Harman Kardon HK 3380 Receivers

Harman Kardon HK 3380 Receivers 

DESCRIPTION

  • Subwoofer output
  • Dimmable fluorescent display
  • Even a nine-step, 90-minute sleep timer

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-8 of 8  
[Jan 11, 2020]
CracknThump


Strength:

A very sleek looking unit which was a nice surprise. Sound is superb. The clarity is much better when compared to my old NAD 319 amp. I am very pleased with my secondhand purchase for fifty quid.

Weakness:

I agree with the previous comments that the plugs on the back area a tad flimsy.

Price Paid:
50
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
3380
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Oct 23, 2008]
JerzyDevil
Casual Listener

Strength:

Price. Has remote control. Sounds musical as a stereo should. Good value.

Weakness:

Lacks overhead or reserve power. Weak bass. Flimsy jacks feel like they could break.
Shipping and tax diminished good value. But, would buy anyway.

I purchased the HK 3380 to replace an aging NAD that had plenty of power and overhead but no channel separation or musicality. The NAD seemed to need a serious overhaul which was not worth the cost. I decide to try the bargain priced HK before upgrading to pricier equipment. Even running somewhat inefficient Vienna Acoustics speakers, the HK does just fine. Of course the sheer power of more expensive stereos might be absent, but for the price I am not complaining.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Feb 24, 2008]
becleave
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

I'm not much for reading audio reviews, so my impression may need some clarification
that I am unable to provide. This receiver has a well-rounded sound, I find that it
does a superb job of improving the sound on music which is over-bassed.
As in too much bass drum, that you may hear in jazz or pop music.
Compared to my avr20, which plays the input 'raw' or seemingly unattenuated,
this unti seems to sense and reduce the boxy sound to a tolerable effect.
Much as it was meant to be heard. In that sense, it does not offer the ability to
remove the effect,you get the clean sound it produces .
After one year, I bought another one for my den.
Has a tape monitor function, for adding an equalizer.
Also features preamp in/outs, for those who need them.
Eighty watts per channel is more than enough sound for my home.
The volume appears as -40dB , a format I had not seen before..
even turned up to 0dB, or into the plus range, the sound remains clear and
powerful.

Weakness:

I did find that
on occasion the unit will distort some high frequencies,almost to a hissing effect.
In regards, that may be a source problem, or in the manufacture of some CDs.
In comparison to my avr20, the sound is rather generic. With that receiver, often I would find myself hearing new sounds and/or aspects in the music that I listen to
repeatedly. These qualities would more likely be in the sense of seeing the music,
and not limited to what you hear,but this receiver does seem to alter the effects
in such a way that you get the aforementioned generic sound it produces.
So, if you are replacing a 600 dollar receiver with a 250 dollar one, you may expect
slightly less listening enjoyment.Yet the clarity and power of the sound is a definite
improvement over my old hk.

No loudness button !
At 6.5 inches tall, it is huge!
Once, and only one time, the unit (while not in use) made a clicking sound, as
the power was being turned off and on repeatedly. Unplugged unit for maybe
15 minutes and all was okay. Has not re-occured .

I bought this receiver to replace an HK avr20 II which had owned for 3 years.
For the bargain price of $130, I received a remanufactured unit complete with
manual, 3 year warranty(providing you register),a small antenna, and a remote
control including the batteries. This is a two channel stereo, no surround.
The stereo delivers a crisp, clear sound reproduction,with plenty of kick for
my listening enjoyment.
The styling is clean and elegant,the controls are basic and do not interfere with the
esthetics.
I love the blue light on the volume knob, which appears
as a crescent shape from almost any angle! Or you can dim the lighting in three
steps to only the power buttons blue glow.

Similar Products Used:

Harman Kardon avr 20 mark II

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 31, 2006]
paladinmrb
AudioPhile

Strength:

Features. It has a lot of features for a 2 channel reciever. The pre-out / amp-in as well as stereo subwoofer RCA out are obscure and useful.

The flourecent, dimmable display is pleasing and very nice. I wish it sounded as good as it looked. Then again the old pioneer with it's "Flouroscan" display and chrome-plated knobs and switches is 1980's-Sexy in it's own right...and has it where it counts...

It's got a an AV input on the front panel...good for a game console or a camcorder if you've got this thing on a TV... The input has a cover plate...boy it sure am pretty...

Remote Control (w/Batteries in box)

30 preset memory on the tuner. A coaxial terminated FM wire antenna and an AM loop are included.

Phono Stage. Increasingly rare these days...

Beacuse of it's features and low price it gets a "Value Rating" of 4.

Weakness:


Overall poor sound quality. It was clean, and noise free. That's all the better I can say. I did not have a hum issue as is described by other reviewers.... It did have a "new-electronic-funk" smell but not "disgusting" out of the box.

The unit advertised "Binding Posts" as the connection method for the speaker cables. Caveat Emptor. These are NOT 5-Way binding posts found on most speakers and good amplifiers. While they do accept banana plugs and bare wire, the do not accept pins or spade lugs. They also felt chincy (like they might break). I think I would have prefered either the standard spring clips or actual 5-way binding posts.

I was using a aging, classic Pioneer SX-3700 reciever for a den computer system. The Pioneer was starting to have some noise issues and channel balance issues. I did a little looking and comparsion shopping in the now relatively small 2-channel reciever market. I found a good deal on the Harmon/Kardon HK-3800. My range was 200 dollars. I paid $199.99 with free shipping promotion at JM.com. The unit has an MSRP of $245.00.

Factors that influenced my purchase included functional features and aesthetics of the unit.

The HK-3380 has 6 inputs: 1 CD, 1 Tape Loop, 3 Video Loops, and a Phono Stage Input. A video out monitor is also included. It also included rarer features, a pair of L and R subwoofer out RCA terminals which are master-volume controlled. There is no active sub-bass management...but if you know what you're doing with the controls on the subwoofer (Phase, Crossover, and Volume) then you can manually adjust your system...not as easy as some AVR's or Surround processors though... Also included are Pre-Out and Amp-In terminals, which come jumpped but the jumpers can be removed. I found this quite valuable as this unit can have a graphic equalizer added (not that I would...but that I can makes me feel special), or an out-board surround proccessor (I have an old, old Pro-Logic Adcom unit lying around...hmmm) could be added. On top of the rich set of features, the unit is tastefully designed with a flourecent blue lit volume knob, ice-blue readout, display dimmer functions, and crisp black-on-silver modern finish.

Upon recieving the product I installed it in place of the afforementioned Pioneer.

Let me explain the accompanying components:

This reciever's primary function was to power a computer stereo system. The computer's sound card was hooked to the reciever via a mini-stereo jack to L/R RCA splitter cable. The speakers used were Klipsch Reference RSX-5 Bookshelf Monitors and a Klipsch ProMedia SWS 8" Powered Subwoofer unit. The subwoofer was connected to the Pioneer amp via an RCA cable off of an available Line-Level Tape Record output (the Klipsch SWS features a remote volume knob, and the computer controlls the system volume). With the HK-3380 I was able to use the Subwoofer-Out jacks instead.

After making the appropriate connections to the HK-3380 I powered up the computer to play some music.

I do not download MP3 music. I have a dedicated hard-drive on my PC to which I rip full PCM CD-Quality audio tracks. Therefore I played back full CD-Quality music into the HK-3380 powered system.

I was amazed at how poorly the HK-3800 sounded in comparison to the vintage Pioneer Unit. It failed to image as clearly as the SX-3700. The soundfield had much less depth and clarity. The bass was over loud and too punchy. This is with the eq contour knobs in "null" position. Thus I found myself endlessly turning the "bass" contour down and the "treble" contour up, as well as cutting the SWS's relative volume back a large portion. Midrange was non-existant. Vocals sounded flat and undefined.

I am sadly dissapointed in the HK-3380. For $200 dollars (and that's not even the HK's MSRP) I wouldn't have thought a 20 year old reciver with dirty, fickle terminals in need of DeOxIt would have so handily beat a brand new unit such as the HK.

I will allow the HK-3380 to burn in by hooking up some mules and playing some burn-in noise to see if it opens up after a few days...but the difference was so huge I am not hopeful.

Anyway, I don't have much experience with the sound of many new recievers since I run components. Therefore I can't say if this is atypical of other reciever's in the HK's price range. Therefore I will neither recommend nor dissuade the buyer from the unit suffice to say that any serious audio enthusiast may wish to persue vintage equipment...

Similar Products Used:

Pioneer FM Quartz-Locked Stereo Reciever SX-3700
Manufacture Date: 1980
MSRP: $375.00 (1980)
Cost Paid: $20.00 at Goodwill (2003)
Total Watts per Channel: 45
Total Inputs: 4 (2 Tape Loops, 1 Phono Stage, 1 Auxiliary)

Klipsch Reference RSX-5 Bookshelf Monitors
Klipsch ProMedia SWS 8" Direct-Firing, slot-ported, powered subwoofer.

Compared overall to:
Klipsch Reference RB-81 Bookshelf Monitors
Klipsch Reference RW-8 8" Direct-Firing, corner-ported, powered subwoofers.
Arcam Xeta-2 5.1 Surround Processor
Aragon 18k Pre-Amplifier
Aragon 4004 Mk-II Power Amplifier
SONY DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
[Mar 08, 2006]
life_is2
Casual Listener

Strength:

sound quality, power, ofcourse looks, and build quality

Weakness:

tuner is a little weak but look at the spec's on all of the top receivers, denon included.

great product. i purchased from harman kardon direct on ebay. got a great deal. i am very pleased w/purchase. great sound for price. i would recommend this product to anyone. i am running a pair of cerwin-vega 10 inch floor standing speakers rated at 200 watts. this little amp pushes them just fine. the best characteristic of this receiver is that it doesn't over do the highs (like onkyo receivers), just perfect sound all the way across the frequency band. would no doubt buy another for double the money. had and avr525 for the home theatre and never has skipped a beat. i know this will be a product that i get a lot of use out of for years to come. recommend 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Customer Service

great, never had a problem with support if needed.(only needed once for a recorder that skipped the first few seconds of song during recording,cdr26, replaced with new one no questions asked.)

Similar Products Used:

kenwood( no comparison) and sony(good receiver but blew speakers to easy due to clipping)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 24, 2005]
poneal
AudioPhile

Strength:

Nice amp section, radio. I like the basic layout and feel. Easy to use and not complicated like the AVR sereis.

Weakness:

Toylike remote.

I needed a standard old stereo receiver for my bedroom and did not want to pay a fortune for it. I noticed this on ebay and ended up winning it for $135. Z-stock but carrying the full factory warranty. First, the receiver arrived and it looked brand new. No scratches, etc. Everything worked. Nice power, etc. It even came with batteries for the remote which was kind of toylike. The amp section is definitely HK. Nice lower end thump and plenty of power. I keep mine at -45 ot -40 for most listening. The radio works fine and came with supplied am and fm antenna and 75ohm to 300ohm adapter. All I can say is that for $135.00 I definitely feel that I got more than what I paid for. Way to go HK. I did not have the smell thing or have any problems with this unit.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 22, 2004]
mark93109
AudioPhile

I wanted a receiver with a digital remote volume control (the motorized analog volume control on my Marantz SR-68 was too crude) and a phono input (I play a record once or twice a year). And, since I am convinced that all solid-state electronics sounds exactly the same (if you believe different, it's fine with me, but you're invited over to my place for some blind listening sessions), I wanted to pay as little as possible. I would have liked to have seen it before buying, but the HK website says that their only dealer in my area is Circuit City, and the Circuit City website says that this model is sold online only! So, at this price, I figure I can take a chance, and I do. (Not at Circuit City though, which has far from the lowest online price.) When I open the box, the first thing that hits me is the *smell*. This receiver stinks! Literally! It's got some plastic in it that's gassing off something awful! I stick it in in the garage for a week, out of the box. The smell goes down, but I sitll don't like to get too close! Next, I plug it in. HUMMMMMMMM!!!! Sounds like an airplane is in the room with me. Shoulda read more HK reviews here; it seems hum is a standard problem with their low-end receivers. I unscrew a zillion screws and pop off the cover. Sure enough, as I learned from another review, the power transformer is bolted right to the chassis. I go to the hardware store and buy some quarter-inch-thick rubber grommets, and some longer #6 machine screws to replace the ones HK uses. But, oops, theirs aren't quite #6's; my news ones won't go in. And #8's are clearly too big. Some metric thing? I don't know, but my hardware store doesn't have any. So I slice my rubber grommets in half, and now they're thin enough to allow me to use HK's original screws. I bolt the transformer back down, power 'er up, and ... dead quiet! Why HK couldn't spend a penny on four rubber grommets is beyond me. Now everything is fine. The remote works well, but its color scheme is dark gray letters on a light gray background, which means it's totally unreadable unless you're under a spotlight. Got to memorize those button positions ... Well, it works. It's cheap. It sounds exactly like all other electronics sound, now that I've gotten rid of that nasty hum. If you're not willing to open it up and stick in those rubber grommets, keep looking. If you are, it's about as cheap as you can get for a digital volume control and phono input. And it sounds exactly like everything else.

Similar Products Used:

Marantz SR-68

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
[Jul 08, 2004]
Bernard
AudioPhile

Strength:

Looks, power, rich juicy sound, excellent imaging and soundstaging.Very appealing sound. Good tuner.

Weakness:

What happened to the midrange?

Always wanted to try a HK product as I liked the look and their high amp philosopy. When I got it home I must say I fell in love with the looks and the build quality. Both first rate for the money and basically as good as it gets. The remote works well and controls other HK products only. Connected it to Paradigm monitor 7v2 speakers and a NAD 540 cd player with Ixos interconnect. The sound quality is very good but not perfect. The bass is is nice and full and has a nice "juicy" or "lush" sound very rich sounding and well controlled but not super tight. The highs are also very sweet and rich sounding and have excellent detail and definition. Very nice. I also found that this receiver has outstanding imaging. You can really place the instruments very well. The Amp has power to burn HK really delivers in this aspect. The tuner also sounded very nice and sweet and had good reception with the supplied short antenna. All around this receiver has a lot going for it. However.... After listening to it for a week and letting it play all weekend (CD on repeat) I couldn't help but notice that the midrange was lost and vocals were indistinct and undefined. This really started to bother me after a few days and I returned it and purchased a NAD 320BEE amp. What a difference!!! The mids were back and the sound more balanced. Fantastic Amp! All in all the HK is a good product if you like RAP/Hip Hop dance, etc. If you like smiley face EQ setting (lots of bass and treble) and like lots of power and need the convenience of a built in tuner this is a decent set. If you like accuracy and balance and want to be able to critically listen to any music that contains midrange (most music) look elsewhere.

Similar Products Used:

Nad 320BEE int. Amp., NAD T761 receiver.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-8 of 8  

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