Harman Kardon AVR 45 A/V Receivers

3.61/5 (89 Reviews) MSRP : $899.00


Product Description

Dolby Digital Receiver


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Reviews 1 - 5 (89 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Lebeter a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this around the time it was a new model circa 1999 at Frys Electronics in Burbank for roughly $700. It was powering some CV RE25's, JBL HLS Center, Klipsche Rears. The unit would overheat when I turned it up and I believe it struggled to drive the Fronts at higher volumes. Didn't help with the CA heat. Every since I placed the receiver in well ventilated areas and at my home in CA I ran an external fan in the enclosed cabinet. The unit put out beautiful sound, all inputs have worked since day one. The unit has run on standby for many years with various use. I moved to a new place in Seattle and decided to once again put it into Home Theater Duty with an HTPC, BUT I was determined to solve the problem of the lack of power by hooking up 4 Marantz MA500 Monoblock amps to the pre-outs and now the receiver has the missing piece. A lot of things have changed since then for Home Theater, and for a 5.1 receiver it can still get the job done for light listening, but if you plan to drive some bigger speakers you need a powered amplifier. So if you run across this second hand this review should tell you what to expect. I recall seeing a bunch of these on buy.com years ago which had been remanufacturered. I'm sure related to overheating issues. While the value was never there considering the initial cost, after I addressed the heating issue it had, the reciever has lasted over a decade and there is something to say about that. The sound is very warm and aside from not having s-video inputs/outputs the next model up had, it has been very versatile. The integrated Coax and Optical inputs gave it a new lease on life with my HTPC so I will give it a few more years before it gets retired.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by RobTX a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This receiver was great while it lasted. Picked it up for $130 as an HK refurb on E-bay about 3 years ago. Unfortunately the heating issues are all too true and mine finally kicked the bucket. My wife left it on and shut the door on the stereo cabinet. After that it developed a slight hum and about 2 months later started pushing even more hum and failed to push any audio even while it still powered on.

It's a nicely finished unit and looks great in the cabinet. But yes it gets hot as hell. A few comments here about 45W being "more than enough" but I have to wonder if it really had the juice to sustain long periods of high output use. I never experienced any clipping, distortion or shutdowns though the heat build-up did seem extremely high.

Pet peeves:
If you unplug the unit - or in any way lose power - you also lose all your surround settings. This wouldn't be a big deal if you didn't have to reset each component - DVD, Video, CD, etc. - separately.

Technically it's a "learning remote" but it's pretty difficult to effectively program. And without onscreen display (something you expect at this level of component), trying to navigate the unit's tiny display can be a pain.

Never really seemed to push the center speaker all that effectively and I often had to bump the output level to hear dialogue all that well.

Oh yeah - the decoder has a bit of a lag so that you often lose the first second or so of Dolby audio and then - *click* - it kicks in.

At any rate, I can't complain for getting 3 years of solid use out of it for the price I paid. But realizing that this thing was once toward the upper end of the HK range, it's a bit disappointing to see such issues

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $130.00

Purchased At:   E-Bay



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Kyle Rapson a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: November 26, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Bought the product in 99 and did not plug it in untill 2001 when I could afford proper speakers. Had problems from day 1 but of course warranty was expired. The system would suddenly start to increase and decrease in volume. Finallt did a hard reset and it seemed to fix the problem until a month ago. The system suddenly started shutting off. After a few occurances it shut down and now will not power back on period....off to the repair shop I guess.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Future Shop



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by pacamo a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 14, 2003

Bottom Line:   
It's aweful to see that the people that wrote most of these reviews work for Harmon Kardon. The amp fried within a month, repaired twice in four months, but the problem never solved.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Crazy Eddie's (Kamlo



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by adrian bielby a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 27, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I think this amplifier (AVR45) is brilliant. Never had a problem with it and the sound is crisp and clear. It offers plenty of power and never over heats or turns itself off. If your amp does this then check to see if it is wired correctly. These are often the problems when amplifiers (safety protection) kicks in and turns off the amp to prevent damage to the system. You need to make sure they are in 'Phase'. I don't believe that Harman Kardon would ship faulty / defective goods, I think it is more a case of incompetant fools who would be better with a single button amp (on / off).

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Fanthorpes




Reviews 1 - 5 (89 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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