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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I've been trying to troubleshoot a problem on my new Harman Kardon AVR8000 for some weeks now. I'm now wondering if anyone else has seen this problem on this unit.

There is a distinct high frequency buzz or hum, you could say, on the center channel, that is not present on any other speaker. The sound can be heard easily from about 1 foot away. It's not present on any other speaker or channel. It's not affected by the unit volume, but remains constant.

I've tried all the normal troubleshooting stuff. Changed speakers, made sure all speaker wires are of the highest shielded quality. I'm using a reference quality Mirage shielded CC speaker, etc.

A knowledgeable sales person at a high end audio store told me this might be a good place to start searching for answers. I called Harman Kardon, and while they were very polite, they basically said they've had no complaints on this unit of this type.

I've owned several prior high end receivers from other manufacturers, and I've never heard this type of buzz coming from a speaker. (I know what a normal amp background noise is, and this ISN"T it.) Any ideas, anyone? Anyone else have this problem? Thanks---Fred
 

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Fred, when was your unit built? (It's on the back label). Apparently this is a noted problem from the January 2002 production run. There was a thread detailing this whole issue a while back. I'll try to find it for you.

Some people are trying to "just deal with it", as they got their units for a very good price from OneCall. I didn't purchase mine from OneCall, and it has the same problem.

I've been "working" (it's turning ugly) with my dealer for weeks now, trying to get satisfaction. Believe it or not, I've been sent THREE units so far, all with a Jan 2002 manufacture date, all with the same center channel buzzing. I even had one of these units into a repair shop, who verified that there was a REAL problem. I've asked my dealer for a NON Jan 2002 model, and apparently he doesn't have any. It looks like he "bought" all that close-out crap that all the other online retailers are selling too. I'm sure this is why Harman Kardon "dumped" all these Jan 2002 models on the market so cheap. It's really very sad. I've contacted Harmon Kardon, and they say they've only heard of one other similar claim on the AVR8000, and they are currently investigating this. I'm very skeptical of that response. Good luck getting your unit replaced!---Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks alot Chris. This explains it pretty well. I do, indeed, own an AVR8000 that was made in January 2002. I'm not going to "live with it", either. Knowing that others DO NOT have this problem, I'm going to demand a new unit from dealer, or get Harman Kardon to "make good".

This is supposed to be HK's flagship receiver, and I think it should be their best. Is a perfect unit to much to expect in this category?

Can any of the other members, who had this problem in the earlier thread, let me know how their issues were resolved? I'm looking for advice on how to get the least amount of runaround. Thanks


Fred
 

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Hi Fred,


I was the member who started the thread you refer to. I tried to contact H/K about this issue and they had the same response back then: basically that they were not aware of this problem. I do have a unit built in Jan/02 and have the center buzz. I speculated back then that the Jan units may be the only ones affected but I never received confirmation from anyone with a different build date that their unit was not affected. After unsuccessfully trying to find a resolution short of returning it and buying something different (something that I did not want to do because I love this receiver minus that CC buzz!), I have simply been living with it. I know that a piece of equipment at this price point should not have such a defect especially since it is their flagship, but in reality it is completely unnoticeable at anything close to a normal listening distance even at very low volumes. In fact, since I stopped conversing in that previous thread I had forgotten about the buzz until I saw your thread!! If a solution is available I would surely employ its application, but otherwise it has been a minor compliant of an otherwise superb unit. Perhaps if we all contacted H/K or had some joint effort to make them relieve that the problem truly exists beyond simply that one claim you refer too (that could be my compliant from back in Oct for all we know!) we could get them to replace the units directly with ones with later build dates. In the mean time, I would try not to let it bother you too much especially if you received the unit at a good price!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your input Matt. I read your prior thread and I thought there was at least one person with a NON Jan 02 AVR8000 that confirmed he or she had no center channel buzzing. How about it folks? Can I hear a quick response from other forum members who can confirm that they have a build date of other than Jan 02, and have NO buzzing problems from their center channel speakers ?

To check this out, you will need to have your unit connected to a high quality CC speaker that employs a tweeter, since the noise is high frequency. You will probably have to listen at a distance of a foot or less. Make sure you're in a surround mode, with no music or movie playing.

I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks much!


Fred
 

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I see Onecall is selling the AVR8000, again, but for even less than the $1227 last time. Maybe they found a batch with buzzing in another channel and that's why they're even cheaper this time around. :)


Aaron
 

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Fred, I was over at a friends house last night to watch a movie...he has an AVR8000 with a June 02 build date. And I was able to confirm NO buzz or unusual hum on any of the speakers in either stereo or surround mode. This problem , unless anyone else can say otherwise, seems to be isolated to the Jan 02 production run.


Chris
 

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This buzz or hum that you guys are hearing, what exactly does it sound like? Because I have the 525 but I can hear a buzzing sound out of every channel when my ear is 1 inch from the speaker which is hard to hear if I move farther from it. Is this the same buzz you guys are hearing or is my buzz normal for all the other speakers on the avr8000 but the center one being a different pitch, tone, sound, volume...?
 

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Has anyone confirmed whether the buzz was coming out of the preamp or the amp section? This could be done by swapping the preamp outs & amp inputs for the center channel with another one of the channels and seeing if the buzz followed the amp channel or the preamp channel.


Tom B.
 

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Hi Tom,


Just got mine today from OneCall - Well - it buzzez! DAMN! The buzz is minimal - I can't hear it unless I am about a foot from the center speaker and it doesn't increase or decrease in volume no matter how high or low I put the volume setting on. It does this without anything playing. I have ruled out ground loops, etc. (I can switch any other speaker with the center channel and I get the buzz in that speaker). One Call will gladly replace it for me and send me another unit (no way to ensure that it is a different production date) - so this seems like a waste of time (and money shipping it back and forth) my only other option is to take it to an authorized repair shop to have it fixed (which doesn't seem right since it is brand new!).


I called Harmon tech support and the tech said that he has heard of this buzz and suggested that I get it exhanged or I can have it looked at under warranty. He said that they have heard of this "problem" but really consider it a non-problem since it doesn't increase in volume or disrupt the sound. He also stated that he did not think that all units from the Jan 2002 run have the problem (so it seems like they are aware of this even though Onecall stated that they didn't have any information about this from Harmon). Not sure what I am going to do - I may take it in to have it looked at since it is under warrenty just to see if they find a problem (that I can relay back here).


Has anyone else done this?


I also did what you suggested above the buzz seems to be coming from the center preamp - out (I went from center preamp out to right main in and the buzz moved accordingly).


What to do??????
 

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So with the center output connected to the right main input and out to the right main speaker, the buzz came from out of the right main???


If so, then the buzz is coming out of the preamp section. At least that narrows it down a bit. People should be passing this info along to HK.


Was yours also from the Jan 02 run?


Tom B.
 

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Hi Tom,


Yes it was Jan 2002 - I did speak to HK about this (see above post) and I have taken it in to have an authorized HK tech look at it. I will know something in a day or 2 and will post back here. Kinda Sucks - didn't have it in my house for 45 minutes! Oh well. I see you also ordered one of these - keep us posted on how you like it and buzz, etc.
 

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My HK AVR-8000 arrived. I fought the box onto my kitchen table, ripping layer after layer away, hoping against hope that it might not be a Jan 2002 model. Alas, it was!


90 minutes later, after tearing down my old setup and getting this minimally installed, I powered it up, kicked it into a surround mode and approached my center channel. It has the buzz! Darn! Darn! Darn!


Then I hooked up the center preamp out to my external Parasound amp. Powered up again. No buzz! Went back to the 8000's internal center channel amp input. Buzz. Rerouted the preamp center to the left front amp. No Buzz. Over to the right front amp. No Buzz. Back to the center channel amp. Buzz.


Okay, then I unhooked everything from the center amp input, but still had the speaker connected. No buzz. Hmmm ... Next I sent the left front output into the center amp input. Buzz.


This buzz is definitely in the center channel amp. And it only happens when an input is connected to it. It even buzzes when MUTE is on.


Now a decision to make. I have 7 speakers and 10 powered channels - 5 from the 8000 and 5 in my Parasound. Do I send it out to fix a channel that I don't need? Or do I accept damaged goods?


I'm definitely going to make contact with HK's technicians and share my findings.


Tom B.
 

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Just got off the phone to OneCall. I told them that a growing number of their customers had been receiving these defective 8000's and they acted quite concerned. Ran through my diagnostics with them and they took a lot of notes. Said they would be calling me back tomorrow.


I told them I would be in contact with HK techs and would pass along whatever I was told.


I suggested that they might have a significant problem if they, OneCall, were sitting on a large inventory of defective receivers.


Tom B.
 

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Just got my AVR-8000 from J&R tonight - it is July 2002, but no time to connect it up as yet.
 

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Sorry, Tom, I just couldn't resist. I cannot believe HK is simply going to ignore them problem, discontinue the model, and let everyone else do without warranty coverage.


I think I would suggest all of you return the units for a full refund, or (better yet) seek a class action for a unit from a newer production. I have to admit I actually considered this unit, too, as I really was attracted to the rear-panel layout.


I think I will stick with my 45TX, but I do feel for all of you regarding this problem. It just simply sucks!
 

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WanMan,


Given a choice between an 8000 with a bad channel and a fully functional 45TX, I would still take the 8000. With my 6 ohm full-range speakers, I would have 7 nonfunctional channels with a 45TX. And, as I said before, I don't need to use this channel. I bought the 8000 with a need to use only 2 of the amp channels.


They could satisfy me with sending me a $50 gift certificate. I don't need to have the unit repaired. But I'll see what I can do to help everyone else out on this.


I will say in playing around with the unit tonight that it sounds fabulous. So many decoding modes, incredible flexibility in the setup, and very powerful. I'm sitting here now comparing DPL2 vs Logic 7, very fun stuff.


Tom B.
 

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I ordered my 8000 from Onecall on sunday, but only after going to their 'live chat' feature and and asking the guy about this.


I described the problem that has been talked about here, and asked him if there was any way to check that I would not get a 01/02 manufacture date if I ordered one of these units.


His reply was that he was familiar with the problem, but that they had not heard any concerns with this in quite some time.


I wrote back: So am I to assume that if I order one of these units that I will NOT receive one with a 01/02 manuf. date?


He replied: That is correct.


In reading posts from people who got theirs this week and have the buzz, it looks like that conversation was a waste of keystrokes...

I guess that guy knows about as much as a typical CC salesman...


FedEx tried to deliver yesterday - wasn't home...

Maybe I'll be able to give you a report tonight.


When I ordered, I fully expected to get a unit with the buzz. I have an adcom GFA555 powering my mains, so I assume that the workaround will be easy enough for me... I'll just pipe the center out to main in (R or L) and hook up the center channel to the main (R or L) speaker terminal.


According to your experiment, this should work - right Tom?


Thanks,

David
 

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This is such a non-issue! I have one that is built 01/02 and have what one could consider buzz in the center channel but I have to be soo close to the speaker and the music has to be off in order to hear it that it is totally a non-issue. I think that this is forum-effect in full effect.
 
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