Harman Kardon DC520 Tape Decks

DC520

User Reviews (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7  
howardkipfer   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 05, 2013]

I picked up two units of the HK DC520 on ebay for $60 and $75. Back in the 90's these were expensive audiophile decks. Compared to Tascams and Teac's that are selling used for $300 to $900, the HK DC520 has better or the same freq specs. The big test is sound which is very very good. Only the HK TD4400 has better sound with an amazing 20-20khz freq response for ALL tape types (Normal/Hi Bias/Metal). Unfortunately the HK TD 4400 does not have auto reverse because of it's 3 head design. Both units are a steal for under $100 on EBAY. Recording your own will also improve sound quality immensly over any pre-recorded tape.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Graham Millard   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 27, 2007]
Strength:

Sound/build quality, good looks.

Weakness:

Need a remote.

I was looking for a new tape teck to replace my at the time Sony TC-WE471 which was very reliable, but had poor sound and was a cheap model. I got my DC520 for &188 plus tax (on sale) brand new and it has been the best deck ive ever used. It loves type 2 tapes and to be honest will blow any comparable Sony out of the water in terms of build quality and sound reproduction. The Pioneer models are very nice but I wasnt able to find any in my area. The design is great and the transport noises sound loud but solid. The display dims quite a bit under high loads but not a big deal. It works fine. Flutter is non-existent to my ears as well as hiss. All my recordings are in Dolby C and they sound very good, close to CD quality. Very nice machine.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
ramvem   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 27, 2005]
Strength:

High quality deck with excellent audio reproduction.

Weakness:

1. Solenoid switches are noisy, but thats not limited to this brand/model. I yearn for Nakamichi's cam-driven silent mechanism. 2. No output level control (nitpicking - headphone level is high and there's no way to adjust it down). 3. Not in stores anymore as of early 2005. Had to buy it from the company.

Like a lot of us, I have a bunch of music collected during high school & college, all in tapes. Instead of going on a CD buying spree to replace them I opted for a deck to hook up to my receiver. I considered Yamaha, Denon, Sony, Onkyo & HK. Sony was eliminated quickly. Among the others it was a close call. The Harman Kardon DC520 edged out the others at least partly due to its good looks. If not this it would have been the Denon DRM-555. I couldn't make out difference in sound quality between HK, Denon & Onkyo. I've had it for a few months and listen to it every day. I made some recordings too. Frequency response is very good. Bass response is very good. This deck loves high bias tapes. Some of my old recordings on normal bias tapes had flat bass response but I would have to blame it on the tape, since others are good. As for the whiz-bang features like dual deck, auto-reverse, high-speed dubbing etc. - I never use them. Some reviewers have complained about recording with dolby C. Its true that the results are terrible. In general I use only dolby B for compatibility, and when recording I switch dolby off. I wouldn't advise recording with *any* dolby on. If you have a good quality deck it should be able to do faithful reproduction.

Similar Products Used: Nakamichi 482, Nakamichi Cassette Deck 2
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Erik Friend   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 09, 1999]
Strength:

dual tape deck.

Automatically flips tapes when copying even when copying to longer lengthed blank tape. CD dubs sound like a CD on good tape.

Weakness:

no remote

I bought the DC520 for aesthetic reasons. Harman Kardon has great looking equipment.

I hooked the unit up and was amazed by how solidly it performs. Tapes play with very little hiss, and dubs from CD come out virtually noise free even when I dont enable dolby nr.

When copying from one tape to a blank, the dc 520 will automatically fill excess tape on the recording side with silence, then it flips the tape and starts recording the other side. That way your new tape will never have long silent periods at the beginning.

Unfortunately, there is no remote even though it has a remote sensor. I just bought a Harman Kardon AVR35 receiver w/universal remote so I'm hoping that the remote will also control the DC520. If it does, then I give this deck 5 stars.

Also, the deck costs more than other decks, but I've had nothing but good results using it. It is worth every penny.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Iceman   an Audio Enthusiast [Oct 06, 1999]

I got the H/K DC520 for 50 bucks at Best Buy (combination of instore credit from my JVC TD354 which sucked, and scratch and dent). It sounds good, but doesn't have dolby S, something I think HK should look into. Still, I have my deck playing though a vintage (but classic) set of Pioneer three way towers, and people have asked me where I put my cd player. Hah. This has happened on several occaisons. The 520 makes a very good dub from a cd, but dolby c nr has adverse effects on high frequency response, and can be rather annoying. Still, if you can get it for cheap, like me, its a good deck. Plus, its got good looks and decent build quality.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Calle Svensson   an Audio Enthusiast [Feb 12, 1999]

Harman/Kardon DC 520

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
  [Mar 04, 1999]

harmon kardon dc 520

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Erich Haesche   a Casual Listener [Nov 07, 1997]

Two months of shopping and looking around for my first stereo led me to HK. I wanted a tape deck that would match a good system and I pick HK. Not to bore you, I ended up buying the HK 520 tape deck for $189.00. They call this scratch-n-dent. The unit had a few very fine scratches on the face and the rest was like new. To me a good tape deck is a good deck. It is built well, sounds great and has a gadget button, "Rec Mute" that actually works well at the beginning of a tape to get over the leader. The only thing that is cheaper and sounds better is the angels singing in heaven. Like most of the things I buy they end up going back to the repair shop soon or often. Like my Gateway 2000 computer, Northertelecom phone, '88 Jaguar and '96Honda autos, so what is new that this went back also. The power switch broke. I brought it to United Radio in Syracuse and they fixed it in less then a day under warranty. One thing that seems odd About the deck is the control window, it's clear and you can see all the letter and number inside when they are not lit. Plus, it's too bright and does not match the other components. Bad move HK. Besides that, I love the deck and for almost ½ price (list $399) it a steel. I'm using Paradigm monitor 5 speakers, excellent, even they had to go back to be fixed.

Read about what I think out my HK 3250 Receiver & HK 8450CD Player

Call HK at 1 800 981-3810 for the best prices on HK, JBL, Infinity and more

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-7 of 7  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com