harman/kardon HK 3490 Stereo Receiver Review

N

nedlakire

Audiophyte
#41
Was the 3490 New or a Refurb?

Those loudspeakers are 3-way 12", you should have plenty of bass..
They should be connected directly Speaker A outputs, no mismatch will cause this unless the woofers are blown..

Just my $0.02... ;)
It's a new one, out of the box.
maybe they are blown. I'll test them with my buddy's system to see if I get the same results. Thanks!
 
J

Jack Dotson

Audioholic Intern
#42
Check you speaker wiring to make sure you have them wired in phase, i.e. positive to positive and negative to negative. If you get them rolled on one of the channel at the receiver or the speaker you will get an out of phase sound that normally results in a lack of bass.

Also check your tone controls. I assume this receiver has tone controls?
 
P

PearlcorderS701

Banned
Ratings
68
#43
^^^

My Onkyo TX-8555 does, but I keep them at the "12:00" (neutral/flat) position, always...is this the recommended position?
 
J

jeannot

Audioholic
Ratings
13
#44
^^^

My Onkyo TX-8555 does, but I keep them at the "12:00" (neutral/flat) position, always...is this the recommended position?
Yes, because tone corrections distort your signal by also introducing phase shifts in there. (Phase shift is frequency-dependent delay.).
And in a quality receiver/preamp, the tone controls are defeated when the controls are at 12:00, removing circuitry from the signal path for a purer sound.
 
M Code

M Code

Audioholic General
Ratings
602 1
#45
Yes, because tone corrections distort your signal by also introducing phase shifts in there. (Phase shift is frequency-dependent delay.).
And in a quality receiver/preamp, the tone controls are defeated when the controls are at 12:00, removing circuitry from the signal path for a purer sound.
Major problem of tone controls and equalizers..
Is that they add distortion when in the boost position, if the amplifier is underpowered and/or loudspeakers are of low impedance/sensitivity they can easily destroyed by clipping distortion.

Just my $0.02.. ;)
 
P

PearlcorderS701

Banned
Ratings
68
#46
And in a quality receiver/preamp, the tone controls are defeated when the controls are at 12:00, removing circuitry from the signal path for a purer sound.
I don't know if this is 100 percent, absolutely accurate -- at the "12:00" position, I don't believe the controls are completely defeated and bypassed, only that they're at their "neutral" settings, without any boost or cut...right in the middle, so to speak. To TRULY get controls out of a loop for the "purer sound" you reference, one would need to engage DIRECT or PURE DIRECT or TONE DEFEAT modes of some kind...

I believe...:eek:
 
B

bikemig

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
228
#47
HK 3490 and alternatives

I read through this thread (and the review of the KH 3490 on this site). I'm curious is there a stereo receiver (or integrated amplifier) that can compete with the HK 3490 at this price point? I like the Yamaha A-S500 but it is more expensive and lacks the digital inputs (I'm fairly indifferent to the tuner). I like the Outlaw rr2150 stereo receiver but I'm not convinced it's worth the extra money (although I like the USB input for computer audio files and the bass management).
 
anamorphic96

anamorphic96

Audioholic General
Ratings
201
#50
This does look cool; it has more digital inputs than the HK 3490 and an ethernet port. It looks like the price will be around $400.
I'd bet the street price is 299.00 to 349.00. So it's even a better bargain. It's peaked my interest for the new 2 channel system in my den.
 
P

PearlcorderS701

Banned
Ratings
68
#51
The new Onkyo TX-8050 looks awfully nice and offers digital inputs and some new networking features.

http://onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=TX-8050&class=Receiver&p=i
Wow -- I didn't even realize Onkyo had released a new stereo receiver, and I check their site often! The faceplate of this unit is following in the design footsteps of their new AVRs, as well as mirroring the looks of their recently launched high end hi fi separates -- the faceplate of this stereo receiver is a near copy of the new expensive separate preamp they built, and that's not a bad thing:

http://imagesoak.com/static/images/onkyo113000-5000-7000300m_640x400_crop-smart_upscale_q85.jpg

Look at the preamp sitting atop the gorgeous power amp -- tell me that doesn't look like the TX-8050!

But asthetics aside, this was a bold move for Onkyo, being that these stereo receivers really aren't that popular anymore -- I'm glad to see them and companies like Yamaha and H/K keeping the sector alive.

With regard to the 8050, it looks like there's nothing to warrant swapping it out, personally, for me, over my TX-8555, which you (Anamorphic) had originally recommended to me, and which I use on a daily basis in my 2-channel system and love. The 8555 has 100 watts per channel vs. the 8050's 80 watts (strange) and I am not in dire need of digital inputs, so for me the 8555 will suffice.

But that receiver sure is nice -- I would say go for it to the member who was asking for a unit that could compare to the H/K.
 
P

PearlcorderS701

Banned
Ratings
68
#52
I read through this thread (and the review of the KH 3490 on this site). I'm curious is there a stereo receiver (or integrated amplifier) that can compete with the HK 3490 at this price point? I like the Yamaha A-S500 but it is more expensive and lacks the digital inputs (I'm fairly indifferent to the tuner). I like the Outlaw rr2150 stereo receiver but I'm not convinced it's worth the extra money (although I like the USB input for computer audio files and the bass management).
Normally, I'd suggest you look no further than the model Anamorphic recommended to me when I was shopping for a centerpiece to my 2 channel system -- the Onkyo TX-8555. It seems a new model, as we have been discussing, has been launched in the company's stereo offerings line, and this may fit your needs perfectly. If you didn't need digital inputs, I'd say get the 8555 hands down, but it doesn't have digital ins (no big deal to me, as I just use my CD changer's DACs via analog connections). Personally, I don't care for the Outlaw stereo receiver's looks, with its "art deco table radio of the old days" facade, and that was a deal breaker for me -- although I have heard mixed reports regarding its performance; some say it's great, some say the controls feel a bit flimsy to the touch. For what it's worth, the knobs and controls on my Onkyo 8555 feel as solid as can be, with heft and purpose behind their aluminum coverings...this unit sure does feel a heck of a lot more expensive than what Onkyo charges for it, with the all-aluminum volume knob in particular exhibiting a heavy, slow characteristic that allows for perfect adjustment of level. It does feel like a higher-end piece of gear, and that's exactly how it's viewed in my room and system in my mind.

Anyway, I know Yamaha has recently responded to Onkyo's "throwback" approach to two channel audio (taking into consideration Onkyo's A-9555 integrated amplifier and now their "retro" designed hi fi separates) with "throwback/vintage"-style stereo components themselves, with stereo receivers and integrated amps, but I don't know much about them -- I'd nail my choices down to this new Onkyo stereo receiver or possibly a Yamaha model, but that's just my opinion.
 
P

PearlcorderS701

Banned
Ratings
68
#53
I'd bet the street price is 299.00 to 349.00. So it's even a better bargain. It's peaked my interest for the new 2 channel system in my den.
You know what I don't get? Why is the new model more money than the 8555 when it has less power output and otherwise looks the same? Is it just because it's brand new to the market, and offers little tidbits like digital ins and such?

You're putting together a new 2 channel system in your den? Awesome; are you going the total separates route or looking towards an integrated or stereo receiver? You recommended me the 8555 when I was in your situation, and it turned out to be more than suitable, so I need to do the same for you -- or the new model you suggested to the other member! ;)
 
B

bikemig

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
228
#54
I use a computer as a source for all my music so the digital inputs are a big deal for me. I also wanted something that is 4 ohm stable since I am interested in the Magneplaner MMG speakers. For well under $1k, this would make a heck of a system and would beat my current set-up (not that there is anything wrong with it, SB touch into audioengine A-5).
 
P

PearlcorderS701

Banned
Ratings
68
#55
I use a computer as a source for all my music so the digital inputs are a big deal for me. I also wanted something that is 4 ohm stable since I am interested in the Magneplaner MMG speakers. For well under $1k, this would make a heck of a system.
I see. Well, all I can do is tell you about the experience I've had with the 8555 stereo model, which has been fantastic -- this thing is a powerhouse for its size and price class, so I'm sure the 8050 will be just as satisfying. I don't run music anywhere near or through my computer, instead doing it the old fashioned way via a CD changer (Marantz) so I didn't need the digital inputs. Either way, I recommend the Onkyo.
 
P

PearlcorderS701

Banned
Ratings
68
#56
What's weird is, now upon closer inspection on their site, I can't make out whether the 8050 puts out 80 watts per channel or 180 watts per channel, which the specifications state unless I'm wrong...

http://onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=TX-8050&class=Receiver&p=f

You know what else I don't like? The input buttons are gone on the front panel, instead replaced with a rotating knob a la a volume control...and there's still no Loudness button, as on their A-9555...

Perhaps we should start a new thread about the 8050!?
 
anamorphic96

anamorphic96

Audioholic General
Ratings
201
#57
It's 80 watts.

My new system is actually together.

Audiosource Amp100
Apple iMac / NuForce uDAC-2
Energy C-1 (Old surrounds) Surrounds replaced with Energy CB-5's.

Actually listening to a 24bit/29khz vinyl transfer a friend did for me as I type this.

The speakers will be the next thing to replace though. As I find the Audio Source more than adequate.
 
Last edited:
anamorphic96

anamorphic96

Audioholic General
Ratings
201
#59
In Onkyo's defense there better than some with typos. It will probably get changed soon.
 
P

PearlcorderS701

Banned
Ratings
68
#60
It's 80 watts.

My new system is actually together.

Audiosource Amp100
Apple iMac / NuForce uDAC-2
Energy C-1 (Old surrounds) Surrounds replaced with Energy CB-5's.

Actually listening to a 24bit/29khz vinyl transfer a friend did for me as I type this.

The speakers will be the next thing to replace though. As I find the Audio Source more than adequate.
So then why did you mention you're considering the 8050 for your den 2 channel system?
 

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