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View Full Version : HK 3480 Stereo Receiver?



oznob
03-25-2006, 07:56 PM
I am looking for a stereo receiver for a third system. Harmon.com is practically giving these 120 watt receivers away for $200. I checked at Fry's who still had them for over $400! Anyone have experience with this receiver. Will be driving an old pair of L1's.

Thanks

4313B
03-25-2006, 08:02 PM
They have a ton of power for what they are.

oznob
03-25-2006, 08:40 PM
They have a ton of power for what they are.

I guess for $200 and a full factory warranty I can't go wrong.

Nightbrace
03-25-2006, 08:58 PM
UM, yes you can, the warranty is probably only good for 90 days, be sure to read the fine print. HK is amounst the hardest to service of the newer receivers/amps. HK is a great company for consumer gear, but nothing to brag about, and definitely not Hi-Fidelity. I'd liken it to the older Kenwood, technics type sound, warm and smooth, but overall in just the ok class. If you need wattage and want something that if it breaks you can get repaired before the warranty wears out, go for it, but after the warranty expires, its a worthless endeavor. Its truly a throw-away piece of consumer electronics that I guess we all are becoming accustomed to. But even that said its better than most of the new gear, especially for that price.

Just curious, what speakers will you be driving should you bite the bullet and get the amp?

rockecat
03-25-2006, 09:28 PM
The HK is a very nice receiver and you are right that is a smoking deal and you can pick one up off their E-bay sales for a Tadd less. All of the refurb stuff carries the full factory warranty and you will be very impressed with the build quality at the price level.

oznob
03-25-2006, 10:52 PM
The HK is a very nice receiver and you are right that is a smoking deal and you can pick one up off their E-bay sales for a Tadd less. All of the refurb stuff carries the full factory warranty and you will be very impressed with the build quality at the price level.

Thanks for the encouraging comments. I just went ahead and bought one. Don't worry Rockecat, I will not blame you if I hate it. I have an old Sony that's going to the work shop. The HK will be used in a bedroom system and should work nicely. I am going to compare it with my Yamaha RX-777 receiver I use in my living room. As crazy as this may sound, I haven't found an integrated amp or other stereo receiver that sounds better than the Yammy? Believe me, I have had quite a few even in the $2K range. It's just a great piece and a real sleeper IMHO. I'm looking froward to the comparason.

oznob
03-26-2006, 10:39 AM
It's funny to read the consumer reviews of this receiver. One common complaint is the lack of bass. Then, at least some, list the speakers they are using. I wish I could tell them that it doesn't matter if you have this receiver or 500 watt Crown mono blocks, you are still not going to get real bass out of a 6" Polk driver! Some added a sub and you will never guess, they had bass! How amazing is that!:p

4313B
03-26-2006, 03:11 PM
There is no lack of bass in Harman Kardon amplifiers or receivers.

"it doesn't matter if you have this receiver or 500 watt Crown mono blocks, you are still not going to get real bass out of a 6" Polk driver"

You got it.

clmrt
03-26-2006, 06:41 PM
UM, yes you can, the warranty is probably only good for 90 days, be sure to read the fine print. HK is amounst the hardest to service of the newer receivers/amps. HK is a great company for consumer gear, but nothing to brag about, and definitely not Hi-Fidelity. I'd liken it to the older Kenwood, technics type sound, warm and smooth, but overall in just the ok class. If you need wattage and want something that if it breaks you can get repaired before the warranty wears out, go for it, but after the warranty expires, its a worthless endeavor. Its truly a throw-away piece of consumer electronics that I guess we all are becoming accustomed to. But even that said its better than most of the new gear, especially for that price.

Just curious, what speakers will you be driving should you bite the bullet and get the amp?

Warranty = 2 years. I've bought 4 amps from Harmanaudio, all refurbs, 1 was down in the first week - repaired in 3 days and returned, no issues since, 5 years runnin'.

http://www.myharman.net/HK/Warranty/HK1021%20LR.pdf

oldschool
03-30-2006, 10:41 PM
i have listen to the 3480, And to my ears, i liked it better then the denon dra 685 stereo receiver.Fuller sounding,with more range.i bought a dvd 25 floor model with no remote,called hk,faxed them the bill of sale and they sent me a remote no problem.Not everbody would do this for FREE.

oznob
03-31-2006, 09:03 AM
I got the receiver yesterday but haven't had a chance to hook it up yet, maybe Monday. I will be curious to see how it stacks up against my Yamaha RX-777, which is a great piece for what it is.

oznob
04-03-2006, 08:45 AM
I hooked it up to the 4430's yesterday and had it on all day. I have to say I am pretty impressed! Plenty of low end and more articulate highs and mids than the Yammy. The Yammy may have the advantage in the bass dept. but It does most everything else better IMHO. I'm going to keep it in my main system for a while and let it break in. It may be a refurb but looks and works like brand new with the FULL warranty! Not bad for $200!:applaud:

4313B
04-03-2006, 08:52 AM
Cool! I'm not familiar with the Yamahammer but I can't imagine much of anything having a better bottom end than the H/K. The current dump in that little bastard is nuts. I suppose times change. I've owned alot of Yamahammer stuff over the decades but nothing recent. I liked it all.

clmrt
04-03-2006, 10:06 AM
Any chance of getting a nekkid photo (of the HK..:D )?

rockecat
04-03-2006, 05:26 PM
I hooked it up to the 4430's yesterday and had it on all day. I have to say I am pretty impressed! Plenty of low end and more articulate highs and mids than the Yammy. The Yammy may have the advantage in the bass dept. but It does most everything else better IMHO. I'm going to keep it in my main system for a while and let it break in. It may be a refurb but looks and works like brand new with the FULL warranty! Not bad for $200!:applaud:

Does this mean I am off the hook!! :D
I have owned several H/K recievers and they have always been big bang for the buck$$$

oznob
04-03-2006, 06:04 PM
Does this mean I am off the hook!! :D
I have owned several H/K recievers and they have always been big bang for the buck$$$

You are certainly off the hook! This is a great piece, a real bargain!
:applaud:

Audiobeer
04-03-2006, 07:49 PM
I have an HK 3470 that I bought on close out from One Call 4 years ago. This reciever is a bargain! I imagine the 3480 is the follow up. For $200 it can't be beat! I use it in the garage everyday with woodworking, spraying, anything and everything going on around it!

jblnut
04-05-2006, 02:15 PM
I've got a few used HK's in the house so I might as well chime in. First off, the old ProLogic surround receivers are a steal used. I have an AVR25II and an AVR40 and both have never given me an ounce of trouble. I've had the 25 for 10 years now and the 40 for about 8. Any of these (AVR20,25,30,35,40) can be had for well under $100 used and they will absolutely rock for 2-channel work. They're very heavy, well-built recievers with decent looks and plenty of clean power with great reserves.

I also have a first-gen DTS receiver (the AVR300) and I still haven't found a good reason to upgrade it. I got it as an HK refurb about 5 years ago and we use the hell out of it in the family room. It drives 4410's, L20t3's and a CL505 to higher levels than a 50 watt receiver has any right to. It's a great, simple digital receiver that I really don't even think about any more. It's just "there" and the sound is really superb.

I can't comment on the newer line of stuff, but the new-old HK stuff from the mid-late 90's is well worth a look for the bargain hunter...

jblnut

LowPhreak
09-20-2006, 12:32 PM
This is a bit of an old thread, but figured I'd comment.

I've had a 3480 for about 8 months now, since my old Marantz 2250B's power switch finally died. (Haven't repaired the 2250B yet) Bought the 3480 refurbed from harman.com, and it came with a +2" scratch from the power button up onto the glass, but...what do you want for a 2 bills refurb?

THE BAD:

1) My biggest problem with this unit is the remote. It is a sh!tty design that is badly implemented. You can't read the tiny bluish font against the grey background unless you hold it under bright light. In "normal" room lighting you might as well be blind, so be ready to memorize the button functions/positions. :wtf: was H/K thinking here??

The sliding panel to access the tuner programming is cheesy and difficult to open.

Worst is this remote's moody behavior. It randomly won't respond to input commands, so you must either hit the "AM" button (or other input button) to continue. When that doesn't work, you must remove/re-insert a battery to kill the glitch. This usually happens just when you need to change input or gain level quickly. :banghead:

2) The "Video 1" output is goofy. It will only pass what's connected to "Video 2" or "3", not the source at "Video 1". There is no way you can view the Video 1 source through the Video 1 output, so really you have only Video 2 & 3 as useful thruputs if used as a total A/V switcher. H/K has said this is the way the unit was designed. :blink: Doesn't matter to me, since I use the 3480 for audio only, not for viewing video through the receiver. Instead, I connect vid sources directly to the monitor, then their Audio outs to the 3480's Audio ins. FWIW.

3) The "Vmax" circuit is pretty much crap to listen to - just an annoying phasey blob that makes your nice JBL's sound like broken Bose 901's. Leave it off - unless you're a masochist or an idyut.


THE GOOD:

The FM tuner is actually not bad, with decent sensitivity and quieting. Equal to or sometimes better than the 2250B's in real-world use.

I'm not sure if the +/- 45A current spec that H/K gives is real or not, (maybe true into easy loads, or millisecond bursts into lower-impedance loads?), since the unit is rated at 120W/8 ohm, but only 150W/4 ohm. That means into a 4 ohm nominal speaker the 3480 only puts out the equivalent current of 75W/8 ohm. Running 2 speaker pairs has caused shut-down a few times. However, into my 4412's alone it doesn't have a problem with shutting down or with sustained bass notes within its power range.

Good thing I have the 4412's, because this amp would never have driven my previous B&W Nautilus 803's, 'Logan CLS-IIa's, Apogee Stage's, KEF C-80's, or Maggie Tympani IV's & 2.6R's. Wouldn't have expected it to. Might have been OK with the Quad 11L's & 21L's or a/d/s L990's tho'.

The clarity of sound is better than the 2250B's, but the Marantz sounded more controlled and more dynamic.

Overall, not a bad deal for around $200, but there is really no excuse for the lousy remote design. This'll do until I can get better amps like I've owned in the past.

oznob
09-20-2006, 02:25 PM
Sorry to hear you have had a bad experience with the HK. I still use mine in the bedroom which is a very simple set-up. Just the Dish Network box and a CD player, which I rarely use due to Sirius radio. I don't think I have ever used the tuner.:hmm: I grant you the remote is not the best design in the world but I pretty much have it memorized. It drives my L1's just fine with solid, punchy bass and great highs. I guess I got lucky as I can't find one mark on my unit. You might try contacting Harman about an exchange or at least a new remote. I know it would be the same design but may not have the quirks your current one has? I'll play around with mine and see if does the same as yours. Oh, I will second the motion on the VMAX, I can't stand listening to it in that mode!

LowPhreak
09-20-2006, 03:52 PM
Not so much a bad experience, I was just pointing out some of the flaws of the 3480 along with the good points. I too often see reviews from people that want to fawn and gloat over their most recent audio purchase, as if they couldn't possibly have made a better choice :bs: but don't like to talk about some of the downsides to the piece so that others might know before purchase.

I'm not the only 3480 owner that's had this hassle with the remote or the Vid 1 weirdness. Apparently it's inherent in the design.

But the overall sound and tuner performance for the price and weight makes it a darned good receiver as modern receiver's go. It looks great - I've always liked H/K's aesthetic and this one is no exception. The sleep timer & display dimmer are nice to have, as are the Sub Outs w. 80Hz X-O & Pre out/Line In, and the Phono In (something you don't see much on receivers any more). It's great for driving a lot of JBL models, I just would not recommend it for driving lower impedances at higher levels - below say, a nominal 6 ohms.

You have to consider that I'm used to using amps/pre amps/tuners of much higher cost and ability, and I've become a little jaded over the years. So if I can at least tolerate the 3480 without smashing it with a brick :bash: , that's pretty high praise!

oznob
09-21-2006, 10:16 AM
I messed around with the remote last night and everything worked as it should. I do like the sleep timer as I tend to fall asleep while listening to music.

My current amp in the main system is an Anthem Integrated 2. It has a tube pre-amp stage and SS bi-polar out-put. 90 watts into 8 ohms. I am very happy with it so far. It has plenty of power for my smaller living room and drives my Boston Acoustic VR-M90's very well. OK, yes I am currently using BA's only because I got them for a heck of a price and they have a high WAF. She hated the looks 4430's and the L7's! They are actually a very good sounding speaker helped by a Velodyne HGS 12 sub. Don't panic, it is just temporary until I find a nice pair of XPL200's.

OK I got a little OT. I plan on keeping the HK until it dies. It works perfectly for my needs.

LowPhreak
09-21-2006, 10:44 AM
I messed around with the remote last night and everything worked as it should.

It will work good...until it doesn't. :dont-know: Mine borks about once a day, maybe less depending on usage.

If it becomes unresponsive, try what I outlined above and it should start working again.

mikebake
09-21-2006, 06:25 PM
I didn't think mine handled large magnet 15's well, so I went back to a JBL pro amp which really seemed to have a better grip on them. Now it powers a pair of full range speakers indoors and a multi-speaker outdoor rig often at the same time, and does well. Decent for the money but not the right thing for beefier speakers, I think. Didn't seem as ballsy as I anticipated, but that could have been my specifics, plus asking too much for a $200 unit.

LowPhreak
09-21-2006, 09:08 PM
The price is why I can't criticize it too harshly. For this kind of money you can't expect an arc welder.

In fairness I should say that whenever it shut down it was driving the 8 ohm rated 4412's + a small 2-way pair of KLH's rated 6 ohms, so that's 3.43 ohms "nominal" on paper. Actual real-world impedance had to be lower than 3 ohms considering the 4412's low point of <6 ohms.

So the shut down at higher output levels didn't surprise me, I just thought it needed to be mentioned. At more typical levels of 85-90 dB the 3480 is OK driving both pair.

LowPhreak
10-04-2006, 06:23 PM
FWIW:

Since the 2250B is down anyway, I flipped the lid and the cap storage is 2x 10,000 uF. Not bad for an older 50 wpc receiver I guess.

Haven't checked the storage on the 3480 yet - too lazy to yank it out of the rack right now. Maybe after a few beahs tho'....

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