Harman Kardon Signature Series 2.0 A/V Preamplifier

Signature Series 2.0

User Reviews (51)

Showing 1-10 of 51  
swanginc   Casual Listener [May 05, 2008]
Strength:

it was good unit for the price back then, the sound was not bad at all but I'm sure the new unit will be much better now this days

I have the signature 2.0 and 2.1for sometime now but did not know about the upgreate for the bass management the unit in general works good. I bought two dts upgreate in 2001 it worked good still got one extra don't know why I bought two I guess it was for back up incase it get damage, but need the bass management upgreat if anyone know where or how to get it at this time. It will be greatfully appreciated if it could be informed to this e-mail swanginc@yahoo.com thanks

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
oscar pieterse   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 02, 2008]
Strength:

great sound/ processor is doing well.

Weakness:

Tuner/ subwoofer fall out

I have a signature 2.0/2.1. But somehow i cant get my tuner running.
The sub-woofer sometimes has a fall out. There must be an upgrade but were can i find it. And how can i find out wich software version is on it??

Any help will do, thanks and greetings from holland

Oscar Pieterse

Similar Products Used: I use it with the marantz cd-80
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Deven   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 14, 2003]

A very clean, warm sounding and easy to use pre-amp.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bigfatbear88   Audio Enthusiast [May 28, 2003]
Strength:

Sound quitlty, build, set-up, prossecing and looks!

Weakness:

It's a shame H/K fired thier Citation/Signature group. Bob Popham should keep the upgrades coming; 7.1 maybe?

I bought my unit fairly new in 2000, just as Harman Kardon was fading out thier Signature Series line. My unit came with the dts upgrade and since then I've only had 1 problem and that was my circuit board for my digital inputs went bad, but it was no problem because I had the extended warranty. I must say i LOVE this piece. It is the closest the average buyer will even get close to some type of "high-to-middle" end A/V equipment. I recently purchased the 2.12 upgrade and I assure you it is worth it! You no longer have the annoying task of switching speaker size, now your sub will handle what it's supoosed too and that's effects, while your front speakers will handle the soundtrack. My sub stayed on all the time before, drowning out the whole movie, because all the bass was directed to it. Bob Popham is the guy 2C on this machine!!If you see one on ebay grab it, figure it & you'll love it. My system: Signature 2.0/Signature 2.1/two Signature 1.5 bridged(650watts each)/H/K DVD50/H/K CDR20/Sony TC-WR97ES tapedeck/Sony CDP-C745 changer/Panamax 5100 surge protector/Cerwin Vega: MX400(front),LS6C(center),LS5(surround),LW15(sub)/53" Magnavox TV

Similar Products Used: Not worth saying, theirs really no compairison at this price level.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
gareth   Audio Enthusiast [May 02, 2003]
Strength:

sound quality build quality looks versitile,product support

Weakness:

remote is okay but not great upgrade to tc-1000 jblharman touchscreen amazing

i also found this product at a get price after trying to find an harmankardon upgrade from recievers.i guess i was late finding out about the end of the sig series 2.0/2.1 and the amazing deals to be had. overall sound,clarity,dynamics,ease of use were worth giving up features like pl2 5channel stero etc. which i had on my avr320. my original software was ver.2.8 but as i did more research i found other versions were available. since then i have installed ver.2.10 and have ordered ver.2.12 with better bass management and dts upgrades.the best person to talk to is bob popham @ rjpc.com (engineer sig series)he knows everything about these babies and a great guy.harmankardon sends all sig series work to him and can possibily pass on a # should you need to talk to him. ver2.12 (can't wait) had a bug and was pulled.am radio had a conflict with another subroutine causing freeze ups. bob has since worked out these problems and has sent out a few test ver2.12 softwares for reviews,so far so good.anyway this product really delivers so far very happy

Similar Products Used: hk recievers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Terrence   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 18, 2003]
Strength:

Clean, solid design Sound

Weakness:

S-video inputs

On RJPC Design Consulting web site, they are advertising a bass management modification for the Signature 2.0 will be available March 28th. According to the web site, this modification will cost $35.00 plus shipping and will be user installable as it is a chip. I know there are some major limitations with bass management with the Signature 2.0, but I have not been able to find any information on what improvements this modification provides. I can only guess that it will allow a subwoofer when the front speaker are set to large in all modes, but that is just a guess. Has anyone installed this new chip? Does anyone have any information about this modification? I sent an email to RJPC, just waiting on a response. Thought I check with other Signature 2.0 owners.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
audiogeeke   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 30, 2002]
Strength:

Build and sound quality, price.

Weakness:

Limited s-video inputs and record outputs, no digital outputs

I am impressed with the sturdy build quality of this unit (22lbs, 1/4" brushed alluminum faceplate.) Its looks are very simple but it seems to make a statement in my system (A nice high-end piece.) The processing is phenominal. I can't believe how good my system sounds compared to recievers I used before. Seperates really is the way to go for top quality. The clarity and overall realism and seperation in DD and DTS is simply top notch. At $450.00 It's a steal. Even at $2500 retail new, it's processing is on par with units costing between $3500 and $5000. It shares the same construction and processing chips as the citation units costing closer to $4000. I havn't had any reliability issues with mine other than it locks up occasionaly. There seems to be pretty good support for this product.

Similar Products Used: H/K 510 reciever
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
chriscmore   AudioPhile [Jun 20, 2002]
Strength:

Near high-end at blowout pricing anyone can afford.

Weakness:

A good 2-channel audio only preamp will likely sound better - especially a tube preamp like a Cary SLP-98.

To correct an earlier review of mine, the posting I mentioned regarding digitization of the analog inputs was wrong. I confirmed with HK that unless DSP is selected, the preamp keeps the entire signal in the analog domain. Further evidence of this is the frequency response graph from an actual unit towards the end of the manual. It responds to 50kHz, which wasn't possible using the ADCs that would have been used when this was designed. When DSP is engaged, all the processing is performed through 20 bit Crystal dacs - earlier versions used Motorollas.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Dan   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 18, 2002]
Strength:

great sound and processing cool looks incredible value

Weakness:

awful remote somewhat limited inputs

Wow, tough crowd. You can buy these preamps refurbished from an authorized dealer for less than a run of the mill receiver retails for! I just got my Signature 2.0 through Harman Audio's eBay division for $376 shipped. The same unit went for $110 a week later, so keep your eyes open for a good deal slipping through the cracks... My system currently consists of: Marantz DV-7010 DVD player H/K Signature 2.0 preamp Fronts: Carver M-1.0t amp, NHT SuperTwo tower speakers Center: Carver M-1.0t amp, 2 NHT SuperOne XU bookshelf speakers * Rear: Carver M-200t amp, NHT SuperOne XU speakers Sub: Velodyne CT-100 home made Canare audio interconnects, Acoustic Research pro series video interconnects, etc. * Only one center speaker currently in use because my M-200t amp has one bad channel, so that is powering a single center speaker and the M-1.0t is temporarily powering the rears. The Signature 2.0 replaces a Pioneer VSX-D709S receiver (used as a preamp), which is really quite competent, easy to use, and attractive. However, the increase in sound quality and overall impact of the Sig 2.0 absolutely blew me away! I expected an improvement, but I couldn't stop smiling. It's difficult to describe what exactly is better (it's more than just channel separation), but you really get swept up in the sound. The major complaint is that the remote sucks, plain and simple. The remote on my Pioneer was infinitely better, but that seems to be the case with high end equipment (my Marantz remote is nowhere near as good as the remotes that came with many of the garbage entry level DVD players I first tried)... Even a bad remote intended for DVD use should allow you to program the menu navigation buttons -- essential for replacing a DVD remote if you want to actually get to the movie -- without overwriting the preamp's menu functionality, but this one apparently does not. No pre-programmed codes for non-H/K equipment, but the learning mode works fairly well. I'll most likely end up replacing it with a touchscreen remote of some sort. The assignable inputs is a nice touch, although I'm not convinced it's as useful as it is hype. I would think so few people actually need that functionality that it would be better to not confuse those who don't with a generic Video 1, Video 2, etc. array of buttons. Someone actually told me there's an industry theory that the reaso

Similar Products Used: middle of the road receivers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
aargonaut   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 17, 2002]
Strength:

Very good sound quality, excelent value, lots of inputs and outputs and surround modes

Weakness:

Cheap remote which is not backlit, no phono section

The rest of my system: Harman Kardon 670 Harman Kardon ST8 ttbl w/Ortofon MM15E cartridge Nakamichi RX505 tape deck Tascam 202 Mk III cassette deck Magnavox CDB650 CD player Pioneer DV-333 DVD player 1 pair Koss CM/1030s (main speakers) 6 Koss CM/1020s (1 for center, 2 as surrounds, 2 as sub, and 1 as a printer stand) The problem: The Koss CM/1020s and CM/1030s are 25 year old speakers the size of small coffins with low impeadances. They love current. Even with 45 amps of current, my HK AVR500 would shut off under heavy loads. SO, I decided to purchase a Sig 2.0 preamp which are being blown out on ebay) and 2.1 amplifier. Total price was under $1K. IMPRESSIONS: Sound: The 2.1 amp is beautiful. It blows away the amps in my Harman Kardon AVR500, which itself sounds really good. (Please see my 2.1 review). The preamp also sounds better, but not to the same degree. It is clean, articulate and uncolored. I doubt there is any home theater preamp which can touch it at under $1,500. At $425, it is a no-brainer. Good: The tuner is good with lots of presets and has RDS, which displays text information sent by some radio stations. Good: The unit has lots of inputs (6 pair stereo RCA, 4 dig. coax, 2 optical, 6 channel direct, 6 comp. video, 2 s-video) and outputs, and has very good configurability. Analog inputs can be balanced so that when going from one source to the next, the volume stays the same. Good: Lots of processing modes: Pro Logic, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Late Nite, Dolby Digital Mono, Mono Plus, four music modes and four movie modes. (However, lack of ability to control delay time between front and surround channels). Oh! It also has plain stereo. Good: Nice uncluttered industrial black aluminum appearance and solid. It is solid and weighs 22 lbs, as much as some AV receivers. Bad: Cheap remote, not backlit. It learns from other remotes, but no programmable codes. Bad: No phono section. Bad: Makes a little squeeking noise every time my cd changes a track letting me know it figured out the format of the digital source material. Bad: HK went for looks rather than putting enough functional buttons on front. Wish list - A sleep timer. Overall, a really good product.

Similar Products Used: HK AVR 500, 510, Classe AV preamp
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 51  

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