HK Signature amps

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shade Watson, Sep 1, 2001.

  1. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anyone have opinions of the Harman Kardon Signature 1.5 and 2.1 amps?
    www.jandr.com has the refurbished 2.1 for $499. I'm thinking of replacing my Adcom GFA-6000 with the 2.1.
    I like the fact that it has a 12V trigger for power on and it will match my new Signature 2.0 pre amp.
    Would it be an upgrade, downgrade or lateral move in terms of quality compared to the Adcom?
     
  2. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    What sonic benefits, if any, does one get from matching an amp to a preamp of the same manufacturer, especially two components designed to work together?
     
  3. MarkO

    MarkO Second Unit

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    I noticed something about pre amp sections in general when i relived my Yamaha RXV 995 of pre amp duties a few weeks ago. (The Yamaha was feeding a HK PA5800 amp). On its own the Yamaha sounded overly bright (no surprise there) but when used as a pre pro it sound very dull through the 5800. I think maybe the pre amp section on the yamaha is configured to compensate for the bright sounding internal amps. The difference was not subtle. I now am using the same preamp as you (Signature 2.0) and everything seems to mesh so much better. Highs are extended without harshness, the midrange is smoother and the bass is more dimensional. Even tho Im happy with how my system has taken forum Im still going to try the 2.1. If matching does have an advantage ill be in even more of a state of sonic bliss. Not to mention you cant have too many pretty blue lights in youre system [​IMG]
    [Edited last by MarkO on September 01, 2001 at 05:43 PM]
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I don't really think that separates are "designed" (or sound any better) with other components from the same manufacturer. In fact, this is counter intuitive based on the fact that separates are *supposed to* sound better than receivers for example. Separates should be designed to work with *any* other separate, same brand or not.
    In other words, manufacturers typically design their components to be the *absolute* best that they can be, based on cost. No constraints to having to be used with any other component. If they would specifically design them to mate better with their own components, and if the buying consumer public found out about it, whammo, there goes most of your sales.
    And in fact, if you read reviews on components by most mags that *measure* them too, no evidence to support that view.
    Now, if you have components that you think tend to sound better or worse together than others, by all means, go for what you think sounds best.
    And in fact, I have bought components simply based on whether the cosmetics will "go with" with rest of my system or not (obviously meeting some minimum standard of acceptable fidelity, built quality, manufacturer reputation, etc.).
    You got to be happy with the "complete package" of your system.
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  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Shade- One quick addendum:
    The HK Sig 2.0 isn't made by HK. It's made by Citation. So if you really believed that you'd want to "match" it with an amp, you'd have to find a Citation amp to go with it. Don't know if Citation makes amps though. (And maybe even now that I think about it, maybe HK and Citation are both now owned by the big conglomerate, Harman International.)
    Just to confuse the issue some more!
    [​IMG]
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  6. MarkO

    MarkO Second Unit

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    Harman International is,,, Harman Kardon, JBL, Infinity, Revel, Audioaccess, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, Madrigal and Proceed.
     
  7. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    The HK Signature 2.1 amp will outperform that particular Adcom amp (6000 model) and would be a great complement to the 2.0 prepro. The HK signature 2.0 prepro has nothing to do with the Citation prepros...this is directly from the mouth of one of the signature designers..Bob Popham in Colorado. Where did you get the information that it was built by Citation?
     
  8. MarkO

    MarkO Second Unit

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    I think they are very similar Rick. The face of both units look almost identical and the rear layout is the same. Even the owneres manual reads the same on both units. Cept the Citation has more features.
     
  9. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Yes, when comparing the Sig 2.0 and the newer Citation 5.0, the faceplates, specs, chassis, and manuals are very similiar...makes sense to "share" some internal company resources. However, the Sig 2.0 Harman Kardon design team was in CA, and the Citation 5.0 design team was in Connecticut. And Jim Fosgate's original 7.0 analog prepro was designed 3 years before either.
    Both Jim Fosgate and Bob Popham both said that these lines have very little to do with each other except for looks. Mr. Popham said the Signature series was designed from the ground up in the spirit of the old HK signature stuff. And the Citation amps were madrigal refinements to the older fosgate amps.
    You guys can debate this all you want, but I am right. If you want to read more, go search the old threads at digitaltheaterforum.com and avsforum.com. I have also owned the sig 2.0/2.1, and citation 7.0/7.1/5.1.
     
  10. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Ricky,
    Do you think that the Signature 2.1 is a good buy for $499 refurbished?
     
  11. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Shade,
    IMO, the Sig 2.1 is the best 5 channel amp buy under $700 available today. You should get it!
     
  12. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    So I guess that the HK Sig 2.0 design team in CA didn't have enough resources (or didn't care to bother) to design a different "box" than for the Citation, or even to rewrite the manual?
    And at least according to MarkO's list of companies under the Harman Internation umbrella, Citation is not there.
    Geez, man. Next time I'll put on a flamesuit.
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  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    From Citation's web site:
    Over the years, the Harman Kardon division of Harman International has used the Citation¨ name to bring new and advanced audio technologies to the public.
    And...
    Because of the very high end nature of the new Citation products, and the desire at Harman International for Citation to grow as a high-end brand independent of Harman Kardon, Citation moved in 1995 to the umbrella of Madrigal Audio Laboratories. Madrigal, also a Harman International Company, is the manufacturer of Mark Levinson¨ and Proceed¨ audio products — arguably two of the most well known and respected high end brands in the world.
    So looks like to me that Citation is the high end version of Harmon Kardon.
    The Citation AV 5.0 is still current too.
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  14. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Kevin,
    I didn't mean to sound like I'm attacking you, just setting the facts straight. You can speculate all you want, but unless you go ask Jim Fosgate and Bob Popham again and they say differently from my post....
    Also, the citation line is discountinued...madrigal dumped all the remaining inventory of amps and speakers on ubid last year... many lucky members at digitaltheater.com made purchases. The Citation 5.0 still has some demand and can still be ordered one at a time direct from Madrigal for ~ $2100 shipped (per two sales and marketing folks at madrigal).
    btw, I grew up in sunny Santa Clara!
     
  15. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Ricky- Coolness. I believe you, just that I didn't know for sure. But since they obviously used the same exterior, and then the manual, it was easy to assume that a lot of the insides were the same too.
    Well, hopefully either Citation or HK will do a new version. THX EX, DTS-ES, DPL II, etc.
    Need to give Outlaw to Integra some competition!
    Dang man, how could leave you leave "sunny CA" to end up in "Joisey"? Job thang? (I grew up in Pittsburgh, but Si Valley brought me out here.)
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