Somewhat underwhelming: a £3000 AV receiver simply needs to deliver more
Tight, controlled sound
Low on features
Lacks subtlety and detail
A slightly bright edge to treble
The AV receiver market has been one of the more dynamic in recent years, making for an increasingly competitive landscape. Inevitably, you can get more performance and particularly functionality than ever before.
That means a £3000 AV receiver such as this NAD T787 is a more serious proposition than ever. It’s a heck of a lot of cash when you consider what’s on offer further down the price spectrum.
If size matters, then hauling this beast out of its box should reassure you. It’s big and heavy: nearly 20cm tall and more than 25g. NAD’s styling hasn’t changed drastically over the years, but it feels well put together and like a premium component. Buttons are responsive, the display is clear, and the front fascia clean.
NAD T787 review: Features
More after the break
NAD has never been overly focused on features, and this receiver eschews much of the latest technology offered by rivals. So there’s no networking or streaming, and no remote control app. Similarly, if you want to connect an iPod you’ll need the optional NAD IPD Dock for iPod.
There are seven channels, each capable of outputting 120W, and two subwoofer outs, while NAD’s twin transformer design – one for the front left and right channels, one for the rears – aims to ensure the amp’s never found wanting for power.
There’s plenty more connectivity (see below) and two remote controls, one compact model for a second zone, and a standard unit which comes with backlit keys (and, on our sample, a slight rattle to the battery compartment).
The Audyssey calibration does a decent job with sizes and distances but the levels needed a tweak when we checked manually using an SPL meter.
NAD T787 review: Performance
Up and running, this NAD is tight and controlled. Individual sounds are clear and, sure enough, there is a decent amount of power when required.
But we want, and feel we can rightfully expect, more. When we’re watching Sherlock Holmes – which is a great test disc – the T787 sounds a little all or nothing, struggling to convey the dynamic range in between.
There’s a level of subtlety and, in turn, detail missing here compared with more affordable – and, what’s more, better specified – rivals.
While there is plenty of power, our subwoofers rumbling in to life when asked, it all lacks a little punch and excitement – despite a slightly bright edge to some treble notes when the action gets going.
NAD T787 review: Verdict
At £3000, we expect great things, especially sonically. Unfortunately, the NAD T787 simply doesn’t do enough great things. Coupled with an average specification for the money, we can’t get past an average star rating.