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Thread: Harmon Kardon

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 353
    I'm Mike.

    Default Harmon Kardon

    Having recently sold my old Naim shoebox 'made in the forest by gnomes' kit, I am searching in the hifi wilderness for a new amp, hither and tither I grab at anything, latest is a Harmon Kardon HK6500 off ebay, a quick look online and see it has very positive reviews, my bid won, 100 with p&p - fairly good condition. Sort of all I can afford at the minute, but must be better than my current found-next-to-a-bin Yamaha ax-396. Anyone else ever had one? Wanna give it a fair run, so is there anyone in South east who can look it over and tell me if it needs any work or recapping? I can of course do my 'ear test'.....But as I said would like to give it a fair run, so only right its in correct order. I still have my Nak ca-5 as a phono stage, hope to get a Nak pa-5 or 7 sometime, but until then.........
    Last edited by Mikeandvan; 08-02-2018 at 15:38.
    Current system. TT - NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, Goldring 2200, Nakamichi CA-5 (as phono stage). CDP - Pioneer pd7800. Ruark Talisman II. Rest of it is in flux at the moment.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 353
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    Anybody had any experience of these?
    Current system. TT - NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, Goldring 2200, Nakamichi CA-5 (as phono stage). CDP - Pioneer pd7800. Ruark Talisman II. Rest of it is in flux at the moment.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Sep 2017

    Location: Dublin

    Posts: 86
    I'm Pavel.

    Default

    Harman made lots of amplifiers and other devices through the years.

    Right now I’m using an HK1200 which was one of the “minimalistic audiophile” amplifiers that flooded the market after the unexpected success of Pioneer A400.

    It’s a neat little amp which is fully discrete (no opamps even in the preamp section) and it has one killer feature: a switch to reduce the total gain of the system by 10 dB. Sounds rather sweet as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Mar 2013

    Location: nottingham

    Posts: 253
    I'm nigel.

    Default

    What model have you purchased?
    I ran a pm655 for a good couple of years early 90s. Really liked its muscular delivery...I guess the much trumpeted HICC...high instantaneous current capability is for real.
    Unlike hairshirt brit gear my amp was festooned with buttons and switches, sadly the switchable cartridge loading did sweet FA....a facility built in to a couple of sexy HK turntables....those crazy yanks

    Bad bit...the little pushbutton switches can cause problems as they dirty up, the design seems to suck up crap and finger oil over time.
    Get yourself a can of servisol and give em a good dose

    Assuming your HK is from this era it should comfortably better the cheaper Yamaha's, they tend to smooth over detail IMHO
    Get it checked over and be surprised..

  5. #5
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: http://www.homehifi.co.uk

    Posts: 6,057

    Default

    I would have paid just about anything for a Harman Kardon Citation XX pre/power amp from the early eighties. Still got a PM640, but the balance control is faulty.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 353
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sumday View Post
    What model have you purchased?
    I ran a pm655 for a good couple of years early 90s. Really liked its muscular delivery...I guess the much trumpeted HICC...high instantaneous current capability is for real.
    Unlike hairshirt brit gear my amp was festooned with buttons and switches, sadly the switchable cartridge loading did sweet FA....a facility built in to a couple of sexy HK turntables....those crazy yanks

    Bad bit...the little pushbutton switches can cause problems as they dirty up, the design seems to suck up crap and finger oil over time.
    Get yourself a can of servisol and give em a good dose

    Assuming your HK is from this era it should comfortably better the cheaper Yamaha's, they tend to smooth over detail IMHO
    Get it checked over and be surprised..
    Sorry forgot to say, HK6500. From '91 I think,.
    Current system. TT - NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, Goldring 2200, Nakamichi CA-5 (as phono stage). CDP - Pioneer pd7800. Ruark Talisman II. Rest of it is in flux at the moment.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 32,129
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Many, many years ago, I owned the 330, 430 and 730 Harman Kardon receivers. Very nicely built units, with dual power transformers in the 430 and 730, both of which I bought new. The 730 in particular was a great sounding tuner-amp and I wish I still had it. I liked it better than the Luxman R600 receiver I also had back then.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 353
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    Well, been using the amp for a few days. I'd say its quite good, a little rounded off perhaps, if I'm using the right phrase. Tried it first with my Nak ca-5 as a phono stage, then with its own phono stage. The Nak made the bass boomy, its a lot more controlled with the HK's own stage, and quite sweet sounding, though gain is a bit low, turn it up more than half way and the bass from my Ruark Talisman II's starts to distort in a big way. Using a cdp the gain is much higher - to be expected I guess, sound is better than my bin-find Yamaha ax-396, and better than my old Naim 72 - with cd anyway. With vinyl, the 72 is still the best set up I've had, don't know what it is about the Naim phono boards, but the sound with vinyl was slightly more natural and clear. One thing that has got me wondering is the amount of hardware that went into Jap amps and the seemingly much less hardware that wnet into British amps like old Naim shoeboxes, and newer ones too. How does this affect the sound, does more hardware make a less natural sound? Would like to try more Jap amps like Marantz pm 75/80/88, and countless others but they're not very available in the UK, does anyone know how to use Markaplaats ?? Do they have an English version?!
    Current system. TT - NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, Goldring 2200, Nakamichi CA-5 (as phono stage). CDP - Pioneer pd7800. Ruark Talisman II. Rest of it is in flux at the moment.

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