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Harman Kardon FL 8380??


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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 James C. Jr.

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Posted May 11 2003 - 12:10 PM

Hi,

I am currently looking for a 5-disc CD changer to replaced my broken jukebox model. I found the Harman Kardon FL 8380 refurbished from their website for $149. I was originally looking to spend about $250 and was looking at this model even before I found it refurbished. Does anyone have this model? Would purchasing it refurbished from the manufacturer be a good idea? Could I do a lot better for $250? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Jim

#2 of 6 KeithH

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Posted May 11 2003 - 12:21 PM

James, I believe Harman/Kardon provides a good warranty with its refurbished components, but check their web site for details. Harman/Kardon is a reputable company, so I would expect them to do things right. That said, I try to avoid refurbished components because one usually does not know what was wrong with them. I also don't like my components to have blemishes, as I can't help but wonder if whatever caused the blemishes (e.g., rough impact) could have affected things under the hood.

If you can spend $250-300, take a look at the Sony CDP-CA70ES and Denon DCM-380 carousel changers. The 'CA70ES retails for $300, but you should be able to get it for less through Oade Bros. (1-229-228-0093 or 1-229-229-4480), OneCall (1-800-340-4770), or J&R Music World (1-800-221-8180). It's a very good player for the money.

The Denon '380 sells for $300 and is also a good player at its price point. It performs HDCD decoding, which you might like to have. I don't feel that HDCD decoding is absolutely necessary, but others may disagree.

For more on the 'CA70ES and '380, go to www.crutchfield.com . Also, you might check out the Marantz CC4300, which sells for around $300. I haven't used this player, but I have used its recent predecessors, and Marantz makes a solid changer. In particular, Marantz changers have a very solid changer mechanism. They sound a bit warm to my ears using the analog outputs, but that can be a benefit with some CDs.

In the end, I would go with the Sony, Denon, or Marantz changer over the Harman/Kardon unit. H/K changers have never impressed me. I don't think the sound quality there stacks up against the others I mentioned. Just my $0.02.
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#3 of 6 Sathyan

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Posted May 12 2003 - 12:24 PM

My brother used to have this (now upgraded to Music Hall CD25). He used it with a Roksan Kandy integrated amp and Mirage speakers. The HK changer sounded pretty good better than the Sony ES (playing regualr CDs not SACD) and Denon I've listened to. A somewhat laid-back sound. It had to be serviced twice in the course of a year which HK paid.

HK gives full warranty with its refurbs so I would not worry (maybe this fixed common problems when refurbishing). IMHO this is the best CD player you can get for $200. It has a good DAC (BB) with HDCD decoding.

For $250-300 I would consider adding high-rez capability. At these price points you are buying features not quality.

Negatives would be a bit slow on changing discs and no optical output (uses coax)


#4 of 6 James C. Jr.

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Posted May 12 2003 - 02:08 PM

Kieth, Sathyan,

Thank you both for your feedback. I am currently looking into the Denon DCM-380, which I think might be the way to go. I have found this model for about $230 shipped from several on-line retailers, which seem reputable. Anyone elso own or have comments on the Deonon? It seems that the opinions and features provided by the Denon 380 surpass the HK, although the Sony CA70ES has many a follower. Again, thank you both for your posts. So, Denon DCM-380 or Sony CA70ES, any ideas? I'm leaning toward the Denon due to its lower price. Good idea?

Jim

#5 of 6 KeithH

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Posted May 12 2003 - 11:18 PM

James, I don't think you can go wrong with the '380 or 'CA70ES. Note that the 'CA70ES comes with a five-year warranty. That's nice to have. Also, not that Denon does not authorize mail-order sales from too many dealers. In fact, the only two dealers that are authorized for mail-order sales are Crutchfield (www.crutchfield.com) and 6th Avenue Electronics (www.6ave.com). If you buy from an unauthorized dealer and have a problem with the player, you may have a problem getting warranty coverage.

I didn't mention this in my earlier post, but one other player you ought to look at is the Sony SCD-C222ES SACD/CD changer. It retails for $500, but you should be able to get it for $350 through J&R Music World (1-800-221-8180), Oade Bros. (1-229-228-0093 or 1-229-228-4480), or OneCall (1-800-340-4770). All three are authorized Sony ES mail-order dealers. The 'C222ES is a very good CD player, and SACD is a bonus. Build quality is also solid. In my opinion, the 'C222ES would be a better buy than the other models we have been discussing. For more on the 'C222ES, go to www.crutchfield.com .
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Main Stereo and HT Systems ;
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Planned Upgrades and Additions "You know, the tomato never took off as a handfruit."- George Costanza

#6 of 6 Rich Malloy

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Posted May 13 2003 - 03:39 AM

I used to have an HK FL8-something multidisc changer, and the changer went screwy after a couple of years and finally kaput after a couple more (wouldn't exchange discs, wouldn't release them or read them... had to open it up twice to extract CDs). It gave me a good excuse to upgrade to an SACD/CD player, so I wasn't terribly bothered, but I did discover at least some anecdotal evidence (steve hoffman forums and audioreview, I believe) that this was not an unusual problem with the model.

It sounded good, but may have some design flaws that make it less than reliable in the long run. Again, I don't know if it's the exact same player, but I'd look into this before buying.

And I'd recommend you at least consider SACD capability with your next CD player. In many ways, it's reawakened my love for recorded music. One thing I'm sure of: the HK didn't sound quite as good as my Sony C555ES playing CDs, and didn't even approach the quality of sound I get from SACD playback.
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