HK 520 or HK 525

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by GaryMil, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. GaryMil

    GaryMil Stunt Coordinator

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    I currently have a HK520 that I'm using as pre/pro. I like the fact that I can reassign the internal amps which I have done to power my Rockustics. I can re-assign 2 more amps if I decide to go to 7.1. I paid $399 from CC (open box) and the unit has worked flawlessly except for a problem with the volume control knob. When turning the knob rapidly to lower the volume, the volume occasionally goes up or stays the same. HK was notified and will fix the problem at no cost. I'm also still within the 30 day return period.

    Onecall has the HK525 B-stock for $499. Besides the 2 extra amps, DD EX and triple crossover, would I gain a significant improvement in sound if I swapped out recievers? I would lose the ability to re-assign amps with the 525 but I think I can re-assign the rear surrounds to power the patio speakers, but then I would lose the ability to to go 7.1 in the future unless I get another external amp.

    For $100, is it worth it? Is DD EX that important? Does the 525 offer superior sound to the 520? If yes, is it drastically superior?
     
  2. Stephen Dodds

    Stephen Dodds Second Unit

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    I'd keep the 520. The ability to reassign all the amp channels more than makes up for any slight sonic improvements the 525 may or may not have.

    Steve
     
  3. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Ditto.
     
  4. DerrickW

    DerrickW Stunt Coordinator

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    525 pros: DD EX and triple crossover.
    520 pros: main-in amps and no fan.

    i wouldn't change to the 525 for sound quality, especially with the power supply split to 7 instead of 5 channels and the fan. but if you have 7.1 the dd ex is good and the triple crossover is particularly helpful if you want to run your mains lower.

    what is the deal on the b-stock? what is wrong with them? and how come i never noticed that on onecall before? i was considering grabbing a 520 from them for about the same price.
     
  5. mike_doyle

    mike_doyle Agent

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    No No No... the X20 line is definitely better then the x25 line. unless you need your receiver to power 7 channels there is no reason to move to the 525.

    The loss of main ins is one big factor here. I auditioned them side by side and DD EX sounded the same as DD to me.

    Just my 2 cents
     
  6. DerrickW

    DerrickW Stunt Coordinator

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    Huh? DD EX and DD will obviously sound the same on 5 speakers... but in 6.1/71??? Its a format that simply can't be decoded on the 520.

    I don't know how to say which is "better" since they are VERY similar. Main ins is important to some people, but many will never use it. 7 channels is important to some people, but some will never use it. To many people, triple crossovers is a BIG difference, which would make the 525 better. The fan is something that scares me, but is reportedly very quiet.

    To me, I'd be using all external amps either way. So it is only a matter of price, DD EX, and bass management. I am considering both these, and will likely base my decision on my selection of speakers (ie if I want the flexibility to run my mains lower than the other speakers I'd get the 525, otherwise I'll save the money).

    So I don't think its fair to say "definitely" better, unless you consider the application and of course the price which is often $200 cheaper for the 520 [​IMG]
     
  7. Joseph_Mikhail

    Joseph_Mikhail Stunt Coordinator

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    Just changed out my 520 with a 525. I really like the 525 better. I really think they did a better job with the pre-amp section of the 525. The sound seems much fuller than before. The 520 is a great unit too. But I couldn't be happier with my 525. Except that the first unit was defective. [​IMG]
     
  8. DerrickW

    DerrickW Stunt Coordinator

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    Who wants to crack both cases open and compare the pre-amp? Rumor was the 525 amp section has the same power supply as 520, so per channel performance is down. This move to 7 channels also necessitated the fan.
     
  9. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    Derrick, I bet the power supply has changed, or at least the transformer has. It is basicly the same chassis as the 520, but it put on a few pounds. Much more than just a fan. The 2 channel performance is the same as 520, and I haven't seen a 5 channel spec, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is the same as the 520. Could also explain why it may sound better than 520, when not using all seven speakers.

    JohnS
     
  10. DerrickW

    DerrickW Stunt Coordinator

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    I have read either here or AVS that the amp section is the same, just plus two channels and fan. For 2 channel, this really doesn't matter. For those of us using separate amps, it really really doesn't matter. I'd really like to know if the pre-amp is any better.
     
  11. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    The amp channels could be exactly the same, just mounted to a channel heatsink with a fan. Would make sense, a tried and proven electrical design, repackaged to squeeze the 2 additional channels, in the same size box.

    If someone can identify the preamp boards in the units, outside of them being identical looking, you wouldn't be able to tell if they are better. Could have the exact same circuit, just re-spun to fit a different size board. A close look at the detailed specs might give better clues.

    While it may be starting to hit diminishing returns, a larger power supply transformer should improve 2 channel performance. Look at the power supplies in the separate amps. They are huge compared to receiver transformers, but its hard to find one at equivalent output specs. If they went with 2 transformers (unlikely due to space constraints) it may not improve anything, if both channels were off the same transformer.

    JohnS
     

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