Is the H/K AVR-520 the receiver for me?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Tom Garvey, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. Tom Garvey

    Tom Garvey Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been out of the loop for a while now and have been w/o a system for a year. I'm looking for a receiver to do 5.1 I will not need 6.1 or 7.1 anytime soon. The AVR-520 seems to fit my needs. I have a budget of up to $500 Is there anything else I should consider?

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    The HK 520 is a fine receiver but it was 3 generations ago. Since then HK has replaced it with the 525 and this year the 630. The newer models have better bass managment including for SACD or DVD-Audio. I'd look for a 525 on clearance since you probably can't get the 630 under $500. It has 7.1 amplified channels so even if you don't need them now, they'll always be there.

    I used to own the 320 and had it replaced with the 325 which IMHO is a better unit.

    The one plus of the 520 is that it has main-ins so you can use it as an amp down the road.
     
  3. Tom Garvey

    Tom Garvey Stunt Coordinator

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    Greg.. Thanks for your reply. Can you explain what you mean by better bass managment 525 vs 520.

    Thanks
     
  4. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    The 525 has triple bass management for the main, center and surround speakers. Say you have big speakers as you mains and medium or small center and surround speakers. You'd like the adjust the settings so speakers are sent the appropriate amount of bass and the rest can be handled by your subwoofer. You can set the crossover as low as 40 or 60hz for your mains and then maybe 80hz for your center and 100hz for the rears. Everything below that can be sent to the sub.

    On the 520 your choices for the center and rear speakers is just large or small. Small fixes the crossover automatically at 100hz. For the front speakers when the setting is large your choice is 40 or 60hz and small the choice is 80 or 100hz. With the 525 your crossover choices are 40,60,80,100,120 and 200hz for each speaker. Plus you can use the same bass management features for the 6 channel input when playing DVD-Audio or SACD disc. I don't use SACD or DVD-A but most consider this a very useful feature.

    If you've got 5 of the exact same speaker all around it probably doesn't matter as much. Its just more flexibility with the 525. If you can find the 525 on clearance under your price limit, I'd advise you go to for it. If you don't use the other 2 channels in your main area, you can always connect speakers in another room too and play different source material. Say movie in main room and music in room 2. It's pretty cool.

    What kind of speakers will you be using?
     
  5. Tom Garvey

    Tom Garvey Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks again Greg for the reply. If I can do a second zone with the 525 then it would be for me. I didn't think of that. I've been out of the loop for way too long and that's why I posted here [​IMG]

    At this time I will be using my old Polks for speakers.
     
  6. Tom Garvey

    Tom Garvey Stunt Coordinator

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    Any other comments form anyone else?

    Does the 525 have a good track record? How does the Denon 3802 compare? Anything else to look at?
     
  7. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    the 520 also didnt have fans....very good receiver, though uglier than fat bastard after an all you can eat rib binge

    Rich
     
  8. Greg_sford

    Greg_sford Agent

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    Tom,
    I just got a refurbished 525 from the H/K ebay store. If you're patient, you can get one for close to/under $500 at auction. (Also the CC in Timonium still had a floor model a few weeks ago, but it was closer to $550).

    Based on the posts here, the 525 has had its share of difficulties, but mine seems to be doing nicely. (I figure a factory refurb was probably given a good going over.) I think it is the best bang for the buck at this price.

    Denon's are nice, you might find a deal on last year's model. Best to compare if you can. Good luck.
     
  9. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    What's so ugly about the 520? Doesn't look any different the the rest of the HK line. I really like the HK look.

    The 520 doesn't have a cooling fan but the 525 does, possibly because of the added two internal amps. The fan has never come on with my HK 325 but maybe I don't run it at high enough volumes for a long time. I think if you leave it in a open space with no other components on top you'll be fine. It is known to run rather warm.
     
  10. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Tom, I have an H/K 520 and it is a very fine receiver. I got mine "off the shelf" at CC for $299 last January. With all the new stuff out there, I don't know if I would spend $500 for a 520 now. I'd look at the 525 or 230, or save some money and get an entry level Denon or Onkyo. Also, mine isn't in a very well ventilated place but it hasn't shut down yet and dosen't seem to run too hot, though I don't push it that hard either. No problems so far and plan to keep it for a very long time. Gene
     
  11. CathyFr

    CathyFr Auditioning

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    Hi Tom. I have the Denon 3802 paired with Polk RTA-8T speakers. I love it! If you can find it good otherwise you could probably get a good deal on the 3803 since the 3805 has just come out.[​IMG]
     
  12. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    Greg,

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but i dont think that the current series of H&K look much like the 20 series...I dont think many people will disagee with me on that.

    And personally, i think the ugliest receivers I have seen were those 20 series. Mind you, I owned one, so I wouldnt allow that to sway me. Like I said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Rich
     
  13. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    I was thinking more of the x00, x10, x20, and x25 series which all look pretty much the same to me. Yes, the x30 series is obviously different with the silver, but I like the past black models better. I've had a 320 and 325 and they look alike to me with very minor differences.

    Like you said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
     
  14. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    yeah, the 20 series had that champagne colored buttons and the 25 series had more silver colored ones...

    i think the 25 series was a bit "neater" or a little more minimalistic than the 20 series...

    but i do agree, they 90% or so similar. sorry for my misunderstanding.

    Rich
     
  15. Tom Garvey

    Tom Garvey Stunt Coordinator

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    Update...

    I ended up getting a 525 NIB for $400. It came today. So far I am pleased. I want to thank everyone for thier help.

    One question.. Is there a dimmer on this thing?
     
  16. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Yes there is. On the front panel, push and hold the "set" button for three seconds. Then push the "stereo" button to change between FULL, 1/2 and OFF. Then push the "set" button again to enter your choice. See page 34. Congrats on your new toy. It's a wonderful receiver. Had mine for a year and a half and love it. $400 new is a good deal. Be sure to hook up your OSD. Some things can't be changed without it. OOPS! These instructions are for the 520. Hope the 525 is simular. Gene
     
  17. RaviK

    RaviK Agent

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    Tom,

    I'm looking to buy a 525 and looks like you got a pretty good deal. Can you tell me where you bought your toy. Does it come with the HK Warranty?
     
  18. Tom Garvey

    Tom Garvey Stunt Coordinator

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    RaviK,

    I think I bought it from someone on Audiogon.. private owner. No warranty & no problems so far.

    Good luck.
     
  19. Dom P

    Dom P Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a 525 and just got the TV stand. I put it in there and there is very little room on either side. It has about 1/4" space. I left the back open for the fan and up top it has alot of room to vent. I am ok or should I be looking to buy a A/V stand with all sides open? How much ventilation does that unit need?
     
  20. Greg_sford

    Greg_sford Agent

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    I got my 525 on ebay through the HK store. They are refurbs and come with factory warranty. Haven't checked in a while, but they were putting one up for auction every day. Track them for a while and see what they generally go for.

    You will find they get pretty warm...
     

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