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View Full Version : HK AVR354, new purchase



JBLAddict
01-01-2009, 09:11 PM
just some info for anyone with interests in both 2channel and HT. after much debate on separates vs. integrated for my recent L5 purchase, picked up this unit from BB so it could be returned if needed. I had been considering strongly a soundcraftsmen combo, but really wanted HT capabilities.

this was an upgrade from a 93 Kenwood AVR (100WPC with Dolby PL).

in short, the improvement across all frequencies is remarkable. while only 75WPC, the high current capability dramatically improved clarity from low to high. smooth tones, deep bass, clean mids, and much much cleaner highs (those 035TIs are finally showing their worth), took all of one song to notice. the on screen menus/setup is very user friendly, and I'd say best of all is the ability to thoroughly enjoy cable's digital music channels,which I previously avoided because "quality seemed so poor." while I don't own a sub and the L5 has only the one 8" woofer, movie explosions are off the charts deep, and bass rich R&B would be overdone if any deeper, a sub is simply unecessary IMHO (man those L5s are something else)

I'm officially a HK convert....

There is a major issue with HDMI handshakes however. A couple thousand posts in two avsforum threads highlight the loss of audio connection to a variety of devices through HDMI when pausing video, or in particular playing bluray discs. many owners are extremely frustrated but can't force themselves to return the unit and give up the HK sound quality, which seems universally accepted as superior to similarly priced sony, denon, onkyo, etc. many have installed new firmware that apparently helps to varying degrees, but I just cant see having to go through fairly complex s/w upgrades on a brand new unit that retails for $800

I'm on the fence with returning it and waiting for a newer unit to come out with improved s/w, but with each day I benefit from the outstanding musicality and HT, its becoming easier to just deal with it, we'll see.

anyway, for anyone looking for a solid combo of HT and 2 channel quality, the HK units are pretty darn impressive

Ian Mackenzie
01-02-2009, 01:55 AM
I think its has been a problem generally and only the most recent HDMI 1.3a-c compatible AVRs work propertly.

Nearly all the big guns in the AVR scene have issued upgraded models in the past two months as a result according to local industry sources.

Models like the Onkyo 876, Yamaha 3900 and Pioneer XL 81 appear fully compliant. I am not sure about the lower level models and I would be careful about buying anying that does not have dosumentation that it is fully compliant. Same goes for DVD players and Widescreens.