Introduced around 1987 this NAD 7220PE Power Envelope receiver was one of NAD’s lower end offerings at the time. It is rated at just 20 watts per channel into 8 ohms. NAD’s goal was to build affordable audio gear that performed well sonically and they did just that. The money they saved, by utilizing a very basic design on the front panel, they used on internal components along the signal path. This resulted in a very good sounding receiver for what some would call a budget price. And, at less than a $300 list price it was definitely within most peoples budgets.
The features on the 7220PE are minimal with only bass and treble controls, a phone jack, mono and loudness switches, and various input switches. It also has 5 station presets.
While the NAD 7220PE is a great sounding receiver, NAD receivers in general are known for being problematic. Most end up in the repair shop at one time or another and are notorious for bad solder joints. So, if you’re looking to buy one get one that has already been serviced, preferably recapped, or at least is in great working condition.
While the NAD 7220PE is only rated at 20 wpc and 0.04% total harmonic distortion, it does have some hidden reserves. It ‘Power Envelope’ circuitry allows it to handle quick bursts of sound up to nearly three times its rated power capacity without any distortion. This makes it a great choice for listening to jazz or classical music in a smaller area.
The 7220PE’s tuner is excellent. The circuitry was designed by Larry Schotz and it is great at pulling in distant or weak stations.
It has inputs for phono, CD and Tape. It even has a separate input for audio from a VCR. These days that’s not so useful but back in the late 80’s it was a great feature. The discrete phono pre-amp has a very respectable dynamic range of 100dB.
It should be noted that NAD amps do not have a protection relay so you may want to protect your speakers another way.
The 7220PE’s dimensions are: 420 x 273 x 80mm (16.54 x 10.75 x 3.15 inches) and it’s weight is 5.5kg (12.13 lbs).
When working properly the NAD 7220PE is a great sounding receiver with plenty of dynamic range and an exceptional tuner. It is perfect for classical or jazz music in a smaller space. They can be problematic though so thoroughly test any unit you may be looking to buy. Your best bet is to get one that has been serviced or even better recapped.