H/K stereo receiver HK3380....Opinions?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by dennis_, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. dennis_

    dennis_ Extra

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    I'm in the market for a stereo receiver.....thats right, old school two channel. I feel like I'm the only one left that still has a room that I can listen to just music, no multi-channel bells and whistles, just simplicity.

    I'm not very familiar with Harman Cardon, so I'd like a little info, like quality, durability and ease of use as well as customer service.

    I found a receiver(HK-3380), that would suit my needs, at a price that I can afford. Does anyone have personal experience with this unit? I'd like to make an educated decision, since I use my system every day, I rarely watch TV/Movies. Also, what kind of speakers (bookshelf) would mate nicely with this unit?

    Thanks for the input...

    Dennis
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    Harmon Kardon is a good name, they get some reliability knocks, but I have delt with scores of their products over the years and I don't share that opinion, every H/K piece I have delt with seemed rock solid.


    That stereo AVR looks killer by the way.....
    Always curious I looked it up:


    http://www.harmankardon.com/hk_3380.htm


    I'll bet it's the hardest rocking 80 watts imaginable. [​IMG]

    Stereo sub outs too. I like it.
     
  3. dennis_

    dennis_ Extra

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    I thought it looked pretty cool, retro and modern at the same time...
     
  4. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    A friend has one, 4 years old now and still cooks with JBL 2-ways.

    If you can get JBL S38's, go for it. I have Athena B1's, they are fine. B2 would be a bit better. NHT SuperOne's were also good.


    Anything, really.
     
  5. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Here's my opinion:

    1) While the 3380 has subwoofer pre-outs, the receiver does not allow you to set the crossover frequency.

    2) Personally, I'd look at a used AVR-330, 430, etc. Even though you are not going to use all the channels, at least you'll have some control over the subwoofer and be able to set the crossover point of where you want your main speakers to leave off and the sub to take over.

    Then again, if you just plan on running full-range speakers with this receiver - and never intend on using a subwoofer, you should be good-to-go. [​IMG]
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Rest assured you are not. [​IMG]

    I've got a 3270 that's at least 4-5 years old that is 100% perfect. I love it. I especially like that it has a high quality PHONO preamp built in.

    My brother Pat has the same 3270 and uses it to power his home studio monitors. Make sure you pronounce it right, "HARMOOOON KARDOOON".

    I have to say - I don't like to see the video switching there. What's that needed for?

    As far as speakers, I've heard four different sets of speakers through this receiver.

    (1) An ancient (circa 1983) set of Interaudio (Bose) SA300 speakers
    (2) One set of B&W 601S2 in my brothers' studio.
    (3) One set of old Mirage speakers that (I can't remember the model number - old 90s B&W 601 competitor) I now use as rears in my home theater.
    (4) A pair of full range tower Wharfedale Modus 1.6 - the current speakers in my office/music room.

    Every speaker sounded great with this very honest neutral receiver. I personally like the B&Ws best but I'm partial to B&Ws in general. [​IMG]

    Onkyo also makes nice stereo receivers in their "Integra" line. Not sure about price. They also have nice stuff in their standard line but they use clip connectors for speaker terminals. Pioneer Elite has a nice integrated amp also.

    I agree with Wayne that if you're planning on running a subwoofer an AVR with an active crossover may be a better choice. If it's like mine, there is no crossover network of any kind on the 3380, just a sub out. The radio in my 3270 is nothing to write home about but is sufficient for my needs, if you're looking for a high performance radio radio keep that in mind.

    Great prices on refurbished H/K stuff at http://www.harmanaudio.com . Watch the shipping prices though.
     
  7. dennis_

    dennis_ Extra

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    I use full range speakers alone, so I don't really need a sub. Went out yesterday to some home audio shops, did a little hands-on research. Yeah, what is with the video switching section on the H/K? To me, thats not top priority in a stereo unit. I did mess with some Onkyo units. I have to say I was impressed with the sound and layout. Even the 50w per channel $150 model (TX-8011 I think)amazed me as far as sound quality, teamed up with some JBL's. I also liked the fact that it had a phono section. Does anyone have personal experience with Onkyo stereo units? I know they've been around for a while.
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    My father-in-law has a stereo Onkyo, which I recommended to him when he lost his receiver in a thunderstorm. It has served very well for at least 3 years and is a good product. His is not the "Integra" just the basic Onkyo model (8011 I think) and it sounds fine and has been reliable (though it's very young). Occasionally he likes to run it loud with 4 speakers on both A and B, including a pair outdoors, for parties, and it handles the power needs with aplomb.
     
  9. dennis_

    dennis_ Extra

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    I guess I might have to go the Onkyo route. I was also looking at the Sherwood newcastle RX-675. I can't find any place that I can test it out in person. Thanks for the info!
     
  10. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Dennis,

    Nothing wrong with the HK, and the lack of subwoofer pre-out can easily be remedied by buying a sub with high level inputs and built in crossover.

    However, if there's a Circuit City in your neck of the woods I'd give the pure digital Panasonic sa-xr55 a spin, about $250 I think. Yes it's 7.1 but many people buy it just for 2-channel music, it's in a whole other ballpark than the usual analog receivers. Plus it allows you to use the unused extra amps to bi-amp your mains, and you can actually adjust the speaker level of the tweeters vs. the woofer(s) to avoid any undue brightness (tweeters are much more efficient than woofers so you want to give them less juice than woofers during bi-amping).

    There's a 33 page thread on this receiver on the avsforum.com and also a big one in the ecoustics.com forum that you might want to look at. A few months ago I was raving about my NAD separates but this little $250 marvel shockingly leaves it in the dust.
     
  11. dennis_

    dennis_ Extra

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    Wow, I'll have to take a run down the street to circuit city.....thanks for the info!
     
  12. John S

    John S Producer

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    Yep, nothing wrong with running 2 channel on a 7.1 piece of equipment. Just gives more power available for the 2 amps your using for sure.
     
  13. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    I use a Denon DRA-685 stereo receiver for my 2 channel set-up. I got a refurbished unit for less than $300. It works like a champ.
     
  14. dennis_

    dennis_ Extra

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    I went and looked at some other receivers, and I keep coming back to the onkyo. The simplicity of the onkyo is the determining factor. Circuit city is putting their new models out pretty soon, so I might be able to get a unit for around $100. Thanks for all of the help!
     
  15. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    A friend has an old onkyo stereo receiver thats 15+ years old now. You've made wise decision.
     
  16. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    I used to have an Onkyo 601, returned it for a Marantz 5400. Onkyo like Sony has great ease of use, unfortunately their music performance left a great deal to be desired. Plus they are infamous for outrageously inflating their RMS numbers, along with Sony and Yamaha.

    http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Holl...vsac.htm?20055

    Buy both the Onkyo and the Panny and AB them, you'll see what I'm talking about. The extra $150 is worth every penny IMHO.
     

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