The mid to late 1980’s saw a transition toward cheaper less robust audio components mostly made of plastic. During that transition there were some interesting receivers made by companies such as NAD. This NAD 7140 receiver is a good example. Produced from around 1984 through late 1989 is is a high quality stereo that moved away from the shiny brushed aluminum faceplates and beveled knobs so popular in the 1970’s and very early 1980’s. It retailed for $478.00.
The build quality and circuit design is excellent and, best of all, it can accommodate tape, phono and CD. The phono input can be switched from MM to MC as well. The rating of 80 watts per channel is conservative and NAD’s amp circuit is designed with a lot of headroom. There is a switch on the back to adjust for speaker impedance and the 7140 will provide 40 watts per channel at 2, 4, and 8 ohms.
NAD also utilizes what they call Soft Clipping. It is also controlled by a switch on the back panel. Soft Clipping limits the waveform when the amplifier is driven beyond its capacity thereby reducing harshness and distortion at high volume levels.
The Bass EQ button provides a 6dB boost at 32Hz for speakers lacking that extra punch. NAD explains their Infrasonic Filtering control as follows:
Infrasonic filtering is included to eliminate signal contamination from turntable rumble, record warps, tonearm/stylus resonances, vibration and acoustic feedback. This guarantees the cleanest possible handling of signals within the audible range and eliminates the excessive woofer-cone excursions that can cause inter modulation distortion and muddy bass in systems with-out filtering.
The IF can be turned off via the Infra Defeat button on the front panel.
The NAD 7140 entered the market at the beginning of the Compact Disc era and was designed with the CD in mind. Its 102 dB signal to noise ratio and 3 dB of IHF Dynamic Headroom allow undistorted reproduction of transient bursts from CD’s or digitally recorded sources.
The 7140’s FM tuner is fantastic and the AM tuner isn’t bad either. Overall it’s just a great receiver.
One stereo reviewer said:
The performance of the NAD 7140 is difficult to criticize. In fact, it is so outstanding, in so many respects, that there is a real danger of our lapsing into fulsome praise instead of offering genuine criticism. Let us say only that its FM tuner is one of the most sensitive we have had the pleasure of using-in a meaningful sense, such as its exceptional stereo 50-dB quieting sensitivity. The signal-to-noise ratio is also exceptional. The tuner’s other characteristics are equally impressive, ranging from good to outstanding, and it had no weaknesses that we could discover. Even the AM section had an unusually wide and flat response.
The stereo measures 16 1/2 inches wide, 13 3/4 inches deep, and 4 inches high, and weighs in at just over 20 pounds.
Overall the NAD 7140 is a great receiver. It is built well and can accommodate multiple input sources. If you want to run a CD player, a turntable and even a reel to reel and still have an AUX input open for an MP3 player then the NAD 7140 may be for you. It has had some issues with the digital display failing but this can be fixed.
One of the nice aspects of the 7140 is that it isn’t very expensive. Even fully restored units sell for very reasonable prices.