Originally Posted by glangford
The HK 3490 is surely a more powerful receiver. A good choice you could live with for a while. I'd tend to go the AVR route as I'm a fan of automatic room correction. But if you're careful with speaker placement and room treatments the HK would be good as well.
Rated Output Power (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9 % THD, 1 ch driven): 100 W/ch
Rated Output Power (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9 % THD, 2 ch driven): 85 W/ch
Dynamic Power/Ch (Front L/R, 8/6/4/2 ohms) 110/130/160/180 W
Power @ 8 Ohms, <0.07% THD120 x 2
Power @ 4 Ohms, <0.2% THD150 x 2
The facts bear you out - the 3490 is the more powerful receiver into 8 and 4 ohm loads. It seems to lack a specification for 2 ohms.
The 3490 is also one of the AVRs from HK's era of "high current" receivers which I would consider to be clear backing for the difference in specs.
Since the two are not specified in ways that can be compared closely, I would estimate that the 373 is an 80 wpc @ 0.07% THD device. So the 373 puts out about 40 watts less, 120 versus 80 watts trying to estimate an apples-to-apples comparison. The difference amounts to being less than 2 dB which in a side-by-side comparison would be just about audible under ideal conditions.