Harman Kardon Signature 2.0

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt Parnell, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. Matt Parnell

    Matt Parnell Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2002
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm having a really hard time making a decision on whether to buy a Signature 2.0 pre/pro to go with my HK 2.1 power amplifier. I've searched the forums, google, audioreview, and pretty much everything. The problem is that I'm getting conflicting opinions - some people love it, some people say HK is junk. I think part of the problem is some people had defective software versions a few years ago, and that is no longer an issue.

    I've owned a couple of HK components - and I'm very impressed with the quality. Haven't really had any issues (except a refurbed amp I had to exchange). What is the consensus on HK? Is it low-end, mid-grade or what?

    I only have a $500 budget to spend on the pre-amp (lots of other HT gear to buy), and this seems like by far the best value for my money. I also admit this is finally fulfilling my lust for this combo from when I saw it in stores for $3500 several years ago.

    Can anybody (esp. owners) give me a definitive answer as to whether this is a good pre/pro? I don't care about 6.1, and I have to admit the looks of the unit are a big selling point for me. I'd really like to get this matching unit, if it makes sense.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Don't hesitate the Signature 2.0 is a great piece. I almost bought one myself, but I held back because of inadequate S-Video switching for my system and the lack of an onboard AC-3 demodulator for my large LaserDisc collection. If these are not concerns for you, then jump all over the Signature, it's a great piece from what I've read. - And beautiful, too.
     
  3. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    I concur with Phil - except I actually bought one! I like the sound quality. My nOrh 4.0s are a bit bright for my tastes, and the Sig 2.0 warmed them up nicely without losing detail. I also like the gobs of audio inputs. This piece has a really nice feature in that the inputs are not labeled "cd" or "tape" or anything. You just plug your device into whichever input you like and then map that input to the appropriate source on the Sig 2.0. It also allows you to adjust input levels for different sources, in addition to other nice techie things.

    The Sig 2.0 does have a few quirks, most notably: 1- no treble boost, only bass boost and treble cut. This is not a problem for me, as I prefer not to use tone controls. 2- the unit emits an odd little digital buzzing sound when you change the volume. It's sort of like if you operated a remote control into an electric guitar pickup. The unit also does this when it locks onto a sound format that is not the default for the input, i.e. I have Dolby Digital as the default format for the DVD input, and I get the noise when the 2.0 locks onto a DTS track that I've selected. In both these cases it's only a split-second thing. It also can only be heard through my left channel speaker. Weird. 3- the unit can lock up on occasion. I've had mine for a few months and had my one and only lockup in the first few hours during setup. Since it's computer-based, a power off/on solved the problem quite nicely.
     
  4. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    857
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I were you, I would spring for $200 more and try to find a used Citation 5.0. Far superior to the 2.0, even though it looks almost the exact same. They are hard to find, but if you can find one, it is a great deal. No quirks, incredible sound quality, and 6 axis surround (very close competitor to Logic 7)
     
  5. Matt Parnell

    Matt Parnell Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2002
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay, I'm getting reassured then. The citation sounds nice - but I'll probably stick with the HK as I can get it for probably $400-500 on eBay through Harman Audio (w/ 2 year warranty)

    Little quirks like I've heard mentioned don't really bother me.

    Tim - what software version are you using? I heard rumor that they improved (added features) to the bass management in the most recent version, but I don't remember where I read that.

    I also hear that Stereophile did a review of this thing some time back and didn't really like it. Anybody read it? I'd just like to know what they complained about, and if it hand been fixed since then.

    As it stands now, I'll be buying one in a couple weeks when I have the spare cash. Anybody else have any opinions? Thanks guys...
     
  6. TracyB

    TracyB Extra

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just recieved my H/K 2.0 and the Sherbourn amp yesterday and can say they are nice equipments. The 2.0 is a good pre/pro for the money. It did lock up on me once but hasnt happen since. The video inputs are no concern of mine but audio is and this sounds great. I had the Onkyo 797 and this is much cleaner. I only have one problem with it is you cannot boost the treble. How is the Citation much better than this besides the 6 axis suondstage?
     
  7. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Bob Lindstrom
    I owned a Signature 2.0 for a few years and it is a quality piece of equipment. At the price you can purchase it for these days, you honestly can't go wrong.
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  9. chella

    chella Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    How would you interpret the fact that too many of these refurbished/returned units are on e-bay? Currently there are 5 units on e-bay from Return Buy.
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    What defines "too many"? In January there were "too many" Sherwood Newcastle 9080s on uBid and Ebay. I took advantage of the situation and am a happy boy as a result.
     
  11. Greg Haynes

    Greg Haynes Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 1998
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    0
    Look at the recent splurge of Parasound 855's on Ubid & Ebay. The parasound 855 has been highly praised for it's price and performance. Haven't read a negative thing on the amp. So it's hard to say something might be poor if you see alot of them being sold.
     
  12. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Matt, I'm using v2.10a software - which is the most recent that I know of. I don't think it adds anything more to the bass management, but addresses some previous bugs such as volume jumps, etc.
     
  13. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    0
    Matt, if you can find one, get it fast because its increasingly getting harder to find these around, (Right Tim? [​IMG])I think you find it great. I had one for a short time before moving to a EAD. I really like the way the unit worked and looks. Everyone was impressed with and often say "where's the piece with the blue screen" [​IMG] Anyway, it's made very well depsite bad opinions you might hear. Very detailed and dynamic. Small operational quirks like some have mentioned but very nice for the price especially. Yes, it's true that its no Citation but it did retail for $2500 or so when new.
     
  14. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    I currently use the HK for HT duty. I am running my CD player through the Sony TA-P9000es preamp/audio switcher. I like the way it does movies and it's fine in 2-channel. However, I like running my CD passive bypassing all electronics for more signal purity. I also have the Outlaw audio ICBM to take care of the bass management issues. With the ICBM I'm perfectly fine with the HK for for movies.
     
  15. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Right, Keir (wink, wink)... I definitely haven't seen as many lately as I did a few months ago. I would hazard a guess and say that H/K has so many refurbs due to some earlier software issues.
     

Share This Page