "External 7.1" to "SACD DVD-A"—but that's probably as far as most consumers would want to go.

Sound

Right out of the box, the T 773 sounded excellent. I played tons of CDs in 2-channel mode. Clean, airy, and dynamic, the music it made was rhythmic, infectious, and enveloping. In surround mode, it was even more involving...

...In my big system, the T 773 was surprisingly close to the performance of the Parasound Halo combo—amazing, given that, at $1799 retail, the T 773 is less than 25 percent of the cost of the Halo C 2 preampprocessor and A 51 power amp. The NAD had astounding dynamics, with a huge bass drive, seductive midrange, and transparent treble. I was shocked at the quality of sound the T 773 delivered with movies and music...

...Special praise is due to whoever designed NAD's HTR 2 remote control, which comes with the T 773. It's, by a long stretch, the most logical, easy-to-use universal remote I've ever handled. All its primary functions—and there are many—are so clearly laid out that first-time users will feel familiar with it immediately...

...The HTR 2 is programmable for every piece of gear in your system, and it can be set up to execute macros so that one press of a button turns on your video display, dims your lights, and starts your DVD player, all in the proper order..."

...In my book, the NAD T 773 scores high where it counts most—in sound and video quality, ease of installation and use, versatility, ruggedness, and implied reliability. Its no nonsense visual design makes it among the least likely receivers to catch your eye on the sales floor, however. NAD makes some of its latest home theater gear in polished aluminum instead of its decades-old charcoal gray. The T 773 would look stunning turned out like that, but even in its current drab uniform, it's still an outrageous bargain that outperforms a lot of stuff at many times its price of $1799. With its upgradeable firmware, it should continue to do so for a long time to come. Performance, after all, is the name of the home theater game, and that's where the T 773 really shines. Highly recommended...

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