Is Harmon Kardon Reliable?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kenny Booth, Jul 10, 2002.

  1. Kenny Booth

    Kenny Booth Stunt Coordinator

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    I found on this forumn that I can buy a HK 520 AVR for about $650. Good price I think. I have listened to HK and they do seem to have a very good sound. Compared to many other brands they seem to stand out. I have heard that quality problems have plagued HK in the past.
    All I need is a simple good sounding AVR that I can leave alone and enjoy. No fancy hook-ups, just 5 speakers, a sub, DVD player, and a VCR---and a TV
    Thanks for any advice/experence you guys can give, especially reliablity issues with HK
     
  2. Matt Parnell

    Matt Parnell Agent

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    I've owned 4 separate pieces of HK gear and have been very happy with them. The occasional "issues" that I've brought up on the forums relating to my Signature Series HK amp/preamp are just trvial stuff - overall I love the gear. HK has a very sweet sound, and I'm a huge fan of it.

    I've heard of some problems with the AVR520, and I'm sure others know more...
     
  3. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Begin testimonial---

    First...good choice. The 520 is not only a great sounding receiver but should you ever move to external amps, the 520 amps are high quality and available thanks to the pre-outs/main-ins. How many other receivers in this price class or even higher allow/feature this? Harmon does it because they believe in the quality of their amp stage.

    Like a lot of companies, Harmon Kardon took a hit in QC issues when manufacturing first relocated to China. And now, like most of those companies, the growing pains are pretty much a thing of the past. The x20 series has had few issues although any problem is a hassle in the owners mind.

    One thing in my experience with Harmon is their excellent customer service. People define this in different terms: for some it means they demand an an e-mail response in an hour or two... for me it just means taking care of the problem to my satisfaction. That's my bottom line. Through the years I've known people who had a problem with their H/K equipment and were sent new models to replace it, even receivers.

    I've owned three different H/K receivers and am a big fan of H/K sound and service...wouldn't hesitate to recommend on either basis.

    ---End testimonial.
     
  4. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I have the 500, two + years now with a dpl receiver hooked up to the surround pre-outs. Always satisfying, the sound is just incredible, and I think after listening to DPL II on a set up I installed at a friends house, I find that the Logic 7 does a better job in seperation of the surrounds. Also it works with the matrixed rear center as well. You can't go wrong on this.
     
  5. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    I and two friends all own the 520... excellent unit! No reliability concerns at all.
     
  6. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    No problems anymore. Not since the X20 series.
    HK makes 520's, 320's, 220's (225 now), and 120's (125 now).
    Answers question below, but he'll only figure that out be rereading the whole thread. [​IMG]
     
  7. KyleRoussel

    KyleRoussel Stunt Coordinator

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    I've gone through 2 HK320's. The first one's transformer was defective and made a very loud buzzing sound. The next one I got still makes the buzzing, but far quieter.
     
  8. brian reis

    brian reis Extra

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    My 520 works great.
    Did others get theirs from authorized dealers or grey market?
     
  9. Kenny Booth

    Kenny Booth Stunt Coordinator

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    "since the X20 series"
    Whats the X series?
     
  10. Leo_P

    Leo_P Second Unit

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    I have the h/k 520 and I have been having a problem with it. I e-mailed h/k about it (they got back to me the next day) and they say it's probably a processor problem. They want me to take it in to a service center, but I've figured out how to "fix" it, so I'm waiting to see if it gets worse.
    Now here's my problem: on about half a dozen occasions, I've turned on the receiver and the only thing that'll work is 2-ch. stereo, no 5 ch., no DPL2, no Logic 7, etc., and the video signals (DVD, cable, XBOX) I pass through the 520 were severely degraded. It looked like black and white, only worse.
    The first time it happened I didn't know what to do. After reading the manual, it tells you to unplug the unit. Sure enough, when I plugged the unit back in and turned it back on, everything worked.
    We'll see what happens. BTW, I've had my receiver for 3 months and bought it from J&R Music World (authorized dealer).
    This isn't to scare anyone thinking about getting an h/k, 'cause if I had to do it over, I'd still get the 520. It is one sweet-sounding receiver. I'm spoiled by the sound quality of my receiver, the next time I upgrade it'll be to separates.
     
  11. StevenK

    StevenK Second Unit

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    I'm a former 520 owner. Loved the sound...hated the automatical switching off every now and then. It could have been my house circuit, but the Pioneer 811S that replaced it has not had that problem in the past month of continuous use.
     
  12. Brad HP

    Brad HP Agent

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    Here is another positive story for H/K's service. I have the AVR65 receiver which I bought in 2/00. The center channel blew (resister needed replacing) in 1/02. This was serviced under the warranty (2 year warranty, so this was just under the wire) at no charge. The left front channel stopped working this past week. I called H/K, told them the history and they provided me with a courtesy repair service authorization (free parts and labor) without any hassle. I appreciate the effort given that I have been out of the warranty period since 2/02.

    The receiver is great for home theatre, when all channels are working. After hearing mostly positive experiences on the x20 series units, I won't hesitate to replace the AVR65 with another H/K product when the time arrives.
     
  13. GregE

    GregE Agent

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    I too have an AVR65 from about the same time period, early 2000. I had a problem where a couple of the channels went out. I took it to a local hi-fi shop that was an authorized repair facility. It took them over two months to repair it. After spending nearly two hours getting everything hooked up and integrated into the HT, it sounded great. For a half hour that is! Same channels went out. Needless to say I wasn't happy. I called HK Customer Service and they arranged to ship it to a service center in CA. I received it back within a week and it has worked flawlessly since. I have really enjoyed this receiver. The sound is great. I am waiting to replace it with a 950.
     
  14. RobP

    RobP Stunt Coordinator

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  15. DavidAM

    DavidAM Second Unit

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    I've had my 520 since the first month they were out and I haven't had a single problem with mine. It sounds great, works great, looks great....I'm happy.
     
  16. DonJ

    DonJ Second Unit

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    I have an H/K 320 bought in FEB haven't had any problems to date. H/K is a great at retail but the deal your gettig is awesome cant go wrong.
     
  17. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    I'm still using a HK-AVR75 made in 1997. Doesn't even have DTS but I'm so happy with it's build quality that I don't want to get rid of it.

    Jeff
     
  18. Tim Sly

    Tim Sly Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the AVR65 and totally love the sound but I have had the problems described above and am very concerned about HK reliability. I bought it 1/99 and after only 3 months the left front speaker output failed. Fixed under warranty. Now after 3 years the right front went out. I will try to contact HK to see if they will help me like these other guys. Speaker outputs should not be failing on these units! I love the sound but I am not sure I would buy HK again due to reliability. I also love the elegant look of the units.
     
  19. Doug Craig

    Doug Craig Agent

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    I, too, am using an AVR75 that I got in 99. I just missed the DTS units (AVR65). I've been extremely happy with the quality and sound of the unit. I've recommended it to friends and several have purchased HK gear - and are very happy with the results.

    I hope to move up to a 520 sometime soon, but it also could be a long wait... but I will have great sound in the interim.
     
  20. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Been using my AVR8000 quite extensively, though I haven't had it for too-too long. No problems as of yet. [​IMG]
     

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