Harmon Kardon Price

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Vince. V, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. Vince. V

    Vince. V Agent

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    I recently spent $899 (CAN) on a HK AVR 230, is this out of the ball park, its on sale a week later for $850, the AVR330 is $1149.99 the AVR 430 is $1334.99 . there were also Yamaha HTR-5590, HTR-5560. Sony STR-DE995 . the Yamaha 5590 was comparable in price to the AVR 230, which is better? Should i bite for the bigger AVR 430? or stick with what I have.

    will be powering

    2-Athena ASF2- fronts
    2-Athena ASB1- surrounds
    1-Athena ASC-1 centre

    and a AS-P400 most likely

    1334.99 for a reciever seems steep.[​IMG]
     
  2. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    I believe $900 is list (or thereabouts) for the HK in Canada; in other words you should probably be able to do a bit better. Don't buy from Future shop [​IMG]

    cannot recommend about which model of receiver, but listening to what comes out the AVR (sound quality) should be one of your main concerns, and features may be another.
     
  3. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    This may be painful to hear, but the AVR230 retails for $379.88. After conversion, it's about half of the full Canadian retail on it, which is $949.

    H/K is a terrible buy in Canada. Even the WHOLESALE prices on here are higher than US RETAIL. Even though I got my 225 for $699 on Boxing Day of last year (that'd be 2002), the 230 was also on sale for $699 this past boxing day (2003). That should be an indication that there's even MORE wiggle room in that price if you're absolutely stuck on the H/K.

    I will tell you this. I run ASF1/ASC1/ASB1/ASP300 in my basement. I have my 225 there temporarily. If you like your movies loud, it's not going to do it. Moderate volumes, yes.

    As to what's in your price range (under a grand).

    East Hamilton Radio has the STRDA1000ES for $649.73. Retail on it at the Sony Store I believe is $1000. Refer to http://www.easthamiltonradio.on.ca/73rdCelebration.htm where specs are also posted.

    Although I'm not a fan of the Athena+Yamaha combo (and I did try with the 5650, but fans say that the 4 digit RXV models are totally different sonically, and of course YMMV), Fairview Hifi has the RXV-1300 on clearance (demo) for $799. (http://www.fairviewhifi.com/demo.htm). The price should be fairly flexible since this is basically an HTR5590 with preouts (important if you want to add extra amps later...or bigger ones).

    If you're intent on getting new, you could consider the SR6400 from Marantz which runs a grand. The Denon AVR1804 should also run you in the same ballpark as should the new NAD T743. The T752s were clearing out around Christmas for under a grand, I don't know if dealers have any leftover stock, but it might be worth a try.

    Athena Speakers aside, Future Shop is not where you should be dabbling if you want to get into "mid-fi". IMHO, even though I have a 225 and loved it powering (a little) Energy Take 5.2 setup, you can do better for that money. It says you're in "Canada", but that's not really helpful to me. If you're around the GTA then I could talk to you more specifically via PM about where to look for what. The prices I posted are also from local dealers (who I'm, of course, not affiliated with) and may be useless to you if you're out West, but that should give you an idea that there is life beyond Future Shop. And better deals too.
     
  4. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Oh I'll add. I'm powering my Athena setup (well, regularly) with a Pioneer Elite VSX-53TX (it runs about $1600 new, not what I paid, but anyways). You *MIGHT* be able to find a 43TX (last year's) kicking around still. I know Bay Bloor still had their demo the last time I was in there, and it was priced at or just above a grand. Another dealer offered me their demo for a grand as well. That receiver is an excellent match for the Athena speakers. It tames them a little, and it has THX, which can again tone the speakers down, if you so desire. Plenty of power, and a whole host of features. And it looks cool.

    Shop around, patience will pay off.
     
  5. Vince. V

    Vince. V Agent

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    are Yamaha's any good? they kept bragging about the HK's power at the store, but the Yamaha's have more features. I saw the Yamaha HTR5660B for 599.99 which claims 85 watts stereo, and 85WX6... which is higher rating than the HK I bought,, but I was also told the power ratings are misleading that the HK puts out more power. I dunno, I live in AB, so Toronto doesnt help me much. I dont live in the city either,i'm in the stix. The yamaha also has preamp outputs, where the HK 230 doesnt, for whatever thats worth. The next step up yamaha HTR-5590 seems high in price, same as what i paid for the HK I guess, at $899.97
     
  6. Vince. V

    Vince. V Agent

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    Yeah I see what you wrote, but are what you suggesting better than what I have (I don't want to trade in apples for apples)... besides,, Im not sure where to find this stuff in Alberta. With the HK 230 will I have any options to increase power output later if i find that i dont have enough volume, or will I be hooped? Maybe the Yamaha would be better? blah,, now you got me worried.
     
  7. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Are Yamaha any good. I'm going to get myself into trouble again, but I'm not a fan of Yamaha amps. I ran my Athenas off a 5650 for a while. The Athenas are bright speakers, the Yamaha is bright (or overly neutral) so the two don't create a very harmonious match (to my ears at least). They also have issues with their power ratings. The RXV730, rated at 75wpc, put out only 38wpc with all channels driven in a Sound and Vision test. And the AVR230 does have 7.1 preouts, so you'll have the flexibility to add later on.

    In January of this year, Sound and Vision reviewed the Marantz SR5400. Rated at 90Wx6, feature wise it's more or less the same as the H/K AVR230, 7.1 preouts, same amount of digital imputs, etc. It adds DTS96/24 and Circle Surround II, for what that's worth. It was rated at 103wpc, all channels driven. Its price is probably the same, or less than what the H/K runs you, and it's more powerful (and honestly so), so it might be worthy of an audition if you can find a Marantz dealer somewhere. There are options there, and they may not all be lateral moves from the H/K, since as I mentioned, the H/K is in a different price bracket down south.

    My advice? Get the Athenas. Hook them up to the H/K and see how they do. Run movies at whatever level you usually watch at. If you hear that something's clipping, or if something seems strained rather than just naturally flowing, you'll want to find something with more headroom. My 225 isn't enough for me. YMMV.
     
  8. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Oh but in any case, if you're getting all that stuff from one sales person. Damn dude, get a few hundred bucks back in your pocket. NEGOTIATE!!! Like I said, LOTS of wiggle room. If you search the forum, there have been posts of what people have got their systems for from Future Shop. Some got very good deals. Print it out, show it to the sales person. Tell him to match it or come close. If you really push, you'll get what you want for a whole lot less than you though you could.
     
  9. Vince. V

    Vince. V Agent

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    Well, that sounds like a plan and I think i'll do just that. Hook it all up and see what it does. Thanxs for all your help btw, I'm pretty new to all this, and I did think the HK was kinda expensive, but I'll give it a shot to see how it does. I really like the look of the HK, blue is cool, but blue lights arent everything, or are they? [​IMG]


    If I wanted to add an amplifier later, how would I go about that?
     
  10. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    You couple the amplifier's outputs to the preout jacks via regular RCA cables, same as you'd use for your CD player and whatever else, then connect the speakers to your amp.

    Now as for blue lights, tell me this isn't cool:

    [​IMG]

    Credit goes to Scarp on HTGuide forums for that picture of his HT. Parasound is real sexy, but really really pricey.

    Good luck shopping. [​IMG]
     
  11. Vince. V

    Vince. V Agent

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    Im sorry Drew, I can't tell you that... That is definately cool looking ! Well then whats the worry about recievers if you can just add an Amplifier later, seems simple enough,, I realize thats yet another expense, but if the HK does a resonable job that I can live with, If I want more juice later down the road then Ill have something to buy ..[​IMG]

    BTW that would go nicely with A Harmon Kardon methinks!!
     
  12. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Only that Parasound isn't an amp, it's just the processor. It needs to be coupled to an amp to be useful. And Parasound and H/K are in TOTALLY different leagues.

    But back to your adding an amp. A solid amp will probably cost you more than the receiver does now if you want to make a big step forward. But you may crave more than the H/K offers you initially. I guess we'll see this week [​IMG]
     
  13. Vince. V

    Vince. V Agent

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    So you need a processor, and an amp, or are there amplifiers you can use by themselves?
    Processor being which controls the amp most likely?

    So now im in a league.... whoohoo! LOL
     
  14. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Hey, I'm an H/K fan, just not so much at the regular price [​IMG]

    Yes, the processor can control the amp. And that's exactly what it does. Your receiver can act as the processor with a separate amp, and the advantage there is that you can upgrade the main 2 channels for stronger stereo listening, and keep your receiver for the rest, whereas if you went totally separates (dedicated processor), you'd have to buy amps for all channels. So in a way, you're pretty well off.

    But you can also use an amp on its own, provided your source has some kind of volume control. My friend's CD player has a volume control built in, so he is able to connect the CD player directly to the amp.
     

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