• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Top 3 hi-fi brands (and "honorable mentions")

Bliman

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Messages
323
Likes
130
Location
Belgium
To be honest I wouldn't agree with NAD as a reliable brand anymore. At one time NAD made some very nice, solid and sweet sounding gear which sold for sensible prices (I always thought they had a lot in common with Rotel in that regard).Although their gear still seems to perform pretty well they don't seem to have a great reputation for reliability anymore. The new generation 3020 was quite a neat idea but it didn't seem to be particularly well executed.
Yeah I have a pretty old Cd player.
But when I look around they are still very good.
But you could be right.
 

Ron Party

Active Member
CPH (Chief Prog Head)
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
266
Likes
203
Location
Oakland
I'm getting increasingly forgetful with age... wasn't there a less than flattering, alternate way of saying what N.A.D. meant?
 

Bliman

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Messages
323
Likes
130
Location
Belgium
I'm getting increasingly forgetful with age... wasn't there a less than flattering, alternate way of saying what N.A.D. meant?
Do I want to know. Lol. I always thought they were a good brand.
But you guys have much more knowledge. So maybe I am wrong.
 

Sal1950

Major Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
6,276
Likes
4,128
Location
Central Fl
I'm getting increasingly forgetful with age... wasn't there a less than flattering, alternate way of saying what N.A.D. meant?
Enlighten me Ron, I can't remember either. LOL
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,833
Likes
3,724
Location
Milton Keynes, England
On the subject of NAD, the following is copied verbatim from the NAD website, it concerns the D3045 amplifier:

The NAD D 3045 includes advanced capabilities usually only found in far more expensive components. High Res USB DACs? They start at about 3X the price of the D 3045. High Current headphone amplifiers start at the price of the D 3045 and go up from there. Power Amps featuring 60wpc and with the low distortion and high current capability of the D 3045 are rare at this price. Yet all these products are wrapped into one compact, energy efficient, and convenient package engineered by one of audio’s most iconic brands. 45 years of audio excellence is on full display with this innovative and versatile component. Just add your favourite music source and a great set of speakers to enjoy many years of sonic bliss.

In the UK this amp costs £599. If the price of high res USB DACs starts at 3x the cost of the D3045 then that'd mean paying at least £1800 for a high res USB DAC. Am I missing something here? Maybe there is something about the definition of high res as used by NAD but you can get a perfectly good USB which has much higher sample rates and bit depth than red book CD for less than 1/3 the price of this amp. And on headphone amps, again I don't know what NAD mean by high current but you can get some extremely good headphone amplifiers (including some expensive ones from Lake People, the SPL Phonitor Mini, Rupert Neve and such like for less than the cost of this amp let alone paying more.

Is this blatant dishonest advertising from NAD or am I really missing something here?? Certainly the price isn't especially low for a 60W integrated amp with a DAC, although I appreciate you can pay an awful lot more.
 

Sal1950

Major Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
6,276
Likes
4,128
Location
Central Fl
Not Always Defective!
LOL, that's a good one. My only experiece with NAD was a good one, I bought a pair of refurb'd 2400 amps that I ran for 15+ years in bridged mono to drive my subwoofers without issues.
Amazing how ebay can get things screwy somethings, just saw this while doing some poking around there, frequently bought together? LOL
Screenshot at 2018-11-16 21-37-59_v1.jpg
 

Wombat

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 5, 2017
Messages
4,566
Likes
2,951
Location
Australia
Us 'Altec guys' kiddingly refer to JBL as "Just Bloody Loud".

I like JBLs by the way.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,833
Likes
3,724
Location
Milton Keynes, England
What I saw of the older NAD gear was very positive, I quite liked the fact that they avoided bling and flashiness and tended to major on down to earth items with a good performance/cost balance (although obviously, more analogue VU meters would have been good). Their modern range still seems to perform well enough, their gremlins seem to be with aspects of connectivity (they're not alone in that) and reliability.
 

graz_lag

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
1,235
Likes
1,270
Location
Le Mans, France
What I saw of the older NAD gear was very positive, I quite liked the fact that they avoided bling and flashiness and tended to major on down to earth items with a good performance/cost balance (although obviously, more analogue VU meters would have been good). Their modern range still seems to perform well enough, their gremlins seem to be with aspects of connectivity (they're not alone in that) and reliability.
This should not come as a surprise, as they moved their assembling operation into mainland China.
However, being the R&D still in the UK (and/or some of it in Canada), they are effectively capable of designing "cool" gears if they want ...
Like the DAC m51, which keeps a fairly good value in the second hand market, surely more than other DACs of the same age and RRP at the time of their launch.
 

Sal1950

Major Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
6,276
Likes
4,128
Location
Central Fl
What I saw of the older NAD gear was very positive, I quite liked the fact that they avoided bling and flashiness and tended to major on down to earth items with a good performance/cost balance
That was sort of my only criticism, it's gear always LOOKED cheap.
Probably a purposeful design decision, but it only costs a small amount to do a attractive design and still form it out of plastic.
YMMV
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,833
Likes
3,724
Location
Milton Keynes, England
That was sort of my only criticism, it's gear always LOOKED cheap.
Probably a purposeful design decision, but it only costs a small amount to do a attractive design and still form it out of plastic.
YMMV
I tend to find that the quality of design and construction matters more than sound. That may sound dumb, but if I listen to amplifiers of equivalent power and DACs there is very little audibly discernible difference. Speakers are very different. However there is a pleasure in owning and using equipment designed and made to the sort of standard achieved by Sony ES, Accuphase, the high end Pioneer and Marantz gear, Luxman etc. The feel of a beautifully weighted control can just bring a pleasure of its own. I once read a group review of cars which gave the nod to the VW Golf because it had a wonderfully damped glove box door. Most dismissed it as a stupid thing to highlight but I really got where the comment came from.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,833
Likes
3,724
Location
Milton Keynes, England
I think Sennheiser's reputation really exists based on the HD580, HD600, HD650 and HD660, given just how good those headphones are it's understandable why Sennheiser are held in such high regard but if looking beyond them I'm not sure I'd place them above the other good headphone manufacturers and many of the other manufacturers make some stand out models. In some ways I think the manufacturer who had the strongest record across their range was Oppo Digital, OK they only made three headphone models but each one was outstanding and it was a remarkable achievement to enter the market with a statement model which was so well rounded and usable.
 

Dean023

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
3
Likes
0
Well its not like there weren't similarly done poor quality amps back then. A more appropriate modern comparison might be the MolaMola gear. Smaller tin, much greater power, build quality and performance. These aren't integrated amps, but much smaller, 400 wpc in 8 ohms and 1200 into 2 ohms. Inflation adjusted not out of line price wise.

View attachment 17442
I bet they don't do 2 ohms too well ! How's the high frequencies on them I believe with a standard 8 ohm load they can sound okay. Think these and similar will be the future of amplification
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
1
Likes
2
1: Denon. My dads dcd 1560 still sounds amazing, over the years he did some light maintenance himself. Tbf my only comparison is my Marantz cd-63se and Topping d10.
2: Magnepan. For the music I like to listen to I haven't heard any speakers I could actually afford I like more.
 
Top Bottom