I don't have experience with the combos that you have mentioned. But I do have experience with similar priced integrated in both the brands. Both brands offer good value for money.
Relaxed and laid back sound
On cooler side
Brings sound stage forward
Hope this helps.
The classic NAD warmth isn't quite as apparent in the "upper" end of the classic series, they are more neutral.
Both are good brands, what speakers will you be pairing them with?
NAD and PSB are very good together (same parent company). I use my NAD c275bee (love the amp) with NHT classic 3's and also think two brands make a great combination.
Mr. James Lipski brought up a great issue. Speaker selection is something that you have to seriously take into account here.
NAD budget integrated amps tend to sound a bit warmer than the other brands as mentioned by Mr. Milpai but I used to own a NAD pre amp + power amp combo (162 & 270) and they sound quite neutral, not to warm on the low, not too harsh on the high, the midrange is on par. The low is punchy yet transient.
Rotel is a good brand and Rotel amps are very handsome. But Rotel amps do not like speakers with tough loads. I think Rotel sounds terrific with B & W but I think that is it. Brands other than B & W may not have that great chemistry with Rotel. Besides, Rotel sounds a bit polite (thin) to my ears.
NAD is ugly but I personally like their "substance over form" design philosophy.
Even the cheap 315BEE has a decent size toroidal power supply. NAD amps and integrateds are well known for their headroom, capable of driving some of the toughest speakers out there like Totem, ATC, and Dynaudio, when the occasion arises.
NAD sounds great with almost anything, from their PSB cousins to Totem to NHT to Dynaudio.
Just a side note, Dynaudio is the official distributor of NAD in the EU market.
Speaking from ownership experience, both my little NAD 326BEE and its bigger brother 372 sound great with my GF's Dynaudio DM 2-10.
I have the opportunity to do the A-B comparison between a Rotel/B&W combo and a NAD/Dynaudio combo when I purchased the DM 2-10 pair for my GF and this is my opinion of the two combo
NAD 8.5 (10 points max minus 1.00 for being ugly minus 1.00 for inferior speaker outpost quality plus 0.5 point for being capable of driving any tough load speakers)
Rotel 8.0 (10 points max minus 1.00 for not being able to drive 6 ohm or 4 ohm load speakers minus 1.00 for listening fatigueness inducing)
Dynaudio 9.5 (10 points maximum minus 1.00 for cheap vinyl wrap on their DM budget line minus 0.5 for being pricey plus 0.5 for well known Danish cabinetry plus 0.5 for quality finish and fit)
B & W 8.5 (10 points max minus 1.00 for cheap vinyl wrap minus 1.00 for "Made In China"-lower labor cost yet selling at a higher price than most of their rivals (PSB and Usher namely) plus 0.5 for quality finish and fit)
When I mentioned NAD warmth, I meant it w.r.t. Rotel's cool character. When I auditioned Rotel, I felt they emphasized "treble" too much. For me, NAD is really neutral.
I agreed with you.
Rotel sounds a bit thin at the bottom for me. The bass on the some Rotel amps lack that pitch or definition to my ears.
I am running in a NAD 326BEE. So far with jazz and classical and pop I have no complaints on the performance of the amp.
But I noticed that the 352 and the 372 sound more neutral than the 326BEE to my ears. Thing is with the 326BEE, the little amp was probably designed with a bit of emphasis on mid bass/upper bass so the NAD 326BEE could be warmer than the 352 and 372 IMO.
I think NAD is more neutral for me than Rotel, with an emphasis on the high end spectrum.
I have the nad c275. Have had it for a few months now, and wow, it just gets better by the week. I have a nad c372 also, but no comparison. The c372 is very neutral, but so is the 275, but with the 275 just being more of everything. It has tons of clean power, fantastic bass, mids, and clean treble.
I am so impressed with this amp. My listening pleasure has jumped up a staggering level with this.
Btw, I am using the preamp from my nad T753 to send the front mains signal to the 275. So I am getting great 2-channel listening, plus much better surround use also as it drives the mains in either 2-channel or surround.
You can't go wrong with this amp. Just check out the reviews also in Stereophile for the 375 integrated (uses the 275 amp section basically), and review in the Hi-Fi news for the 275. Those that review either the 375 or the 275 are blown away. Michael Fremer in Stereophile said to check these out if you are thinking of spending even up to $10,000 for a amp. Yes, his comments in the last edition of Stereophile.
As the above responses suggest, NAD is relatively warmer than the Rotel - which I found too bright for my tastes.
NAD is decent gear and you probably have to pay twice the price of NAD to buy something appreciably better, but comparisons to $10k amps is a bit silly IMO. NAD provides great bang for buck, but there's much better gear out there if you're willing to pay a premium price for it.
Having had three Nad int amps.....two NAD pre/power amp combos and one Rotel pre/power amp combo I would go with the Rotel.
The Rotel does sound bright at first but I found the Rotel much more musical after break in. NAD's are "loud" for their price, but I found the Rotel much more articulate with a tube cd player.
I still have a couple of NAD int amps. Also own Mcintosh and Classe. Have also used Krell and many others.
Much better warranty with the Rotel. Maybe a better resale value......Just an opinion.
Just to add to the above post....you can run Rotel with
a 4ohm load. I am doing it right now. Contact Rotel if you have any questions. Their customer service is much better than NAD's. Trust me I have more NAD equipment than Rotel.
They just do not advertise it.....but state the power increases with a lower load.
Also try running either the NAD or Rotel with a better
(CJ, old Mcintosh etc.) preamp. Bothe of these amps are much better. I once had a Mcintosh C-15 with a NAD amp(270 I think). Believe it or not it was one of my most favorite systems. I have done this with both brands. Great improvement without killing your wallet for a high dollar amp.
someone above mentioned 'no 4ohm rating on Rotel amp'.
True. I had an RB-1070 rated at 130x2 with no 4ohm rating. However, it would bridge to 390x1 at 8ohms. From this I infer a rating of 195x2 at 4ohms. Make sense?
Going upline to the RB-1080 of 200x2, they did specify of 4ohm power.
Sound? A little brisk into my panels and congested at higher levels. I eventually went 'd'. I'd like to try the Rotel again, since I have adjusted the room since its being sold and that changed the character of what I was hearing, for the better.
This is somewhat related anyone hear either new NAD C 565BEE CD Player, or Rotel new CDP RCD-1520, the nad is a bit cheaper ....my cdp died and I need a new one. I want the one with the smoother presentation. Sounds like NAD from what people are saying.
I used a Rotel RC-1082/RB1092 combo (currently for sale) with Dynaudio 52SE and they mated very well. The Dyns are a 4 ohm load, too. I never thought the sound ws thin. My other system is a Rotel RC-1090/RB-1092 with B&W N804 and once again, a very good match. In fact, I prefered the Dyn bookshelf/sub combo.
I put a 3 month old Rotel RB1582 / RC1580 in the classifieds last night. Less than 50 hours on them and they are in absolutely perfect condition. They retail together for $2798. I wanted $2000 but if you're really interested I will consider dropping the price.