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Harman/Kardon HK3490 en route...

 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3422
Registered: Oct-04
I sold off my HK3485 & DVD37 a few months back for about what I paid for them, and have been wrestling with what to do next.

I was hoping that the new HK990 Integrated Amp would be a more affordable option than its turned out to be; so on a whim, I threw in a $200 bid for an HK3490 @ Harman's eBay store and BINGO!...it's mine.

The new HK3490 offers several meaningful upgrades over the HK3485 including digital inputs & other goodies, and should pair nicely with my $49 HK DVD48 (SACD) player, Infinity P362 Floorstanders & PS210 Sub.

Below is the Audioholics review the HK3490.

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/receivers/hk-3490/hk-3490-introduction
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3423
Registered: Oct-04
"The harman/kardon HK 3490 power reserves were quite impressive for a receiver of its price and size. It came very close to running both channels at continuous full rated power (120watts) and held up well for the 1kHz 8-ohm and 4-ohm power vs. distortion tests. In fact, the amp section in this receiver was so stable that I ran all of the power tests with both channels driven and the HK 3490 never complained or broke a sweat during my torture tests. Into 4-ohm loads, the HK 3490 exceeded its 150wpc power rating by putting out 167wpc x 2 @ 0.1% THD + N and a whopping 227wpc of dynamic power with both channels driven."

"Running a full range frequency sweep from the preamp all the way through the power amp at full rated power (120wpc @ 8-ohms), I measured channel to channel crosstalk where the channel under test was at idle while the adjacent channel was running and vice versa. The Audio Precision plotted crosstalk for each channel under these circumstances and showed that the worst channel exhibited around 90dB at 20 kHz which is a phenomenal result. Anything greater than 60dB at 20kHz is considered inaudible by even the most critical ears. There is no doubt that the stereo separation in this receiver is superb."

"We measured the SNR at 1 watt power using no weighting for the worst possible measurement. It's important to know how quite a product is at low power levels to ensure the noise floor of the product isn't masking sonic detail. A number greater than 60dB at 1 watt is acceptable, while a measured response above 80dB is considered excellent or very quiet. The HK 3490 yielded around 80dB which is an excellent measurement. It's no wonder why the HK 3490 sounds so clean and detailed at low power levels."
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 3238
Registered: Jun-07
Good buy Chris! Try the H/K universal player running digital out into the 3490's digital inputs. See if the internal AKM DAC the 3490 has brings an improvement to you. Looks like a beast.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13337
Registered: Feb-05
Congrats on the new HK, Chris. Pics when it arrives, you know the drill.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3424
Registered: Oct-04
Nick,

I was unsure which would be better, I don't know what kind of DAC is used in the DVD48, but is the AKM DAC in the Harman noteworthy? Is there some inherent reason why using the receiver's DAC is preferable to using the player's?
 

Silver Member
Username: Shawnharman

Post Number: 208
Registered: Dec-05
does the 3490 sound as good as the 3480? i had that one at one point and thought it sounded very good, i have been debating whether to get one or not. If it sounds as good im sold lol.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3425
Registered: Oct-04
shawnboy,

I don't know about the 3480, but the 3485 sounded excellent, I'll let you know how the 3490 compares when I get it. It seem as if HK is making a concerted effort to stay relevent in the 2-Ch. Hi-Fi world.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3241
Registered: Jun-07
AKM Semiconductor Inc are a company that have provided blue print engineered instructions to companies on how to make internal, and external DAC's for years. It appears now that they are working with a few big hi fi companies in providing their own DAC for the amps. You will probably see more AKM internal DAC's being used in the near future. I have never heard it, but would be curious to put it up against the universal player. If it sounds better, then all the better amp for the amazing 200 dollar deal. If it sounds worse, then oh well, go back to using interconnects.lol
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3459
Registered: Oct-04
OK, the HK is in the house, but pics & impressions are going to have to wait a few weeks as I am in the midst of an apartment renovation, and homey don't like dust on his new electronics.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3465
Registered: Oct-04
I wanted to unbox this baby to make sure it was in good working order before the dust starts to fly.

First things first, it is attractive as all hell, it's taller and more box-like than my previous HK3485, it also has a less plastic-like faceplate, it has a very deep gun-metal finish...

Upload

Right out of the box (and hooked into my DVD48's analogs), the receiver instantly grabbed hold of my EVO2-10. Honestly, they sound like different speakers? Mind you, I previously had the EVO2-10 paired with my 90W Marantz SR5400, no slouch when it comes to stereo, but the difference between the two is quite striking? And this wasn't even using the HK's internal DAC? That test will have to wait. I can't exactly say which is better just yet, but the proportions of the soundfeild have changed pretty dramatically. The amp has a pitch-black noise-floor, I can say that because I had just unplugged my T-Amp from the rig, and the T-Amp is a virtual black-hole when it comes to noise-floor, it might as well be unplugged when silent.

I can tell you, getting to know this receiver is going be a joy, I don't know why, but I love it already!

Stay tuned...
 

Silver Member
Username: Shawnharman

Post Number: 210
Registered: Dec-05
any difference over the 3485?
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3476
Registered: Oct-04
I can't do an actual side-by-side comparison, but the 3495 was quite good, and the 3490 is every bit as good plus it has a better remote, digital in, internal DAC, and some other goodies to sweeten the deal.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4399
Registered: Feb-07
Very cool Chris. What are you using as a source again?
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4069
Registered: May-05
If you don't have something similar, get a previous generation Apple TV (the one with the built in hard drive) and an iPod Touch to use as a remote. You can get refurbs/clearence stuff on Apple's website and save a few bucks. After I set mine up, I'll never go back to CDs again!

I just got a $30 glass Toslink cable from Amazon, and it sounds great. Beats the hell out of my plastic one.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3477
Registered: Oct-04
The 3490 is currently boxed up due to construction in my homes. I hadit hooked to my HK DVD48.
 

New member
Username: Sbw6234

Post Number: 9
Registered: Nov-07
Christopher need help with HK-3490 sound from an LG 50" Plasma which has only and optical digital out. I have hooked up the optical audio out from the TV to the optical on the HK-3490, but I only have audio on non HD programing. The HD programing has no sound, the HD programing I'm receiving is from local HD channels.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Fort Hamilton, NY United States

Post Number: 3541
Registered: Oct-04
Off the top of my head I don't know what's wrong? I'm not using an optical connection, so it will be hard for me to try to replicate your issue.

Have you contacted Harman's technical support?
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2682
Registered: Oct-07
Find the audio output menu and tell it 'PCM ONLY'

I had the same problem with a dishnetwork receiver. I hooked up optical to a DAC. Audio on std def and zippo on HD. Went thru Dish tech support who were hopeless. So I started in on the menus of the receiver. Audio setup had several choices, so I deselected the auto selection and went with PCM only. Than I also turned off the volume leveling......Don't need the extra compression when listening primarily to music off the dish.

let me know if this helps.
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