Harman Kardon HK 3390 A/V Receivers

1/5 (1 Reviews) MSRP : $349.95

Product Description

Perfect for home, your office, or that special place for relaxation, the HK 3390 uses discrete high-current, ultrawide-bandwidth amplifier technology, and features 4 video inputs, 30-preset AM/FM tuner, phono input and a cable for direct audio/video connection to an iPod or MP3 player.
  • Frequency Range: 87.5 – 108MHz
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: Mono/Stereo 73/72dB
  • Selectivity: ±400kHz, 65dB
  • Image Rejection: 80dB
  • Tuner Output Level: 1kHz, ±100kHz, Dev 500mV

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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Blue Striped a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 3, 2017

Bottom Line:   
I wasn't impressed with this receiver at all. I bought one brand new back in 2012 (it's since been sold), and its sound was a big disappointment. The way I would classify the sound of this receiver is dull and lifeless sounding. It generally has a "warm" and "smooth" sound, and it can give you the "illusion" of having a clear sound (to the untrained ear). However, don't let this thing fool you. The warmth, and especially the overly-smooth character that this receiver has comes at the expense of finite detail, nuance, micro dynamics, and instrumental textures. The leading edge of instruments also sound rounded off and lacks immediacy and impact, and there is generally just a lack of dynamic energy. Overall, the sound comes off as very boring sounding with no real "jump", verve, or swagger at all.

This receiver also has a very recessed and reticent sound with a weak midrange. Instruments and vocals sound pushed back, and oftentimes sound like they are coming from the same plane of depth. Also, soundstage width isn't all that great either. Because of this, the overall soundstage is limited and it makes the music sound much more like is coming from a single point source (your speakers) rather than giving you a better, and deeper sense of soundstage depth, width, and height. It just doesn't have it. Also, the bass performance is not that great either. There is enough bass output, but what is there is overly-warm and soft-sounding with little detail, and lacks in solidity. Not to mention the warmth and softness of the bass does nothing for the already soft and recessed midrange, and only makes things worse.

I was also not very impressed with the power of the HK 3390 at all. Even my old 1977 Luxman L-30 at 40 watts per channel could pump out more volume than the supposed "80 watts" of the Harman Kardon. Pretty sad. The Harman Kardon is just lacking in peak and dynamic power. It reminded me of the saying "watts are cheap": a cheaply made receiver with internal components that don't match or support the rating that the manufacturer states. This receiver is a perfect example of "watts are cheap".

I also found the radio reception to be very poor. This is not a problem I have ever had before. I have been in the same house for many years, and have owned many different receivers and tuners in that time. However, even with my Magnum Dynalabs FM antenna I couldn't bring in FM stations in stereo mode, and AM reception wasn't much better either, even with an extremely long perimeter of antenna cable. That is just completely unacceptable.

Also, several minor annoyances: There is no tone defeat button to bypass the tone controls for a "pure" signal at all. Not to mention that the tone controls themselves are very small in diameter, making them hard to modulate. I also could have done without the orange standby light on the front of the receiver. To completely turn this light off, you have to flip the main power switch on the back of the amp. Otherwise, there is no other way to turn it off. Just give me a simple "when the receiver is on, the light is 'on', and when the receiver is off, the light is 'off'" kind of operation when I use the ON/OFF button on the front of the receiver or on the remote. And as pretty as this receiver is (I'll give it that much), the lettering for the row of buttons on the front of the amp is small, and difficult to read, especially if your amp is mounted lower in your rack or TV cabinet like mine was. The HK3390 also comes with a HUGE monolith of a remote, and it felt ridiculous holding that thing in my hand. It almost reminded me of those massive geriatric, bold letter remotes for old folks who can't see (in size anyway). Just silly.

Unfortunately, my praises are very few: This amp really does look great (to me anyway), and I really liked the Tron Light Cycle look of the volume knob. Other than the size of the remote it worked as it should. It's well laid out, and has all the right buttons to keep you from getting out of your seat to turn up/down the volume, switch inputs, etc. Also, this receiver is generally non-fatiguing to listen to. But at what cost? The overly-warm, dull, boring, and overall non-engaging sound leaves a WHOLE lot more to be desired.

I have owned tons of gear in and around this price range, and I assure you there are WAY better choices out there than the Harman Kardon HK 3390! I just don't get all the positive reviews these got when they were still in stores. I can only assume that they were from people who were buying them due to the discounted price at the time as their first receiver, or maybe they were liked by folks who just hadn't heard better gear yet. Whatever the reason, I have come across lots of other receivers in this class that EASILY beat the HK 3390. Again, I ASSURE YOU that there are many better choices on the (now) used market than this receiver. Just go explore, listen, and for the love of God, try other gear before you buy one of these! You can do better than this for the same amount of money for sure. BUYER BEWARE!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010

Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

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