Harman Kardon CDR 20 CD Recorders/Players

3.9/5 (31 Reviews) MSRP : $549.00


Product Description

Dual-Drawer CD-R/RW Recorder

The 4x-speed CDR 20 enables you to preserve your vinyl or tapes in the crystal-clear, durable CD format. The CDR 20 can make recordings from external analog or digital sources, or can dub entire discs or a programmed mix from one deck to the other. The two decks can function as either a 2-disc changer, or dual sources in a multiroom application. The 96kHz/24-bit AKM D/A converters preserve the sonic quality of original recordings. Front-panel digital input and headphone jacks offer the level of convenience that you have come to expect from Harman Kardon.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (31 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Patrick Case a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 8, 2012

Bottom Line:   
Oh well, I hate giving bad reviews but here goes. I thought that this deck would be a great idea because I had a huge project in mind - the conversion of all of my vinyl to CD.

For about one year, I diligently used the CDR20 to record my precious vinyl to compact disks. Then while surfing the Internet, I came across the Music Hall brand off CD player. So I bought one.

About two months into my ownership of the Music Hall, I devised to run a comparison between the two machines, the CDR20 and the Music Hall. OMG what a difference. It's hard to express how unbelievably superior the Music Hall was in terms of simple musicality. Everything was suddenly just there with the Music Hall - everything that had been muted, yes muted, by the CDR20.

Soon after running the comparison, my son came over for dinner and I told him about the "test" that I had conducted. Until that time, his attitude had been the same s mine - how could there be any difference between digital music players?

While running the comparison for my son, his jaw literally dropped. He couldn't believe the diffence in musical experience between the two machines.

I'm not saying the the CDR20 is a "bad" machine. My first CD player (one f the first produced) was a Harmon Kardon. I am saying that there is a wide difference between players and that you get what you pay for.

As I am about to divest myself of the CDR20, I reflect on the folly of slavishly following every new tech trend. The CDR20 offered the opportunity to give new life to old vinyl and to invigorate existing CDs. In the end, it's revive was sturdy but mediocre. Given a second opportunity, I wouldn't buy it.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by amclaussen a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 29, 2010

Bottom Line:   
AVOID IT. Avoid any dual deck Harman Kardon CD recorders at all cost! Those are badly designed and assembled, will work for a few months at best, and then start to trash top quality Music CD-R's of several brands. After a couple of years mine also started to skip when playing perfectly good best quality CD's also!

Problems frecuently start when trying to "Finalize" recordings, the units display a "Disc Error" message, or the newly recorded disc does not play or read at all on other units... damn, even on the left side of the same Harman Kardon recorder! Mine is NOT the only one that failed, several other I have seen have similar behaviors and sympthoms. General consensus is that a huge lot was defective, but the extent of the defective units suggests design or construction problems. Now, when it worked (about 20 to 30% of the times initially) it produced good copies of CD's, but some times those were playable only in the same unit. Lately, even the left side deck (the player only) started to skip badly. A Lemon, a piece of crap, nothing more.
I will NEVER buy another Harman Kardon unit at ANY price. (unless it is a vintage, before 1980 unit, when Harman Kardon was a respectable company and not the bandits run group it has become). amclaussen.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tommy121 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 30, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Purchase price in £

Hmmm. When I opened the box, I frowned at the (relatively) miniature dimensions and slight weight of this unit. (my MF amp weighs 40 KGs combined and my speakers 50 KG each...) It didn't look especially promising either. The CD drawer mechanism is crap a really tinny plastic affair...

Hooked it up (with misgivings) to the amp wondering what it would make of the CDP aspect of this item. Or rather, I wondered what my Thiel CS 3.6's would make of it, since my amp tends to be quite forgiving, unlike the speakers which show every flaw possible of any piece of equipment (amp, speaker cables, badly recorded cd's etc). Well I was quite impressed. For its price this player wasn't bad at all. For sure its soundstage was far from perfect, lacking definition (despite help from a forgiving amp). But it was listenable to... and for the price I paid I really couldn't complain at all - it had decent musical characterics with good treble, mid and bass. After all this isn't really a CDP & obviously isn't going to outperform a dedicated CD player at 5x its original list price is it?

As a recorder this unit is perfectly acceptable - the CD quality does depend a bit on the quality of the disks used though. With good disks (and recorded at 1x speed - leave it working while you're at work) it did a very good job. Which is what I bought it for. That's fine then.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $170.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Phil a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 29, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I first reviewed this recorder in September 2001. I have been using it since then and am very happy with it. Initially, I was having a problem with some of the copied discs skipping when played on other recorders, but that problem seems to have worked itself out (knock on wood!). I have made many discs over the last two years and the sound quality has been excellent. I have made copies of LPs that have also been excellent.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   Circuit City



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by jim mezz a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 16, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Sorry, but my advice is, avoid this product. The first unit I received malfunctioned, and when I exchanged it for another unit, that one also malfunctioned.
The problem was with the lefthand player, the one that plays but does not record. With certain tracks, the unit would skip twenty seconds ahead at the start of the track. This happened with a variety of CDs, old and new. To make sure it wasn't the CDs, I played them in the righthand player, and there was no problem.

When I received the second unit, I had even more of a skipping problem, with more of my CDs. Again, I could play the CDs in the righthand player without a problem.

The company rep's response was that it might have been a bad batch of units. I realize these are mass-produced, but I wasn't very impressed with this response. This was my first experience with Harmon Kardon, and it has been a totally negative one. I returned the unit and got my money back, and I definitely don't plan on trying any of their products again.

The player did sound great--regular CDs and the ones I recorded, both digitally and analog (turntable). And it was easy to use. I was new to CD recording, but the manual was clear and the whole process was a snap. As a matter of fact, I came to view the unit as being somewhat schizophrenic--the righthand, player/recorder unit never gave me a problem, the lefthand unit was like the Bermuda Triangle. I guess if I was using another digital source for recording, it wouldn't be so bad, but I bought the unit precisely to have an all-in-one player. I appreciated the recording level graphics, and especially liked that they always appeared, regardless of whether you were recording--made it easy to match recording levels.

I was a bit disappointed in the fit and finish and general ergonomics of the unit--I had a Sony unit previously, and it was just more of a pleasure to use. Specifically, the buttons were all kind of small and a bit chintzy. The analog recording level knob especially--I absolutely loved having such a feature, but the button itself was cheap plastic and wiggled a lot.
But for me, all of this is irrelevant, because the thing just wouldn't work properly. Of course, if the digital source of your dual-deck CD recorder doesn't work, your digital recording options are greatly limited. Too bad, too--the unit sounded so good. A real disappointment.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   J&R Music World




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