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Upgrading from my old H/K AVR 235. AVR 745, 2600, 3600

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm in the market to upgrade from my trusty old Harman/Kardon AVR 235. I love the receiver but I've picked up a really nice (read: free) Mitsubishi LT-3780 1080p LCD "monitor" (ie no tuner, just an HDMI & VGA input) and I need away to switch/up-convert my Component, Composite and HDMI inputs into a single HDMI output to the Television.

I want to stick with Harman Kardon, and I've been looking at used and refurbed units, including the AVR 745, AVR 2600 and AVR 3600. Any upsides/downsides of each? I can get a factory refurbished 3600 for around the same price as a mint used 745 with all the original accessories. Are the newer receivers known for any issues? The amplification section specs of the 3600 look very similar to that of the 745. Video conversion specs are the main difference I see. And the slimming down of many many inputs on the new *600 series.

Edited by NTL1991 - 12/22/12 at 7:09pm
post #2 of 4
The 745 was a beast of a machine from what I recall with a much heftier amp section than a 3600, outweighing it by 20 pounds (you are talking about a $2000+ unit compared to about a $800 unit). If you can truly get it for $400 in mint condition, that is probably a solid buy. With that said, it doesn't support hdmi 1.4, only has two hdmi ports, and will only upconvert to 720p/1080i. The refurb 3600 does better on those fronts so it is better for future expansion and the harman direct refurb comes with the full 2 year warranty. The 745 will have more power than a 3600, but that's not saying that the 3600 is weak. The 3600 will pretty much match or outpower anything in its price range with 5-7 channels driven. Most issues of the x600 series have been resolved. Dolby Volume is known to make weird chirping noises occasionally when it is active and that seems to be beyond being a x600 model quirk.
Edited by bargugl - 12/23/12 at 7:30am
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info! After reading the owner's manuals, the specs appeared to be much closer. I've fought off upgrading for a while, and haven't bought into most of the newer technologies. Mine is a smallish surround setup, with two Infinity Crescendo 3007's up front, an Infinity center channel, and JBL Venue Monitor surrounds. My only HDMI components are my HD STB and BluRay player, so the 2 inputs wouldn't be much of a problem. Everything else (DVD, HTPC) are either Component, S-Video, or VGA. I won't need any 3D capability for the foreseeable future, and I've just read the specs for my LT-3780, and it only inputs 1080i, internally up-converting to 1080p, so that wouldn't be a problem either.

I've heard that the DSP processing is more powerful on the 745, as well as the EzSet/EQ. The 745 also has the nice TC30 remote. I do have much of my music on an iPod, and while both support The Bridge, the 745 only supports the original version of it, while the x600 supports The Bridge III, and the 3600 supports reading files directly from USB.

Both 745 and 3600 have software upgrades. Do the 745's have any issues that have gone unfixed? Other than operational problems, I've also heard of front panel failures (sometimes fixed with Velcro). The 745 also has all gold plated connections on the back, including the binding posts, correct?

Thanks again,
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
So I decided on the AVR 745, but had to wait quite a while to actually find one for sale. Because they're older, and were $$$$ when new, there really aren't many around for sale.

It took almost 2 months to find one, and after passing one up that didn't come complete with the remote and looked rough (scrapes all around the HDMI inputs on the back panel, and damaged front panel flap), I found a brand new (non remanufactured, all the tape still holding the front door shut, plastic film on the front panel, everything!) AVR 745 in the original box for sale complete with all the original accessories.

After buying a broken HK 3490 120W stereo amplifier and fixing it (turned out to be a $25 standby transformer), I was surprised to hear how much of a difference the extra 55 watts per channel made over my AVR 235. So I'm selling it now that I have the 745 on the way. I'm sure it will sound great with it's hefty amplifier section, and 65 amps of HICC.

Thanks for the help!

I'm thinking about doing an unboxing video of the AVR 745 and one of the connections, features and OSD configuration menus.

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