Harman/Kardon Receivers - AVS Forum
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:37 AM - Thread Starter
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How does HK match up to the other receivers out there? I'm starting to look for a new A/V receiver and I haven't really had any experience with HK. I have heard that they rate their power output conservatively. Is that true or false?
Any thoughts would be helpful.
Thanks
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:35 AM
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They do rate their amplifiers more realistically than the totally phony ratings most companies put out. They are very good.

The best-sounding receiver you can buy at any price is the Cambridge Audio 650R. If sound quality is important to you, you would do well to look into it. There is an excellent review you can look at on the Home Theater magazine website. It was selling for $1800, but I see one website where it is available for $1300 now. I don't think you can buy a better one for $3000.

The Cambridge also puts out 100 watts per channel with all 7 channels driven. It is the only receiver I know of that makes that kind of claim. It also lets you bi-amp and have 200 watts per channel in the front two if you are running 5.1. It has a 1500 watt power supply; most of the competition has maybe 600 or 700 watts at most, so you can see that their power ratings are totally bogus when you get beyond the first 2 channels.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Snafu55 View Post

How does HK match up to the other receivers out there? I'm starting to look for a new A/V receiver and I haven't really had any experience with HK. I have heard that they rate their power output conservatively. Is that true or false?
Any thoughts would be helpful.
Thanks

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Old 05-22-2012, 07:54 AM
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First off ignore everything except the first sentence that guy wrote, he posts that in nearly every thread when someone asks about a receiver.

Yes HK does rate their receivers realistically for the most part, I think the newest receivers are a little over rated but that's because it went from a 20-20khz rating to 1khz.

HK does make nice receivers, they sound great, and have some nice features. The main thing they miss is good room correction.

The main thing to look for when looking for a receiver is that it has all the features you want, along with being able to drive the speakers you have.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:22 AM
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HK traditionally has rated their gear conservatively, but that changed with the new xx50 line. There's also talk that HK completely replaced their amp design team. I believe that is true because HT Magazine recently tested the HK 3650 and it reached less than 50wpc into 7 channels which is not typical of an HK receiver especially not a flagship model.

Cambridge Audio does make some good gear, but they aren't the only player in town. HT Magazine benched it and it reaches 92wpc into 7 channels. However, several other receivers come close to that. For example, the Onkyo 1009 reaches 87wpc into 7 channels. Even less expensive models like The Denon 3312 and Pioneer 52 reach 80wpc into 7 channels. The difference between 80wpc and 92wpc is negligible.

What speakers do you have and how large is your room?
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:00 AM
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So the 3600 should be around 80 watts per channel with all 7 driven?
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastgt79 View Post

So the 3600 should be around 80 watts per channel with all 7 driven?

HK has published multiple 3600 power output specs with many in error..
The 3600 rated the traditional HK way is..
A. 65W x 7, 20Hz-20kHz, THD <0.09%, 8 Ohms ALL Channels Driven
B. 80W x 2, 20Hz-20kHz, THD <0.09%, 8 Ohms, 2 Channels Driven

Just my $0.02..
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:38 AM
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yeah, or maybe slightly more that the posted 80 x 7. HK AVRs were known to equal or surpass their posted ratings before this latest line of receivers was released.

I remember my AVR 325 was rated at 50W x 7 but bench tested much higher than that. At 5 channels driven it was 73W.

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Old 05-22-2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

yeah, or maybe slightly more that the posted 80 x 7. HK AVRs were known to equal or surpass their posted ratings before this latest line of receivers was released.

I remember my AVR 325 was rated at 50W x 7 but bench tested much higher than that. At 5 channels driven it was 73W.


The 325/525 was a bigger chassis, more room for heat sinks, power supply.
The 3600 is based on the 54 chassis which is about 20% smaller.

Just my $0.02..
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input! The place that I am moving to is small so I won't need a ton of power.The speakers that I am using are as listed Fronts- Pioneer BS41's, Center- Pioneer Cs21 Surrounds- Yamaha NS-6490's (small cube speakers) Sub- Celestion S80. As you can see I'm not in the high end market but I am looking for the best sound I can get. My local Audio store has an Adcom power amp (100wpc x 2) on sale for $199. I'm thinking about doing that just to improve my sound quality at a reasonable price. Don't really know, I'm still in the feeling out process.
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:23 PM
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I am now on my 3rd HK. Had an AVR 235 that I upgraded to an AVR 254. My 254 was recently fried in an electrical storm so I upgraded to a 2650 (was hard to pass up at $450 new shipped).

Honestly, I was expecting more of an upgrade from the 254 to the 2650 than it was...I was expecting the same difference I saw between my 235 and my 254. The 2650 is more powerful than the 254 for sure, but for 100% certain it is not the advertised 45 watts/channel more powerful. It might be 20 watts/channel more. Remote is the exact same, menus are exactly the same. In all honesty, I should have probably saved a couple bucks and scored the 3600.

In the end, I like the 2650 better than my 254 - I'm just disappointed it wasn't a bigger improvement. Sound quality, it sounds just as good (great) as my 254 sounded. All of my HK's have sounded great.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:58 PM
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To be honest, I would take the previous line (2600 and 3600) over the current models.
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