Harman Kardon vs. Onkyo Receivers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Paul.J, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. Paul.J

    Paul.J Auditioning

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    I just picked up an Onkyo TX-SR501 receiver the other day, and I'm wondering how much better the Harman Kardon AV 130 model would be. I really love the design and the light up volume control on the HK (Ok, so I'm easy to impress) but from things I have heard HK is a better brand for receivers than Onkyo.

    Anyone have any input on the two models and if I'm making a wise choice or not?
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Both will get the job done....it is just that with HK there power ratings are more accurate.
     
  3. eryn shannon

    eryn shannon Stunt Coordinator

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    Both are good brands, no one better than the other. They sound different but that is for each individual to decide which sound they like better. Some people like detailed and lively sound and others like warm and rich sound. Other factors that determine which one will sound better to you in your home are room acoustics, speakers, and source components.
     
  4. Paul.J

    Paul.J Auditioning

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    I really do like the Harman Kardon better from an aesthetic standpoint, so even if it sounds about the same I'd be happy, but I read that the HK has a rating of 45 watts per channel, where the Onkyo is 65 watts per channel. Is that going to make a big difference in terms of sound quality? Or is the Onkyo claim just inflated and likely no better?
     
  5. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I can't speak to Harman Kardon, but I have an Integra DTR 6.4 (gussied up Onkyo 701) and I think it's great. There is a link in a thread on power ratings that shows the Harman Kardons are closer to their claimed specs than Onkyo, but there is more to the story than specs alone (just like in cars). H/K have a pretty solid reputation and you'd likely be happy with either one. Let your ears decide (try to listen to each through your own, or similar speakers).

    Good luck.
     
  6. eryn shannon

    eryn shannon Stunt Coordinator

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    Both are honest ratings, however in order to hear an audiable difference in volume (3db) the wattage must be doubled. In other words the difference in wattage is insignificant. As far as how they sound the onkyo is on the bright side of neutral while the HK is warm sounding.
     
  7. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    I have an Onkyo 510 that came with there HTiB. As far as I can tell from the specs, it is a 501 that has been tested differently and maybe had some changes so they could say 100Watts per channel. Other than the confused way that it does Large/Small speaker settings I really like it. Plenty of headroom. I was watching Underworld this morning at reference levels and there was no problems. Plenty of space left to turn it up even more. I have no personal experience with H/K, but it is sure nicer looking than my black box.
     
  8. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I have the Onkyo ht-500 from the ht-650 htib and it does have a more powerful amp than the 501. As for H/K verses Onkyo, I would give the edge slightly to H/K. The 130 also retails for $100 more than the 501 so hopefully it would perform a little better. As for power, the Onkyo might be a little louder, but the H/K would be loud enough and sound a tad bit better IMO. The 501 seems to be a very good entry level receiver from what others here have posted in the past. And I'm very happy with my HT-500. Volume nob goes from 0-93 and I never go past 75. I also have a two year old H/K 520 but it's closer to this years 430 so a comparison to the 501 would be unfair.
     
  9. JEEPSTER2009

    JEEPSTER2009 Auditioning

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    Not speaking for Onkyo but have considerd bying one, but for HK you will get percise clean amplified power. Most manufactures tend to inflat there specs as far as output is concernd but HK does not and they don't need to in return has a better DB rating than most also which makes much more clarity at a lower volume...I am about to purchase my 6th HK receiver and and ecited doin so. I have had other brand name recievers such as Yamaha and Pioneer which I have been happy with but WITH hk you can not go wrong for performance realiability and over all quality. Good luck!
     
  10. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    CONGRATULATIONS !!! You are the winner of "The oldest thread responded to award". :huh:
    8 years and 8 months !!!
     
  11. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I thought it was called...
    "Resurrection of a dead thread..."
     
  12. lookyloo

    lookyloo Auditioning

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    Compare both side by side I own Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha, and HK I find the HK warmer sounding than all of the others.... I have an onkyo running my surround sound in the LR
     
  13. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    And what exactly does "warmer sounding" mean?
     
  14. lookyloo

    lookyloo Auditioning

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    HK seems to have more depth to the sound ( deeper bass and more separation ) Reason for the Onkyo in the LR was a got a great Deal on it and having been moving around the country so any extra money I may have had went into moving
     
  15. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    So the HK provides a higher damping factor then...??? (sitting back for this one...)
     
  16. lookyloo

    lookyloo Auditioning

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    Well I'm glad you're sitting back for this one ... When I was selling home audio I sold by what sounded good. I was never a specs person since ratings like 100watts or 8x's oversampling were gimmick phrases. Speakers and amplifiers all sound different. I have nothing to prove I just stated an opinion and since I sold and own product I thought I'd put out my opinion. If its wrong please tear apart my comments it's a free world I'm okay with that ... I sold MidFi for Circuit city ( limited product ) and Goodguy's ( more product but restricted to Calif. ) I had a a/b switch that allowed me to use the same speakers with different amps or a single reciever or amp with different speakers and same settings. Cheaper recievers tended to produce treble easily and had a difficult time with Bass. Higher end product tended to have more seperation and produced bass easier. Take what you want from that info...
     
  17. kvining

    kvining Auditioning

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    Just a short comment, I run Onkyo and Harman power amps together and they complement each other in a remarkable way, at least to my ear, they sound better running together than they do run standalone.
     

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