Did I make a grave mistake with Harman Kardon AVR 120?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by elMalloc, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a small room (12x12) and really crappy philips speakers.

    I needed more optical and svideo inputs so I changed my receiver from philips (100W x 5) to HKAVR-120 (40w X 5).

    I think I'm definitely getting clearer sound out of my bad speakers, but the volume doesn't get pumped up as loud as before (which is OK).

    Now I've gotten more upgraditis and wanted to switch out my front mains for paradigm monitor 7 towers. Now their sensitivity is 90-93 db, but people are telling me I should "save up" for a new receiver if I want to run these - and I feel terrible because I just bought this receiver from onecall.com a month ago...I'm happy with it, but afraid of what people say.

    Anyways I will try to take my receiver into a local store and hook them up to some paradigm towers and see what sound comes out, given I'm in a relatively small room I don't need that much sound to come out for it to be loud to me - I don't play blistering music, I just don't want "squeeek" to come out of the towers because I don't have enough power.

    -ELmO
     
  2. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Elmo, don't listen to those people who say you need a new receiver. Right now, I'm breaking in a pair of Paradigm Reference 40's (Efficiency 89) on a twenty year old Harman Kardon 680I Stereo Receiver. This thing puts out no more than 50 watts per channel, but Harman's are designed to have high current, so the power is actually far greater than what it's rated at. It should have NO PROBLEM driving the Monitor 7's. In fact, I think you will be startled to hear what a difference the good speakers will make in your system. Don't know much about the 120, but if you still feel you don't have enough power, if the receiver has pre-outs (it should if it's that new), you can always get a two channel external amp off E-Bay or somewhere to add the additional power. There's always that option.

    I wouldn't upgrade your receiver just yet. Give the Harman a chance to drive them first. Ask your dealer if you can bring home a pair of Monitor 7's to demo first. That way you'll know. I doubt you have a problem.
     
  3. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the confidence I needed it. I think I will do that in fact, at least ask the local dealer to hook up an HK 40-50W receiver to the paradigm towers in store (or bring my own receiver and ask if I can hook it up). I bet I will be surprised...these speakers I'm using right now sound pretty bad, my car stereo sounds better than my HT (and I use my HT for music and movies) - so that's not a good thing hehe.

    Thanks - good to hear from a harman kardon owner,

    ELmO
     
  4. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Elmo, if it makes you feel any better, I have THREE Harman Receivers. One that's twenty years old I use in my bedroom 2-channel system, An AVR-20II that I used for three years then gave to my Mom for her system and the AVR-35 that I used in my main HT.

    My next upgrade is to separates, but the Harman's have been faithful for 20 years...and I'm only 30!!! Great product.
     
  5. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I concur with Evan.

    It's like a different quality of wattage from the AVR120 because of the amperage in the power supply.
     
  6. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 1999
    Messages:
    1,357
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Those monitor 7s will sound just fine w/ your HK. You will have a newfound respect of what a high-current 40WX5 HK can do.
     
  7. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I run NHT's all around, 86db efficient. Power eaters.

    No problem at ALL!

    Don't listen to the hype.

    HK watts are the real deal.

    Great receivers.

    - CM
     
  8. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I will probably be looking into new speakers, I'm running a 27" non hdtv panasonic and I like it a lot, but once tax refund comes around I might be looking at getting an HDTV. It will either be an HDTV or spend cash on a pair of towers and keep the rest for later.

    I'm playing playstation 2 (hooked up with optical audio), and what does this mean: I'm playing at moderate to low volume, but speakers crackle or fuzz whenever it sounds like the treble is a lot (high frequency) - this couldn't be my receiver (could it?) - I'm playing at a pretty low volume, I'm thinking it's the crap philips speakers I'm using. I should note it doesn't happen much at all, if I play for an hour I may have heard it for 5-10 seconds total. Or it just may be the game, since music CDs sound fine, I haven't listened that much with DVDs yet but they sound fine too.

    Gladiator sounds very clear but I know it can be much better, speakers not handling it well at all times.

    The problem is, are paradigm TOWERS good for music more than theater? Is there another set of mains/sets I should look at if I watch more DVDs than listen to music?

    Thanks,

    ELmO
     
  9. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 1999
    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The difference between 100w and 40w is about 4db at 1watt/1meter away from speakers. Since you are going with a more efficient speaker(93db), you will achieve better db readings than if you went with your old speakers

    1watt: 93db

    2watt: 96db

    .

    .

    .

    32watt: 108db

    Reference peak level if I remember is 105db, so you would hit this with your receiver only putting out 16watt of clean power. Plenty of headroom for those high peaks

    Kevin
     
  10. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Great reply thanks.

    Yet, I think the room level is 93db and the anechoic is 90db. When they mean room, do they mean without obstructions?

    I then calculated 32W for 105dB, what exactly does peak reference level mean? Anyways with a 40W receiver I don't see much room for going higher, but I don't play things that loud anyways - I just don't want to have to strain the speakers or receiver just to get a little louder than average on movies/music.

    When you mean head room for highs, what happens if the speakers are 90dB as stated and that means I'm pushing 32W on a 40w receiver?

    Thanks,

    ELmO
     
  11. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You are not accounting in for seating distance. Most people sit 2-4 meters away. This will result in a 3-6 or was it ?6-12 db? loss. That's plenty of power though. If you don't have enough headroom and there is a dynamic event such as an explosion on screen, the receiver will go into protect or clip, meaning only giving partial power output resulting in speaker damage like the tweeter.

    Despite all this, I don't listen at reference volume very often. Usually a bit lower.
     
  12. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My room is small though 12x12, meaning I can't even get 4 meters away, I sit 3-6 feet away from my system/TV at all times, I can't get any farther.

    Maybe my receiver goes into that protection when I hear high explosions and they sound terrible on the speaker, Ill never know.

    -ELmO
     
  13. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Anything negative about the sound of your system is certainly attributable to the speakers.

    If you can, get a decent pair of bookshelf speakers that you wouldn't mind moving to the surrounds later.

    Paradigm makes tons of great models.

    I watched Toy Story 2 this morning, after calibrating with VE. (I calibrate about once a month, since I believe my speakers are still breaking in, especially the sub.)

    With my NHT's, I have to turn the master to +5db to reach 75 on the meter, trim at 0db.

    Watching TS2 at reference was nearly impossible. Too LOUD, with 86db speakers! I was at the limits of the system, as the speakers started to sound a little compressed and hard, so I backed off 5db to 0 on the master, and it was still very intense, but natural and balanced during softer scenes.

    Good Luck -

    - CM
     
  14. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the replies.
    But what receiver do you own ColinM?
    I think I need one of those meters you are using. I don't really understand what you mean by +5 db and 0 db. I have Video Essentials though but I ran it a long time ago I should do it again (or maybe buy Avia).
    Where can I buy one of these meters, and what should I do with it to get my sound the correct volume as it was intended?
    Thanks,
    ELmO[​IMG]
     
  15. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 1999
    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    just wanted to chime in - my Harmon Kardon AVR75 dolby digital receiver has been BY FAR my most reliable piece of home theatre equipment. it's part of the reason i haven't upgraded to a DTS receiver yet.
     
  16. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't doubt at all that HK is a great receiver brand, but your AVR75 (DTS or not) is 65W x 5. I'm at a lowly 40W x 5, and my room is pretty SMALL so it shouldn't matter that much - I only wish I knew an audiophile in real life so they could check out my receiver and tell me if it's working correctly with these crap speakers...I think it is, but it's too hard to tell with bad speakers.

    -ELmO
     
  17. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My room is 11'2" x 11'6". I use a B&K 307 @150 watts x 7. Lol... (i actually only have a 5.1 setup)
     
  18. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

Share This Page