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520 Vs 525 Part II

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Doug Brewster, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

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    Well, on second glance:

    The weight is not evenly distributed in the 525, just has more of it on the right than the 520.

    Sound: Detail... MUSIC is wonderful. Warm, rich and detailed. Works well in both 2 channel and Logic 7. Very smooth. More musical than the 520 (which does rather well itself). I still see this as a step up from the 520.

    Home theater still sounds better separated. It images well... But... The bass is boomy and the highs are way too bright. If I adjust the bass management, this can be controlled but the there is a total loss of punch in the bass and the whole thing comes through as very bland. It really puzzles me. Analog 2-channel music is so good and the dts and Dolby Digital are so bad. I will say that this came through FedEx and, as has been true in my previous shipments from them, the box was badly warn. It appearred to have been dropped, the sides rubbed, and things had definitely been on top of it. The inside was intact, with no broken foam or holes through the box. UPS has generally done a better of job (by appearances) in handling packages delivered to my house. The 520 came by UPS and looked great. Maybe the 525 was beaten up and got something knocked out of adjustment or cracked. I don't know. I do know that the sound quality was very bad. It reminded me of my old Denon 2500 - thin, and boomy. While the Denon tended to be bright, the HK was so bright with some things that it was irritating. Someone in another thread indicated that they had listened to an HK and it made their ears hurt. I would have to agree regarding the 525 (in home theater, but music was entirely opposite). It defies explanation.

    The fan: Never came on so I have no idea if it's quiet, noisy, or even functional.

    I still like the remote. It is easy to program (including the fact that it will automatically find a code that works for a component, even though the component may not be listed). It will give you a numerical readout of a code so you can write it down in case you erase it. Most of the keys will accept an assignment and therefore, for anything but basic functions, you don't have to reach for another remote. It can even have the component buttons reassigned (i.e., I used a different bass management setting and audio out for listening to music on the DVD player than for home theater. I re-identified the CD as another DVD and then entered these settings). It also has a "type of" SPL, which is good enough for my situation. I don't have to buy another one to get some type of reasonable adjustment to my speaker levels.

    The bad things about the remote include the odd shape, unusual number key rows (4 instead of 3 numbers per row), the VERY small buttons, and the generally cheezy look and feel.

    Finally:

    I said before that I could live with the 520 and consider it one of the better A/V receivers made (capable of both good music and home theater. That is what I have decided to do.

    I returned it to my local Costco. The girl behind the desk encouraged me to return the 520 if, in awhile, they again have an HK product I'd rather have. I got all the shipping costs returned to me. It was still a painful experience. I am very disappointed that it didn't work out differently. I doubt that this receiver is what a good 525 sounds like. I do know I couldn't live with it.

    Doug
     
  2. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

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    Just a little more detail and a little less objectivity:

    The music in the 520 is a step-up from what I had before that, but the 525 was exactly what I wanted. I listened to Linda Ronstadt's "Lush Life" over and over. It was really amazing. Warm, smooth, inviting, detailed, and the bass was "real" - deep and clear. No mud, no over-emphasis.

    The home theater was unbearable. I could really relate to your feelings re: ear pain. They was a passage of Aaron Neville's "Devotion" that, when heard in dts(my DVD player won't do DVD audio), nearly drove me from the room. A cymbal (?synthesized) would chime in. I was surprised that my Beagle didn't howl. The bass was just loud noise. The only really positive things were the placement of sounds - you could visualize things distinctly moving around, and the video - appeared a little brighter and truer. Initially I had very high expectations.

    So now I'm back to the 520. The music, particularly in 2 channel, is quite good and it's a pleasure to listen to music in my living room (since July, when I got the receiver). The home theater is also quite good and a major improvement over what I had before the 520 (which would be expected, having stepped up from DPL to DPLII, DD, dts, and Logic7). However, I can't help but think, "What if", about the 525.
     

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