While conceding that, “the NAD curve has less 'wow factor' than Audyssey's,” Stidsen adds that, “we think it is more natural and satisfying over time.”
With the T 775, however, the great news is that the choice is entirely yours, since the receiver provides both the standard Audyssey EQ curve, the NAD EQ curve and a ‘flat’ setting, plus the option of turning EQ off altogether.
While I can see merits in both the Audyssey EQ and NAD EQ curves, and I spent a great deal of time comparing the two, I found I preferred the NAD curve over the long term, finding it let even more of the speaker system’s distinctive personality shine through, while still providing a useful degree of in-room response smoothing. But by all means try both curves (or none at all), to see which works best for you.
The T 775 comes with a backlit remote that, on the whole, I found very easy to learn and to use. In particular, I liked the way the remote encourages on-the-fly adjustment of channel levels, and also facilitates on-the-fly comparison between surround processing modes.
There were, however, two problems I noted with the remote control. First, I noted that NAD has chosen to break with what I consider an accepted industry remote control interface convention. In most remotes, up/down and left/right cursor buttons are used for navigation, while a central button is used to perform Enter or Select functions, but the NAD remote does not entirely follow this convention. Instead, up/down buttons are used for navigation, left/right buttons give access to sub-menus, and then up/down buttons are used again to select desired options (your instinct will be to press the center button to select options, but that’s just not how the NAD rolls). Is this somewhat confusing? Yes, but it’s also something that, with practice, you’ll learn to work around.
Second, I found the remote was fairly limited in range and quite fussy about being positioned directly in front of the AVR—not off to the side or above or below the receiver—in order to work correctly. NAD suggested that I try installing a fresh set batteries, which I did, but the battery swap only marginally improved the situation. NAD indicated that it had not experienced problems with range or reception angle for its remotes, but when I mentioned the matter on a blog I wrote on the T 775 for our Web site, www.avguide.com, at least one reader mentioned experiencing the same problems I had. If you decide to buy a T 775, then, make sure your dealer is willing to work with you to make sure that your remote functions as it should.
The receiver’s HDMI repeater function and deinterlacing functions performed transparently, without adding any apparent noise or artifacts.
Let me come right out and say it: superior sound quality is the reason to want this receiver, and this is because it doesn’t sound like a typical AVR at all, but rather more like an expensive set of A/V separates. But what does that actually mean in practice? Several things.
First, the T 775 handles complex musical or cinematic sonic details with an almost casual, offhanded ease. Small details are never exaggerated, spotlighted, or overdramatized, but rather are just there—simple, pure, accessible, and unadorned. Even on complicated orchestral material or densely layered soundtracks, the NAD remains as unflappable as a UN translator in the midst of a heated debate; it just relays the information it’s been given in a faithful, accurate, and unflustered way. Perhaps as a result of this, the NAD does a much better job than most receivers of filling in the spaces and background textures between notes, voices, sound effects and the like, always supplying both content and context for the sounds you’ll hear.
Second, the T 775 typically sounds dynamically unconstrained—and frankly sounds more muscular than its published power specification might lead you to expect. With most receivers, we unconsciously brace ourselves for slight signs of compressions, congestion, or even stridency that can result when the sonic going get rough. But with the T 775 in play you gradually learn to relax as you come to realize that it is more or less unfazed by large or small-scale dynamic swells in the material (well, except in those case where owners insist on listening at absolutely ridiculous volume levels). But even under the direst circumstances, owners have the option of switching on NAD’s proprietary “Soft Clipping” circuit, which allows the amp to endure (and then recover from) moments of dynamic overload in a sonically graceful way. Note, however, that while “Soft Clipping” clipping circuit can prove a lifesaver when overload is expected, the T 775 actual sounds subtly purer and cleaner with the circuit switched off. Choose wisely.