H/K 320 Gripes and Praises

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AndrewBest, Sep 25, 2002.

  1. AndrewBest

    AndrewBest Extra

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    OK I've read most of the posts out there concerning the Harman Kardon avr 320. Below is a list of all things good and bad associated with the 320 that I have gathered.

    The Good:
    1) Logic 7
    2) Warm clean sound
    3) Base management (40, 60, 80, and 100 xover freqs.)
    4) Pre IN's for all channels

    The Bad:
    1) 10dB loss in LFE
    2) Spontaneous shut down
    3) OSD look-up (need to reboot)

    Questionable:
    1) compressed highs (do to lack of power)


    If anyone has something they would like to add to either of these two lists, please feel free to do so.
     
  2. StevenK

    StevenK Second Unit

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    Hey Andrew...

    I used to have the 520 and it also did the spontaneous shut down. Onecall and H/K said it was the wiring in my house that was causing it...so you might want to check that. But I've known several people on this board with the x20 series with the spontaneous shutdown problem AND every other receiver I have tried has not had that problem. It may be the H/K amps are "high current" amps, but then again, I'm running a kilowatt amp and I don't get that problem.

    I do agree with you on the warm clean sound, bass management and Pre-INs (KICK @SS!!!).
     
  3. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I have heard the that QC on HKs suck. I remember walking into CC one night and demoing the HK8000 and I too quickly turned the volume knob and the settings jumped to 15 (or 18) db full max. The settings were jumping back and forth between 0 and 18 db but the sound wasn't really cranking back and forth between those levels. It was just the display. When I did it slowly it was much better.

    The sound has always been HKs forte. Compared it to Onk 989 and the moment I switched to the 989 (or was it the one below that) I felt someone poured hot wax into my ears. Musicality wise the 989 didnt even compare to the 8000 (while connected to Polks), and if someone tells me that its my wiring that causes spontaneous shut down, I would scream BS. It is definetly a bug in the HK and not the wiring.
     
  4. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    You are confusing the 320 and 520 a little bit here.

    The 320 does NOT have pre-ins for all channels. The 520 does. The 320 and 520 both have pre-OUT's for all channels, which is why I bought it since I use it as a pre/pro.

    I can't comment on the amp section since I don't use it.

    Also, the 10dB loss in LFE is a problem with dts more than a problem with the unit, although some (but not many) receivers allow you to compensate for it. Either way it's only a problem with dts material.

    last - the Logic7 on the 320 is only applicable to 2-channel sources, NOT 5.1 material. I believe the 520 is the same in this regard.

    btw - I love mine. It performs great as a 6.1 home theater preamp/processor. For that application I couldn't beat it for the price.
     
  5. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    wait - sorry -

    it does have an 8 channel pre-input - what the 520 has in addition is amplifier inputs for all channels so you can use it like a stand alone power amp.
     
  6. Kevin L K

    Kevin L K Second Unit

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    Andrew--I'm not sure where you received your information regarding "compressed highs", but I can tell you that any receiver/amplifier that is being pushed beyond it's reasonable limits will sound "compressed" or will clip."Lack of power" is not the H/K's "fault"--it is the user's fault for not using the receiver in an appropriate situation--meaning inefficient speakers,listening room that is larger then what the particular receiver's power rating should be used for,playing at top volume continuously.That goes for ANY receiver--not just H/Ks.As a matter of fact,H/K is probably one of the best sounding receivers out there at it's price points--not just my opinion--but quite a few others. Just my 2 cents.
     
  7. James Zubb

    James Zubb Stunt Coordinator

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    I have had shutdown about 3 times in the 6 months I have owned my 320. It has always occured when turning on or off a ceiling fan or light. I think the unit is just sensitive to power fluctuations.

    Oh another gripe is the remote sucks.

    I would definately still buy it though if I had to do it over again. Love the sound.
     
  8. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    I've never had a shut down situation w/ my 320.
     
  9. Shion_ca

    Shion_ca Stunt Coordinator

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    I am quite happy with my 320 and in my year of owning it have not had it "mysteriously" shut down on me once. I think it's the best receiver you can buy for the money.

    Regards,
    Shion
     
  10. Bob Friend

    Bob Friend Stunt Coordinator

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    My 520 shut down frequently until I got a UPS. Maybe because they use high current amps. Not sure, but it hasn't shut down since. The HKs seem to be finiky when it comes to the power you feed it from.
     
  11. AndrewBest

    AndrewBest Extra

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    Thank you everyone for your input on the H/K's so far. Keep it coming!

    Kevin, the questionable "compressed highs" issue I got from Home Theater Magazine when they did a review on the AVR 510 around last Christmas. For some reason they just didn't like the high end of this receiver, and gave it a mediocre rating in its performance. And if you go to Ecoustics.com, I found a similar article on the 520 from Gary Raskin's web site. So it caused me to question the performance of the 320 in the high freq. department.

    Referring to the spontaneous shut-down issue, it seems like an outboard power station might be a good investment along with the receiver.
     
  12. Phil M

    Phil M Stunt Coordinator

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    I've never had my 320 shut down either, but I'm only using it as a pre/pro.

    I'll second the poor remote comment.

    I too would buy mine all over again, and I've had Yammy, Denon, & Marantz.

    I've considered switching to the Outlaw 950 or Rotel 1066 but I can't give up the Logic 7, and the very flexible set-up the unit has!

    Phil
     
  13. StevenK

    StevenK Second Unit

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    I really think it's the high current amps that is causing the shut-down, since it seems a UPS helps this problem go away...so H/K is partially correct in blaming the wiring in the house.

    At any rate, I was sad to let my 520 go, but the shutdown problem, lack of DD-EX, overly bright faceplate (seriously...it was actually distracting when watching a movie in a darkened environment!), and bad remote tied my hands. Else, it's a wonderful sounding receiver.

    Phil -- Does L7 on 2-channel source really that much better than DP2? I never really tried it when I had the 520, as I only watched 5.1 material.
     
  14. RobP

    RobP Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd have to agree with you Steven, the faceplate is overly bright. The menu allows you to turn off the display but NOT those annoying green lights all over it which is really the problem. And I'd also add the remote to that con list. Its not too bad when it works but I've had two go bad on me and I'm now on my third remote.
     
  15. Cooper_B

    Cooper_B Agent

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    Another gripe to add, directly from their email support: it has NO analog bypass for regular inputs. This is a dealbreaker for me.

    -------------
    "The AVR320 does not have the analog bypass feature found in the AVR125 and AVR225. The AVR320 will process all audio through its DSP, with the exception of 6/8channel direct inputs which do not apply any bass management settings. I hope this helps.

    Sincerely,
    Harold Kevelos
    Internet Support Specialist"
    --------------

    I like the look of their units (I have the stereo 3470), and the sound, but the surround receivers are definitely colorful. I like the fact that it has 2 coaxial digital inputs and a manual written by somebody with English as a first language.

    -Cooper
     
  16. DonJ

    DonJ Second Unit

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    StevenK Yes Logic 7 is way better than DP2 the difference to me is staggering.

    I have a 320 and it would power off when I turn off the lights. Changed my outlet hasn't happened since.

    Question the 320 is a high current amp so is it a Class A amp??

    I love my 320 would do it all over again. can't beat it in its price range.
     
  17. StevenK

    StevenK Second Unit

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    hmmm...i doubt they would put class A amps into a $500 receiver, but you never know! Class A or not, it's hard to beat H/K amps for the price...
     

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