I just got this receiver 2 weeks ago, after spending a few weeks reading reviews, testing it at local stores, and looking for the best price. And I can honestly say I am very impressed with this receiver after spending a few days with it.
Recommend this product?
Some of the reasons that drew me to this receiver over similar and sub-similar brands (yamaha, onkyo, sony, etc.) are the following:
1. High current ampThe amp on this system is very clean and can put out much more power than my previous system (my family's sony receiver which would crap out much earlier than one would expect from a 100 watt RMS system) This receiver puts out 65w x2 RMS in stereo mode and 50w x6 RMS in surround mode. And because of the high current amp, the 65watts of the AVR230 obliterates the sony receiver. The heavyness of the receiver when you lift it is a testament to it's powerfullness. So far I have hooked this receiver up to 3 different set of speakers -Fisher STV 676's (15" woofers), Paradigm Studio 80's & Infinity SM112's and the receiver drives these speakers very well, no distortion at volumes well above comfortable listening.
2. Assignable digital inputsthe AVR230 gives you 3 optical and 3 coaxial digital inputs which you can assign to different inputs. With other receivers, (like sony for instance) you are only given a coaxial digital input for your DVD player and an optical input for your TV/SAT/Cable.. well, that doesn't do me any good if I only have an optical input on my DVD player, and vice versa on my TV/SAT/Cable box. The assignable digital inputs allow this system to be flexible in any system configuration.
Note: if you use optical input #1 for one device, you can use coaxial input #1 for a different device. They are 6 independent inputs.
3. StyleHarman Kardon's product line is very streamlined, almost minimalistic. This means that while the buttons on the front of the receiver do accomplish many tasks, you most likely will configure the system through the remote (and through the On Screen Display) because it is easier. The volume knob is a hollow cylinder that is backlit in the center, this has caught my friends' attention every single time.
4. Preamp outputsIf I ever decide in the future to "go bigger" I could always use this receiver as my preamp and get seperate amps.
Like everything in life, nothing is perfect. While there are "flaws", I don't consider them to be anything more than an annoyance:
1. Awkward remote With such a clean minimalistic look to the reciever, it is necessary to provide alot of functionality to the remote; therefore, it becomes very cluttered and not entirely logical. It's not a terrible remote, but it will take using it for a while, before you get used to it.
2. More Bass Boost I like bass, and for those of you who also like bass, you might find that the bass boost knob stops turning a little early (%85 of where I'd prefer). Therefore, I would recommend also getting a powered sub with this receiver and setting it to be a little louder than the receiver.
3. No video conversion upconversion If you wire mixed video inputs (s-video composite, and/or componet) for the different devices (dvd, vcr, cable, etc.) to your receiver, you must continue through each of those video connections to your Televison/Monitor. The Reciever will not let you make only 1 connection to your TV.
Overall a very good receiver for a great price
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Amount Paid (US$): 378 (total)