Semi-complete review of the HK AVR525


I started writing this post as a reply to another thread here. If you've seen other posts of mine, then you know I'm verbose...maybe this will help someone--sorry for the potential waste of bandwidth ;-)



Hmmm Phil,

I just don't know about your characterization of the HK's bass. After many hours of excellent and varied listening I would *NOT* say that the bass "blasts" anything or anywhere.

It is full, rich, present and defined..."blasted" though? I just don't hear it and I have a larger room which would exacerbate the response. I have listened critically to about 3 Mozart concerti *and a few of them multiple times), Requiem, Pat metheny with Bob Moses and Jaco Pastorius (beautiful bass response), A LOT of jazz, Dave matthews, Norah Jones, about 10 movies, Steely Dan, Bach's Brandenburgs in 5.1, and too much else to list...the bass response? The HK pretty much gives you what you put in to it. Admirably and graciously, I might add

By that I mean, for example, that Steely Dan's Aja, which is an incredibly well produced album, is presented magnificantly through the HK (and M&K speakers), with tight, articulate bass and balanced clean voicing all the way through the spectrum. You can hear the reverb decay with splendid detail in the beginning of the bass slams on "Black Cow".

Whether I am taking a "pure analog audio path" 2-channel analog in, a pre-in with digitized bass management, or via optical with 6 channels driven, the bass is just grand in every mode and on virtually all content (a Tal Farlow CD from the sixties sounds thin but that's defintely the original recording).

One thing to note, however, about the HK is that it offers HUGE flexibility in how to route any given signal, how to cross it over to the mains, center, surrounds, and how far the sub can voice (not to mention how to configure sub/lfe modes).

I will almost guarantee that if you heard an HK not sounding gorgeous, then one or many of the routing/processing setttings was neglected or incorrectly set.

For instance, for a "pure audio" 2-channel path (which goes directly from input to volume control), you connect your gear to an analog input (like CD), set your main speakers to large, and turn off any surround mode. Voila! a pure 2-channel audio path which bypasses all digitization and processing (what Onkyo calls "Pure Audio" and a give a blue light to).

Of course I can then set the crossovers for my mains and sub specifically for this input (for me it's CD) and I always have a beautiful and pure 2-channel signal with tweaked crossovers and sub-mode optimized for music. All of these settings are set once and saved specifically for THIS input.

For DVD-A in I connect to the HK's pre-ins (there is a 6/8ch-DVDa-in and a 6/8-direct-in, the difference is that the DVDa setting allows the inputs to be digitized in order to set the triple crossovers). I digitize the DVDa 5.1-ins from my DVDa player, set crossovers for all 5.1 of my speakers, and then that setting in specifically saved.

That's what I use for DVDa listening where I utilize the DVDa player's DACs. I can also use the "direct" in bypassing all digitization in the HK pre-ins and use the bass management in the Yamaha or other external processor.

Then for DVDv I use optical to connect to the HK. Again all settings for crossovers, etc. are saved just for this input and so the 5.1 setup is tweaked just for DVD videos.

Basically I have my Yamaha DVC6480 (AWESOME) DVDa/v player connected in three discrete ways to my HK. All are used for something specific and all integrate beautifully with the HK and their role. The reason the Yamaha is so cool is that its own on-board audio DACS are 192/24khz Burr-Browns...they sound great!

And I say this WITH a subwoofer upgrade in the works ;-).

Anyone with a question about the HK, feel free to ask.


Oh, and did I mention that the HK AVR525 is pushing three (nominal) 4ohm speakers in the form of three M&K K-7s.

Not a single wince out of the HK when it comes to pushing these speakers very loud indeed. Thank you 45 high-current amps and a power rating (75x7) which is conservative enough to allow ample headroom when really pushing the juice.


Phil Krewer

Well H1 the only thing I can say is you have to like what you have because you already paid for it. JK, If you like it that's all that counts. But, I have to be honest with how I felt. I was very excited to get the 520 I brought home and frankly I couldn't have been more dissapointed. The bass was so in your face that I had to turn my subwoofer lever control down to just about nothing. Granted I have two 500 watt subs and a relatively small room, but manufactures really need to realize that there are people out there who don't feel that a receiver is better if it puts out more bass than the next one. Even after I got the subs tuned in the sound of the 520 was so bright and harsh that it literally hurt my ears to listen to music for any extended period of time. I quess I felt the same way Gary Raskin did in his expert review. I thought their propiatary sounds fields were totally useless and the remote was poor as well as ugly. Now maybe mine was defective considering it died within a week, but frankly H1 I knew within a couple of days that the 520 wasn't going to say in my house any longer than the 30 days CC gives you to get your money back. Now maybe the 525 is sonically improved, but I was so disappointed in the 520 that I had no desire to consider the 525. I'm happy you like yours thats all that counts. Just as I'm sure everyone here is happy with what they have desided to buy. I'm sorry to say and this is from the bottom of my heart the last thing I'd trade my 3803 for would be any receiver that HK makes. But if anyone has a nice RX-Z1 they want to get rid of cheap, please let me know.


I wrote the above mail for the exact intention that this (and other online forums) exist: to share my experiences in the hopes of helping others.

I had seen many requests lately inquiring about the HK receivers, of which I am an owner and proponent (for many of the reasons I state in my posts). As I mention, I am also an owner though less of a proponent of a Denon HT receiver (AVR-1400).

In your reply you mention Gary Raskin's review of the 525, I also read it. No offense to Gary, but he did his critical listening session in a, um, Circuit City store...huh? And again, with all due respect to Gary, his benchmark music CD is "Born in the USA" (no offense to springsteen lovers, but hardly his finest work, nor a sonic masterpiece).

I also am curious as to what speakers and what 500 watt subs you use. Maybe therein lies your problem.

In looking at the 3802/03 I found a review, oddly, that pretty much sums up my feelings about Denon AVRs. It's from HIFI choice and my favorite line follows:

Unfortunately, this doesn't have the most impressive sound in the pack; in fact, it sounds rather bland and weak-willed. It's not entirely gutless - the last chase scene in Terminator 2 has plenty of energy - but the sound of Underworld's Everything Everything is flat and lacks the excitement of the live event. Likewise, the swirling sound of Moulin Rouge is missing the dynamic drive that can leave you breathless on receivers like the Onkyo.

This lack of drive can work in multichannel, as it can sound even-tempered, but without the aid of subwoofers and a multitude of rear channels, it sounds very flat in stereo. Although there is a charming, almost disturbing neutrality to Starsailor's Alcoholic, once you get past the smooth guitar sound and the unforced vocals, even this can be found wanting in dynamic scale, especially on tracks like Soma by The Strokes.

I think it's kind of funny that I try and share some of the finer points of tweaking the extensive capabilities of the AVR525 for other people's benefit, and you take that as a shot at you and Denon. C'mon, nothing could be further from my intent.

And, as for the "possibility" that a Circuit City open-box "might" be compromised...what are the chances that it's not?


Phil Krewer

It is you that has the need to have everyone like your reciever. It so evendent that my grandmother could see it and she's dead. And you have done nothing but rag on Denon throughout this entire forum. If you like your reciever than like it. You don't have to be so insecure about your choice that you need everyones approval. As far as the HIFI review. I could care less. There are 8 other reviews that are absolutely glowing. Makes you wonder what the reviewer at HIFi was smoking that day.

As far as sharing its more like bombarding. Common if you like your HK then like it. You don't have to try and work out the insecurities of your buy here. As for my speaker, I'll stack my Infinities up against any bargan basement M&Ks you bought. And I bet I got a better deal.

Grow up, quit trying to cram your system down our throats. Go to Audioasylum and see what they think of your system. Tell them you think Denon is crap, lol.

By the way the cartoons are on and you can watch them in 7 channel stereo.

Aw, everyone, Phil needs a hug!!

C'mon Phil, c'mon over...let's all give you a big hug. You need a hug...c'mon I got a few to spare

And it's not even an "open box" hug...just a big hug to help ease you of your issues.


*oops and Yesss, I'm sure you *did* get a better deal ;-) ROTFL

Phil Krewer
Actually its RFLMAO,

But that's ok, I try to remember you bought an HK and need reasurance that it was the right choice. I think this would be called projection but then your shrink could tell you that.

But, just to be nice I listened to your 525 yes at CC. Its the only place in town that's doesn't want to lose money selling them.

BTW, they must have had at least 5, 520 open boxes. I wonder why. And to be honest it still sounded like &^%$ to me. Same bad bass and same ultra bright highs. No matter what speakers I through at it. I have to admit turning down the trebble did help it some.

I quess you'll have to find reasurance another place. Maybe your shrink could help.

But when you buy Juck online and can't take it back, what are you going to do.

Btw, why don't you tell us your real name or would your boyfriend get pissed seeing you on line again.

dude...spell-check or a 6th grade education... huggin ;-)


Phil Krewer

6th grade education. But they still let me cut people open. Its amaizing what a good printer will allow you to do. But it could be worse I could have to listen to a glorified boom box every nite and force myself to listen to classical music in hopes of being thought of as intellegent.

I really thought you could come back with something better.


Yo Phildo...

Took your advice and checked out the opinions of the HK AVR525 at AudioAsylum:


IMO putting SACD through a normal A/V receiver is a contradiction in terms. Yes it will work, but is it appropriate? SACD/DVD-A=high quality, A/V receiver=low quality. Generally speaking, in comparison to what's available in separates. That said, I do it myself with DVD-A and it does sound rather good, I must admit! The HK AVR320/520 (2002 models, still available) have discrete amplifiers, and if you open them up you will see that ~75% of the interior volume is devoted to the amplifiers and heat sinks, and that they are surprisingly well built (I was shocked). IMO these are the best feature/sound units at the top of your price range.


Gee, they sure do slam it.

But hey Bro, if that Denon reaches down and grabs you just right...who's to tell you otherwise Phildo...rock on dude...and don't forget to spellcheck...


(*Phildo needs a hug guys...)

I don't know who could complain against the h/k receivers I have the AVR 320 and I love it.

Kril Prewer

You must have found the only thread that like them. Probably took you all night. Still waiting for you to come back with anything remotely intellegent. But keep trying. Some day all of that classical will teach you something. But that being said. Anytime I hear another Tonkyo remaark or that any system sucks from you I'm blasting that boom box of yours.


Phil Krewer

Does that thing come with batteries. I keep getting this image of you diddy bopping down the street snapping your fingers with your 525 strapped to your shoulder.


Do you have cotton in your ears, or did a HK sales rep steal your wife while you were posting inane comments online?

So you're cheap and insecure...what else should we know? Did you buy your house "open box" at and post there how great you are...damn man, a pretty obvious sociological pathology you're showing off to all of us. Do we really care about your issues.

I don't know what kind of creds your ears have...but thank GOD they're not mine.

But what do I know, I'm only a DSP programmer...oh, and a classically trained guitarist. But, really, what do I know? (bwahahaha!)Do you really want to put your homophobia against my Suma cm laude. This is too fun!

What kills me is that you think I listen to Classical music to somehow be better than you, or sound intellignet. The fact that three generations of my family have been trained as opera singers means that I grew up with solfege and could voice notes and scales as a child (phildo, write me offline and I'll explain what solfege is...hehehehe).

That your prejudice against classical music or those who get it is so obvious, I wonder exactly why you feel so inadequate or inept. Bascially Phildo I feel sorry for you...I really, really do.

Write me offline if you'd like to talk about the finer points of the Nyquist Theorem or spectral harmonics...ya zippy.

It's pretty obvious to everyone that you're a pretty small guy. Why didn't I have you as a student in grad school 10 years ago...where opinions aren't worth the bad breath they're voiced through.

Tra la la...Phildo needs another hug guys,


Phil Krewer

My aren't we getting defensive. Sorry, I would have rather studied something a little more useful to society, like medicine. But being a grad student to someone who thinks their students opinions are useless would be a waste of any students time. Besides I doubt your ego could have handled having a student make you look bad.

Why is it that any one with a music education thinks they have better ears. Your over inflated aragance is showing just as it has shown thoughtout this forum. Which is the true definition of small.

As far as your classical music. I think you listen to it because you're a pseudo intellectual. "Look at me I listen to classical."

I would write to you off line but I can't think of anything that would bore me more.

As for feeling inadequate, well I'm not the one who feels they have to get every one on here to buy and HK or any reciever for that matter.

Give yourself a hug you need it more than I do.


"aragance" (sp) Bwahahahaha...a Doctor...riiight! Can't wait to ask my Doctor-sister if maybe "aragance" is an enzyme or a secretion of the hypothalamus.

Dude, I wouldn't let you examine one of my kids dolls. You would have to be the dumbest medical doctor since the inception of the Hippocratic oath...and yes, we have Docs in the fam too!!! Tell me then, Phildo, tell me all about Apollo and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia. Let us know all about your medical mastery.

Are you freakin' kidding me...what a buffa you are (I used the operatic ref to sound "aragant")!!

You have to be kidding me...and frankly, a Doctor would now what the Nyquist Theorem is (my sister does, or maybe they only teach such things at Harvard Med)...I am laughing my butt off!!! Did you go to Med school in Grenada??

And we are to believe that you are a surgeon to boot...I just choked on my own laughter!

Kisses, Wooooohoooooo, HAHAHAHA!

*truly, thanks for this Phildo. Please send me a bill because I just don't feel right laughing at you for free...I really should throw you a few bucks. Maybe you can buy some leeches to "bleed" your patients...nice 14th century medecine. Maybe you can use the extra cash to score another open-box "deal".

Phil Krewer
I love this.

Your are too funny when you get stupid. I would have gone to Granada but it was too expensive. So I settled on the University of Spoiled Children. Go Trojans.

I'm happy for your sister at least some one has brains in the family. As far as whether you believe what I do for a living I could care less. As a matter of fact the only thing that keeps me going on this is to see how much stupid rage I can get out of you.

BTW, they still use leeches. Ask your sister she might know why.

But please keep going. The more you lose it the funnier it gets. This is almost as much fun as the 3 total hips and the femur I rodded.

BTW, I'm proud that I payed less for my 1200 dollar Denon than you did for your 1000 boom box. But, you must have missed out on that econ course you took.

Wow, no typoes...I'm impressed.


Phil Krewer

Are you sure? But thats the way to answer. The idea is not to lose it.

BTW, check your spelling, lol

Have a good one.

j t
I had bought a avr 325 and turn it back in because i found a avr525 for the same price
and the avr 525 is missin it's highs unlike the avr 325... this impacts on the sound dynamics. Is anyone else having the same problem?

Phil, h1p,

You two should get a "private room" and take this lover's quarrel somewhere other than this forum. Despite your claimed intellect, you both sound like little school girls having hissy fits about who's boyfriend is cuter. BTW, you're BOTH trying to cram your opinions down each others throats. C'mon, Phil likes his Denon, H1p likes his HK. I like them both. But this inane back and forth about which is better is pointless. It's all subjective.Stick to facts and logic when discussing gear. Now stop your nonsense and play nice in group.( I bought an HK - it's clean, detailed, precise, and I'm very happy. But the Denon at the same price point sounded pretty good,too. So did the Onkyo, for that matter. In the final analysis, it's all about what each person thinks sounds best to them.)

Actualy h1pst3er n Phil Krewer... my vr-605 will kick both the Harman Kardon avr-525 and the Denons azzez. So stop the "quareling"get some pms pills and then go to circuit city and get a REAL receiver, the Kenwood vr-605. you'll be amazed at what you were missing. and the mad BASS this thing puts out will shake your house down. warn ur neighbors in advance guys. sorry if i sounded cocky but im the proud owner of the best receiver to ever hit the market, so what can i say?

Sound like an idiot.

Man, I thought we buried this thread months ago!


question for hk, do you think monitor audio bookshelf speakers (b2) bronze series would be better match for my avr3550 (avr225) than the mission m72i front speakers. I like movies/music = 65/35


Owner of a Beast
hey anon fuk u fegget ill fuk ya up ya little sh-it stop saying stupid things that dont make any cant even make up real name cuz your too much a a little fegget and you suk too much dik

du ma may owner of a nice man .
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