Harman Kardon AVR520 A/V Receivers

4.41/5 (68 Reviews) MSRP : $899.00


Product Description

Harman/Kardon AVR520 7.1 Channel Audio/Video Receiver


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Reviews 1 - 5 (68 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Knucklehead a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 1, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I've owned this receiver for more than 5 years now, and know it very well. In that time the only problem I've had is the quirky remote. Its range is limited, so thankfully I don't have to do setup much, I use the same remote that I use on my HK 3480 two channel receiver. Music just don't sound right on more than two speakers, IMO.

I drive 4 JBL E50 Northridge 3 way speakers for the corners, a JBL C-Center center speaker and a JBL E150P sub. The sound is incredible. I love to play the first few minutes of the Lord of The Rings where the ring is cut from the finger of the Dark Lord. It shakes the whole house as it vibrates outward. Incredible sound!!!
I've played it on my HK3480 (120 wpc) with two Infinity IL-40's and the JBL E150P with close, but not quite the same results. Power isn't everything.



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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $525.00

Purchased At:   Harmon Audio



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by FutureShopAssociate a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2004

Bottom Line:   
All round beautifuly designed reciever. music and movies sound very detailed at either low or high volumes, and the 5 channel stereo function is great for parties when you just want it loud. This is the second reciever ive ever purchased which replaced my technics SA-DX830. cosmetics are great! I love the charcoal and champaigne colours aswell as the colourful display.

If you only own 2 speakers, Vmax is awesome! ive only used it once or twice because i have a full speaker compliment but its by far the best 2 channel home theatre experience ive ever had! in a good room sitting in the sweet spot theres little difference between DD and Vmax.

6.1 and 7.1 decoding... wtf no built in amplifier for the suround back speakers! That was honestly my only dissapointment with this reciever, aswell as the fact that there is no dolby D EX. HK seems to fall behind with surround decoders every year :S

this model is no longer in production and has been replaced by the AVR 525. the 525 has been replaced by the 630. both the 525 and 630 are equipped with the amplification for all 7.1 channels but the downside is that they use cooling fans now. and the 630 has a totally new look which i dissaprove of mainly because of the fact that it doesnt match up with my other HK components.

Bottom line is ; if you come across a 520 for around 800 canadian its a pretty good buy, just bear in mind u need an additional ampifier for 6.1 and 7.1:S

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   World Sound and Visi



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by 442 a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: September 27, 2003

Bottom Line:   
After 1 1/2 years of use I am not terribly impressed. I have been without my reciever for a total of two months due to it being in for repairs of the same problem. The last time I got it back it worked for 18 hours before shutting itself off. I spent a lot of time eliminating all external possibilities before taking it in for repair. I expect better quality from a unit in this price range.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2002

Purchased At:   future shop



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by philip shelly a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2003

Bottom Line:   
The 520 is a great machine. It processes very detailed very quiet sound. The detail can give it a laid back feel particularly at lower volumes. Higher volumes will make the music grab you.

There is a lot to learn on the 520s operation, which I haven't learned. I am running only two speakers.

The sound processed by the 520 is much sharper than the analog input amplified by the 520.

With an optical input from a denon dvd 1600, the movies sound great. As with music, you'll note the difference in the source quality. A THX certified or Super Bit dvd will sound much better than a other less carefully remastered discs. The same is true for cds.

You need to be careful to input from the dvds the correct sound track for the speakers that you are running. Running a 5.1 signal into the 520, when you are powering only two speakers will obviously cut out aspects of the soundtrack, and cause what seem to be fluctuations in volume as the signal is "moves" the sound among only two of 6 intended speakers.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $499.00

Purchased At:   J&R



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jason4774 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I found this receiver at Circuit City for 500 bucks, so decided to take the home theater plunge.

This receiver mates well with my NHT 2.5i's, with a dark and rich sound that counters the often top-heavy sound of the NHT's.

DD and DTS decoding are far superior to the onboard decoder in my Sony DVP-NS755v. On-board DAC sound smooth and competent, especially with HDCD disks. 6/8 channel inputs let me finally hear SACD in gloriful surround sound. This is the way Dark Side of the Moon was supposed to be heard.

Also offers a ton of flexibility with mating my sub with my towers. The sub setting L+R+LFE with the selectable 40/60hz crossover setting allows the sub to help out on the lower register of music, while the floorstanders maintain full range sound.

No, this receiver is not the last word in audiophile nirvana, but it sure sounds good. It's sound is rich and powerful, as opposed to the overly detailed receivers I've heard in the past.

Runs pretty warm, so give it some space to breathe on the rack.

In stereo mode, the internal amps have more than enough current to run my power hungry NHT's, without a sub.

Placing something small and heavy on top of the case helps the sound become smoother, and replacing the stock preout/main in jumpers with something like the Audioquest Jumpers brings out more smoothness and detail, while eliminating some of the harshness to the sound. A good power line conditioner helps smooth out the sound even more. The Monster HTS2000 works prety good. The Richard Gray Power Company works even better.

No, there's no DD EX, but there's DTS ES, NEO 6, Pro Logic 2, and best of all, Logic 7, which is the best matrix surround decoded I have ever heard, period. I use it in 5 channel mode only, so the absense of EX is not a worry for me.

VMax is a nice add on feature for people starting with only two speakers, and works better than anything I've heard like it (it kills the 'spatializers' on DVD players)

The user interface and manual leave much to be desired, but the receiver's capability more than makes up for that.

At retail, this receiver had alot of stiff competition, but it's sound would have won alot of fans. At the prices these things can be had for now, it's the best bargain for a budget minded HT enthusiast. Use some good speakers, with good wire, and you're in business.

There are better receivers out there, but for five hundred bucks, I doubt you'll find anything that can hold a candle to this receiver.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002




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