Harman Kardon AVR520. Can it do all these things...?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ricky T, Jan 3, 2002.

  1. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Some questions for HK AVR520 owners:

    1) Mains-in/Preouts for all 5 amp channels? If yes, then I can reroute the front 3 amp channels to drive the zone2 speakers and one rear center?

    2) Zone2 remote control with independent audio/video source and volume control?

    3) Derive a rear center signal (aka DD-EX) for 6.1 dolby digital dvds?

    4) For 2 channel sources (ie, DSS), the rears are more active with Logic 7 than DPL2?

    5) Can Logic 7 use the rear centers (ie, become a 7 channel DSP) with 2 channel sources?

    6) Did you experience any defects or quirks? Some recent HK products have had some quality control, design problems.

    7) Volume control adjustments between sources so all sources play the same loudness at the same receiver volume level? The Onkyo 989 has this (called Intelligent Volume at +/- 12 for each source).

    Thanks,

    Ricky
     
  2. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Bump. Come on guys, I know some of you own the 520, or the 320.
     
  3. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I have the 500 but I think I can answer some of the questions

    1. yes as to the pre outs for seperate amps and 6 channel direct for DVD Audio or multi channel SACD.

    2. I can't answer that one

    3. yes, infact when my bills get a little under control this is the very reason why I want this model and the pre-out for the rear center channel is not just for DD-EX but for DTS discrete as well.

    4. yes, the best thing that ever happened to two channel stereo, both Logic 7 and DPL 2 takes information from the front two channels and uses an algorithim that directs the sound to the rear speakers simulating 5.1 surround. It works, believe me it works, you'll never listen to old DPL again.

    5. yes, in my set up using an old DPL receiver for psuedo ex set up, I engaged the rear center channel with logic 7 and you can tell it works, stereo surrounds as logic 7 would produce it and anything that would be in both surround speakers would be in the rear center channel. You just have to turn it up a bit more.

    6 and 7 I can't really answer but I hope what I laid down will help.
     
  4. Sheldon

    Sheldon Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Hey Bro! Hope you guys had a good trip. I don't own one but I did research on this piece.

    1) Yes, Main ins on all 5 amp channels.

    2) Zone 2 - yes. Level of control, I'm not sure.

    3) No. The main flaw with this piece. The only way to get a rear center signal with DD material is to use the DVD's 2 channel track, and use the HK's DPL2 or L7 processing, both of which have 7 channel modes.

    4) Don't know if L7 has more "active" surround action, but I do know that the "full" version of DPL2 (which your Onkyo does have BTW) has user adjustments which would allow for a higher degree of surround action. Try your DPL2 Music Mode (not Movie Mode) on a few movies (Mr. Fosgate himself likes it this way) and adjust play with the rear-to-front level adjustment.

    5) Yes. 7 channel playback in L7 & DPL2 from 2 channel sources, both analog & PCM.

    6) Can't answer this one.

    7) I doubt it. Most flagship receivers (other than your Onkyo) don't even have this feature. You're currently spoiled with your Onyko (great piece).

    Rich B.
     
  6. Scott Pagac

    Scott Pagac Stunt Coordinator

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    I currently have the 520 on order, so I can not confirm a whole lot, but this is what I have found through reading the manual and a couple of other posts in the forum...

    DD-EX is not really a direct option with this receiver (even though, from what I understand, DTS-ES is supposed to decode DD-EX, but H/K did not implement this feature). What I am planning on doing is using my old JVC DD receiver to power the rear surround speakers. I will take the rear surround outs from the 520 and connect them to an audio input on the JVC for Logic 7 and DTS-ES. I will then take the surround outs from the 520 and connect them to another audio input on the JVC, switch it in to ProLogic mode, and (hopefully) extract a "homebrew" DD-EX mix.

    I really do hope this works. It is more work than what I was hoping to go through, but if it does the job, I will be happy.

    Also, as far as I can tell, there are no adjustments for DPLII. You get 3 modes to choose from (Music, Movie, and Emulation), but no adjustments.

    --Scott
     
  7. Greg Robertson

    Greg Robertson Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got this receiver, but I'm not using it for 6.1 nor zone 2 operation. However, the manual does seem to imply that zone 2 has it's own independant source and volume control (unless both are using the tuner, in which case the same station will play in both zones).

    As for DD-EX, there doesn't seem to be any way of doing it with this receiver alone. But again, I'm using it in 5.1 mode.

    The only adjustment I've found for DPL2 is surround delay.

    Question 7 is a negative.

    I haven't had any problems with the unit, runs great and no quirks yet.
     
  8. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    For #2, yes the remote does those things. The only real drawback is that the source and volume IR codes are the same as for the main 'zone 1'. The zone 2 IR codes are only recognized as such if they come in through the Zone 2 IR input minijack on the back of the receiver, so you absolutely require a remote IR receiver for it to work properly.

    H/K offers the HE1000A for about $100.
     
  9. RobP

    RobP Stunt Coordinator

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    For #7, Each source does have its own speaker volume adjustments at +/-10. So each source can be manualy adjusted to the same volume. I have not had any problems with the unit itself although the remote's backlit capabilities stopped working after only a couple weeks of use. I had to replace it and I haven't had any problems with it since. I am using this reciever for 5.1 and for that purpose I like it very much and would highly recommend it. It's design has been very well thought out and has many features I love which I will not get into detail about. But if you are looking for a 7.1 setup you might be better looking elsewere, because while this unit has Dts ES Matrix & Discrete it lacks DD EX and amplification for rear channels.

    Rob
     
  10. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your responses. Quick background. I have an Onkyo 989, and outboard amps for the front speakers (two citation 5.1s bridged to 300x3 for my NHT 3.3/AC2 front, remaining 100x2 drives two passive nht sw3p subs). Due to rack space constraint, I'd like the receiver to have at least mains-in/preouts for 3 channels so I can "redirect" 3 receiver amp channels to drive my single rear center and a pair of zone 2 speakers in my dining room (Energy Take 2).

    Yes, it sounds a little crazy going from the Onkyo 989 to a $1k HK, but the 520 has a few things the Onkyo doesn't: 7 channel Logic 7 (if it sounds better than DPL2), volume control for zone 2 (I currently use a separate stereo preamp). And I've done crazier things in this hobby!

    Most of my system usage is direct TV, so Logic 7 might be awesome. But the lack of any ability to play back AC3 5.1 into a 6/7 speaker setup sucks...I do watch some PPV in AC3 and would like seamless sound processing (which an outboard processor for the rear/rear centers might not provide).
     
  11. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Stunt Coordinator

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