Official Harman/Kardon AVR x54: Problems and Solutions Thread - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 2863 Old 08-25-2008, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mlankton View Post

It has, but it also sounds like most of these guys really wanted the HK. Hopefully they are paying attention, because it sounds like they really screwed up on these two products.

Well, its gone far beyond that.... I mean exchange it and be done with it, no need to change this into a you need to buy a Denon receiver thread, because I have had them before and I had more issues with them and I don't think this thread has enough bandwidth to support the trashing I can give Denon and Onkyo because of the crap load of problems I had in the past. LOL
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post #362 of 2863 Old 08-25-2008, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Garman View Post

Well, its gone far beyond that.... I mean exchange it and be done with it, no need to change this into a you need to buy a Denon receiver thread...

Well if we did that then this thead would only be a few pages long. And who else are we going to voice our frustration to? Our wives? That will go over well. I can already here it now, "Just keep what you have, the one you have now is fine anyway".
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post #363 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mlankton View Post

It has, but it also sounds like most of these guys really wanted the HK. Hopefully they are paying attention, because it sounds like they really screwed up on these two products.

They aren't paying attention and they don't care. Come on guys, we have all been down this road before multiple times with HK. They fix or don't fix their products based solely on their own timetables and desires and not those of their customers or authorized sales partners. They have proven this over and over. ROFL at the releasing a firmware sooner rather than later because they see this as a serious issue. All of this just comes along with buying an HK. We all knew it when we slid that credit card across the counter and we still did it because of their SQ. All in all I love my 254 but I went in knowing full well there would be issues with it because I know HK and how they operate. Thinking that they will bend over backwards to fix these issues ASAP and appease their customers is just not reality.
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post #364 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 10:15 AM
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I was about to buy a new HK 254... but I did a bit of research and found myself with this thread. And after reading ALL the post on this thread... I don't know what to do!

Any news from the HK support team? Because from what it seems, it looks like a pretty cool AVR.

Otherwise I will go with a similar model from another vendor. Any recommendations? Or should I cross my fingers and wait for a fix from HK?

Thanks everyone! Very informative thread!
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post #365 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MoondogCCR View Post

I was about to buy a new HK 254... but I did a bit of research and found myself with this thread. And after reading ALL the post on this thread... I don’t know what to do!

Any news from the HK support team? Because from what it seems, it looks like a pretty cool AVR.

Otherwise I will go with a similar model from another vendor. Any recommendations? Or should I cross my fingers and wait for a fix from HK?

Thanks everyone! Very informative thread!

If I were you, I would avoid HK, for 2 reasons: 1, obviously, the x54s are plagued with major bugs of all sorts, and 2, if you "taste" the HK sound quality, it will make all your future decisions more difficult!

I started with the HK 254, it set the benchmark for SQ, but I couldn't live with the major issues it had. I then tried Pio 1018, Denon 1909 and Denon 988. And eventually, I kept the Denon 1909 and returned all the other ones.

However, I still miss the HK, just like you would miss a really hot but psychotic ex-girlfriend!
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post #366 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoondogCCR View Post

I was about to buy a new HK 254... but I did a bit of research and found myself with this thread. And after reading ALL the post on this thread... I don't know what to do!

Any news from the HK support team? Because from what it seems, it looks like a pretty cool AVR.

Otherwise I will go with a similar model from another vendor. Any recommendations? Or should I cross my fingers and wait for a fix from HK?

Thanks everyone! Very informative thread!

Why Wouldn't you go with the 254?

I only had one major issue with mine, and it was cured by swapping HDMI audio for an Optical connection. Problem solved and now I have a perfect working receiver

Not everyone is willing to use a workaround, but it's a pretty inexpensive solution and gets you one of the best sounding consumer receivers out there
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post #367 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jfirestone View Post

I only had one major issue with mine, and it was cured by swapping HDMI audio for an Optical connection. Problem solved and now I have a perfect working receiver

Not everyone is willing to use a workaround, but it's a pretty inexpensive solution and gets you one of the best sounding consumer receivers out there

Except neither the optical connection nor the coaxial digital connection can handle high-definition audio. That requires the HDMI connection.

So you're only getting half the experience. High-def video but audio no better than DVD. If "best sounding" is your goal, I wouldn't view that as a suitable work-around.

"Your" isn't the same as "you're". "There", "their" and "they're" are also not the same. Please learn the difference.

And... it's "couldn't care less". Thank you. :)
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post #368 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jfirestone View Post

Why Wouldn't you go with the 254?

I only had one major issue with mine, and it was cured by swapping HDMI audio for an Optical connection. Problem solved and now I have a perfect working receiver

Not everyone is willing to use a workaround, but it's a pretty inexpensive solution and gets you one of the best sounding consumer receivers out there

Yeah, except that it defeats the purpose of having a receiver that can play DD TrueHD and DTS-HD MA... High def audio codecs are not passed through optical out.
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post #369 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by sremick View Post

Except neither the optical connection nor the coaxial digital connection can handle high-definition audio. That requires the HDMI connection.

So you're only getting half the experience. High-def video but audio no better than DVD. If "best sounding" is your goal, I wouldn't view that as a suitable work-around.

Heh! You beat me to it!
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post #370 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfirestone View Post

Why Wouldn't you go with the 254?

I only had one major issue with mine, and it was cured by swapping HDMI audio for an Optical connection. Problem solved and now I have a perfect working receiver

Not everyone is willing to use a workaround, but it's a pretty inexpensive solution and gets you one of the best sounding consumer receivers out there

By definition you don't have a PERFECT WORKING receiver, if you did you would still be using HDMI for audio. I'm not bashing you here, but there are issues with the X54 that a lot of people don't want to deal with. I'm keeping my 254, at least for now, but it doesn't bug me to have to switch inputs to re-sink audio etc. I'll probably run my satelite component with optical until they fix the audio drop outs (The short audio drop when skipping ahead/behing on the DVR annoys me).

The sound is pretty amazing, when it works. I talked to one of the distributors and he confirmed what many are saying, they sound great but are a pile of crap. If Marantz had something reasonably priced I would probably get rid of the 254, but for now it sits in my EQ rack like a spoiled child that you love, but sometimes you just want to give it a crack upside the head.
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post #371 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by piki-iki View Post

Heh! You beat me to it!

Seems like a popular opinion....
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post #372 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoondogCCR View Post

I was about to buy a new HK 254... but I did a bit of research and found myself with this thread. And after reading ALL the post on this thread... I don't know what to do!

Any news from the HK support team? Because from what it seems, it looks like a pretty cool AVR.

Otherwise I will go with a similar model from another vendor. Any recommendations? Or should I cross my fingers and wait for a fix from HK?

Thanks everyone! Very informative thread!

All these issues with the new line of HK receivers are disappointing.

I have last years model...247....Incredible SQ...but several bugs with surround sound processing, etc. I was extremely displeased with HK and how they handled the firmware updates for the 247....actually they did nothing until right before they were releasing the new models...when they put out a firmware upgrade that honestly did not fix any of the issues I was having.

And now I see that their new models are having even more issues...and their support seems to be as bad as it was last year.

HK has lost any future business from me...its a shame because SQ wise its hard to go with another receiver once you have had an HK.

That company sure has gone down hill as of late.
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post #373 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by RafaelSmith View Post

All these issues with the new line of HK receivers are disappointing.

I have last years model...247....Incredible SQ...but several bugs with surround sound processing, etc. I was extremely displeased with HK and how they handled the firmware updates for the 247....actually they did nothing until right before they were releasing the new models...when they put out a firmware upgrade that honestly did not fix any of the issues I was having.

And now I see that their new models are having even more issues...and their support seems to be as bad as it was last year.

HK has lost any future business from me...its a shame because SQ wise its hard to go with another receiver once you have had an HK.

That company sure has gone down hill as of late.

Many state that they will have a hard time matching the HK sound quality but actually in my opinion (yes I have owned both) Marantz equals if not bests the HK in sonic fidelity. Also you get one heck of a lot less bugier, actually the latest firmware leaves my currrent sr7002 absolutely bug free. I know it is quite a jump from the 254 in terms of cost but only a little more over the 354. You can get it for right under 1K. I love having a unit that just plain works and has awesome soundstage....just my $0.02
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post #374 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 02:22 PM
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Marantz is my 2nd fav, I agree about its SQ - too bad Marantz have nothing to offer around the same price.
About firmware issues... i'm not sure, IIRC there's a quite pissed audience thanks to the required firmware fix which, according to Marantz' retarded policies, can be only loaded in auth service centers - and turnaround often takes WEEKS.
Now that's powerful stupid, I think.
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post #375 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 02:55 PM
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Just wait until they fix the problems. My 354 is working fine but then again I don't have a PS3. It's funny how the people who returned their HK's for other brand AVR's are still lurking around in the HK thread don't you think? If you are not in a rush I would give HK a few months to straighten out the issues.

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post #376 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by IrishLegend View Post

Just wait until they fix the problems. My 354 is working fine but then again I don't have a PS3. It's funny how the people who returned their HK's for other brand AVR's are still lurking around in the HK thread don't you think? If you are not in a rush I would give HK a few months to straighten out the issues.

Makes me wonder if Denon and other manufactuers have some sale people in-bedded in these forums to direct sales there way.... You never know... I have a PS3 and so far my issues are limited.
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post #377 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Garman View Post

Makes me wonder if Denon and other manufactuers have some sale people in-bedded in these forums to direct sales there way.... You never know... I have a PS3 and so far my issues are limited.

I agree. I've not had any problems with my 254 and I use it quite often with my ps3. I've had no sound drop outs after watching roughly 12 blus and dvd's and playing 3 games. Also the harmony remote works great with it.
Obviously I'm in the minority but I think this amp rocks
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post #378 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 04:45 PM
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Guys, my first post in this thread. I am a HK dealer. Let's just get that out of the way so people can confirm or deny biases. I have follwed this thread closely and was hesitant to even get a 354 for my demo room. I went ahead and bit the bullet just to see if all the bugs are in there. I have only had a few hours with it but I will confirm a few things.

1. It does not pass BTB/WTW
-Confirmed with HD DVE, SD DVE, Avia Pro
2. It has no issues with 1080p24
-Running this to a BenQ W10000 PJ from a Panny 30 Bluray and Toshiba XA2 HD-DVD the receiver has no problems with a 1080p24 source. This is verified in the menu of the receiver and PJ. Anyone not getting 1080p24 is having EDID issues with their display
3. The receiver pops on source switches, mutes, etc
4. The reciever will overlay DPLIIx over Dolby Digital and MultiCH PCM but will not over any of the new codecs (TrueHD, DTS Master). In these cases you only get 5.1 even of you are running a 7.1 system. I hope I am missing something here as the Denons will allow this and I liked this feature

Thats all for now. I will experiment more tonight and read the manual. Maybe I will come up with more issues or fixes. For me, the video side in fine. The audio sounds terrific on first pass. The only issues seem to be with the handling of the new formats.

April 2008 Build date BTW.

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post #379 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishLegend View Post

Just wait until they fix the problems. My 354 is working fine but then again I don't have a PS3. It's funny how the people who returned their HK's for other brand AVR's are still lurking around in the HK thread don't you think? If you are not in a rush I would give HK a few months to straighten out the issues.

I agree. I don't have the PS3 and the only problem I have is a noisy fan. I do have a Samsung blu-ray player and the 354 correctly outputs 1080p/24. I've contacted H/K regarding the fan and they have been very responsive, even offering a direct replacement... once they have more 354's in stock.

Sean
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post #380 of 2863 Old 08-26-2008, 05:54 PM
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My problem isn't so much a bug, as it's just an interface flaw. I hate how small the text is. I've attached a few pictures.

1. Why is the text for the interface nearly TWICE AS SMALL as the fine print you see on a commercial. Commercials obviously try and hide the details in the fine print, and yet the HK interface font is twice as small as that!!

2. The volume bar is my biggest gripe as that's the one I use the most, and I've done a mockup with a couple suggestions to make it more visible from a distance greater than 5ft on a 46" monitor. The top version is the way it currently is. The bottom two are options they can use free of charge, so long as they do SOMETHING!

I don't have a PS3 or blueray player yet, so i haven't run into the problems that everyone else has. I do have a TivoHD and if it's set to DD, the volume takes about 5 seconds to click in each time you change the channel. However, I changed TivoHD to do PCM and everything has worked fine since then.
LL
LL
LL
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post #381 of 2863 Old 08-27-2008, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by edsano-hd View Post

Many state that they will have a hard time matching the HK sound quality but actually in my opinion (yes I have owned both) Marantz equals if not bests the HK in sonic fidelity. Also you get one heck of a lot less bugier, actually the latest firmware leaves my currrent sr7002 absolutely bug free. I know it is quite a jump from the 254 in terms of cost but only a little more over the 354. You can get it for right under 1K. I love having a unit that just plain works and has awesome soundstage....just my $0.02

I had already decided that when the time comes for upgrade...Marantz will be something I will look into. Problem is that they are usually out of my price range.

As for my 247...I am lucky that most of its bugs are ones I either can avoid or live with. I use it for audio only.
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post #382 of 2863 Old 08-27-2008, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by RafaelSmith View Post

I had already decided that when the time comes for upgrade...Marantz will be something I will look into. Problem is that they are usually out of my price range.

As for my 247...I am lucky that most of its bugs are ones I either can avoid or live with. I use it for audio only.

I have never owned a Marantz and currently a happy owner of a AVR 745. However, Marantz came out with the 4003 I believe that is $599. It might have all the audio features but not the video scaling features of the 254.
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post #383 of 2863 Old 08-27-2008, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by awtryau89 View Post

Guys, my first post in this thread. I am a HK dealer. Let's just get that out of the way so people can confirm or deny biases. I have follwed this thread closely and was hesitant to even get a 354 for my demo room. I went ahead and bit the bullet just to see if all the bugs are in there. I have only had a few hours with it but I will confirm a few things.

1. It does not pass BTB/WTW
-Confirmed with HD DVE, SD DVE, Avia Pro
2. It has no issues with 1080p24
-Running this to a BenQ W10000 PJ from a Panny 30 Bluray and Toshiba XA2 HD-DVD the receiver has no problems with a 1080p24 source. This is verified in the menu of the receiver and PJ. Anyone not getting 1080p24 is having EDID issues with their display
3. The receiver pops on source switches, mutes, etc
4. The reciever will overlay DPLIIx over Dolby Digital and MultiCH PCM but will not over any of the new codecs (TrueHD, DTS Master). In these cases you only get 5.1 even of you are running a 7.1 system. I hope I am missing something here as the Denons will allow this and I liked this feature

Thats all for now. I will experiment more tonight and read the manual. Maybe I will come up with more issues or fixes. For me, the video side in fine. The audio sounds terrific on first pass. The only issues seem to be with the handling of the new formats.

April 2008 Build date BTW.

I'm a bit confused... TrueHD and DTS Master are already 7.1 formats, aren't thy? Why would you overlay DPLIIx?
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post #384 of 2863 Old 08-27-2008, 08:03 AM
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Because most sources are encoded at 5.1

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post #385 of 2863 Old 08-27-2008, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awtryau89 View Post

Guys, my first post in this thread. I am a HK dealer. Let's just get that out of the way so people can confirm or deny biases. I have follwed this thread closely and was hesitant to even get a 354 for my demo room. I went ahead and bit the bullet just to see if all the bugs are in there. I have only had a few hours with it but I will confirm a few things.

4. The reciever will overlay DPLIIx over Dolby Digital and MultiCH PCM but will not over any of the new codecs (TrueHD, DTS Master). In these cases you only get 5.1 even of you are running a 7.1 system. I hope I am missing something here as the Denons will allow this and I liked this feature


Incorrect..
My 354 overlays DPL2x just fine for 5.1 Dolby True Audio streams. Next I will check for DTS HD & Master Audio. You may want to recheck your setup.

Just my $0.015...
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post #386 of 2863 Old 08-27-2008, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Garman View Post

Makes me wonder if Denon and other manufactuers have some sale people in-bedded in these forums to direct sales there way.... You never know... I have a PS3 and so far my issues are limited.

Garman, Irish...I understand your point of view and your jabs! But I am by no means a salesperson...I still own my trusty HK 147. I do love the HK sound. However I needed to upgrade to an hdmi/hi res audio codec enabled unit and I was getting ready to pull the trigger on a 354 until I heard a good friend of mines Marantz. The sound was awesome! Combine that will all the issues going on with the latest HK's...well that made my decision easier. I will say that the Marantz is not perfect! I needed to get the latest firmware installed and as many will atest it is a royal pain in the ass as you must send it to Marantz to get this done!! I was without it for almost a month! but that has been my only gripe since. The audio is simply superb!!...and zero video issues. This unit keeps video conversion to a minimum. It will only deinterlace 480i to 480p...the rest it leaves alone. For me that is all I need as my sources (blu-ray, Sat) as well as my Sony display handle the heavy lifting. I have not owned the latest HK's and I do not mean to bash them. I do hope they resolve this issues for all the good people that purchased them...I am merely offering a suggested platform for those that are seeking to make a change and are willing to pony up a little more cash...as I said in my initial posting...I am just offering my $0.02.
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post #387 of 2863 Old 08-27-2008, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by M Code View Post

Incorrect..
My 354 overlays DPL2x just fine for 5.1 Dolby True Audio streams. Next I will check for DTS HD & Master Audio. You may want to recheck your setup.

I do hope he's incorrect, since if he's right then that defeats the whole purpose of me waiting on this player and being subscribed to this thread. I'd just keep my 247.

"Your" isn't the same as "you're". "There", "their" and "they're" are also not the same. Please learn the difference.

And... it's "couldn't care less". Thank you. :)
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post #388 of 2863 Old 08-27-2008, 01:14 PM
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Ya, what a disappointment HK has become as a company (and their products). I have been looking to upgrade my receiver since last year and the x47 series, but it looks like I'll be waiting longer. The x54 series sounds even MORE buggy!

I am one of those that "loves" the HK SQ, but I can't justify buying a buggy unit that will just give me a headache. I've been looking to upgrade my avr235, but looks like I'll be waiting a while longer. A Marantz is a little out of my price range.. but perhaps in another yr or two of waiting, and I might just have to get one..
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post #389 of 2863 Old 08-27-2008, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikeoz View Post

Ya, what a disappointment HK has become as a company (and their products). I have been looking to upgrade my receiver since last year and the x47 series, but it looks like I'll be waiting longer. The x54 series sounds even MORE buggy!

I am one of those that "loves" the HK SQ, but I can't justify buying a buggy unit that will just give me a headache. I've been looking to upgrade my avr235, but looks like I'll be waiting a while longer. A Marantz is a little out of my price range.. but perhaps in another yr or two of waiting, and I might just have to get one..

I just sold my AVR335 and have had the denon 1909 running for a week now. I really like the sound of both recievers. Out of the box sound: the nod goes to H/K. After tweaking sound with EQ's and settings: more of dead heat. I was a little reluctant to bail on H/K as I was planning to pick up their new one this year, but the bottom fell out of that dream in a hurry. I will say the few inputs (2 less coax, 2 less opt) and lack of preouts worried me. But since I never used preouts and have no plans to in the next 5 years, then I didn't care as I picked up 3 HDMI inputs and it plays flawlessly with the PS3.

Moral of the story for this thread. If you've got a PS3 or plan to get one don't buy a H/K. Wait until either a fw fix is out, or a new receiver line is out. Yet they may both come out at the same time and then who knows if the next generation will be buggy or not either. If your looking for good sound at an affordable price with HDMI and no bugs with the PS3 - I suggest you check out the new Denon's. I'm a real happy camper and I'm finding ways to make it sound better each day.

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post #390 of 2863 Old 08-27-2008, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by M Code View Post

Incorrect..
My 354 overlays DPL2x just fine for 5.1 Dolby True Audio streams. Next I will check for DTS HD & Master Audio. You may want to recheck your setup.

Just my $0.015...


MCode,
Are you sure about this??? Mine will overlay DPLIIx over any PCM signal but not the bitstreamed TrueHD or DTSMA. Maybe I am missing something and I really hope I am. Please clarify. Thanks.

Eric Awtry
Dream Theater Consulting
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Harman Kardon Avr 354 7x75w 7 1 Channel Home Theater Receiver , Harman Kardon Avr 254 7x50w 7 1 Channel Home Theater Receiver With Hdmi 1 3a Repeater
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