HK avr 254 or the new avr 1700 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-03-2013, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to read my post.

Hello all, I am really new to this so please forgive me if I ask dumb Q's
I got a HK avr254 from ebay for $170.00 shipped, but I saw best buy is
having a sale on the avr 1700 for $199.99
I only have my PS3 hooked up and I only use it for movies

Things I like about my HK 254:
-has great sound
-like the knob
-the on-screen display
-that I can plug my sub (klipsch sw-350) to the back of receiver to power sub when avr is on
-remote
-HDMI hookups

What I like about the HK 1700
-that the back is very simple since I only have my ps3 hooked up
-does not have all these extra hookups in the back (can look overwhelming)
-front looks really smooth
-multiple HDMI hook ups if I were to ever add more devices

I noticed the avr 1700 says it runs 8hms only to 2 speakers and 6ohms to the rest.

I'm wondering if I should get the new HK avr 1700 or should I stick my current HK avr 254?
I like good, clean sound. which one sounds better.
Please help.
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-03-2013, 08:40 PM
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AVR 254 has up scaling feature for analog video input as well as you can have a combination of hdmi video and analog audio together. It's heavier compared to AVR 1700. I got the AVR 1700 today, haven't unboxed it though. I have now shifted the avr254 to my basement to drive two tower speakers. In terms of sound quality for music, AVR254 is a beast. It still going strong for me after 3 years.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-03-2013, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
I'm wondering if I should get the new HK avr 1700 or should I stick my current HK avr 254?
I like good, clean sound. which one sounds better.
Please help.
They share the same amplifier topology, but the 254 uses a more traditional, big and heavy power transformer with ample secondary/reserve capacitance. The new 1700 uses a SMPS, hence the MUCH lighter weight and reduced power consumption.

The 254 was the last US model HK to be rated and marketed/published in their traditional fashion, a continuous average of ALL of the amplifier channels (in this case seven) being driven simultaneously 20hz-20khz into 8ohm loads with less than .07% THD. The 254 was spec'ed at 50watts for each of it's seven channels in this fashion. Newer generations stray further and further from the HK tradition - 2 channel only ratings, higher distortions, single frequency tone, etc.
The x54 and x550HD model HKs were also the last to feature dual secondary power supplies, separating power for the C/SR/SL and FR/FL/SBR/SBL channels.


The specs for the new 1700 have changed already, and as usual there are some discrepancies between literature. The manual states 100W per channel, with 2 channels being driven at "6/8ohm", at 1khz, with less than 1% THD.
<.1% THD is also spec'ed in some literature and a completely different rating of 95W per channel, two channels driven @ 8 ohms, 20Hz - 20kHz <0.07% THD can also be found on the website.

What type of speakers are you driving? With harder to drive inefficient speakers (especially if full range) - I feel the older 254 would be a better performer. I have no experience with the new 1700 - just my personal opinion. The HKs of past were known to be of few that could meet, and often exceed their specifications.
Again, the amp topology for each channel is the same, it is the power supplies that are completely different. The sound should be nearly identical with low demand material, when the amps are pushed is the question.


Note - The 1700 boasts several newer technologies over the 254 - internet radio, DLNA network playback, DPLIIz, 3D support, Airplay, Android and iOS device app control, USB playback, etc. Of course several more HDMI inputs (at the loss of obsolete legacy analog connection) If that is important to you, the 1700 would probably make a better choice. If not, you already have the 254 - might as well stick with it.
I have been using a 254 in my smaller system for several years. It has been rock solid, an awesome performer, and I have no intention on replacing it.

Also, despite being several years older, the 254 has the much nicer HD on-screen GUI which is still being used with minor changes in the current 2 and 3 series models, along with transcoding and upscaling of any analog video input to the HDMI output.
The 254 also has SEVEN amplifier channels vs. the 1700's five. This also means more post-processing options to create a 7.1 presentation from 2 to 5.1 channel material.
Quote:
-that I can plug my sub (klipsch sw-350) to the back of receiver to power sub when avr is on
The AVR's switched outlet is only for powering LOW wattage components, note the 50watt max specification. You should not plug a powered subwoofer into this outlet.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-03-2013, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Kousikb for your input. Let me know how you like it after you try it out.

DROCKHK. Thanks for your input also very helpful. As for speakers i was driving, they were a mismatched set of Panasonic for rears and pioneers for fronts. But i am in the market for a set of new speakers to drive with the 1700 or 254 (whichever I decide to go with) any suggestions? Im on a budget of around $300 for speakers. I was thinking some 8ohm HKs.
What is smps? And how is that different than 254?
I am not interested in analog to digital conversion at all (i don't think ill ever need it, but i could be wrong)
What does it mean when the 1700 says 2 channels are being driven at 6/8 ohms? Do I have to get 6ohm and 8 ohm speakers? I know I should purchase the recommended ohms from receiver.
How are power supplies different?
And thanks for the heads up on the subwoofer.
I unplugged it immediately after I read your post.
Thanks for your input. Greatly appreciated. Sorry if im too newbe of a newbe. And if I ask dumb questions. I just recently discovered that i like to bring movies to life. Lol
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-04-2013, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libraryguy2012 View Post

What is smps? And how is that different than 254?
SMPS = Switch Mode Power Supply, like those used in a PCs. The 254 uses a large EL transformer with linear regulators.
Lots of info; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switched-mode_power_supply
Quote:
I am not interested in analog to digital conversion at all (i don't think ill ever need it, but i could be wrong)
Do you have any 'legacy' components with analog only video outputs? If not, you're right, probably will never need this.
Quote:
What does it mean when the 1700 says 2 channels are being driven at 6/8 ohms? Do I have to get 6ohm and 8 ohm speakers? I know I should purchase the recommended ohms from receiver.
The receiver can drive 6ohm or 8ohm speakers. The "6/8ohm" spec rating is confusing, though I believe this was done so the wattage rating could be made with a 6ohm load rather than 8ohm (which gets higher wattage numbers for marketing..) - you can email HK support for a definitive answer.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-04-2013, 10:17 PM
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Hooked up the avr1700 today. The sound quality is exactly same as avr254. It sounds more powerful than 254 but by not much. At -19db volume level it filled up my entire basement. With the avr254 it needed level around -17db. I ran the receiver in 2 channel mode for both with two infinity primus tower and a harman kardon active subwoofer. I didn't do any eq adjustment or bass/ treble adjustment. It sounded great without any adjustment. I am glad that I could score a AVR 1700. The OSD is a downgrade from avr254. I haven't tested the network and airplay feature yet. Will do so over the weekends.
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-04-2013, 10:38 PM
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I have the HK 254, it's sexy looking and puts out but it has an attitude problem, buggy as hell, I would not buy the 254.... I wont buy a HK product again after this and some of their customer serves or lack there of it, saying they'll replace it cause pf the known problems then never hear from them again, my next avr is nad or anthem, can't wait for the day to cut my ties with the 254.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-05-2013, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm thinking about getting come Klipsch quartet satellite speakers to go with the 1700 and my Klipsch sw350, (I cant afford anything high end)
But the question is now, which speakers should I go with?
6ohm? what would these sound like? or
8ohm?
how do the two compare?
what would be the difference in sound.
I know it's all personal preference, but I want to get the most out of my receiver.
I want to know this before I purchase the speakers

Thank you all for helping out.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-07-2013, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libraryguy2012 View Post

I'm thinking about getting come Klipsch quartet satellite speakers to go with the 1700 and my Klipsch sw350, (I cant afford anything high end)
But the question is now, which speakers should I go with?
6ohm? what would these sound like? or
8ohm?
how do the two compare?
what would be the difference in sound.
I know it's all personal preference, but I want to get the most out of my receiver.
I want to know this before I purchase the speakers
Thank you all for helping out.

Just to give you my perspective... I bought the 1700 last week and hooked it up Friday night. I was coming from from the AVR 354, so just a little more power than the 254. If I were you, I would definitely try to get the 1700. My first test was Tron Legacy last night. I was playing the movie at around -25. My wife was in the bedroom ironing, and she could only respond with "that's ridiculous" lol!!! I honestly had a smile on my face during some parts. As others have mentioned, the 1700 runs alot cooler than the 254/354. So you may want to keep that in mind when deciding (depends on where the unit will be stored). The receiver has a lot of power... Dont let the weight fool you. There are 2 things I despise about the receiver.... The remote and the OSD... the menu is god awful compared to the 354. But overall, I am very pleased with the 1700. This is my 3rd HK unit. I previously owned the 330, 354, and now 1700. I thought about returning the unit and getting the 3700, but @ $700 more, I will stick with the 1700. I have a 5.1 setup anyway. I hope this helps your decision making process.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-08-2013, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you. I went out and got the 1700. Now im looking to get some speakers to drive. Should I go with 6 or 8 ohms? What ohm speakers you have?
And i keep hearing it runs cooler. Why would that make a difference? It'll be placed under tv on stand.
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post #11 of 16 Old 01-08-2013, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libraryguy2012 View Post

Thank you. I went out and got the 1700. Now im looking to get some speakers to drive. Should I go with 6 or 8 ohms? What ohm speakers you have?
And i keep hearing it runs cooler. Why would that make a difference? It'll be placed under tv on stand.

The later AVR series 1700/170, 2700/270, 3700/370 run cooler for a couple of reasons..
1. The amplifiers and power supply are optimized for high voltage rather than high current output
2. The amplifiers idle current is set lower, X-over distortion is higher but less heat output
3. SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supply) power supply used in place of the EL linear supply


Just my $0.02... wink.gif
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-09-2013, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libraryguy2012 View Post

Thank you. I went out and got the 1700. Now im looking to get some speakers to drive. Should I go with 6 or 8 ohms? What ohm speakers you have?
And i keep hearing it runs cooler. Why would that make a difference? It'll be placed under tv on stand.

I have Klipsch RF-42II, RC-42II, RB-41II, and SW 110
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-09-2013, 04:02 PM
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I have the 1700 also and use 6 ohm speakers. I also have a set of 8 ohm speakers and both work fine. When you get into 4 ohm and lower you could over drive the amp. The amp runs cool at lower volumes because it is a direct drive amp but if you drive it hard it does get quite warm. If an amp runs warmer it usually means it is using a lot of current. A cooler amp will make the receiver last longer because heat is not a good thing for all the components inside the receiver. For a 12 pound receiver this thing sounds excellent and I go through a lot of equipment. Tried this as an open box from best buy and I am keeping it. Hope this helps!
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-12-2013, 07:33 PM
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I have both the 254 and the 1700 in my house. In my opinion, the 254 is the superior unit. Pros/cons of each unit almost seem to be inverse images of each other, like HK improved on things in the 1700 by degrading the good things that the 254 had.

AVR254 pros:
- Beautiful menus, gorgeous graphics, intuitive and very customizable.
-Broad variety of input types, switchable and mix able (HDMI video with analog audio if you preferred).
- Switched 120V outlet (good for turning on tv automatically with receiver).

AVR254 cons:
- Occasionally buggy, mine will sometimes drop audio if the source was left paused for a few minutes (but switching to another source and then back fixes it).
- Only 3 HDMI inputs, a problem as I'd like to plug in Uverse, BD, AppleTV, and HTPC all at the same time. One short.

AVR1700 pros:
- 5 HDMI inputs. Sort of. See below.
- Light weight. I laughed the first time I picked it up, felt like a kid's toy.
- Can throughput 3D signals (if you can stand 3D - I don't care for it).

AVR1700 cons:
- 1 HDMI input has half-volume audio. Can't figure out why, but since I only need 4, it's not a critical problem at the moment.
- Horrible menus. Feels like I went from the latest high-def World of Warcraft to an 8-bit original Donkey Kong. Really that bad. Not intuitive and lost half the customization. I wish I knew the behind-the-scenes source of this huge leap backwards.
- Only 5.1 surround. This would be a problem in my big room where I'm going after the fully immersive theater experience.
- No switched outlet. This is more of an inconvenience that it seems, especially when wanting to use the sleep timer to turn off the tv with the receiver.
- Media server is really useless. Not only the 8-bit text, but it can't even match AppleTV's limited source type capability. Spend $100 or less for any AppleTV, Roku, Boxee, HTPC with XBMC, etc. It's a joke of a feature that looks good on the spec sheet but is junk.
- Apple streaming is likewise mostly useless as it only streams audio, not video. If you have AppleTV or any HTPC with Apple streaming emulator, you're ahead of the game.

Identical features: no discernible difference in sound quality or power output (DCM TimeFrame 350 mains, DefTech center, Velodyne sub, small Infinity rear surrounds).

For what is supposed to be the parity-level new version of HK's affordable mid-range receiver, I'm disappointed that so many of the tech-savvy features are throw-aways. The only reason I kept the 1700 at all was that the price was right for a low-expectation installation in the bedroom. Once the 5.1 was set up correctly, there's no more fiddling. The wife and I watch our tv shows, a movie now and then, and some background music. The big room with the 254 is for movies with the 7.1 and bigger tv.

Hope that helps.
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-13-2013, 02:38 AM
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Quote:
- No switched outlet. This is more of an inconvenience that it seems, especially when wanting to use the sleep timer to turn off the tv with the receiver.

A Smart Power Strip will solve that problem.

http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Strip-Protector-Autoswitching-Technology/dp/B0006PUDQK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1376386121&sr=1-1&keywords=smart+power+strip

The switched outlet on the back of the HK 254 is supposed to be 0.5A max and is meant for low power devices such as blu ray players, not TV's. For instance my 32" Toshiba LCD is 1.6A. I wouldn't connect my TV to the receiver. Hope your TV is low power consumption.

Afro GT
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-13-2013, 07:50 AM
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I was looking at strips like that, thanks for the link. Nevertheless, the principle of the thing is that a switched outlet (or multiple, like my ancient Pioneer VSX-7300 has) shouldn't be a question. Was saving 25¢ at the manufacturing level worth disappointing a repeat customer?

Didn't have a problem powering the 55" Insignia, but I'll keep that in mind and check the draw on the new 60" LED.
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