HK 125 vs HK 220 (in terms of sound clarity)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JimBarrese, Oct 5, 2002.

  1. JimBarrese

    JimBarrese Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm searching for a receiver to use for music exclusively. First I had a Onkyo 500, but didn't like it's tonal quality for music. Then based on the recommendations of this forum I got a HK 125. I found it to be much better balanced for music, but it didn't seem to have quite the clarity of the Onkyo (but I wasn't sure if it was my imagination or not). Then a couple of days later I found out I could order the HK 220 from Hifi.com for about $120 cheaper than I paid for the HK 125 at Circuit City. So I returned the 125 and got the 220. Even though the 125 and 220 have almost exactly the same specs, the 220 seems to have a much clear sound than I remember the 125 having (although again since I'm going off memory I don't know if I'm correct of not).

    That would be good then, but the problem comes in that with the 220 it mutes the first second of the tracks on audio CD's that have a gap between songs (and this gets quite annoying). I know the 125 didn't do this because the Onkyo I had first did that as well, so when I got the 125 I checked it for that problem and it was fine (and since the 220 is last year's model and the 125 this year's, I assume it's a problem they corrected for this year).

    So long story short (too late), my question is whether there is any reason the 220 would sound better than the 125 even though they are the same brand and have almost exact specs. If it's just my poor memory that the 220 sounds better then I'll return it and get a 125 again so I can get rid of this annoying "muting" problem. If there is a legit reason the 220 might have better sound then I don't know which would be better to get.

    The only spec differences I can see between the two is the 125 has a High Instantaneous Current Capability of +/- 25 while the 220's is +/- 28. Also the 220 weights about 7 lbs more which indicates it might be built differently. Both have the same power and THD ratings.
     
  2. Steve Cross

    Steve Cross Agent

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    if the onkyo and the 220 have this odd muting problem it seems maybe your cd player is the problem even if it did'nt do it when you had the 125, does the muting problem happen every time you play a cd?
     
  3. JimBarrese

    JimBarrese Stunt Coordinator

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    The muting problem occurred both when using my Pioneer DVD player and my Sony CD changer (both tried with optical and coaxial connections). I only got to try the 125 with the Pioneer because I didn't have the Sony yet, but it showed no problem (which the Onkyo did with the Pioneer).

    I've tried several CDs and if it's going to happen it happens on the same tracks every time. The problem is that the Onkyo and 220 have an auto signal detect feature when you hook it up digitally. If the CD is recorded in a track-at-once fashion where there are gaps between the songs, the receiver gets a signal-no signal-signal thing happening between tracks and automatically mutes when there is no signal so the begining of the next track gets muted or a pop added at the begining. The Onkyo had a feature where you could turn off the auto-signal detect and force PCM (this fixed the problem with the Onkyo). The HKs don't seem to have that feature.

    Even though the 125 also has the same auto-signal detect, it doesn't have this problem. I don't know why, but I tested it throughly with discs I knew had the problem with the Onkyo. Those same discs are now giving the problem with the 220. Also, hooking the players up via analog inputs gets rid of the problem since their is no auto-detect for an analog input.

    I guess I'm going to have to return the 220 and go back to the 125, I just hope it's my imagination that the 125 didn't have as good sound as the 220 because I don't want to exchange one shortcoming for another.
     

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