Advice: Replace my HK AVR 635


Bronze Member
Username: Sackohammers

Post Number: 77
Registered: May-06
Hello all. It's been six years since you all helped me pick out my HK 635 receiver and Ascend Acoustics speakers. I need to upgrade that Receiver. Actually, I'm just moving the 635 to the master bedroom (zone 1) and will feed some wireless speakers to the master bathroom (zone 2).

So that means I need to replace the Receiver in my front room.
Home Theater PC (serves up DVDs, BluRays, HD Cable TV, MP3s, etc).
Playstation 3
iPod (Currently just using headphone jack on iPod to RCA inputs on Receiver - no fancy dock)
DVD player for playing SACDs (I don't use it much anymore)

Samsung 52 inch LCD
Ascend Acoustic (CMT-340 SE mains, CMT-340 SE center, CBM-170 SE rear surrounds)
HSU STF-3 Subwoofer

Because the HK 635 doesn't have HDMI, I have the HTPC and Playstation 3 going directly to the TV for video, but send sound to the Receiver. I control it all with a Harmony Remote and that has worked just fine.

What I'm looking for:
I bought HK because of sound quality. I like to watch a lot of movies. I like to be blown away by movies.
Second to that, I listen to music. My music tastes are somewhat diverse, but I don't listen to rap and that kind of stuff. Johnny Cash, Classic Rock (Led Zep, Pink Floyd, etc), to AWOLNATION and more modern stuff. When the wife isn't around, I crank it.
Third would be regular television like NCIS and whatever else the wife likes to watch.

I don't necessarily need a lot of features and overly fancy touches. I don't need satellite radio, pandora, or any network delivered content. I get that from my HTPC if I want it. Some of the newer features I see coming out these days are Dolby volume control so if a loud commercial comes on, I don't get blown away. I've heard that some Receivers don't sound as well with that enabled. The feature is not a deal killer to have. It would be nice to have. But if it lowers PQ, then I'll just turn it off.
I like it to have a mic to assist with setup. Just to get the speakers generally close and then I'll fine tune it.
What else. The iPod doc is another nice thing to have, but not required. We currently get by without it now.
I would like it to have 2 zones. I want to run some wireless speakers for the garage so I can have music when I'm messing around in the shop or washing the cars.
It would be nice if I could get something in the sub $800 range, but I would consider looking at something as much as $1,000 if it were a solid hit.

I appreciate any help you guys give me.

On another note, I need to look at some wireless speakers. Both for the garage and for the master bath. I don't know anything about them. They don't need to be "awesome", I don't expect that.


Platinum Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 16171
Registered: Dec-03
Harman Kardon AVR 3600. You can't go wrong with all the feature sets you are looking for and the sound quality is the same from the older 635s.

As far as wireless speakers, I have very little experience with them as the ones I've tried suffered from too much interference with cell phones.

Bronze Member
Username: Sackohammers

Post Number: 78
Registered: May-06
Thanks for your help Berny. I had been looking at the 3600 and 3650's.
Someone at AVS mentioned the Denon line and I took a gander. I found a good deal on a Denon 3312ci so I picked that up. I hope it sounds as good as that HK 635.
Thanks again!

Silver Member
Username: Vm8444


Post Number: 423
Registered: Aug-05

hi there denon sounds better

and look into what sounds best for wireless with out static.
and minimal wires to be plugged in.

sonos are alright.

Bronze Member
Username: Sackohammers

Post Number: 79
Registered: May-06
Vince, thanks.
I'm glad you like the sound of the Denon better than the HK 635. I am excited to get the 3312ci before the weekend.
That Amazon link you provided was for the 2312ci, an impressive beast in it's own rite.
I went to Denon's site and called their authorized resellers to get price quotes by phone. I've found that you can often get a much better price quote by phone than on the web. In fact, I got the 3312ci for $50 less than the Amazon price you linked for the 2312ci.

I had peaked at the Sonos speakers yesterday, but at first glance they didn't look like the right thing for me. They looked like speakers that are internet capable and hook up to a computer. That would overlap a lot of the features I already have. I'll take a closer look since you mention them and see if maybe I was looking at the wrong product line.
I was also looking at these:


Silver Member
Username: Mccambley


Post Number: 905
Registered: Jun-05
The Denon 3312 is a very good receiver for that matter I am installing one tomorrow for a customer. I also like the Denon iPOD dock ASD-11R it connects to the receiver and the iPOD is then controlled by the Denon remote with your iPOD info on the TV.
No matter how you connect your source everything is converted to HDMI for one simple connection to the TV. You will also be able to listen to DTS Master and Dolby HD uncompressed sound tracks on blu-ray disc.

Silver Member
Username: Vm8444


Post Number: 425
Registered: Aug-05
hi a bud uses rocketfish wireless with decent results.

excellent choice on the 3312
plenty of features.
you can also use the second zone for wireless for out door or whatever then use the denon app for iphone etc,
casey good to know

Bronze Member
Username: Sackohammers

Post Number: 80
Registered: May-06
Things are going well. I got the 3312ci and set it up. Got Zone 2 working with one of those rocketfish wireless speakers. Works well.

I am having one problem, though. I am getting intermittent video dropouts via HDMI.

The source is a PC running Media Center with an HDMI video card. Running that to the Denon Receiver. Then an HDMI cable to the Samsung LCD Television. These cables are both high speed Blue Jeans cables. 4-6 feet long.

The dropouts only occur when watching certain cable channels through the PC, or when playing back some shows that were recorded on those channels. Most channels don't have this problem. Only some of them. If I go straight from the PC to the Television, I don't have any dropout problems when playing any content.

I called Denon and they said it was a signal quality issue. It is going through two hops and the source is degraded too much by the time it gets to the TV. They suggested three things:
1) Try different cables
2) Try a repeater or booster between the receiver and television
3) Go directly to the television with HDMI from the PC and just bypass the Receiver.

To me, it sounds like the repeater inside the Receiver is just weak or something is wrong with it.

I tried 3 different types of cables that I picked up at Fry's. First I tried some $2 cables at Fry's that were rated as "high speed". They look like your typical monoprice cables. With those cables in place, I got intermittent white noise and black screen (problem worse with those cables). Then I tried some higher quality cables from Fry's. It wouldn't display the show and then drop out like I was getting with the Blue Jeans cable. Instead, it would only intermittently show the Denon logo, but sometimes the logo was red with orange blotches, or green. It didn't show the recorded tv program at all. I then put the signal booster between the Receiver and TV, the result was no picture on the TV. So I went back to using the Blue Jeans cables from the PC to the Receiver and from the Receiver to the TV. I can at least get the show to play, but it drops out every few seconds to a black screen for a few seconds, then back to the show for a few seconds. I don't think this is a cabling problem. But it does demonstrate that the Blue Jeans cable are able to do the best job in the face of whatever problem I'm experiencing.
I'm not 100% sure what step to take next. I'd be willing to consider replacing the video card in the PC. Maybe there is one that puts out a stronger signal? But... you'd think that since I have no problems going from PC to TV that perhaps the issue doesn't lie there. I'm really thinking it is the Receiver. Unfortunately, I don't have another Receiver that does HDMI switching around so that I could test that theory.

Silver Member
Username: Vm8444


Post Number: 428
Registered: Aug-05
Wow sounds fustrating,
What happens when using other sources?

Same thing?

Why not bypass receiver and see if sound card has a digital out
To the denon

Bronze Member
Username: Sackohammers

Post Number: 81
Registered: May-06
I only have one other video source - does not exhibit the problem.

Bypassing the receiver for video and going directly to the TV works fine. That sort of defeats some of the purpose for replacing the Harmon Kardon with an HDMI switching receiver. In addition to extra hassle making sure the TV is set to the correct input whenever we want to watch TV, the menus for the receiver are not visibly overlayed when watching TV if you bypass the receiver.

I contacted the place where I bought it to initiate an RMA. They said it sounds like a bad receiver and we should swap it out. But, I haven't heard back from them after trying to initiate RMA. We'll see.
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