Nakamichi AV-10

Nakamichi AV-10

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So Close To Perfection... Just A Bit Off

Apr 14, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Very Good

  • Sound:
  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:

Pros:Amazing Sound, Looks Great, Lot's of Power

Cons:Very LOUD Fan, No Phono Input

The Bottom Line: Read my 'Verdict'


Whenever I go to Sharper Image, I try out the Nakamichi Soundspace mini-systems. I love to play around with recievers, and see what kind of sound they can pump out. Once at a high-price electronics store, I saw the selection of Denon, Marantz, B&W and many other top-of-the-line recievers. I played around with the Denon AVR-2800, Onkyo TX-DS989, and the Marantz SR-14EX. They all sounded great, but then I can across something that I'd thought I'd never find. I found a Nakamichi AV-10 surround sound reciever. It was priced at $900. I decided to give it a try. The speakers that I used in the tests were Infinity IL30MPL front channels, Infinity IL10MPL rears, an Infinity IL25CBLK center channel, and a Velodyne CT120 subwoofer. Thhe components used were an Onkyo DX-C380 CD player and a Toshiba SD9200 DVD player.Out of all the recievers (Other than Nakamichi), Marantz simply sounded the best. The closest competitor to the Nakamichi AV-10 was the SR-880 Mark II Receiver. The Marantz was slightly more expensive, but according to ESRPs, they are nearly the same. Here's what I found with the Nakamichi AV-10:

Price:
The Nakamichi AV-10 can be found at the ~$900 price range aside from its ~$1200 ESRP. The sound quality itself beats out every system except for Marantz. If you're looking for a reciever in this price range and don't care for loud fan noise or no phonograph input, then you should consider the Nakamichi AV-10. I wasn't able to hear any distortion at all with this unit. If your pair it up with great speakers and a great subwoofer (This won't be cheap!), then you'll get the Sound Space quality sound. It really stands out over other recievers. The other companies (Mass production) have units in this price range too, and even for less. The closest Sony and Yamaha competitors are the Sony STR-DE945 and the Yamaha RX-V995. Both go for around $600, and both sound great. The better of the two is definitly the Yamaha RX-V995 which has an ESRP for $1000, but you can find it on www.mysimon.com for $650. The Sony and Yamaha only have 100Watts per channel while the Nakamichi has 110Watts. They are very comparable, but the true leader in sound quality is the Nakamichi AV-10. If I could choose either reciever, I would take a Yamaha RX-V995 (I have one), it has an overall better build quality, and a silent fan.

But sometimes, there's something you must consider. Many of use love boomy music when we listen to movies, and sometimes when we listen to music. The Nakamichi AV-10 does have the overall best sound quality, but the need really diminshes when you want to hear incredibly loud and awesome sounding music. The Yamaha delivers that completely, and I just love the sound. I don't pay attention to the quality, I just let the music take me in. If you feel like that about music and movies, you'd better take a Yamaha, Sony, or Onkyo reciever. They are fully loaded with everything you could want, and also without that huge price tag. If you listen to classical music or opera and you're really into it, take the Nakamichi AV-10 reciever, or if you need a phono output and can't handle a loud fan; then the best overall reciever is the Marantz. It has 110Watts just like the Nakamichi, and also that incredible sound quality.

Durability:
Unlike some other recievers, the Nakamichi AV-10 has incredible build quality. It's made out of a very strong material. It's solid just like the Marantz and Yamaha recievers. Yamaha makes very solid and durable units, just for your information. If you want something that's nearly unbreakable and will last for a long time, then you should try out the Nakamichi AV-10.

Looks and Styling:
The Nakamichi AV-10 is a good looking reciever. Most recievers that I have seen on the market are good looking. The styling of the Nakamichi AV-10 is unquestionable. If you want a really good-looking reciever that will really stand out, then try the Nakamichi AV-10.

Installation:
The back-panel of the Nakamichi AV-10 is not different from any other recievers. I had no problems at all with hooking up the speakers and components to the reciever. I'm sure this won't baffle anyone, especially if you know how to handle recievers. One thing that is really starnge about this reciever is that there is no phonograph input. I have never seen a $500+ reciever without one. For some people this is a neccessity, and if you're one of those people and just need incredibly clear sound, then try a Marantz reciever, such as the SR-880 MkII.

Sound:
The sound quality on the Nakamichi AV-10 was simply amazing. The sound was so incredibly clear, no distortion at all. There was even no distortion at very high volumes. The sound was very comparable to the sound quality of Marantz and B&W systems. It was better than the B&W systems, and was in the same league as the Marantz systems. There was a major flaw though. Many people purchase the Nakamichi AV-10 and other "clear sound" recievers for classical music. During pauses in the music, the cooling fan will become clearly audible. It is very loud, you can even hear it at low volumes. There was no fan noise with the Marantz SR-880. If you need a system with no fan noises, don't pick this one up!

The Nakamichi AV-10 is loaded with 110Watts per channel. In total, 550Watts of total system power. This monster comes with Dolby Digital 5.1 proccessing, and DTS. This will satisfy your home theater needs. The Marantz SR-880 also has the same specs, clear sound, power, but no fan noise. The Marantz also comes with a phonograph input, while the Nakamichi AV-10 doesn't have one. Both sound incredible, but the Nakamichi AV-10 lacks a few things here and there.

As I have stated before, if you want a reciever that can pump out some serious sound and volume at still high quality levels, it may be wiser to buy a Sony STR-DE945 or Yamaha RX-V995. This will save you a lot of money.

Ease of Use:
The Nakamichi AV-10 was moreover easy to use. I personally don't like Nakamichi's remote controls though. They have the buttons in strange positions, and also the symbols don't look like the ones here in America or in other Japanese products. For most part, the Nakamichi AV-10 is easy to use. Using it manually is very easy. There should be no problems doing so.

The Verdict:
The Nakamichi AV-10 is overall a pretty darn good reciever. It has everything that an audiophile can want...well...almost. It doesn't have a phonograph input, and the fan noise is loud. This system is great if you want crystal clear and very powerful sound. This sounds a hell of a lot better than any Yamaha or Sony. If you can pick between the Nakamichi AV-10 and Marantz SR-880 Mark II, the Marantz is the best choice without any doubt at all. If you can get a Marantz, get it. If you can't get a Marantz (As in you can't find one), get the Nakamichi AV-10. But be prepared for the fan noise! As I have stated before, if you just want some heavy loud high quality sound, then save a few hundred bucks and go buy yourself a Sony, Yamaha, or Onkyo. All in all, remember, Marantz ROCKS!


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 900


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