Not sure about the CD players, but go with the SR or TA series. Stay AWAY from the RE.
16 responses Add your response
Gee.. I remember in the early days listening
to recievers made by Dennon, Yamaha, and Nakamichi.
My impression was that Dennon was very bright,
Yamaha was slightly warm sounding and the
Nakamichi SR-4A was the warmest sounding of the
3 brands. Now their seperates might be bright,
but I know the SR-4A Reciever was not bright at all.
I have no experience with their other receivers like
the TA-3a so that's why I'm asking.
I enjoyed a Nak CD Player2 for many years and especially liked the MusicBank feature. It conveyed emotion moreso than the asian entry level CD Player it replaced. The Nak presented an undistorted but entirely flat soundstage. Addition of a quality DAC supplied the missing depth but revealed a gap in the response that made cymbals sound disconnected from the rest of the tone stream. Replacing the Nak with a dedicated transport eliminated the gap.
Definitely go with the earlier SR series receivers. They are far better sounding and the build is superb. They produce a rich, smooth sound that packs a lot of punch but is never fatiguing. I've owned a SR-3A since 1987 and just had it restored by the folks at Soundsmith in Peekskill NY. It is now the center of my office system and sounds better than ever. The RE series is good but a little harsh sounding in comparison to the SR series. It would be worth your while to seek one out.
I owned an MB-2 CD player for a while and thought it was outstanding for the price - $400 from Costco. It's only drawback was that it was rather flat sounding. I probably could have worked on it to fix that, but I didn't as I was moving and returned it back to Costco. I wish more companies would come out with good multi-players.
If you want warm get Rotel. I have a Rotel CD player, and when I bought it I compared it to several, more expensive CD players and found it to be very warm, almost tube-like in its sound. I have had it over 10 years and it still sounds great. I recently happened to play a CD through my computer, which is hooked to the same sound system through an M-audio 2496 audiophile sound card and when I played the same CD through the Rotel it was quite startling how much better it sounded.
Just to respond to the person stating Nakamichi separates as being sharp sounding. I did own their poweramp, the PA5II, and it was sharp sounding and got rid of it really quick. I also had their preamp, the CA7II, which was sharp sounding too. I held onto this piece for a lil bit longer. I was using stock powercords all this time, btw. Until a few years ago, I started experimenting with aftermarket powercords. I found the CA7II has very good synergy with Mapleshade powercords. The sound became lively, warm, and the preamp ran very cool. With the stock cord, it was as hot as a class A amp. I can only imagine what the PA5II would sound like if I had tried it with the mapleshade.
I have owned a Stasis Amp, the PA-7. The Stasis and Class A output gave a nice warm sound that was also very dynamic. Strangely enough, in their second appearance, as in the Model IIs, as Viggen pointed out, several people state that the sound is not quite as nice or comparable to the original models. If you are to get a NAK receiver, get the SR-4A and avoid the newer models.
Having owned a lot of it and sold it when it was new. The TA and SR amps are quite nice. The CD Players are pretty bad sounding by today's standards those.
I had a TA-3A which worked wonderful with a pair of Kefs. Not a bad sounding amp for pennies these days..
I would stay away from the older CD players though..
I've owned several Nak pieces over the years. Used to sell it back in the late 80's. I currently own a Nak Ca-5 preamp; MB-2s cd player and SR-3A reciever. I also have a broken OMS-5 cd player in the closet. Stay away from the RE series receivers as they are not anywhere near the quality of the SR or TA series, nor they sound anywhere as sweet. The SR series was the best receiver they built. Lot's of current well designed and practially bullit proof. Very open and dynamic once the idle current stabilizes. These have high idle currents so they tend to run on the warm side and need to be on for awhile to sound their best, IMO. The TA series stopped being buit in Japan and I feel it had a slightly lower build quality. Also they added video switching on all models and seperate listen/record tape switching which makes the design a bit more complicated. Same basic Stasis design as the SR each model produced more watts than any of the SR's. The TA's are still nice sounding units and it might be hard to hear a difference. The build quality and the additional switching are the weak links IMO for the TA series
The biggest problem with the OMS series of cd players is their age. If the transport mech. or laser assembly hasn't ever been replaced, I'd be suprised! This is a major expense if you can find the parts, and frankly the player isn't worth the repair. These players use old conversion technology, which at the time was the best, but now is mediocre. I'd opt for the original MB series if you're looking for a changer or the CDP series if looking for single. The MB(S) series has been known to have more transport problems(lesser build quality) than the original MB series, but I've had mine 7 years w/o incedent (knock on wood). Again almost impossible to get parts and more expense than the player is worth. They sound OK, clear and detailed, but completely lacking in soundstage width and depth. I use mine with an outboard DAC. When my MB-2S bites the dust I'll get something else rather than fix it.
Hope this helps.