Harman Kardon [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Harman Kardon

07-10-2004, 09:07 AM
Do you guys and gals think HK is what they used to be as far as quality and sound? I just wanted to see what the opinions of fellow audio enthusiasts would be about this once and maybe still is excellent brand. Reason for asking is, I was contemplating going that direction again, as I did once for my receiver choice and was very happy, but that was back in Pro logic days. Thanks for any advice.

07-10-2004, 04:20 PM
I can't really give an opinion on whether Harman's current equipment is as good as it used to be because I never owned anything made by them until last summer. I initially became interested in HK because I was reading What Hi Fi in order to research entry level integrated amps and kept coming across favorable references to units (both A/V and integrateds) made by Harmon Kardon which did a good job of playing music. When I finally decided I still wanted a tuner, a receiver looked like a better choice for me. I liked Harmon because they offered simple receivers which still had the features I wanted and looked good too. I feel the HK3375 I bought is one of the best receivers I have owned. The amp section is quite good and the tuner has been a pleasant surprise for it's quality. Overall, I think their receivers are well made and they seem to outperform their specs (this is a subjective judgement based on owning a variety of receivers for the last 25 years) but they don't offer tons of features so if you like simplicity and effectiveness, then I think Harmon is a good choice. I also like the main in-pre out feature which makes it easy to upgrade and, when you replace the pins with interconnects, really improves the sound as well. Hope this helps.

07-12-2004, 03:15 AM
I think HK makes a pretty good product. The past couple years have shown a little bit more of an electronic look I think. Volume control feels a little lighter now, which I suppose could indicate cheaper construction. Regardless, I would still consider it to be among the best receivers out there. However, if it's features you're after, you will not find it with HK. You will find that HK receivers do have alot more power and much better sound than their specs indicate though.

07-12-2004, 06:24 AM
Well, I have an HK AVR 520 and trully I think it's worth the price that I paid for it.
The sound is good, clear and I do not have any trouble with it, except one thing, they have a surround mode called Logic 7 (three otpions in this mode: Music, Cinema an enhanced) in which they put some special interest in add sub woofer signal to give their mode a special effect, that is not bad, but in some cases the sound in the surround speakers began to made a "crack" noise. At first i think that was the end for my B&W series 600 speakers, but not, at low volume the crack still, so I think that their surround mode is specially at last a good intention, (is not their strenght) so .. if you do not give too much importance to that, I put a good reference for this kind of eq.


07-12-2004, 06:42 AM
I used to have a HK. Very solid receiver that never gave me any problems (AVR 40 model). From there I went to a JVC (POS), then Yamaha (RX-V496 that I still own today), over to Outlaw (preouts, adjustable crossover - recently sold to help cover upgrade), and then back to Yamaha (made the change mainly due to YPAO and DPL IIx - RX-V650). The older HKs were wonderful. The newer ones look far to electronic for my taste. It is still worthy of consideration in the same breath as Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, and Yamaha. Would rate it somewhere between those and Sony.

07-12-2004, 08:03 AM
Other than the looks, and less frills, bells and whistles, I think very highly of H/K products. I haven't owned one in years, but they've always made my short-list when buying.
I seem to recall some quality control problems a few years back, but I don't see near as many posts on the internet about faulty H/K units, and from what I hear, they're reliable as ever.
Sonically, well, I've found H/K to be as good as any of the receiver makers, maybe even the best. They've got plenty of power. My last 2 receivers were Yamaha, and then 2 Marantz before that. I remember the H/K's having just as much power despite significantly lower ratings. I think they still rate "all-channels driven" instead of 1 or two at a time. I always lumped them with NAD receivers, more of an audio first, HT second approach...maybe not quite as good as NAD, but that's highly subjective. Some probably like them more.
A different flavour, but definitely no worse than Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, Marantz, etc...
To each his own.

07-14-2004, 02:04 AM
I used to do a demo with the Eagles Hell Freezes over DVD vs the CD playing in Logic 7. A lot of people had a hard time telling them apart.