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International Smarthouse NADs AV Line Up

July 30, 2004

International Smarthouse Vol. 4, Issue 5
July 2004
Mark Trent

There's no doubt about it—home cinema (or home theatre as our American friends prefer to call it) is the new Hi-Fi. The home cinema system is the must-have item of the 21st Century. Just about every home in Britain either has one, is about to get one—or wants one. And if you're going to have one, you may as well have the best... so let's talk about NAD. For the uninitiated, just over 30-years ago, NAD (originally an acronym for New Acoustic Dimension) set out to create a new kind of audio company. Originally, NAD was a group of audio-industry veterans: manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and—above all—listeners. The company's earliest established aim was the desire to cut through the marketing hype and over-elaboration that had become pervasive in the audio industry of the time and provide what people really wanted—excellent sound quality from an affordable Hi-Fi system. And NAD's success is a testimony to that commitment, indeed their Hi-Fi equipment is renowned the world over for its peerless performance—on the test bench and in the home. Today NAD is also leading the way in multi-channel, with a series of new home-cinema AV products brimming with the latest technology and embracing the remarkable sound quality that NAD are famous for. Which means that you can now have the advantage of NAD audio quality in a more stirring home-cinema experience, combined with extraordinary visual excellence. Film colours, tints, special effects and cinematographic nuances truly come alive, while the vocal soundtrack is maximized, leaving the entire cinematic experience one of stunning visuals and sensational sound.

"If you're about to upgrade your home cinema or are looking to build your first from quality components, MARK TRENT has one recommendation: NAD..."

Play on...

One of the most important aspects of NAD home cinema products is the emphasis placed on musical performance. NAD has referred to this as a policy of putting "music first". The point being, of course, that with all the focus on new decoding formats and other (sometimes questionable) features, and the distraction of the visual image, it is easy to forget that an AV receiver is first and foremost a High Fidelity audio component. Specifications never tell the whole story, and while NAD's specs are excellent, the musical performance is even better. NAD has even developed its own 5.1 matrix surround mode, called EARS (Enhanced Ambience Recovery System) which the company believes is the most natural sounding music mode available—especially with acoustically recorded stereo sources. Next there's Full Disclosure Power Rating, which is NAD's way of saying that if you purchase a 6x100W AV receiver you should reasonably expect to get a total of 600 continuous watts simultaneously at rated distortion and over the full audible band of frequencies. Unfortunately this is almost never the case with AV receivers (it is more common with separate power amps). NAD, however, specs the real power—yes it will meet the old FTC requirement of simultaneously driving all (6) channels at 100W 20Hz – 20kHz at rated THD of 0.08%! NAD also specifies IHF dynamic power into different load impedances (2x370W at 2-Ohms), which it believes provides a more realistic indication of available power from a music or movie's program signal.

PowerDrive

The latest development of the famous NAD Power Envelope circuit, PowerDrive gives both high dynamic power and low distortion into difficult low impedance speaker loads. A large, high-current supply gives the NAD receivers the ability to drive low impedance speakers with very low distortion, and an additional higher voltage rail is available to give very high dynamic power under typical operating conditions. Compared to Power Envelope, PowerDrive uses far more sophisticated control circuitry, offering greater stability and lower distortion. This circuit allows NAD AV receivers to mimic the performance of an amplifier with much larger power supplies with the benefit of greater efficiency

All in all, NAD has come a long way since its early heady idealism of simple affordable excellence, and now it is applying those values to its AV products. In an nutshell, if you aspire to home cinema excellence, aspire to NAD.

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