HK525 plus pa2000?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by john bourne, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. john bourne

    john bourne Extra

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    Howdy,

    I am asking your advice as to any benefit for adding a HK PA2000 to my 525 to power the front mains? I was planning on waiting to get a more powerful Rotel or Parasound, however, with the great deals that can be had on the HK I am starting to get a bit of upgraditis. I am starting a GR AV-3 project this weekend that either the amp or 525 will power in a very large room aided by a capable Maelstrom sub. So I guess I'm asking what if any difference I should expect with marginally more power with the PA2000 and even if a 125ish watt Rotel or Parasound will make that big of a difference? Thank you for your opinions.
     
  2. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    John that is one of the best, if not THE best amps for the money on the market today. You can get them all day long new for about $200, shipped! In 2 channel mode it puts out 100 watts per. IMO the extra cost of the Rotel or Parasound simply wouldn't be worth any marginal performance increase, unless you found an equally great deal on them as well.
    If any or all of your speakers are bi-wireable/bi-ampable, that would be something to considr as well.
     
  3. Andy_Steb

    Andy_Steb Stunt Coordinator

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    I ran a 525 and a PA2000 for about a year. At normal listing levels the 525 is quite capable and the PA2000 will give you a marginal performance gain. At high volumes you will notice a difference.
    With the PA2000 hooked up, your taking a huge load off of the 525, less chance of clipping. At high volumes my Pa2000 probably ran cooler than my dvd player. Also I had no problems with ground loops.
    I would consider this amp a good building block for someone bit by upgraditis. For the price you can't go wrong.
    I am now running Rotel separates and am still using the PA2000 (running Zone 2 patio speakers, a little extreme but it works well)
     
  4. john bourne

    john bourne Extra

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    thank you for your opinions.

    Andy, your review has been most helpful as you answered exactly what I was wondering. I think that even though the 525 has some serious guts, I really have to run it hard as it is in a huge room, and adding a separate power supply should help at high volumes.
     
  5. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm glad you asked this question John because I too have the AVR-525 and was thinking about getting the PA-2000 to take some of the load off the reciever. I think judging by the responses I am going to do it soon.
     
  6. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Good info guys! Yeah....another 525 owner here considering doing the same.
     
  7. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    And another. [​IMG] I think I'll hold out for a Parasound HCA-1000 or Crown XLS-202 though. These aren't that much more than the PA2000. I don't want simply a marginal difference at higher volumes, I'd like to hear a discernible difference if I'm going seperates.
     
  8. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Scott: "I think I'll hold out for a Parasound HCA-1000 or Crown XLS-202 though."

    Understood, but what I'm planning on doing is using the PA2000 for my mains for a while. Later, I plan on buying a three-channel amp (150-200w), maybe an Adcom, and using it for my mains and center and move the PA2000 to handle the rears. For $200, you can't go wrong.
     
  9. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    I also own a 525. Where can I get a PA2000 for $200?
     
  10. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    $201 plus shipping at OneCall.
     
  11. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    UPDATE: Ok, I pulled the trigger and installed a bridged H/K PA 2000 for my mains on Friday. For those other 525 owners I’ll post a few informal observations. I kept the unit on for three days prior to Friday testing. When re-calibrating with Avia and my analog R/S meter I noticed a gain of approx. 4 decibels on the mains. As expected, at Low to Med-Low volumes I could not tell a difference. At Med-High to High volumes the difference was very significant. I spent approx. six hours listening to SACD’s, DVD-A’s, redbook CD’s and DVD concerts. I listened to everything from Vivaldi and Mozart to Allison Krauss, Aerosmith and Diana Krall. The only movie scene I watched was the Balrog bridge scene in LOTR. I found the PA 2000 added a depth, clarity and dynamic personality that wasn’t there when running my mains off the 525. Luckily, the PA 2000 had the same tonal qualities of my 525. Just for reference, I also sampled these artists: James Taylor, REM, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Spyra Gyra, Sarah Brightman, John Fogarty and Sam McLain. Of course, the difference varied with the source. But I can easily say that by far, this was the best $200 upgrade I’ve ever made!

    **DISCLAIMER!** My system is used primarily for music (80/20). If your system is used mostly for movies, your mileage will vary.

    My 5.1 setup:

    Toshiba 35"
    harman/kardon AVR 525 (center & rears)
    harman/kardon PA 2000 (mains)
    Denon DVD-2900
    JBL S310-II's
    JBL S-Center II
    JBL S36-II's
    Velodyne CHT-12
    All Better Cable interconnects,
    Panamax MAX 4300
    23'x18'x14' (LxWxH)
     
  12. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Congrats John! I've always said all along that for a new amp for the money, it's hard to beat the HK 2000.
     
  13. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Mark: Thanks for the tip!
     
  14. Omar Torres

    Omar Torres Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys
    I too jumped all over the Harman Kardon amps from OneCall. I picked up Two of them. I use my HK 525 as a pre amp and I brought the PA4000 driving my fronts and PA2000 for the surrounds. I just bought the Rocket 250 MKII for fronts and am saving up for the BigFoot center and I thinking of another 250 MKII for the rears. I only been listen to two channel for now and it has never sounded better.

    Omar

    My System
    Hitachi 46F500
    Dish 811 HD Receiver
    Harman Kardon Avr 525 as Pre Amp
    Harman Kardon PA2000 & PA4000 Power Amp's
    Harman Kardon DVD 25
    Monster Power HTS 3500
    Rocket 250 MKII for fronts
    HSU STF-2
    System wired by BetterCables & AR's Master Series
     
  15. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Cool setup, I wish I could come over and hear how much of a difference there is. Then I'd probably be persuaded to get a PA or 2. [​IMG]
     
  16. Omar Torres

    Omar Torres Stunt Coordinator

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    Yea guys it sounds great, I just wish the wife would let up and let me buy the rest of my speakers. [​IMG]
     

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