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Positive Feedback ISSUE 41
january/february 2009


Real World People...The NAD Viso Two Receiver and the PSB Imagine T Loudspeakers
by Nelson and Sasha Kanno


When this NAD receiver showed up for my chick-a-dee and I to review, we were pretty stoked. Aside from the PSB speakers that were also dropped off for us to review, we had not "lived" with such nice stereo equipment before.

This NAD receiver is a real nice looking piece of equipment. At first glance, the face of it looked really classy and well laid out. The idea of it being a CD, DVD, and receiver combo made us wonder if we had finally found what we were looking for. We were in the market to upgrade our home audio equipment, as we have been listening to our garage sale Kenwood "system." We more or less thought this was gonna be it as soon as we opened the box.

Every night after work, it just totally intrigued us as to how good the music was coming out of our living room. We were opening packed boxes looking for old CDs. We needed to squeeze higher-end enjoyment out of what Dave and Carol Clark of Positive Feedback had let us check out (we also knew our iPod mp3s were ripped at a default, low-medium bit-rate). From the heavy metal riffs of Mastodon to old rock-steady, the music was amazing.

It was such a treat, really. Just listening to music sound so smooth. Such sweet sound was playing out of the PSB towers and it was easy enough to keep loading CDs and hitting play on the NAD. Over and over, we kept looking for more CDs to listen to. We even went to buy Radiohead's In Rainbows because we only had a copy of it in mp3 format. We just had to listen to that album at its best from a CD.

So after the first week of being totally hypnotized by the NAD/PSB combo, a few Netflix DVDs showed up; couple of old movies we've wanted to watch. Pop the DVD in, easy as that right? Well, sorta. We started noticing how it takes a little while to switch between CD mode and DVD mode on the receiver. It was also irritating that you cannot perform two tasks at once. You cannot listen to the iPod and load a DVD at the same time or listen to KCRW and watch TV at the same time. Call it ADD if you like but we like to sometimes do two things at once. Are we being too impatient with such fancy equipment? We weren't sure but we did wonder if we're at the tail of a generation that can't wait for electronics to take their time to do what they're supposed to do.

How come this receiver takes so long to switch from CD to DVD mode? How come the CD takes so long to eject? Is this really irritating? Are we just being tweakers? Can't this thing transition easier? It has to! We had hoped so at least, because we really, REALLY wanted this thing to be perfect.

Our next problem was we couldn't figure out the remote control. The Wife told me to read the directions! Well, to be really honest, I don't really read directions for any electronics that show up at my pad. I like to think that I have a knack for figuring out that type of shit… but this NAD thing, the remote was driving us nuts. We started to wonder if Sony, Kenwood, Sanyo, Toshiba had these small Remote Control Divisions where all they do is figure out the ease of use for the general public. Perhaps NAD doesn't have such a division ...if so, dude they need to get one. We just didn't like the placement of the buttons. No, no, no! No more! We want this receiver combo to be perfect!

After about a month, we were over dealing with the remote. I eventually caved in and went to get the directions out of the box  to deal with it, but sometimes things just don't work out. Just like that hot chick you see at the mall, there's a guy somewhere out there that's sick of her idiosyncrasies. Well, I wasn't totally sick of the NAD's idiosyncrasies, but I sure wasn't looking to make things right with it. I didn't want counseling or a home audio therapist I just didn't want that.

All this nagging about the NAD receiver combo deal is starting to make me sound ungrateful. Give a gearhead some decent stereo equipment and he won't know squat about it. It's also starting to put too much negative into this little scribbling of an article, so I saved the best for last—the PSB speakers! These speakers were the best speakers I've ever got to spend a solid amount of time with. I've never been around a great set of speakers like these for more than a couple of hours at a time (like when while hanging out at Dave and Carol's).

Where have you been all my life, PSB Imagine T Towers? What do I have to do afford such speakers? Will my 1947 Harley-Davidson knucklehead's chroming and paint wait yet another year so I can buy these speakers? They were just amazing. If some dough fell in my lap, I could easily see myself buying this set and calling it quits with finding speakers for the next 10 or 15 years, no prob.

I've mentioned before that I'm Mister Bass Guy. I love bass; I like to feel it's there when I've got the volume up a little more than usual. I like to sit and enjoy an album or a movie. I didn't think the speakers needed a subwoofer at all. In my personal opinion, we would just need a decent receiver to drive those speakers and we would be golden. I even liked the dark cherry finish; it matched our old house and antique furniture perfectly.

I don't know everything that's on the market, and we don't know what it's "supposed to" sound like. What I can tell you is my opinion and that's these PSBs did have a real neutral sound to them. No matter what I threw at them, they did really well. The Smith's to Notorious B.I.G, it had us covered. We had to give the speakers back; they were just on loan to us to write this review. I need work something out. I want those speakers back.