Harman Kardon HK 970?
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JiiEf

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I'm getting slowly more and more fed up with the channel imbalances in my Cambridge amp. I originally planned to save for a Rega or Arcam (thanks to the tips in a previous thread - I love you guys!), but the balance tweaking is getting so insufferable I'm thinking of getting a short-term solution while I wait for gainful employment


Two local hifi stores have recommended the Harman Kardon HK 970 to me, and I got to hear it at one. Unfortunately the audition was extremely disappointing, but I'm not sure if it was due to the artificially smooth Marantz (a CD-17MKII KI or vanilla, IIRC) that really took the square out of square-bass, if you get my meaning


I could probably get one to home if I really tried, but I wanted to check if any of you guys had an insight into this? I'm not looking for the ultimate audio Nirvana, but something that would be a bit more user friendly than my current Cambridge (the HK has really good solid looking speaker binding posts, so that would at least take care of my other beef with the Cambridge).

Thanks in advance (again)

/JF

p.s. I never seem to make up my mind if speaker amps should go to here or amps... or to another forum
 
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JiiEf

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I was just looking for some answers at Audio Asylum, and looks like this model isn't (currently/yet) available in the US. It's supposed to be tonally similar to the HK 675, so I just wondered if anybody could shed some light on this subject?

/JF

P.S. I got the strangest feeling I've asked this question before, I probably should've searched
P.P.S. I swear I haven't been drinking
P.P.P.S. Not that much, anyway
 
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lini

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I'm pretty sure it sounds quite nice and dynamic, as HKs usually do. Nevertheless, I wouldn't buy one, as HK seems/seemed to have quite a lot of build quality problems recently (I personally know exactly three people with HK ht receivers -> all three units malfunctioning after a few months, and apparently these were not the only ones...). What about the usual other suspects (Arcam, Denon, Marantz, NAD, Rotel...)? If you're after an energetic and lively sound, checking out Rotel might be a good idea...

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini

P.S.: I like your post scripta!
 
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JiiEf

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Thanks for the info!

My experiences with the Cambridge have turned me off pots at volume controllers for a while (due to jaw muscle trouble, I have can't use headphones for extended listening. I'm also an insomniac, so I need to have good channel balance on low levels too), so that would basically leave me just with Arcams and Rega Mira (unless the Brio has digital volume controls as well - can anybody confirm this?).

Unfortunately, as a student, the 430 euros cash - whatever they decide to give me for my cambridge stuff for the HK sounds quite attractive when compared to the double price of the Mira and Arcam a80. I'll be sure to check those out when I graduate, though


/JF
 
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lini

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Is it just low volume imbalance? If yes, have you already tried a simple voltage divider on the inputs?

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini
 
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Erukian

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970 BAAAD

930 GOOOD

the 930 uses a dual power supply so the amp acts like monoblocks, there's no way anybody would frown on the sound quality of the 930.

Any vintage HK with the x30 on it, 430 630 730 930, their all great and very well made SS amps.

I just found out that the HK x30 series was Co-designed by Matti Otala (the father of high current/low feedback design), it has TWO toroidal transformers resulting in excellent channel separation, lots of dynamic range and tons of current capability - low impedance loads are NOT a problem, in fact it will double its power into 4 ohm loads!

Really impressive for a peice of vintage equipment.

-Joe
 
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JiiEf

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lini
Is it just low volume imbalance? If yes, have you already tried a simple voltage divider on the inputs?

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini



I haven't - but considering that it starts so early, it gives me trouble during daytime and even on my vinyl rig, I pretty much just want to get this amp out of my hands. Happily every time I've almost bought something like the HK, I've managed to calm down and think of the a80 and the Mira
Let's hope I keep it together this time as well, as it looks like the 970 would be another bad purchase...


/JF
 
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Snake

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The last time I heard HK your description of the sound would be pretty accurate along with adding a bit of top end grain to that opinion.

For upper midrange goods I do prefer Marantz - give them a try.
 
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i have a hk970 and i compared it to others before i bought it. it was hard to decide between rotel ra 3 and hk 970 but at last i decided to buy harman kardon and im very happy with it.
 
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