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NAD T 187
Our take on the NAD T 187 by Crutchfield's Woody Sherman
Born to be the boss
Let's cut to the chase here: this preamp/tuner/processor has so many features that we'll simply say that it will handle almost every entertainment source you can throw at it, and hand it back to you polished and ready for impeccable performance. 3D video over HDMI? Old school AM/FM radio? Digital audio from an Apple TV®? Yes, yes, and yes, and quite a few more options besides. With all this versatility, the sleek T 187 will serve as the cornerstone of your well-connected, high-end home theater system.
A future-proof modular design
NAD has continued to generate waves over the past few years because of the Modular Design Construction (MDC) philosophy permeating much of its product line. Essentially, the idea goes like this: why should you have to replace entire components of your home entertainment system every time the industry goes through a technological reset? It's expensive, and if you've enjoyed your current model and tweaked your setup to get the most from it, it's hard to face the hassle of swapping it out. So NAD places many of the input/output and signal processing functions on removable modules which can be replaced as new technologies arise. That way, you only pay for the feature updates you want.
Digital data, pure and clean
A modern home theater preamp/processor these days needs to be adept at handling HDMI signals. With 7 HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs, the NAD T 187 stands ready to route the desired digital signal to your display devices with the touch of a remote button. NAD's "first, do no harm" philosophy with regard to the digital video signal ensures that the signal presented at the HDMI output will be identical in format to the one presented at the input, guaranteeing the integrity of the data stream. Analog video signals are seamlessly cross-converted, fed to the HDMI output, and faithfully reproduced at your display.
Attention to detail
Discriminating attention has been brought to bear on the audio side as well. Ample inputs for your music and home theater sources plus numerous surround decoding modes make this unit endlessly versatile. Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction allows you to custom-tune the T 187 to match your particular room and speakers. And the system can extend its reach across your home with its support for 3 additional zones in addition to your main home theater room.
By adding two available modules, you can enjoy even more choices. Add iPod compatibility with NAD's available iPod dock. And an XM tuner/antenna like the Audiovox XM XHD2H1 will put over a hundred entertainment channels of entertainment at your fingertips.
This model will pair nicely with the NAD M25 7-channel power amplifier.
What's in the Box:
- Surround sound preamp processor
- 6.5' AC power cord
- Main remote control (HTR 8)
- Zone 2 remote control (ZR 7)
- 4 "AA" batteries
- 3V CR2025 battery
- Front-panel cover (installed)
- Audyssey setup microphone
- AM loop antenna
- FM wire antenna
- 75-ohm to 300-ohm antenna adapter
- Owner's Manual CD-ROM
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Card
- audio/video surround sound preamplifier processor
- Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, Pro Logic® IIx, and DTS Neo:6 decoding
- Audyssey MultEQ XT auto calibration
- audio and video input circuits are on individual modules that can be easily upgraded
- supports NAD's optional iPod dock, allowing complete control of your iPod with this unit's remote control and on-screen display
- 4-zone/4-source output:
- line-level stereo audio outputs with independent source and volume selection
- Zone 2 also has an independent composite video feed
- 24-bit/192kHz analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion
- learning/multibrand, macro-programmable remote with illuminated buttons for dark rooms
- programmable 12-volt triggers, and RS-232 and Ethernet ports for advanced control systems
- 17-1/8"W x 5-3/4"H x 14-5/8"D
- 17.6 pounds
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- 1080p-compatible HDMI digital video switching (7 in, 2 out)
- analog-to-HDMI video cross-conversion
- HDMI signal at source is passed through in original format to HDMI output with no alterations for high-fidelity video
- HDMI version 1.4a
- compatible with 3D display standards
- component video switching: 3 in, 1 out
- digital audio inputs: 3 optical, 3 coaxial
- digital audio outputs: 1 optical, 1 coaxial
- 10 audio/video inputs, including 3 inputs with composite and S-video
- 7 audio-only RCA inputs (1 front panel)
- no phono input to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
- 7.1-channel analog audio preamp input
- 7.2-channel analog audio output (RCA)
- 1-in, 3-out IR repeater mini-jacks
- 1-in, 3-out 12-volt trigger mini-jacks
- RS-232C port (for control via PC or automated system)
- Ethernet port allows network control for sophisticated automation systems
- detachable power cord
NAD T 187 Reviews
Surround Sound Preamp Processor: The NAD T 187 Surround Sound Preamp Processor is the perfect separate surround processor accompaniment to any high performance multi-channel power amplifier. You'll find support for all the latest video format (including 1080p and 3D video) and surround sound formats (including Dolby Digital TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD). The T 187 also includes NAD's proprietary Modular Design Construction (MDC) for the added convenience and flexibility of future upgrades.
24-Bit/192kHz Burr-Brown DAC: The NAD T 187 Surround Sound Preamp Processor employs a carefully selected, top-level 24-bit/192kHz Burr Brown DAC for the ultimate audiophile performance.
MDC (Modular Design Construction): MDC ends the frustration of having to replace your entire AV preamp processor just to keep pace with the ever-changing world of AV electronics. NAD's most important recent innovation, MDC battles technology obsolescence by allowing you to upgrade the T 187 with new connectivity and features as new technology becomes available. MDC places all the input circuitry on easily removable plug-in cards; your investment is protected because a single card, rather than the entire receiver, can be replaced when a new format is introduced.
Soft Clipping: NAD's patented selectable Soft Clipping circuit gently transforms the music waveform as the point of distortion (clipping) approaches, resulting in much clearer reproduction and possibly protecting your speakers from damage, especially tweeters.
Audyssey Technology: The NAD T 187 features a full package of Audyssey audio technologies for optimal sound quality.
- Audyssey MultEQ XT Speaker Calibration: Speaker set up is a snap using a supplied
calibration microphone and Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction with custom NAD
target response curves for the optimal level of performance. Using the supplied
microphone, Audyssey Auto Setup performs all speaker settings. The T 187 automatically checks what speakers are connected (5.1ch vs. 7.1ch) and their polarity, measures and adjusts each speaker's distance (delay time), relative
level (volume), and size (crossover point). NAD's proprietarily enhanced Audyssey MultEQ XT technology enables your home theater to sound the way it was intended in every seat by removing the distortion caused
by room acoustics. Audyssey MultEQ XT can be set to the following levels. Your connected speakers can also be adjusted manually
through the T 187's menus system if you prefer.
- Audyssey: Audyssey developed target curve.
- Flat: This setting is appropriate for very small or highly treated rooms in which the listener is seated quite close to the loudspeakers. MultEQ XT filters are used in the same way as the Audyssey curve, but it does not apply a high frequency roll-off.
- NAD: Ideal "in room" response developed by NAD engineers along with Audyssey Engineers.
- Off: MultEQ filters are not used or no measurement process at all.
- Audyssey Dynamic EQ: Audyssey Dynamic EQ solves the problem of deteriorating sound quality as volume is decreased by taking into account human perception and room acoustics. By carefully combining information from incoming source levels with actual output sound levels in the room, Audyssey Dynamic EQ delivers unprecedented sound reproduction at all volume levels. Adding a Volume Offset will have the effect of reducing the amount of boost applied by Dynamic EQ, for any given volume setting. As a consequence, the amount of overall digital attenuation required is also reduced.
- Audyssey Dynamic Volume: Audyssey Dynamic Volume delivers consistent volume playback levels, anticipating sudden spikes and dips in volume and compensating for them in real time. Audyssey Dynamic Volume monitors the volume of program material moment-by-moment, maintaining the desired listening level for all content while optimizing the dynamic range to preserve the impact. Audyssey Dynamic Volume includes Audyssey Dynamic EQ. These two technologies enable the full frequency response of the source at its original level to be reproduced at any listening level. Even at lower listening volumes, Dynamic Volume ensures that the richness and dynamics of the response are maintained
Listening Modes: The T 187 offers decoding for all the latest surround formats including Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, and DTS-HD Master Audio; as well as Dolby Pro Logic surround processing.
- Dolby Digital: Dolby Digital, Dolby, Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD
- DTS: DTS, DTS-ES, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution, DTS Express, DTS 96/24, DTS Neo: 6
- Dolby Pro Logic: Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx
Note: Dolby Digital and DTS listening modes can only be selected if your audio source is connected to the A/V surround sound processor via a digital audio connection (HDMI, optical, or coaxial). To enjoy true 7.1ch Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS-HD surround sound, the surround sound processor must be connected to your Blu-ray player via HDMI.
Listening Mode Parameters: The T 187 provides the following Listening Mode Parameter adjustments for Dolby Pro Logic IIx and DTS NEO:6.
- Center Width (DPL IIx): Modifies the "hard-centeredness" of the center image, by gradually mixing mono center content to the Front left/right speakers as well. A setting of 0 retains the center-channel-only default while a setting of 7 yields a fully phantom center channel.
- Dimension (DPL IIx): Adjusts front-rear emphasis of the surround effect independently from the relative channel levels.
- Panorama (DPL IIx): Adds a "wraparound" effect by extending some stereo content into the surround channels.
- Center Gain (DTS NEO:6): Adjust for better center image in relation to the surround sound channels.
EARS: Two-channel recordings, whether stereo or surround-encoded, are reproduced with proprietary NAD surround processing with signals output to the front left/right, center and discrete left/right surround channels, plus subwoofer. EARS extracts the natural ambience present in nearly all well-produced stereo recordings. It does not synthesize any ambience or other sonic elements and thus remains truer to the sound of the original musical performance than most other music-surround options. EARS offers realistic, stable "front-stage" sonic imaging and spacious but unexaggerated ambient "virtual acoustics" that remain faithful to the original recording. Select EARS for listening to stereo music recordings and broadcasts. EARS produces a subtle but highly natural and believable ambience from nearly all "natural-acoustic" stereo recordings. Typically, these include classical, jazz, and folk genre.
Stereo Modes: The NAD T 187 also provides two-channel stereo and multi-channel stereo playback, as well as an analog bypass stereo mode.
- Stereo: All output is directed to the front left/right channels. Low frequencies are directed to the subwoofer if one is present in the Speaker settings. Select 'Stereo' when you wish to listen to a stereo (or monaural) production, such as music CD or FM broadcast, without surround enhancement. Stereo recordings whether in PCM/digital or analog form and whether surround-encoded or not encoded, are reproduced as recorded. Multi-channel digital recordings (Dolby Digital and DTS) are reproduced in "Stereo Downmix" mode via the front left/right channels.
- Enhanced Stereo: All recordings are reproduced in stereo via the maximum speaker complement. Enhanced stereo can be useful for maximum volume from all channels or for multi-speaker background music (cocktail party) listening. For this mode, Front, Center, Surround and Back speakers can be turned ON/OFF as desired.
- Analog Bypass: All analog signals remain in the analog domain without analog-to-digital conversions. At Analog Bypass, the DSP circuitry is bypassed but full tone control functions remain. 'Bass management' or Speaker settings are also not in effect as these are DSP functions.
Direct Mode: Analog or digital sources are automatically played in their native formats. All the source's audio channels are reproduced directly. This mode recreates the original sound most faithfully, thereby producing outstandingly high-quality audio.
Tone Controls: The T 187 has three Tone Control levels; Treble, Bass, Center Dialog. Bass and Treble controls only affect the low bass and high treble leaving the critical midrange frequencies free of coloration. The Center Dialog control boosts the 'presence' of the midrange region improving intelligibility of speech. Tone Defeat gives one the choice of varying or completely bypassing the tone control section of the T 187.
Enhanced Bass: When the subwoofer is set to 'On' and your front speakers set to 'Large', the option 'Enhanced Bass' becomes available. Normally, with speakers set to 'Large' the subwoofer is not active. The Enhanced Bass option allows full range operation of the speakers with the additional bass contribution of the subwoofer. This feature is particularly useful when one wants to experience maximum bass output. Please note that due to acoustic cancellation effects, the bass response may be uneven when using this setting.
Gain Adjustment: Gain adjustment allows all sources to play back at the same volume level so you don't need to adjust the volume every time a new source is selected. It is generally preferable to reduce the level of the loudest source rather than making louder the softer sources.
Dynamic Range Control: You can select the effective dynamic range (subjective range from soft to loud) for playback of Dolby Digital soundtracks. For fully cinematic effect, always select 100% (the default). Settings of 75%, 50%, and 25% progressively reduce dynamic range, making soft sounds comparatively louder while limiting the peak loudness of loud ones.
Audio Inputs/Outputs: The NAD T 187 offers a variety of analog and digital audio inputs/outputs.
- Digital Inputs/Outputs: There are three coaxial digital inputs and three optical digital inputs. The inputs accept digital audio signals from a digital TV, Set top box, Blu-ray player, compact disc, DVD, LD, or other digital source components; each can be assigned to a specific source using the on-screen menu. There are also digital outputs; one coaxial and one optical. The digital outputs can be connected to MD recorders, CD recorders, DAT decks, or other similar components.
- 7.1 Channel Input: The T 187 features a 7.1 Channel input (Front left, Front right, Center, Surround left, Surround right, Surround Back left, Surround Back right, and Subwoofer) for connecting an outboard processor or multi-channel analog source. The 7.1 channel input can be assigned to eight of the nine inputs (source 5 is fixed).
- 7.2ch Preamp Outputs: The T 187 features Front left, Front right, Center, Surround left, Surround right, Surround Back left, Surround Back right and dual Subwoofer preamp outputs to connect the preamplifier to external power amplifiers. There is also a dedicated stereo output for Zone 2.
- Headphone Output: The preamp features a 1/4" stereo headphone jack on the front-panel for connecting an optional pair of headphones. The unit's speaker outputs are automatically muted when a set of headphones is connected.
- Auxiliary Input: There is a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack input on the front-panel for connecting a portable digital audio player.
Video Inputs/Outputs: The NAD T 187 is fitted with seven HDMI inputs/two HDMI outputs, three component video inputs/one component video output, four composite video inputs and four S-video inputs. All video inputs are assignable.
- HDMI: This unit has seven HDMI inputs (6 rear/1 front) and two HDMI outputs. The inputs are assignable using the T 187's on-screen menu. The T 187 will convert composite video, S-video, and component video to HDMI. The two HDMI outputs are parallel so the same video signal is output through both and can be used simultaneously. The HDMI inputs/outputs can accept up to 1080p.
- Component: This unit has three component video inputs and one component video output. These inputs are also assignable using the preamplifier's on-screen menu. The component video inputs/outputs will accept up to 1080i.
- Composite: There are four composite video inputs (3 rear/1 front); the inputs are assigned to specific sources using the on-screen menu. The composite video inputs will accept up to 480i.
- S-Video Input: There are four S-video inputs (3 rear/1 front); the inputs are assigned to specific sources using the on-screen menu. The S-video inputs will accept up to 480i.
Analog to HDMI Video Conversion: Analog video sources (such as composite, component, and S-video) are converted to HDMI for simple one 'one-wire' connection to HDMI equipped TVs. The T 187 does not offer video upscaling; all video processing will be done via your connected television.
3D Ready: The NAD T 187 supports 3D HDMI pass-through from connected 3D-compatible Blu-ray, games and broadcast devices to 3D-compatible HDTVs (all 3D components must be connected via HDMI 1.4). 3D provides a more engaging audio and video consumer experience. Note that special eyewear may be required for viewing 3D content.
Audio Return Channel (ARC): If the connected TV has HDMI version 1.4 and supports ARC, the audio signal can be transferred from the TV (when its internal tuner is used) to the T 187 through a single HDMI cable, so a second cable isn't needed.
Lip Sync Delay: Video signals may take longer to process than audio signals, depending on the connected video equipment. The audio signal can be delayed up to 120ms to synchronize with the video signal.
AM/FM Tuner: The NAD T 187 features an internal AM/FM tuner that offers high-quality sound from your local radio broadcasts. The unit includes an external AM loop antenna, and external ribbon-wire FM antenna.
RDS: The Radio Data System (RDS) permits sending small amounts of digital information using conventional FM radio broadcasts. The T 187 supports two RDS modes; Program-Service Name (PS mode) and Radio-Text (RT mode). Not every FM station incorporates RDS in its broadcast signal. In most areas you will find from one to several RDS-enabled stations, but it is by no means impossible that your favorite stations will not be broadcasting RDS data.
XM: The optional XM Direct 2 Home Tuner (item number 220XHD2H1, sold separately) lets you enjoy XM Satellite Radio through the XM-ready receiver. Simply connect the XM direct 2 Home Tuner to the XM jack on back of the T 187, place and aim the antenna included with the tuner for optimum reception, and you are ready to start enjoying commercial-free music, plus live sports, new, talk, and exclusive entertainment.
Note: A subscription is required in order to receive XM Satellite Radio.
Direct Tuning: If you know your desired station's frequency allocation, you can tune directly to the station using the included IR remote control.
Presets: The T 187 can store a mix of your 40 favorite AM, FM and XM radio stations for immediate recall. A twelve character name can be assigned to each AM/FM station preset.
OSD (On-Screen Display): In addition to the unit's front-panel display, the T 187 employs a simple, self-explanatory on-screen display menus system which will appear on your connected television.
Multi-Zone: In addition to the main listening room, you can also enjoy audio playback from a different source in other rooms of your home using the T 187's Multi-Zone function. The T 187 has three configurable Zones; Zone 2, Zone 3, and Zone 4. Each Zone consists of stereo RCA line-level output to connect an external receiver or integrated amp in other rooms of your home, allowing you to listen to 7.2ch surround in the Main Zone and 2ch stereo of a different audio sources in other rooms of your home. Each Zone allows independent source and volume control, with a simplified second-zone remote (ZR 7).
- Compatible Zone Sources: Only tuner and analog audio sources can be sent to Zone 2, 3, and 4.
- Incompatible Zone Sources: HDMI, optical, and coaxial digital audio cannot be passed through Zone 2, 3, or 4. Video cannot be sent to Zone 2, 3, or 4.
Source Configuration: The T 187 is equipped with ten configurable Sources. A particular Source can be enabled or disabled, renamed, assigned analog and digital audio sources, video sources, A/V Presets, Trigger settings, among other settings.
A/V Preset: The T 187's 'A/V Presets' allow you to customize your audio-video playback, and recall them with a single key-press. The parameters 'Listening Mode', 'DSP Options' and 'Tone Controls', together with 'Speaker Setup' and 'Display Setup' are stored together as a single A/V Preset. You may create one A/V Preset optimized for pop music and another for classical. One more A/V Preset can be set up to recall each family member's favorite setting or one for fully cinematic home-theater playback, and yet another one for late-night movies; with each A/V Preset fine-tuned to a particular scenario or preference.
Sleep Mode: The Sleep Mode timer will switch the T 187 to Standby mode automatically after a preset number of minutes (15-90 min.).
Main Remote: The HTR 8 IR remote controls the T 187 and is pre-coded with controls for other NAD components. The IR remote also features a "learning function" which allows you to teach commands to the HTR 8 from another remote controller, regardless of brand. The HTR 8's key-illumination can be set to remain lit for 0-9 seconds. A 'macro' command is a series of two or more remote codes issued automatically from a single key-press. The HTR 8 can store one macro on each of its function keys.
Zone 2 Remote: The included ZR 7 is a discrete compact IR remote for controlling the Zone 2 features of the T 187; it allows control of the Zone 2 volume and source selection, as well as other applicable functions. The ZR 7 will work from a different room using an IR sensor and hub or the IR sensor of a compatible NAD component in the second zone (either must be wired back to the location of the T 187).
Note: The ZR 7 remote control will only control Zone 2 applications. Zone 3 and Zone 4 can be configured and managed at the appropriate Zone OSD menu using the T 187's front-panel navigations buttons, as well as the corresponding keys on the HTR 8 remote control.
HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronic Control): Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) is a set of commands that utilizes HDMI's two-way communication to allow for single remote control of any CEC-enabled devices connected with HDMI. A CEC command will trigger the necessary commands over HDMI for an entire system to auto-configure itself to respond to the command.
- Power: The T 187 will automatically go to standby mode if it receives a CEC standby command. On the other hand, if the T 187 receives a CEC power up command, the T 187 will correspondingly switch ON from standby mode.
- Source Switch: The T 187 will automatically switch sources if another CEC device requests a Source change. For example, if Play is pressed on a BD Player with CEC, the T 187 and TV with CEC will automatically switch to their respective input connections; the T 187 switching to the HDMI input where the BD Player is connected while the TV will switch to its input where the T 187's HDMI Monitor Out is connected.
- Audio System: The T 187 will broadcast a CEC message indicating it is an active audio system. A CEC compatible TV will usually mute its audio output when this happens. When this option is enabled, the T 187 will also respond to CEC volume and mute commands. For example, a CEC TV may forward the volume commands from its remote to the T 187.
Remote Connections: The NAD T 187 is fitted with the following custom remote inputs/outputs.
- +12V Trigger Input/Outputs: The three +12V trigger outputs (3.5mm) let you turn on/off other devices along with the T 187. The +12V trigger input lets you turn on/off the T 187 from another device.
- IR Input/Outputs: There is an IR input (3.5mm), used to control this unit using an optional infrared repeater or the IR output of another component. There are also three IR output (3.5mm) used to control another compatible component.
- RS-232 Port: The rear-panel RS-232 port allows connection to a compatible PC or external whole-house control system from companies such as AMX or Crestron. NAD is a certified partner of AMX and Crestron and fully supports these external devices.
Ethernet Port: The T 187 is fitted with a Ethernet Port (RJ-45) to connect to your home network for IP control. With your PC and the T 187 on the same network, it allows remote control of the T 187 via compatible external controllers.
Switched AC Outlet: This convenient 3-prong outlet can supply switched AC power to another component or accessory. The total draw off all devices connected to this outlet must not exceed 120 watts.
NAD A/V Remote App: This device can be controlled by your iPhone or iPad by the NAD A/V Remote App. Through the app, you can select and control basic functions such as power, volume, source, and listening mode for all zones. You can also name sources, tweak receiver presets, adjust tone controls and trim levels, tune radio stations, and activate Audyssey room equalization, from anywhere in the house. The NAD A/V Remote App is available from Apple iTunes, and works with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 5.1.1 or later.
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