Harman Kardon FL 8380 CD Players

FL 8380

The FL 8380 5-disc CD changer features High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD®) processing for the most realistic sound processing to date - from both HDCD-encoded and standard discs. Burr Brown digital processors preserve signal quality. A convenient remote and a wide variety of programming features make program material easy to access.

User Reviews (43)

Showing 1-10 of 43  
Frank   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 25, 2003]
Strength:

Looks

Weakness:

Sound Mecanics Overall impression of bad quality

I bought the HK 8380 more than one year ago while a was changing my whole stereo. I had several problems in this process (see my review of the HK 3370 receiver) which led me to compare the HK CD player with my former Philips cdc 751 player (8 years old). I tested the cd-players one against the other with two different receivers. Now, I was thinking there couldn't be big differences in the sound quality produced by two multi-cd player in the same price range. I was wrong. The sound of the Philips is much much better than the one of the HK which is flat and boring. Maybe one of the reasons is that the Philips has some sort (sorry, I am an amateur) of amplification (which you can change only with the remote control) which gives more dynamics and trebles. On the mechanical level, there is also no comparison. The Philips is faster, quieter and more reliable, even if it is already quiet old and if it was cheaper. So, I don't understand the reviewers who say that the HK has an excellent sound and that the mecanical part is not that bad. If this is true, Philips should get the Nobel Prize in electronics for the cdc 751. Probably they don't deserve it and its just the HK which is a (pretty) poor product.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Tom H   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 02, 2003]
Strength:

Sounded great during the 8 months that it actually worked.

Weakness:

Lousy build quality. Quit working after 8 months of very light use. Retail price of $249.00 is a joke.

Purchased this factory refurbished from Harman Audio. Figured that whatever was faulty had now been fixed - wrong! After only 8 months of light use it has quit reading all CD's. It recognizes that a CD is present, but can't read any of the tracks. Now back to using Nakamici CDP-2A I purchased in 1988 - it still works fine. Naturally, there is no authorized service center near me, so now I have to either drive 160 miles round-trip to Erlanger, Kentucky, or go to the time and expense of packing and shipping the unit to the service center . Thankfully it is still under warranty, even though it has already been fixed once (I purchased it "refurbished"), and now needs work again.

Similar Products Used: Nakamici CDP-2A (still going strong after 15 years); Onkyo DX-C330 (still going strong after 7 years)
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Greg M   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 16, 2003]
Strength:

Looks great, simple. Idiot proof(:P) HDCD – why can’t more CDs have this… Burr-Brown DACs Good times

Weakness:

$500 Random-All is very poor, as it 'favours' current CDs and drops out of random when tray is opened, why? MP3… 8 hour on one CD X5.. More good times

I picked this up (June 2001) mainly because of a $200Cnd discount I would get when I signed up for high speed Internet, then I found this great site...Perhaps a little too late. This unit replaced my DVD player as my primary CD interface, wonderful sound. I must note that I went through a lot of upgrading within that year, when I could afford to(many trip to the Artic). I was very happy with the FL8380 before I picked up the new speakers (Kenwood to Bose) and then shortly after, a new receiver (Kenwood to HK’s AVR7000). Now it all sounds great, good times, and a good buy. I sure there are better CD players out there, but this will do me fine for many year to come. Overall, this is nice looking unit, just like their AVR 7k, very sharp; no excessive buttons and lights. The set-up, instruction, controls and remote are all very straightforward, this is a CD player there is no point in over doing the remote/controls (i.e. the K.I.S.S. rule). Set-up to the receiver was way too simple, connect the digital cable (Coax) and plug in the AC, all too easy. Now weak points, it is over priced at $500 for what it is, that my biggest point, peorid. Basically, this is a ‘simple’ CD player, with sweet DACs and HDCD, not too hard to screw up. The firm/software however... The whole tray and disk transporting part of it is a little noisy, and slow. Also, Why does it always need to do a search on power up? That should not be required, why can’t it ‘remember’ what was in there when it was shut off. I would love it if it could remember what track I was listening to and keep track time remaining on and random on every time I powered down and up, so I can continue the album. It seems that my $100 “Discman” can do this, at 1/5 the price, although the sound quality is not there. They need to spend some more time on the firmware; they missed the mark big time. In addition it could use an additional optical out to the existing coax, I like little a choice in life. Recently, I have started to notice that occasionally the first second of a track doesn’t get played. So I’ll be taking it in get cleaned up. I am very glad I picked it up for the $300 instead of the $500 with an additional cost for a 6-year extended warranty. HAVE FUN :)

Similar Products Used: HK AVR 7000 Bose Acoustimass 10 Series II Panasonic DVD Sony VCR Xbox Atari 2600
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
David Lawrence   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 12, 2003]
Strength:

plays random and hold 5 cd's

Weakness:

takes too long to load and play. seems cheaply made - not the Harmon Kardon products that I knew as a kid.

I purchased the HK FL 8380 in March of 02 - thinking that I would get better sound quality than from my single disc 12 year old sony cd player. The sound quality was very similar to my old sony but the time to load and scan each cd is very aggravating - not worth it! Presently, it was sent back to HK b/c I was getting an error message and the cd door will not open - so now I have 5 cd's stuck in the damn thing and circuit city is sending it back to HK to get it checkd out. So guess what - I am back to using my 12 year old sony and just dealing with not having random play and having to change after a single cd plays. I think I made a mistake in purchasing and keeping the HK

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Bielecki   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 26, 2003]
Strength:

HDCD was pretty good. Decent remote.

Weakness:

Lousy quality control. Crappy disc tray. Zero reliability.

I bought one of these for the HDCD capability. I had read the reviews on this site many times but thought, what the hell, it can't be that bad. The first one would not turn on. I returned it for a second one which did turn on but managed to stop playing midway through discs, detect an error, and then refuse to open the tray. I returned it today for a Sony SACD player and now I am happy! The HDCD sounded very nice on the HK, particularly the upper mids and highs. The bass, through was muted. The SACD simply knocks my socks off. Don't waste your time on HDCD now that this great new medium is accessible.

Similar Products Used: AMC CD8b, Sony 775 multidisc SACD
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
rainman250   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 23, 2003]
Strength:

Nothing above average about this player.

Weakness:

Build quality

I bought this when my Sony ES player died after 5 years of use. I wanted a cheap replacement, and the most attractive feature of the HK at the time of purchase was the ability to use the same remote as my receiver. Sadly, this remains the only positive quality to this unit. It skips easily and frequently does not queue CDs (so you have to turn it off, wait a few seconds and try again). When you change a CD, it cycles through all 5 bays, which I find intensely annoying, as it may not even queue the newly inserted CD. My older HK CD player, the FL8350, is far more reliable and sounds about the same. I would not buy this again, nor would I buy another CD player from HK. Many of the issues I have with this player go beyond the poor build quality. It's simply poorly designed. To set some perspective, I bought the Denon DCM-35 off of Ubid for $50, and it's far more reliable than the HK, which I bought new for $250. If you want something cheap, save your money; you may as well get a refurb or bargain brand. If you want something nice, based on my personal experience, I would advise against this player.

Similar Products Used: Sony ES, Luxman, NAD, Denon
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Dave   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 14, 2002]
Strength:

Great sound, Burr-Brown DACs Great build quality for the price Looks expensive

Weakness:

No A-B repeat

I bought this product after reading all the reviews here, so I expected the disk tray to be a little noisy and clunky. Yep, it is. But so what? It's got huge moving parts, so you have to expect it. Actually, for about $200 the build quality is excellent. It sounds better than any CD player I've had before, and it exhibits no noise once the disk starts playing. And if you're worried about the cycling through all the discs, it only takes about 7 seconds. Who cares? I also have found it to have no problem whatsoever with skipping or not reading discs. I think the other reviewers need to wipe the jelly off their CD's. This is a great unit.

Similar Products Used: Marantz CD-72 Pioneer DV-37
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
gustavog   AudioPhile [Nov 02, 2002]
Strength:

Decent sound and HDCD decoding for the money spent. Good looks.

Weakness:

Noisy, cycles over all discs each time one is inserted. No real random function. No CD text support.

I bought this changer to use it as a transport. As such, it is very noisy. With some discs you can hear a faint whirring noise when it is spinning. It is specially noticeable with some music such as classical. Other CD changers I've tried are far quieter. Also, there is the annoying cycle over all discs when a one is inserted. On the other hand, used as a full cd player, it sounds decent for the money and has HDCD decoding, which sounds great. I'll stick with it for some time but eventually will buy a Sony changer, with CD text support I think.

Similar Products Used: Sony, Marantz, Philips, Arcam, Musical Fidelity cd players
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
irix16   Casual Listener [Sep 28, 2002]
Strength:

Sound vs price

Weakness:

Lengthy scan on the rotary tray when turning on

This is the third machine I got from HK after buying the first with a laser pickup problem and the second still having the same problem. Each time, I got a different model! I settled with this model and have been happy ever since. I agree with the previus review that this is a good sounding machine in consideration of its relatively low price (not that I paid, see above). The weakness is as it has already been said the persistence of the machine in rotating all five trays upon turning up. But I think it has another weak point: The sound becomes harsh when playing CDs recorded with 24 bits. I was a little confussed in the first place but then I realized there is a limitation after I played the same CDs on my DVD player ( D/A converter). This CD player and its DAC, though excellent on the rest of my CDs, is not good for all CDs. For the 24-bit recorded CDs, it's better to play them on more suitable machines. This one seems not. For this reason, I am going to buy a DVD changer to replace my current DVD player which plays discs one at a time. I see Panasonic has a model selling at my price range.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
DmGreg07   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 02, 2002]
Strength:

Sound,looks and build quality are first rate.HDCD decoding, and it`s burr brown digital DAC`S Put it in a league of it`s own when it comes to quality budget cd changer.

Weakness:

It cycles through all 5 cd`s when you turn the unit on.

I have owned this cd player for about a month now,it continues to perform flawlessly.The HDCD sound is like nothing i have ever heard coming from a low budget cd player.I have owned sony`s and a pioneer deck but neither could touch the sound of this harmon kardon FL 8380.It is a very attractive unit, regular cd`s also sound much better on this unit.

Similar Products Used: Sony and pioneer.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 43  

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