Nakamichi AV-500 A/V Receivers

AV-500

User Reviews (74)

Showing 1-10 of 74  
niles300z   AudioPhile [Jun 05, 2010]

This unit is legit Nak, and powerful. I can say as good as many of the separates I have been using from NAD,
B & K, AMC etc. Amazing power and control. Proper matching and cables is important,and will reward you.
I am thrilled to have found one. A receiver that can compete with good separates? Who would have thunk it?
A good deal at retail. A steal on the used market. Try one if you like/ need to have a little power around the house for those pesky acoustic suspension speakers from the 80's. My socks are off after listening to the A150's. Truly amazing how much power can help a set of speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
riveraudio   AudioPhile [Jun 05, 2010]

I have been listening to separates and receivers from the mid to hi-fi range from B & K, Rotel, NAD, AMC, and Cambridge Audio.In no way was I expecting to get so much out of a receiver.One thing is sure, this unit got much of the best from Nakamichi. There is no way a Sony (at least a non ES) can bring this type of power and performance to the table, so I am not hearing the few critics who say this is not a legit Nak product. At first I was skeptical, as I was getting some harsh, however, once again, proper matching and cabling goes a long, long way. It wasn't until I hooked the unit up to the Boston A150's that I realized the power this unit was capable of, and the harshness disappeared when upgrading to better speakers. I can say that the power this amp produces is better than many of the 100 watt separate amps I have been using, throw in a decent pre-amp, some processing, and a tuner and there you have it. A receiver that rivals separates costing much, much more. A true value to say the least, and I think a sleeper. Kudo's Nak!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kentucky1777   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 02, 2008]
Strength:

Effortless power with real world 25 amp power supply. Rich,warm sound with great bass response. Superior FM tuner. Incredible reliability.

Weakness:

No Dolby Digital Processing. No higher end video switching. No built in phono stage.

First of all I've been in the electronics business for 15+ years, I currently have access to the best products from Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer Elite and Rotel at accomadation (ie, lower than employee cost) pricing and I'm still using my old Nak warhorse........Why?, because it still blows away anything short of McIntosh or Classe separates (which even at accomadation prices I still can't afford).

I bought it when I worked at Best Buy at employee pricing ($450 retail), I had previously worked a specialty store that was a Nak dealer so I knew what a steal it was being a rebadged AV1 ($800 retail). I know of no other receivers out there that have 120 watts/channel with a legitimate 25 amps of current. you're hard pressed to find this even in separates except at the very high end (ie, $3000+).

Admittedly feature wise its old school, but as others have said hooked up to a DVD player with a decent decoder it will still do a fine 5.1 surround. I used to have it hooked up this way and it was dynamic in its performance. Now I use it as my dedicated 2 channel amp and there's still nothing that has it's rich sound and incredible bass response. I have it currently pushing 2 pairs of speakers simultaniously, NHT towers and M&K bookshelves (4 Ohm) with no complaints and great sound. It is utterly reliable, at one point it was on continuously for 7 years (no typo). If you still listen to FM radio this another high point, it's tuner is better than anything now available (2.0 capture rate).

I have compared it side by side with the best of Denon, Yamaha, Elite and Rotel and none of them (even $2500 units) sound better than my old Nak. Even a $7000 McIntosh integrated amp (200 watts/channel) sounded only marginally better. As long as it keeps working I will never replace it. After 8 years the remote finally died, but I'm currently using an $80 universal remote with no problems.

If you stumble across one of these units it will still out perform anything you can find for 2 channel for less than $1000. They were bargains new and if you find a used one its still a bargain.

Customer Service

Never had any need of it...........bullet proof for 10 years

Similar Products Used: I have tested thoroughly everything made in the last 15 years by Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer Elite, Rotel, Sony ES. I have also compared selected models of Onkyo, Sony, Outlaw, Technics
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
finswino   AudioPhile [Jul 28, 2004]
Strength:

In blind A/B comparisons with other high end receivers, I played the AV-500 up against a Nakamichi, Denon, Onkyo Integra and Pioneer Elite all selling in the $1,000 range. I used the same speakers, CD player, wiring and came to the following conclusions. First, my counterparts did not think there would be a big difference between these receivers, but there was, and they were impressed with the results. The Pioneer Elite ranked last, it sounded great, but was lacking in midrange air and soundstage depth and width. The Onkyo Integra finished a close third, with good bass, but not a great open top end, and still not very open in the soundstage. The Denon came closest to the Nakamichi's, improving on the Pioneer and Onkyo's with a cleaner and more open midrange and good depth of feild. The Nakamichis were, by far, the best of the group. Great bass extension and control, detailed and airy top end, and realistic midrange presentation. The soundstage depth and width was also best. If I had an audience for these tests, I could have sold a ton of the Nakamichi receivers. Which Nakamichi sounded the best, why they were identical; of course. This is alot of receiver for the money. (all 33lbs. of it.) It is a great receiver for someone wanting a simpler, more straightforward receiver that does have some home theater capabilities. It does have Dolby Pro Logic, and a 5.1 input for a DVD or processor with Dolby Digital or DTS outputs. Does have a learning remote control. A great unit to buy used, usually for $100 - $200.

Weakness:

No phono input. No S-video. No on-screen display. These are things I don't require in my system right now.

I had the opportunity to work both at Best Buy and a high end audio shop at the time this unit was available. We sold the AV-500 at Best Buy and the AV-1 at the high end shop. I purchased the AV-500 at Best Buy for $275+tax as an employee purchase, it retailed for $450. The AV-1 sold for about $800. I took the AV-500 into the high end shop and popped the top on it and the AV-1. All I can tell you is that they are mirror images of themselves. They are identical in every way. Every internal part is the same part number and layout. And since the circuit topology is the same, I would say that the AV-500 benefits from the Harmonic Time Alignment amplifier technology also; although, it was not advertised as having this feature. The big difference is the front panels. The AV-1 has a metal face plate, where the AV-500 has a curved plastic face plate. All front panel controls are located identically, the display is the same, and the remote controls are identical. Even the Owner's manuals and the specifications for these units are the same. During this time in the late '90's, Nakamichi was fazing out their home audio components and getting into their Soundspace systems. It was probably an easy thing for them to cosmetically change a couple of their models and sell the item thru Best Buy, telling their authorized dealers and customers that it was not the same product sold by Nakamichi dealers. This is true, only as far as the front panel is concerned, otherwise there is no difference.

Similar Products Used: Nakamichi, Denon, Pioneer Elite, Onkyo Integra
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Matthew Thomas   Audio Enthusiast [May 15, 2003]
Strength:

Great when it's working.

I've had this unit for approx 2.5 years and I must say how dissappointed I was when the left channel blew. I have never turned this reciever up and cranked it yet. Using JBL's with it. Can't believe it. My Technics lasted 28 years. But folks get used to it, yours will blow too and very soon, because thats how these manufacturers make this crap now...disposable. Who in their right mind is going to pay 200 to get this fixed? Nak just lost a customer. But they don't care, they have your money. To the idiot who was raving about this unit and is Mr repair, he must be having a flashback to when Nak made a good product.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha, Technics
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Yamaha1   AudioPhile [Feb 18, 2003]
Strength:

Style Price Power just about everything

Weakness:

The remote no number keys Cheap RCA Connectors

My sister had one of these I wanted a system with exceptional power I was stuck between looking at Naks and Yamahas I picked the Nak because I like the sound the power ratings were superior and it looks decent

Similar Products Used: Yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike   Casual Listener [Feb 08, 2003]
Strength:

Looks, price, quality, name, almost everything.

Weakness:

I wish it was DD ready at least.

This piece has never failed me. It looks good and for the price you can hardly go wrong. Buy one and you will not regret it. Lots of other components have come and gone in my set-up but not this. Very happy.

Similar Products Used: Carver,yamaha,harmon kardon, marantz.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 12, 2000]
Strength:

A great sounding receiver, especially for the price. Each channel has it's own power supply.

Weakness:

No S-Video or Optical conncections.

My Nikko receiver of 15 years finally rolled over and died. I needed a quality receiver at a good value. Unbelievable Best Buy was carrying this receiver at a great price. I power a pair of MG2's and a pair of MMG's. High end is wonderful. With a good DVD 5.1 decoder, the separation is tops.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mikal Gill   Audiophile [Nov 14, 2000]
Strength:

Lots of POWER!!
Nice warm sound

Weakness:

remote

I was overall pretty impressed with the AV-500. I just wish I would have a build in decoder, and some s-video inputs.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jason Smith   Audiophile [Feb 14, 2000]
Strength:

The weight at 33 lbs, tells alot. It means it has a huge power supply, which translates to high power. Receivers that cost twice or three times as much do not weigh as much as this behemoth.

Weakness:

Lack of dolby digital built in, you have to use the 5.1 channel and hope the dvd player you buy does adequate decoding.

For the money, it cannot be beat. Not forn when it was introduced. I am ready to sell mine and buy another Nakamichi, a higher end one. If anyone is interested, $200 takes it.

Similar Products Used: Harmon Kardon, Technics, Pioneer, Proton, Sony, DB and Yamaha.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 74  

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