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a little comparative shopping (1 Viewer)


Jul 22, 2009
Real Name
Mike Ager
Hello, I currently have a Harman Kardon AVR 325 and I'm considering replacing it with a Pioneer Elite VSX52TX; is this a good idea?

I've read the specs on both many times, and all the reviews are great for both. Biggest differences appear to be the wattage (HK@ 50watts x 7 / Pioneer@ 110watts x7) and the pioneer has an auto-calibration microphone which gets mixed reviews.

My HK goes too loud for my apartment as it is so the wattage is less of a concern. Anyone here know both units enough to tell which may sound better?

thanks for the help!

Sam Posten

HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Oct 30, 1997
Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
Real Name
Sam Posten
There's going to be a realllly small set of people with those two exact models Mike. Please don't get too frustrated with HTF if you don't get too many responses on that one!

gene c

Senior HTF Member
Aug 5, 2003
Bay area, Ca
Real Name
I can come kinda close. I've had an H/K 520 for 7-8 years now and love it. The only thing I would replace it with for under $1000 is an old 8000. Maybe. I also bought an H/K EQ-8 equalizer (the 520 has Pre-Out's and Amp-In's so the EQ works with all input sources). Those two together can work wonders.

In another room I've also had a Pioneer 1014 a few years ago which is nearly identical to the Elite 52 tx. I was never able to get the MCACC to work for me so I set the eq manually. Also, the Component up-conversion never worked very well for me either so video sources were sent straight to the tv. Other than that it was a fine receiver and I actually liked some of the surround processing like Sports and Advanced Music which is rare. Those kind of things usually don't sound very good. Only real down-side was it didn't have a way to choose the Multi Channel Input on the remote so you had to get up and push a button on the front panel. Trivial but irritating. Eventually I replaced it with an Elite 59txi which is an absolute beast. I'm currently auditioning an Elite 94thx and 58-dva and I'm still on the fence whether to keep the 59 or the 94.

Even though most members feel that sound quality between similarly priced receivers isn't worth fussing over (and I can't argue with them) I really like the way older H/K's sound. Not sure why, I just do. And the 75 wpc 520 was definitely more powerful than the 110 wpc 1014 but not enough for it to be a factor. The 52 will have a few more features but I would stay with the 325. But then again I'm just another knucklehead on the internet so take it for what it's worth.

What have you got for speakers and a sub? Might be better off spending your money there.

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