Harman Kardon AVR330 A/V Receivers

AVR330

  • 24 Bit Twin Core Cirrus Logic DSP Engine
  • Logic 7 for 7.1 Channels With 96kHz Capability
  • 7-Channel Stereo Mode
  • HDTV-Ready Component Video Switching
  • Multi-room/Multi-source Control System
  • For Audio With Zone II Remote Included
  • Surround Back Amplifier Channels Assignable to Remote Zone
  • 8-Channel Direct Inputs
  • 7.1-Channel Preamp Outputs

User Reviews (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5  
zetasoul   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 23, 2006]
Strength:

+Great sound quality
+Lots of connections
+7.1 surround sound
+Looks amazing
+Well designed, simplistic
+Great value
+Provides alternative connections for speaker outputs
+Very durable and tough

Weakness:

-Messy controller
-Could provide more function on front panels
-Getting into the menu is a pain for component users

I too did alot of research on several receivers keeping in mind all the factors that are important to me which are looks, functionality, and value. I have narrowed it all down to this receiver: Harmon/Kardon AVR330. There are many features in this receiver that will stand the test of time, but there are also some features that are quite annoying but bearable. Granted I have not tested out any other products before I bought this receiver, but specs for specs and penny for penny, this receiver is one of the best valued with a good specs sheet. As described, this receiver support a 7.1 surround sound system which I ended up doing with all large bookshelf Harmon/Kardon speakers and a large 24" JBL Subwoofer. It took some tweaking to get the sounds to balance out right, but it was worth it in the end. I am no audiophile, but the sounds that was delivered by this receiver (and speakers) are quite amazing by my standard. There are tons of connection of any kind with the exception of HDMI. But most of the receivers now don't have HDMI switchers except for the high-ends. I will have to get a monoPrice HDMI switcher later on for around $100. In order to get into the OSD menu to change settings like sound output and digital selections, you need the tv to be connected into an analog (yellow wire) wire to see the menu on the screen. I found that it won't work with Component cables which I used which is kind of annoying. But alternatively, you can change the digitial selection source on the front panel of the receiver. Setting up may be tough for those who haven't set up a receiver before and it may get some getting used to. The controller is just OK, with tons of buttons on it that aren't necessary. The texts are so small that I have to squint at times to read eventhough I have 20/20 vision and I'm not old (22). But overall, it is a very good receiver and I highly recommend it. Even with it turned off, It looks amazing!

Customer Service

Customer service was amazing. The first one I received was defective since I bought it refurbished, but they sent me a box and shipping postage absolutely free of charge. They sent back a different one and I have been using it for 2 years now. They were prompt and very help, a big plus in my book.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 02, 2006]
Strength:

Great sound quality; stylish looks with cool blue accents; flexible bass management and setup options; lots of audio/video inputs; auto-setup sets speaker levels using mic built into remote; composite/s-video/component video switching (2 component inputs); OSD function; display dimmer; front-panel digital/analog audio and video inputs; manual clear and easy to understand; 7 channels of amplification, and 2 channels can be used to power speakers in separate room (comes with secondary zone remote); direct input selector buttons on remote, can also control DVD/CD players and more; direct sound mode buttons allow switching between each of the DD/DPLII (Music/Movie), DTS:NEO (Music/Movie), Logic 7 (Music/Movie/Enhanced), and Stereo (analog pure direct, stereo, 5-/7-channel stereo) modes; analog multichannel inputs for SACD/HD-DD/HD-DTS; analog pre-outs for connecting external amplifiers.

Weakness:

Remote design could be a bit better, although it's easy to use once you get used to it; no subwoofer test tone (must use setup disc like Avia to properly set subwoofer level)

I purchased this receiver as a remanufactured unit through Harman Audio over a year ago. It came with all accessories and manual, just like new. I upgraded from a lower model HK, the AVR125, and stuck with HK because of the sound and build quality. The AVR330 didn't disappoint, and the added setup (bass management) flexibility was exactly what I was looking for to properly integrate my speakers and subwoofer. The receiver features an auto-setup for speaker levels, using a built-in mic in the remote. I have an SPL meter of my own and use Avia to setup and tweak my speakers and sub (receiver features multiple crossover point settings, independent per speaker pair), so I haven't tried to try this feature. For sound quality, this receiver delivers more than enough power to push my Ascemd speakers and fill my room with clean sound. The conservative 55x7 power rating may turn some people off, but for example in looking at the Sound & Vision review from 2004, it puts out practically the same amount of watts as the Panasonic X70 digital receiver, which is rated 100x6. The heavy, sturdy build lets you know that it can definitely deliver the power. The power is clean, and everything sounds great, from CDs to DD/DTS DVDs, to HD TV shows to video games. Of course pairing the receiver with nicer speakers like the Ascends, rather than cheap HTIB-type satellites, will really show off what this receiver can sound like. The OSD is great for setting up the receiver, and it allows you to set things like the default volume setting for when the unit is powered on. The front readout display can even be dimmed or turned off with the remote for watching TV at night in a dark room. Overall, this is a great mid-level receiver with a great feature set and enough flexibility for people wanting to get more out of their system. Newcomers to home theater will want to read through the manual to set up the receiver, and I recommend even more seasoned HTers read it as well, as it provides a lot of information on speaker/receiver setup and all the settings and features the receiver offers. Once you know what you're doing, setup and adjusting settings is a breeze. For the money, it's hard to find a better-sounding or -looking receiver. I highly recommend this receiver and Harman Kardon overall.

Customer Service

Handled inquiries (through website) in a timely manner.

Similar Products Used: Harman Kardon AVR125
Onkyo 502

Current system: Ascend 340SEs x3 across the front, Ascend 170SEs x2 for surrounds, HSU VTF-3 subwoofer
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
5pointwon   AudioPhile [Apr 03, 2004]
Strength:

Plenty of power, bass flexibility. Has a real analog type sound. Plenty of inputs and outputs. A really nice, well manufactured piece of gear.

Weakness:

Remote puts the AWK! back into awkward. You want a good universal remote if you've much gear, anyway. That's really about it. Won't accept dual banna plugs. Set up is a little tough for the uninitiated but that's going to be true for all AV receivers with similar capabilities. Get a friend or twist the dealers arm (if he/she is local) to help if you're not confident. It's worth it!

I did a lot of research myself on this one, just like jcrist above (by the way, it sounds like he intended to give the 330 a higher overall rating than one star). At any rate, I most enjoy vacume tube sound and have a tube amp and cd player (as well as a turntable and tube phono-amp) for most of my music listening. When I decided it was time to upgrade my present home theater set-up I chose to invest in sacd/dvd-a capability but hoped to stick with a warmer sound, similar to my experience with tube equipment. I considered (and auditioned) Denon, Marantz and Pioneer Elite as well as the HK (all make fine receivers for home theater)but liked the overall features, great looks and reasonable price of the HK. Now there's no looking back! Love it! Took me 6 hours to pull out the old Kenwood THX R-1000 I had, clean up, install the 330 and calibrate it. Worth every second. The Kenwood, used with a Marantz Dolby Digital decoder, was great but receivers have come a long way in the last 8 years (No Sh*t!). Love the improved detail and precise channel seperation as well as the bass flexibility the HK 330 offers. Being used to the power of "low wattage" tube amps I was not surprised that a mere 55 watt amp could put out some serious decible levels without getting thin or sounding frazed. The HK has real watts that do the job. Am blown away by sacd and dvd-a! There are loads of these cd's out there and though a bit slow to take off I think surround sound will gain momentum as more people are exposed to how great it sounds and realize their home theater gear can play it. It's the only solid state sound I've heard that rivals analog tube sound and I think that's a very big deal. The whole point is to suspend your sense of disbelief long enough to feel the musicians are there and the music live and this set-up with sacd/dvd-a is as close as I've ever been to that. No reason to ever leave the house again!! One Call was great, by the way! I somehow overpaid $10 when I sent an initial money order. Refund got here day after the receiver...which was a day early itself!! Couple days later they made a follow-up call to be sure I was happy. Very classy! Best warrantied price, too, by the way.

Similar Products Used: Kenwood, Onkyo, Marantz, Pioneer
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
jcrist   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 18, 2004]
Strength:

Logic 7 Quality Amplifiers (don't let the wattage rating fool you, this amp is under rated relative to most receivers on the market) Multi-room capability

Weakness:

Only very minor. Can't override auto decode format detection (probably common on most other receivers) Doesn't save volume settings for each input

I got tired of listening to all the stereo TV programming out of my center speaker and having to switch my HDTV input. So as usual I researched my purchase to death. I went with the Harman Kardon for 4 main reasons: 1) Logic 7 - and YES it works! It provides a much better sound field of 2-channel audio than Pro Logic II or DTS NEO:6 does. 2) Component Video Switching (although must A/V Receivers have this now. 3) Multi-room capability 4) Harman Kardon Quality/Value - they always make very high quality receivers. The auto surround level adjustment using a mic in the remote works pretty good. I also like the fact you can set the default decoding and surround speaker levels for each input. There are only a few minor drawbacks. If the signal is Dolby Digital but only 2-channel (which happens when watching HDTV via digital cable using the optical audio cable), you can't force it into Logic 7 - it uses Pro Logic II. It would be nice if you could override the auto decode format manually or set the receiver to default to Logic 7. I don't fault the receiver though as I think this is an issue with the cable box. It does not retain the volume settings for each input so if TV audio is louder than a typical DVD, you have to turn the volume down when switching inputs instead of the receiver just remembering what the volume was at the last time you were on that input. This receiver is comparable to the mid-line models from Denon and Yamaha, two other well respected brands. I chose this one over those brands primarily due to the Logic 7 capability and I'm glad I did. My CD's and non HD TV channels now are much better balanced throughout my speakers while still maintaining a good sterao image. Sound quality of this amp is excellent. I find it intereting that the pricing on this receiver falls into two categories. High $400 or high $600, not sure what the descrepency is but this is a good value if you can get it under $500. If you are looking in the $350-$550 range (street price), I think this is the best choice currently on the market.

Similar Products Used: JVC RX888VBK
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
4
pkeberly   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 04, 2004]
Strength:

Killer sound! It has plenty! of controls for setups of audio! Plenty of video I/O to be the center of a real A/V system. The remote has a crude SPL meter function built in, that sets the levels for you.

Weakness:

The remote could use some tweaking. The button layout is poor, and the lettering is small. And to be picky, I'd like to see some customizability (sp?) to the VFD display. ie. to change "VIDEO 1" to something like "VCR 1" and a way to "teach" the remote things that aren't included in the canned programming.

Wow, this thing rocks! Ya gotta have one! I received the AVR-330 as a Christmas gift from my wife. It replaces the 4 yr old Sony receiver that we tried to use as the center of a piece-meal A/V system. The specs for the total output wattage seemed weak for the price. I hooked it up and WOW!!! It rocks the house, with our old speakers! Don't be fooled by wattage number, this beast rules! It brings unheard of sound to our DVDs (ask my neighbors about the "Band of Brother" battle scenes!)

Similar Products Used: Sony DTE-530, but the only real similarity is the AC power cord!
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-5 of 5  

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