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Discussion Starter #1
Folk,

Last week I ordered Harman Kardon HK 990. The reason for ordering was to reduce the clutter and better sonic performance. Here are few words I have to say about the unit.


My current setup:

Speaker: Magnepan 1.7

Amp: NAD C272 x 2, Bridged mono for Left and Right, ~400w into 4 ohm.

Pre: NAD C162

Source: Transporter and Pro-Ject Debut III


Features:

Like:

1) Room correction: It did a nice job and you have an option to apply it to Low, Low+Mid and Low+Mid+High Frequencies. It does its job and as with any room correction it makes it sound a little lean i.e. fixes the room modes.


2) DAC: The DAC on the unit is quite good. But then I am just comparing it to Transporter and my primitive analog source


3) ADC: Couldn't test it


4) Sound: Is pretty good, I felt a slightly better highs compare to NAD


5) Sub-woofer: One of the best sub-woofer integration. If you have Stereo sub, this will integrate it nicely to your setup.


Dislike:

1) Control: It got no juice for Magnepans, it may be fine with other easier speaker but with Magies I have to crank it upto 0db+ (-80db to +10db range) to get to a descent level.


2) Room Correction flexibility: Room correction is not very flexible, like I some times get better result by using a PEQ in my transporter with REW


Conclusion:

I want Harman to release a pre-amp of this unit, so that people can use their existing amps and provide PEQ for folks that wants to tweak it. I think they can do PEQ using firmware so we'll see
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aazeez1975 /forum/post/20861515


Dislike:

1) Control: It got no juice for Magnepans, it may be fine with other easier speaker but with Magies I have to crank it upto 0db+ (-80db to +10db range) to get to a descent level.

That one surprises me.


BTW, the VC setting is more a reflection of speaker sensitivity and less one of power output capability. My settings are around -20dB to -12dB with the speakers I tried.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aazeez1975 /forum/post/20861956


It surprised me too! I would have kept it if not for this reason.

That is really surprising. Got mine Monday and tried with the Eficion F300 and drove it effortlessly. I have to say I did not like applying EQ to the HF but having it apply just to the LF or LF+MF was a nice improvement in sound. I do find the sound a bit forward and aggressive but overall fairly impressive unit.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/20861665


That one surprises me.


BTW, the VC setting is more a reflection of speaker sensitivity and less one of power output capability. My settings are around -20dB to -12dB with the speakers I tried.

Yeah, that's not particularly telling. Lots of units have fairly crappy gain structure so they seem much more powerful when they're cranking away at "3", but then are full in by "5" (out of 10).


This being the way it is, or maybe was, on a lot of gear seems to have created a real aversion to turning the volume more than a slight rotation.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/20861665


That one surprises me.


BTW, the VC setting is more a reflection of speaker sensitivity and less one of power output capability. My settings are around -20dB to -12dB with the speakers I tried.

did you or have you reviewed the 990? i was contemplating an upgrade from my hk 3490 (future-proofing).


thank you,
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by chjo100 /forum/post/20862143


That is really surprising. Got mine Monday and tried with the Eficion F300 and drove it effortlessly. I have to say I did not like applying EQ to the HF but having it apply just to the LF or LF+MF was a nice improvement in sound. I do find the sound a bit forward and aggressive but overall fairly impressive unit.

Eficion are far more efficient than the Maggies with
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by chjo100 /forum/post/20862637


That's true. Although I suspect the 89db is optimistic as the Eficions seem to benefit from high power amps and have not fared well with lower power amps, particularly in control of the huge bass woofer.


I was interested in the 3.7 Magnepan as the cost seems reasonable but seems like getting a high powered amplifier needs to be factored in.

There are quite a few good amplifiers like Emotiva XPA-1, Wyred 4 Sound, Music Fedility, NAD etc. The problem is getting a full featuered preamp like the HK. I don't know if Tact has analog bypass but HK with PEQ could be the best featured pre.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by localhost127 /forum/post/20862268


did you or have you reviewed the 990? i was contemplating an upgrade from my hk 3490 (future-proofing).


thank you,

November 2011 Stereophile accompanied by JA's measurements.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aazeez1975 /forum/post/20862788


There are quite a few good amplifiers like Emotiva XPA-1, Wyred 4 Sound, Music Fedility, NAD etc. The problem is getting a full featuered preamp like the HK. I don't know if Tact has analog bypass but HK with PEQ could be the best featured pre.

If you are interested in a component that acts like the HK 990 sans amplifier, the Classe CP-800 would seem to be right up your alley. Expensive, but has PEQ, subwoofer outputs, preamplifier and dac unit all built in.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aazeez1975 /forum/post/20861515


Folk,

Last week I ordered Harman Kardon HK 990. The reason for ordering was to reduce the clutter and better sonic performance. Here are few words I have to say about the unit.


Conclusion:

I want Harman to release a pre-amp of this unit, so that people can use their existing amps and provide PEQ for folks that wants to tweak it.

Why couldn't you use your existing amp with the HK (as a preamp)?
 

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Discussion Starter #14

Quote:
Originally Posted by chjo100 /forum/post/20863188


If you are interested in a component that acts like the HK 990 sans amplifier, the Classe CP-800 would seem to be right up your alley. Expensive, but has PEQ, subwoofer outputs, preamplifier and dac unit all built in.

Out of my price range, other products are Lyndorf, DEQX Pre, Behold etc. For me anything under 2K will be worth looking...
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Originally Posted by AJinFLA /forum/post/20864100


Why couldn't you use your existing amp with the HK (as a preamp)?

I sure can and I tested it in that configuration. For me the value proposition is lost in that configuration and I ended up with 3 pieces of gear instead of one.


I am doing room correction in the Transporter and DEQ2496 in a tape loop for analog, but its more clutter. HK 990 replaces all of that with one box and paid for itself when I sell the rest of the equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

Quote:
Originally Posted by christmclean /forum/post/20865018


Wondered if you notice any fan noise when running it hard

I really couldn't hear it, even though I was pushing it very hard, as you can imagine. Fan noise would be a concern down the road as the fans get dirty and old.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aazeez1975 /forum/post/20866792


Out of my price range, other products are Lyndorf, DEQX Pre, Behold etc. For me anything under 2K will be worth looking...

Have you looked at the DEQX HDP-Express ? Just meets your $2K price goal.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR /forum/post/20867133


Have you looked at the DEQX HDP-Express ? Just meets your $2K price goal.

No analog volume control and phono input. For me putting a MiniDSP 2x8 in a tape loop will do the same thing as I can do measurement and correction using REW.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by natchie /forum/post/21134160


Did the price just drop $600 from the MRSP? This is for a new one, not refurbished.

Where have you seen the price drop?
 
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