Has anyone bought an HK recevier & it was a pile?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by David G Greene, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. David G Greene

    David G Greene Stunt Coordinator

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    I have. I bought 2 HK's the 220 & 110. The 220 works fine for now but the 110 is crap. Tandy/radio shack can't fine out whats wrong with it. The front stage is all messed up. First the center channel goes out,then when I get it back from Tandy 2 days later the right channel goes out,then after it's is so called fixed the right channel goes out today.

    NO MORE HK'S FOR ME!!!!!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    From now on Pioneer,Kenwood,Yamaha,Onkyo,Panny or Sony.

    I had to make some changes to my choices. Denon is out also.
     
  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    David

    Sorry to hear about your troubles with the HK. I almost bought the AVR 8000 for $1200 some time ago. Then I started to read about hum in the center channel. Both HK and One Call made minimal efforts to deal with the issue on their top of the line receiver. There were also numerous remote control problems being reported. I was glad I was able to cancel and get all of my money back.

    I know this does not really help you with your situation, but perhaps knowing that HK seems to have a habit of releasing products without sufficient beta testing will let you know you are not alone.

    You did not ask, but if you can get the 110 fixed, you could sell it. Wondering when a problem product is going to mess up again is not a good way to feel.

    Artie Flame proof suit going on.
     
  3. David G Greene

    David G Greene Stunt Coordinator

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    Arthur,your a blessed man.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer
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    My first 5.1 receiver was an HK avr75, after two years the left channel died on me. Thru trial and error I figured out that both L and R channels worked just fine when I ran the receiver in stereo and connected my CD player via the optical jack. I can't get stereo sound thru any of the L and R rca jacks. Therefore I upgraded my primary HT to an Onkyo DD/DTS receiver and I use the HK in a separate stereo system. I've gotten better reliability out of supposedly lesser brands so I won't be buying any more H/K gear. It still sounds great but there's no excuse for it screwing up like that after such a short period of time.
     
  5. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    This sums up owning a Harman Kardon for me: Great sound, spotty quality and lousy customer service. Whatever you buy, make sure you buy from an authorized dealer so that they have to honor the warranty.
     
  6. David G Greene

    David G Greene Stunt Coordinator

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    David

    Your right on all points.

    I'm glad that I have a 2 year warranty.


    [​IMG]
     
  7. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I'm sorry to hear you guys have problems with H/K. As I just wrote in DavidAM's thread, I have a avr 520 and so far, so good. Also a dvd-5, cd 8380 and cdr 20. Only complaint is the nearest repair shop is 300 miles away! Also the dvd seems a bit noisey. Especially when changing disks. All of this was bought as "open box". The cdr 20 for only $49! When I called H/K to order the remote for the cdr, I asked about the manual for it. She said it would be an additional $15. I said "no thanks". When the remote came two days later, the manual was in it as well, no charge. I know this is a bash H/K site, but I thought I would put in a good word for them. If a problem does arise, I will let you know. gene
     
  8. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    My first and last venture for HK was almost 2 yeras ago when the 520 was new on the scene,it came with a busted surround amps,only the front 3 amps were working,I even tried the pre amp outs[surrounds],no luck.Sent it back,and preordered the Outlaw 950 the following week.Happy ever since![​IMG]
     
  9. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    Denon is also out? guess you'll just have to settle for less.
     
  10. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    .. I just bought the HK AVR-225 two days ago. Is there any reasons that I should be weary of this reciever? In the store it was the best sounding quality reciever and seemed to feature the best components.

    When I brought it home it sounded great and even though I have only had it two days I haven't had any problems...

    Will they usually break after a year or something?
     
  11. David G Greene

    David G Greene Stunt Coordinator

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    The HK AVR-225 is a better model than the 110-Z. Don't worry. You should be fine.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    ... Does HK usually have problems though? The guy pointed out that HK tries to perfect every unit they make that is why they run a little more, and they use better components inside, better decoders and such. I mean this unit is about $500, I don't want to have this thing breaking on me.
     
  13. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    HK seems to run into QC issues. I haven't read much in the way of complaints for the *25 series, but there is a history of issues with HK units up to at least the *20 models. (one of which I'm struggling with right now).

    Chris: if it works, great, enjoy it. If it works, great, don't worry about it. Relax. Now if it stops working, that's a different story (though I have not read of problems with the 1** and 2** models, aside from the bit about the 1** above(
     
  14. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Here is a review off AudioReview.com from me back when I was a newb, and a dolt for buying H/K.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Harman/ Kardon Signature 2.0 A/V Preamp
    Review Date
    September 10, 1999

    Overall Rating
    1 of 5
    Reviewed by: fred , an Audio Enthusiast

    Summary:
    I owned this preamp for over a year, and after having to return three of them after they broke down with the exact same malfunction I finally gave up and got my money back. The problem that I kept experiencing was that the analog sound modes (stereo, mono+, all dsp modes, and dolby pro-logic)would cease to function, but I could still use dolby digital. Thank goodness I bought it at Circuit City with the extended service plan.During, the time I was able to fully let the amp go I was pretty satisfied. I don't think it is very good sonically compared to others at this price range however. I often would get some distortion during loud monments in a movie that I just have to place the blame on the 2.0
    Feature wise it was very loaded at the time, but my advice is to spend your $2000 elsewhere. 2 star performance - 1 star reliability - overall 1 star
    -------------------------------------------------
    I was also brilliant enough to buy a H/K FL8550 HDCD 5-Cd changer and the matching Signature 2.1 amp

    Read the reviews on the FL8550, it is a product that was released with an inherent flaw (in all of them). It was able to be fixed and H/K acknowledged the defect before warranties expired, but still that is inexcusable.

    The one H/K product that I did think to be decent the 2.1 amp turned out to be a lemon as well. In its manual, it is rated as able to drive 4-ohm loads. Well as soon as I hooked up some 4-ohm speakers and turned the volume up to ~80dB, there goes the amp. Thankfully a fuse blew and protected the amp from having a complete meltdown.

    Cheap crap (especially the amp and preamp since they cost $1500 and $2500 respectively) and never again will I mess with H/K or any mass production gear for that matter.
     
  15. DavidAM

    DavidAM Second Unit

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    I have the 520 which I purchased nearly 2 years ago and use everyday and the only problem I have had with it is the known bug in Logic 7 where all channels will go from my saved settings to full gain (meaning my surrounds go from quiet to just as loud as my front speakers). I just change the input back and forth real quick and all is normal again. This happens once every 1 to 2 weeks. Otherwise I really like this unit and would buy another one.
     
  16. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well I haven't had any trouble with the HK225 yet and it seems to be an awesome reciever What is it that causes these problems though? Do they usually make such buggy reciever that are charged more than any other brand for nothing.
     
  17. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    I've had my AVR225 since December...no problems at all, it cranks well without any distortion, definately what I'd consider a good receiver...no worries, you're probably going to be in for a good run with that one...I hope it works out for you as well as it has for me the past few months...
     
  18. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well this is the first week I have had it Drew and from my old Panasonic SA-HE70 it was basically a WOW! I hooked it up and I just decided let me try this Logic7 out for the first thing and I was just listening to the Discovery Channel on Shark Week and the bass was so much more defined and the speakers just sounded completely different.

    I am happy of this purchase and I love the looks of this reciever as well... I just hope it will last as HK recommends this piece for $550.
     
  19. Ben Yang

    Ben Yang Extra

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    On the good side of HK

    I have a HK 510. Owned it for almost 2.5 years. So far, not one problem. QC was right on. the buttons, dials and functions all work great. I know there are some unhappy customers, but no company gets QC perfectly right. Since I have had no problems, I cannot comment on HK's customer support. But an unhappy customer is usually going to be unhappy with Customer support no matter how good it is.

    For the money, this was the best sounding 5.1 receiver that I auditioned at the time. It is musical and neutral will very little "electronic" sound. I especially like the fact that it is only passively cooled, so fan noise is not a problem.

    Ben
     
  20. Eric_AP

    Eric_AP Stunt Coordinator

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    Thought you might be interested in my experience with trying out the HK-525, to compare to Onkyo 700 (this was back in February of this year):

    I picked up a Harman Kardon AVR-525. I was able to get it for $719.00 (including tax), from Circuit City, after beating them over the head with Internet print-outs from Harman Kardon authorized etailers (the etailers had it at $699.00). Note that I had paid a total of $619.00 for the Onkyo 700 from Circuit City -- also due to Intenet pricing from authorized Onkyo dealers.

    So on Saturday morning I break down the Onkyo from my system and pull the HK 525 out of the box and start to set it up. The very first thing I notice is that the legs are not even (the front right leg is about a 1/2 inch in the air). This 525 sits like one of those bad restaurant tables where you have to put a bunched up napkin under one leg so it stops rocking. No big deal though -- it would not effect the sound (although for a product that lists at about $1,000.00 it was slightly annoying).

    I hook it all up, set-up the inputs and the speakers for a 5.1 system. After a quick listen, it definitely gives a feeling of more power than the Onkyo -- and seems to have a cleaner sound at higher volume levels.

    I then try to calibrate the speaker levels using the EZ-set function. This function doesn't seem to work right. The test tone goes from speaker to speaker, but the levels do not change. The test tone goes on and on for maybe 10 minutes - with nothing happening other than the test tone shifting from speaker to speaker. I try again -- no dice. So I calibrate the speakers manually (I have a radio shack SPL meter). No big deal I think, most people say you should calibrate the 525 manually anyway. Again, it is slightly annoying for a $1,000.00 product.

    Then, I start to play around more and notice a problem with the Logic 7 function. On one of the 3 Logic 7 modes there is nothing but a loud thud from the subwoofer. This sounds frightening and almost damaging (indeed, it scared my dog). I steer clear from Logic 7 after that.

    I also notice that when switching sound modes, stereo, surround, dsp, whatever, there is always a slight delay. An annoying second or two before the sound kicks in. With the Onkyo, any sound format switching is practically instantaneous (no annoying delay).

    I then put in a DTS DVD (Lord of the Rings). When skipping around chapters, I notice that it takes a couple of beats for the 525 to lock on the audio. So you miss a second or two when starting a DVD, not a big deal though. Then, when skipping around some more, audio stuttering starts to happen. The video is moving fine, but the audio is stuttering (starting and stopping -- or dropping out intermittantly). The only way to stop it is to stop the DVD (not pause) and start it again. I check another DVD (U571), same problem happens in DTS mode when skipping around to chapters manually. Note that this did not happen with the Onkyo - so I don't think it is the DVD player or the DVD itself.

    At this point I think, perhaps I got a lemon. It is still early (maybe 11:30 am). I call my local Circuit City to see if they have a 525 in stock -- they do, 3 of them in fact! (I picked up the 525 I got on Friday night at a Circuit City near work -- the last one there). So I run out in the pouring rain and do an exchange for another 525. I'm back in 45 minutes.

    I get the new one home and pull it out of the box. Hmm -- same manufacturing date on the back as the one I just exchanged -- September 2002. Hope it is not a bad omen.

    Again, first thing I notice when sitting it on a flat surface, the legs are uneven. This one is not as bad as the other, but the right front leg is still up in the air.

    I hook this one up, do the whole set-up routine for the inputs, etc. Again I try the EZset routine. Again, it does not work. So again I calibrate manually. I try the Logic 7 function. No thud! It appears to work as intended. Okay, maybe I got a good one now -- other than the finicky EZset.

    So then I'm casually reading the 525 manual a little more, and I have the receiver on playing the TV sound at a low volume level. Hmm Dolby Pro-logic II sounds good -- perhaps better than the Onkyo (could be just the program material though). Next thing I know, I hear a buzzing sound to my right, then a click at the front of the room, and the 525 shuts down completely. I then smell smoke in the right front corner of my room.

    Augghghhh!! The horror, the horror! It appears that my right front speaker is toasted. There is definitely a burning smell coming from the back of it. My beloved, less than 2 month old, Paradigm Atom.

    I try to reset the 525. No dice. It just blinks and shuts down. It looks like a murder / suicide by the 525. Took the speaker with it as it went.

    It is now 3:30 pm on Saturday afternoon. My wife had brought home two DVDs for that night, in light of the forecast of non-stop pouring rain the rest of the weekend. There is no way I want to be without one speaker all weekend. I call my Paradigm dealer -- they are open till 5:00 pm. I am there by 4:10.

    They won't exchange my Atom for a new one (but they will fix it, by opening it up and giving me entirely new Atom innards). I'm not thrilled with that policy -- I expected a brand new speaker, but I'm happy they got me out of there by 5:00 pm with a working Atom. Which they insist will sound as good as one fresh out of the box. They did show me my smoking woofer, tweeter and cross-over. Still had a burning smell an hour and a half later too. They tell me that is the best that Paradigm will do -- repair, NOT replace. They also mentioned that the receiver's right front channel (amplifier) must be shot -- and warned me not to try the "new" speaker (or any other one) on that channel.

    Okay, I get home at 5:15 pm (where did my Saturday go?) and try the speaker with my Onkyo now set back up. No sound -- uh oh! I then determine that the speaker wire must be fried too. I re-wire that speaker run. Whew - - my right front speaker works fine again.

    Needless to say -- the Onkyo won the competition hands down. While the HK 525 might have sounded better than the Onkyo when it actually worked as intended, I couldn't get either HK 525 to work as intended, and the 2nd one fried a speaker -- while at at low volume level and doing nothing out of the ordinary.

    I really wanted to like the 525 -- I was sort of hoping it would win. Even my wife thought it "looked sleeker". But there was no way I was going to try a third HK 525 and risk another fried speaker (or other glitches).

    I am pretty sure that had I been able to do an extended listening test, I would have liked the sound of the 525 better than the Onkyo 700. The small amount of testing I could do, seemed to confirm the nice sound and power of the 525. Moreover, it seemed like Pro Logic II sounded more immersive and more envelopment from the surround speakers with the 525 than the Onkyo. Although, perhaps my quick calibration wasn't quite accurate or the program material was simply hotter in the surrounds than what I had listened to with the Onkyo. Unfortunately, I'll never really know for sure.

    Anyone looking at a 525, if you get a good one, keep it. It appears to give a great sound -- when working. Perhaps I got a bad Circuit City run of the 525 -- two different stores, but same manufacture date. This post is not meant to bash Harman Kardon. I'm just relating my experience.
     

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