HK AVR 325...Salesmen said quality issues...

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Scott>G, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. Scott>G

    Scott>G Agent

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    I have been hanging around this board for a little while now but this is my first post. What a wealth of information. I am in the market for a home theater set up and thought I had made my decision until I spoke to a salesperson last night.

    My decision was going to be a new HK 325 and the ELT-1 speakers, until I talked to a local salesperson. He said that the store he worked in was not going to carry the HK line anymore because of quality issues. He said HK's go out and come right back. Is this true? The store is an authorized dealer and blowing them out for under $500.00.

    That price is just too good to pass up! Could some of you please comment on the quality of the HK's specifically the 325?

    I also have a nagging thought that this guy was just giving me a line of bull to get me to switch lines (the store carried several lines, Denon, Yamaha, etc.) so he could make more money! Didn't really get the "warm and fuzzies" from this guy.

    Thanks in advance,

    Scott
     
  2. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well I have had my HK avr-225 and I can say it is the best reciever I have had so far.. I would go for it... from what I have heard the xx5 models have not had a problem but the xx0 models from the previous years had... I love mine.
     
  3. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    I have a 325 and it's perfect. No problems whatsoever and I've never heard/seen the cooling fan come on. The 325 is a great buy for less than $500.

    HK's run hot so the key is to place it in a well ventilated location. Inside a cabinet/rack with a glass door is a no no.

    You'll really enjoy the warm full sound of the 325 if you decide to make a purchase.

    Since they have other receiver brands, test all of them with your chosen speakers and select the one that sounds best to YOU. Take a couple of your favorite CD's to test. No matter what we say here, you need to make the final decision.
     
  4. Ian-Fl

    Ian-Fl Second Unit

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    I have a H/K avr125 the sound is warm and excellent for listening to music. We are talking about a mass produced product however.
    Circuit boards are stamped by machines and assembled by cheap labour forces every day. There are bound to be defects in every production line. With every one defective unit there are a thousand good ones.
    You pay a cheap price for your unit and as a result, you accept the conditions it is built under.
    If you get a defective unit you return it and get a new one.
    I don't understand the angle of the salesman unless he was trying to convince you to buy on the spot because it might not be there tomorrow. You might have showed too much intense interest and he picked up on it!
     
  5. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    This is my HK story, reposted from another thread.

    Around the end of June I bought a HK AVR-525 from J&R.com for $699.99 with free shipping. Hooked it up, was extremely pleased with the power and sound quality... far better then my old Sony receiver. After about 3 weeks, I was outside washing my car and wanted to hear some music so I opened a window closest to my driveway and turned on some music from the radio at about -5 on the volume (max is +10 I believe) which is louder then I usually listen to it. Normally I don't go above -20 or -15. After about a half hour the receiver turned itself off. I went in the house, turned it back on to make sure it still worked (it came back on right away), then shut it back off figuring that it just got too hot and I would let it cool down for awhile. After an hour or so I turned it back on and it seemed to work fine. The next day however, my brother-in-law came over and was checking out my home theater equipment so I offered to demo "The Matrix" for him, as he never really heard a home theater before. I went right to the lobby scene, and set the volume at -15 to really knock his socks off. But then there was a problem... every few minutes it kept shutting itself off, usually when there was a loud sound like an explosion. I used to be able to play the receiver at -15 with no problems but now it would randomly shut off if I had the volume above -25. Tried the processor reset as described in the manual but that didn't help. So I called HK customer service, who told me that I was better off returning the receiver to J&R since it was less then 30 days then taking it to service because "the service department probably wouldn't even look at it for two weeks", his words, not mine. So I reluctantly sent it back to J&R at my expense, and after a week or so I received another AVR-525. Spent about a half hour hooking everything up, turned it on and... NOTHING! No sound at all! To say I was upset was an understatement to say the least. The front display would come on but that was it. No sound or video out of any of the outputs. This time I emailed customer service, and they said that maybe it got banged up during shipping (the box looked fine though, J&R double boxes everything) and to send this one back to J&R for another receiver. Which I did again, also at my expense. After another week and a half or so I received another AVR-525. Opened the box and noticed the the top looked a little bent. Took it out the box and removed the foam from the sides and discovered that the side was damaged as well. It had to be shipped from the factory like that because of the damage was behind the foam, no way it could have been damaged there after being put in the box. At this point needless to say I am fuming. I decided to hook it up just to see if it works and luckily for me it did work despite the damage. So I emailed HK customer service again and included pictures showing the damage. At this point I am so upset and beat down from this experience that I just want to keep this one even though it is damaged. I asked HK in the email if they would somehow compensate me for all trouble I have been having, not to mention shipping the 2 other receivers back at my expense, and will they honor the warranty on this damaged receiver. They offered nothing, other then agreeing to honor the warranty and extend it by 2 more years for a total of 4 years. Whoop-de-do. If I didn't love this receiver so much I would have told them where to stick it. So basically I paid full price for a damaged receiver and got 2 years more warranty that I'll probably never need. Bottom line-Harman Kardon customer service sucks.

    Bottom line is that I still own my 525, and still love the sound but if I was in the market for a new receiver I don't know that I would buy another HK because of the way I was treated/quality issues. It's a shame really, as HK's sound damn good. The best advice I could give you is to make sure you buy it from an authorized dealer so they will honor the warranty.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I'm not going to mention any names here, but after selling audio for three years, I quickly found out all brands are NOT made equal. None were perfect but: one brand was very reliable; one just O.K.; and two downright crappy. And these were all "Big Name" mid-fi manufacturers.

    LJ
     
  7. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    I'm going to counter David's HK story with one of my own.

    Last Thanksgiving I bought the HK 320 on clearance for $299 from Fry's, an authorized dealer. I had no problems with it whatsoever but after reading on another audio forum, found out there was a bug in Logic 7 when using 7.1 speakers. The surround back right channel would put out garbage. The 320 only has 5 channel amps so you'd have to add another external amp to get 7.1. I was running 5.1 until a few months ago so it didn't affect me. I tested for this Logic 7 defect with 7 channels and sure enough it was there. Works fine in 5.1 though. Since I had a 2 year warranty, I figured I'd worry about it sometime down the road when I was using 7.1 full time.

    I finally added two more speakers to my system. About a month ago, I decided to call HK ask as them about this problem. I spoke to a rep, told him I tested Logic 7 with two separate amps and there was definitely a problem with the surround back right channel. Works fine in 7 channel stereo, DTS:ES and DTS:Neo. The rep confirmed this was a defect and asked me to fax my receipt. Within an hour I got an email with a Return Authorization number and they told me they'd ship a brand new 325 as a replacement. All I had to do was ship my 320 back to HK in Phoenix. It cost me less than $25 to ship and they sent me a brand new 325. It was an 8 day turnaround time from when I first contacted HK to having UPS drop a new box on my doorstep.

    I would call that AWESOME customer service.

    My 325 has performed flawlessly and I would definitely buy another HK product down the road, perhaps the 7200. So now I have the Logic 7 problem resolved, two more amplified channels and a receiver with triple x-over bass management. I'm a very happy camper. Kudos to Harman Kardon!

    In general most people complain when they get bad service but rarely speak about good service. I guess that's just our nature. I just want to even the score on this thread.

    Get the HK 325 Scott, just make sure it's from an authorized dealer. No mfr is perfect, that's what warranties are for.
     
  8. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    There are a lot of 325's available as refurbished units, but maybe HK just had a bad run. I don't think it is too unusual to get a batch of defective components. You just hope the manufacturer recognizes the problem and corrects it quickly.

    I have an HK 225, and really love the sound. I have only had the receiver a week, so I can't speak to the reliability. If you only intend to run 5.1 and don't need the pre-amp outputs, you might consider the 225 for less $$$. It is actually slightly more powerful than the 325 in terms of per channel wattage. And the fewer components (i.e. simpler design), the less chance of defects, generally speaking.
     
  9. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd love to know who you talked to Greg. The guy I emailed at HK's customer service wouldn't help me at all. His name was "Mark Tirotta, Internet Support Specialist".

    Let me ask you a question though Greg. If all they offered to do for you was to give you 2 more years of warranty on your defective receiver would you still consider their customer service "Awesome"? I certainly wouldn't. Hell I would have traded up to a AVR-7200 for a few hundred more or something but HK wasn't willing to work with me at all. They didn't even offer to replace my 525 with a non-damaged unit. I feel that they basically gave me the 2 years of extra warranty hoping I would just go away. I wish they had a customer support number on their web site that I could call instead of e-mailing this Mark Tirotta guy.
     
  10. Scott>G

    Scott>G Agent

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    Well, after much consideration, I went and bought the HK AVR 325 today. I just couldn't pass up the price. I ended with price match at Circuit City for 434.00 vs their $599 in my area.

    Let's hope for the best! Anyways can't wait to set it up. Thanks to all for your replies.

    Scott
     
  11. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    David,

    This is the number I called..516-255-4545, then press 1,3 and 5 to navigate thru the menus. Got it off the Harman Kardon site. I spoke to two different reps and both of them offered to replace my unit with a 325. The first time I wasn't at home and didn't have the product info with me. But both guys offered to replace my unit right away though.

    http://www.harmankardon.com/product_support/default.asp
     
  12. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    Dave I believe you got a refurbished unit that's why there were marks and scratches on the receiver so instead of J&R sending you a new receiver the sent you a B-stock one they had lying around. So I'd yell at whoever sent you B-stock instead of new if was J&R or HK.

    Daniel Smith
     
  13. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  14. AndrewErickson

    AndrewErickson Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought a refurbished AVR 325 from Onecall. The receiver doesn't have a blemish on it. Also, when it warms up, it gives off that nice new electronics smell so it doesn't seem to have had a lot of use. I wonder what happened to it to make it a refurb.
     
  15. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    Andrew- My theory is that many of these units (HK and others) are not really refurbs at all. If a unit is sold as new and is returned opened or unopened, the retailer cannot resell the unit as new. Unopened returns are probably pretty common due to various reasons and I think if you use your imagination you can envision why this may occur more often then would be generally realized. Perhaps a saleperson on this forum could elaborate a little more on the subject.
     
  16. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    I think I want to add to my previous post that aside from the major problems that may exist with any new piece of equipment, there are all the "small" problems that could exist with a new purchace. Non-lighting LED's, bent or broken knobs, displays etc,ect.- All these little problems would cause a new unit to be returned and would require a repair. These otherwise perfect receivers would then also be sold as refurbs. Edit- Still trying to get all my thought together. If an unopened box is returned to a retailer, isn't it possible or likely that that the retailer might open the box just to be sure he's getting his receiver back and not a load of bricks? This unit ,although never used, would be sold as an "open box".
     
  17. The Void

    The Void Agent

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    I was a little concerned with H/K reliability when I was shopping for a reciever. I liked everything about the H/K's but was a little leary of them.

    When I found a new AVR 325 on sale at onecall for $386 I made up my mind and ordered one. It arrived in perfect condition, I got it hooked up and everything seemed to be fine with it. I've now had it about 1.5 months and it has been perfect so far. I'm happy with my purchase and as of right now I'd buy another H/K in the future. I just hope I don't ever have a reason to change my mind.

    I wouldn't worry about reliability of H/K's. From my experience and from what I've read the x25 models are pretty solid. Sure there are bad units but you'll get that from any manufacturer. Plus you are way more likely to read online about someone getting a bad unit than someone who had no problems. For the 1 person complaining on every forum on the web, there are 100 people enjoying their new receiver that you'll never hear from.
     
  18. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    FROM ONECALL's site

     

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