Harman Kardon AVR 45 A/V Receivers

AVR 45

Dolby Digital Receiver

User Reviews (90)

Showing 1-10 of 90  
Paul E.   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 12, 2015]

I thought I give my 2 cents even if it's 16 years after the fact. I worked at Future Shop at the time we were taking on HK as a product line in late December 2008, had the Reps do their spiel, discrete amplification, clear sound, HK reputation and what not I bought into it especially when I could purchase the components at half price. Purchased the AVR45 for myself along with the 5 disc changer and the two channel integrated amp with a tape deck and a single cd player for my parents.
The integrated amp literally sparked up within a couple of days and received a replacement, the tape deck and single cd player are still functioning but then again my parents rarely use them.
The AVR45 receiver, I was never really satisfied with the sound, always had to turn the knob all the way to get any sound even with very sensitive speakers and for that reason hardly ever used it, I remember turning people away from this early stages of Chinese manufacturing, it's 16 years now, looks brand new and still works but he sound is un-pleasurable, I stopped recommending H/K to my customers a long time ago I found the boards here either 5 star or 1 star, for those who had nothing but praise for the AVR45, you either must of been paid to write the dribble or you're truly are satisfied with a subpar product like the AVR45, I paid $600.00 at the time and was being listed for $1200.00 CDN and I was thinking "what a steal"

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Lebeter   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 07, 2011]

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
RobTX   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 23, 2004]
Strength:

Looks great Solid build Great for music and stereo output

Weakness:

Only one optical and one coax digital out Programming remote is clunky Decoder takes a second to kick in It's hot hot hot

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

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
pacamo   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 14, 2003]
Strength:

Tons of power, for only the front channel, the remote still works

Weakness:

Way too many to mention

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.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
adrian bielby   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 27, 2003]
Strength:

Very loud and clear sound

Weakness:

Heavy

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).

Similar Products Used: Harman Kardon AVI200
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ozscott   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 18, 2003]
Strength:

Bass response. Ease of operation. Warranty & service back up.

Weakness:

The overheating problem. Price in Australia was $1200Aust.

I have used the AV45R for the past 3 years everyday and except for a 4 week period when it was being fixed for the overheating problem, it has been superb. The overheating caused the amp to go into protect mode, so it did its job. The transformer was replaced under warranty and I have had no problems since. It has a huge output for 45w. I run 2 huge home made front speakers with 12" Plessey drivers, dome mid & piezo tweeter. They are very efficient speakers. The centre & rears are Australian built Whatmoughs, and the sub is a huge Jamo (too big for the room in fact). I play music using the theatre mode, and all TV & DVD is pro logic. I am still impressed with this unit, especially the DVD playback. The remote, which can learn is also a treat, but takes some getting used to. The manual is one of the best I have ever used. A friend has bought the next model up in wattage output, and that too is impressive.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
viktor   Casual Listener [Sep 30, 2002]
Strength:

Outstanding crispy sound quality, lots of power, can beat some of popular brand names.

Weakness:

Need to watch for overheating, use fan to prevent from heating.

I changed about 15 receivers before purchasing this one. I still have my AIWA Dolby Digital Surround Sound Receiver for my TV System. Minute I hooked up my big Technics towers to the Amp, I realized the quality difference. Crispy clear sound, a lot of reserved power. This is only 55W per channel but sounds almost twice louder in ½ of power comparing to my 110W per channel on AIWA. Yes I notes the over heating issue with this amp, and in order to prevent from having problems I placed a flat ball bearing fan which usually use on big industrial mainframe PC Units for cooling the drives. You can tell the difference. Now it never gets hot. The rest of my system is on the top of the receiver and you cannot see the fan, since I placed it on the top of unit always on the back. The other issue came up when I purchased the HK Surround Sound Speaker Set with Powered Sub. HK does not have more speaker plugs and I’ve been trying to connect all my speakers. Finally after couple of weeks it starts shutting by it self on Low to Mid Volume level. HK rep told me that I should not do that and use additional speaker box for additional speakers. So now I’m in process of rewiring the whole room.

Similar Products Used: High ended Yamaha and high ended model of Denon.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
ganti   Audio Enthusiast [May 21, 2002]
Strength:

Sound quality might be good if it works

Weakness:

It hardly works

Had i visited this site before bidding it on Ubid, I would have never done that mistake. I purchased the HK speaker system and simultaneously bought this receiver during last week of 2000. I received the product in defective condition and requested Ubid for RMA. Ubid didn't reply for weeks and finally told i have to get it repaired and they will not accept return. I sent it for repair at my own expense and guess what, it came back in the same condition. It never worked since then. This is absolute junk. H&K and Ubid should be ashamed of cheating their customers.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Scott   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 26, 2002]
Strength:

Very loud for 55 watts per channel

Weakness:

One optical input

Ive had the AVR45 for almost 2 years and mine works perfect.No problems what so ever.I have it hooked up to Polk RT800''s,Polk CS400 Centers,Energy Take2 Surrounds, and a Polk PSW450.Combined with a Mits 65" W/HDTV Sat Feed and Progressive Scan DVD,This ROCKS my House!I feel sorry for the people who got what they paid for!!Ive had recivers rated with twice the power that dont even come close to the performance of the AVR45.I will be upgrading to the AVR8000 soon.I''ll feel sorry for the block after that!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Andy   Casual Listener [Mar 15, 2002]
Strength:

Clear, solid sound. No noise at all.

Weakness:

The remote is kind of ugly, but who cares.

I did not find this site until I had bought my AVR 45, and I am kind of glad I did not. The negative reviews are very discouraging. So far, I have not found any problem with my unit. I bought it from HK''s web site for $179 plus $30 shipping. I am very pleased with my purchase. The reciever does what it suppose to do. Beautiful, clear and amazing sound. I do not have any of problems mentioned by others yet, and I hope I will not. It seems that all those have problems bought their units from UBid.com, maybe there is something wrong with UBid. I am a causual listener, but I am very picky about sound quality. I hook my reciever to a pair of Bose 141 shelf speakers with Moster cables, and play CD with a Philips DVD player without a TV for my little bedroom. It is more than what I expected to get from a cheap system. It sounds much much better than most of Japanese systems. I highly recommend it to people who do not want to break the bank to get beautiful sound.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 90  

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