Harman Kardon AVR 55 A/V Receivers

AVR 55

User Reviews (72)

Showing 1-10 of 72  
Keith   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 28, 2000]
Strength:

Music and movies, price, value

Weakness:

no s-video switching, no speaker selector, no DTS

I loved this thing the moment I unpacked it. The look, the weight and the sound! I am sold on HK. No reliability problems and it works perfectly. I guess I should've bought the 65, but I'm happy with it.
Don't be fooled by the power rating. Why is it no other mainstream manufacturers discloses their amp rating? Could it be because they are ashamed of their products performance? This receiver is the best I have used and the best I have heard. If you want DTS, go to the 65. Otherwise, I feel this is a sound investment that should satisfy.
Jesus this review sounds stupid. All I can say is, "Listen to this!"

Similar Products Used: Sony pro-logic, Toshiba DD receivers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
scott   Audio Enthusiast [May 15, 2000]
Strength:

Dolby Digital and stereo reproduction,looks,value

Weakness:

haven't found any

I have had this reciever for two years now and only have positive things to say about it.sure its not loaded with a lot of features,but who cares its the sound reproduction that matters most. and this receiver does an excellent job of that.I've listened to recievers from other manufacturers,that cost twice what i paid for my AVR 55 that dont sound near as good.In my opinion the sound is what matters not the gizmos. I would highly recommend this receiver if you can find one.excellent job H/K

Similar Products Used: DENON (crap would make a good paper weight)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
sean harquail   Audiophile [Jan 31, 2001]
Strength:

The power of the product clarty,and bass depth

Weakness:

no D.T.S

This amp is the best and it accomadates my needs pefect.
I have bose 901s and bose AM-5 mk 3 for my fronts using a audio switcher and for the rears I have Bose AM-5 mk 2 and for the center I have two bose centers and to fill the bottom octave I have a b&w asw 2500 sub and it ROCKS!
And the amp pushes the 901 very good and clean at extream levels that rattles the candles of the fire place.
You will find no better system like this bose plus H/K
makes this the best audio system ever period.
And for thoes bose bashers this will blow you away.

Similar Products Used: h/k 65,7000,510
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Cary   Casual Listener [Dec 27, 2000]
Strength:

Power enough for HLS820's

Weakness:

remote, need i say more?

I just bought it for $248 @ the HK outlet, so far so good. All of you out there who paid +400, no worries, the unit is STILL worth it!

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Benson   Casual Listener [Sep 06, 2000]
Strength:

Attractive and good movie sounds for a small room

Weakness:

Terrible remote control, not a lot of power, and not reliable

Well I bought this receiver a year and a half ago from uBid (where I would never buy from again). I thought I got a good deal on it but of course A/V receiver prices dropped right after my purchase. It was refurbished but I bought Harman Kardon becuase of it's name and my friend had an older model that was great. Never again! It sounded great for DD5.1 movies but it's prologic and stereo sounds were poor. The remote is clunky and when I tried to program my dvd remote commands, it didn't work. Next I tried to send my tv output into the receiver and that didn't work. That didn't bother me that much since I didn't want to watch TV with it because of the terrible prologic sounds. I bought it mainly for watching DVDs which it served it's purpose. Now it's doing weird things when I watch DVDs. When I play DVDs it would work fine but then a few minutes later the front lights would go off and it will not respond to my remote or my front panel buttons. But it will keep playing my movie fine. I can't even hit the power button to turn it off. I have to hit the master power cutoff to turn off my unit. Now I have to deal with their service people and Harman Kardon has the worst service. I called their tech support and they are flooded with calls so I can't get through. Well enough of my complaints. Moral of the story is don't go with Harman Kardon. I hate to say it but I'd rather go with Sony. Most of their other products have been very reliable to me.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
David Williams   Casual Listener [Jun 14, 2000]
Strength:

Sounds great

Weakness:

Source selection buttons are difficult to see/read in a darkened room.

I have found my HK55 to be totally reliable and I have enjoyed the sound quality. When I decided to replace my speakers I was wondering if this unit would supply adequate power but it seems to perform fine. I would recommend the HK55 to anyone.

In case you are interested I am using B&W 603 S2 mains, B&W 602 S2 rears, B&W LCR6 center and a B&W ASW1000 sub. Obviously I am also a B&W fan.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Steve   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 01, 2000]
Strength:

Superb audio output to all channels

Weakness:

Optical Link to my CD player doesn't always connect. Have to go into analog then to optical

I've had this unit for over 2 years and have found it to be an outstanding audio amplifier. I drive a pair of Boston Acoustics VR975's and a VR12 center to concert levels (I mean LOUD)and have never clipped the amp or introduced any noticeable distortion.

The features may be surpassed by other higher end receivers, but that is just fluff to me. I bought this unit for it's audio capability. Don't get me wrong, the HT part of the "55" is fine.

This receiver has performed flawlessly from the moment I got it home.

Highly recommended!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Charles Tidwell   Audiophile [Nov 28, 2000]
Strength:

Sound, digital decoding, great preamp stage

Weakness:

None

I have had the AVR55 for 3 years now and I have never had a problem with it. The amplifier section is very strong and clean although I only use the center and surround channel amps. However, I did hook up a pair of JBL L112s to it one time and ran it at lease breaking volumes for a few hours and was surprized that the 55 watts that the H/K puts out was clean and that the amp never got too hot. I now use the JBLs wired into a mono 4 ohm load to the center channel. This makes one heck of a killer center channel with 110 watts now instead of the 55 watts at 8 ohms.

With DVDs, the AVR55 has one of the best sounding 5.1 digital decoders at this price range. With my system, I have precise localization of sounds all around me.

My favorite part of this reciever, though, is the preamp section. I use a McIntosh MC250 amplifier to power a pair of Klipsch Cornwalls which I have also reviewed. The preamp in the AVR55 is very quiet, clean, and detailed. I listen to music more than watching movies so my main concern is how the H/K presents the music to the rest of my components downstream from it. All I have to say is that it does a great job. Of course, you can buy other recievers that might sound a little better then the AVR55, but you will have to pay at least three times as much for it if not more.

As far as having any kinds of problems with the AVR55, I have not had a single one. I read that one reviewer was having trouble trying to get the reciever to "detect" his powered sub and that when he would select "yes" to activate the sub output of the H/K, it would go back to "no". Well, if he was to actually read the owners manual, he would find out that this reciever does not "detect" anything connected to it. Plus, if he read a little further, he would notice that once you choose "yes" to activate the sub output, you have to depress the memo button while "yes" is still flashing on the screen or else it will go back to the factory default which is "no".

Everybody else that has had problems with their AVR55s, those are real problem with the unit but the guy I was talking about here, that's just plain stupid on his part. He is the problem, not his reciever.

Similar Products Used: Carver, Rotel, Pioneer Elite
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Joe   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 15, 2001]
Strength:

Quality and clarity of sound and not a lot of useless dsp modes

Weakness:

needs a couple more digital inputs

I've owned this receiver for 2 1/2 years now and I've loved it since the day I bought it. Digital reproduction is awesome, and cd playback rocks. If you are just starting out and don't have a lot of money, this is the receiver of choice. Sure it would be nice to have a newer and bigger toy, but my AVR 55 will be sitting on top of my big screen for years to come.

Similar Products Used: my first HK, had an old Kenwood 2 channel
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike   a Casual Listener [May 17, 1999]

LOVE the remote. Forget ergonomics, I can hold a square box if it replaces every other remote, and can be programmed in 10 minutes. (read the instructions folks.) As for CD stereo, my kids came running with their favorites to see what they were supposed to sound like, compared to a cheap boombox. The Wharfedale Valdus 400 speakers are driven well with 55 watts. As for 5 stars, I'll save that for perfection. (almost =)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 72  

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