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can i buy HK AMP 3390/3490 M

Wharfedale Evo 4.2

wnrao

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I want to buy a powerful stereo amp with matching speakers for playing hard n soft rock. I want my deal to be simple i.e. from authorized dealers with warranty and customer support. Not many are selling stereo amps in the market as the demand is mostly for HT systems.
Even though there is sea of info here, which is an education and sometimes overhelming, fortunately things are much simpler when it comes to implementation as most of the stuff discussed here is not readily available in the market i.e. in Hyderabad. So I thought I will come other way round. Find out whats available n c whether it suits my requirement. Even though Marantz is my personal favorite as of now I could find only the following HK stuff.
1. Harman Kardon Amp 3390/3490 M for 26/30 K + 12.5% tax.
2. Cambridge Audio: (Looking for CA A 540 AMP with MS Avanti 906i speaker combination as somebody suggested here). Just spoke on phone with the rep at soundroom. He doesnt have any stock right now and asked me to mail my requirements which I just did.

So friends I want to know whether I can pick up above HK 3390/3490 AMP at that price. How good are HK AMPs. which one should I pick up. BTW my room size is 17 X 14 ft.

Matching speakers: Which speakers will match with above amp. I was suggested JBL speakers for 45K which is beyond my budget. I want a reasonably good quality floor standing/Bookshelf speakers for around 20K to match with HK amp. May be later I can add a sub woofer. i am looking at Jamo/Wharfedale/Mordaunt short speakers ie in that quality and price range

Let me clarify, my practical knowledge in this field is limited and I have come to some conclusion reading the posts here, for which I am grateful.

i have a offer of Onkyo 505 AVR + Elac 50 series 5.1 at 70K. Can i consider that, its xceeding my budget . if its really a great deal i may stretch my self that farther, will there any scope for bargaining in such combo offers.

Pl suggest me whether any better stuff is available in Hyderabad in my budget.
 
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afj

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listen to them all. they're all good but each of them have their own 'personalities' which only you can decide which one you like. personally i dont like the hk. but some people love it
 
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moserw

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As afj said please listen to them. Coming to the Onkyo they are great but are typical HT systems i.e. 5.1 and will not suit your need for a stereo system for playing music, and for music CA, Marantz would be better options. Also, 70K seems a tad too high and really does not make sense exceeding your budget. Also, is your music on audio CDs, or in mp3 format? If audio CD then invest in a good CDP as that will give more returns than using a standard/budget DVDP with a good AVR. You can cut down on the AVR (though not too much) if the CDP is of good quality.
 
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wnrao

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my music is mostly MP3. i agree with u, i need to invest in good cdp too.that i have kept it for last. any idea of marantz source in hyderabad



As afj said please listen to them. Coming to the Onkyo they are great but are typical HT systems i.e. 5.1 and will not suit your need for a stereo system for playing music, and for music CA, Marantz would be better options. Also, 70K seems a tad too high and really does not make sense exceeding your budget. Also, is your music on audio CDs, or in mp3 format? If audio CD then invest in a good CDP as that will give more returns than using a standard/budget DVDP with a good AVR. You can cut down on the AVR (though not too much) if the CDP is of good quality.
 
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Kelpie

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Hi! I bought the HK 3490 (pay the 6k extra and get the 3490 instead of the 3480), not only do you get 20 watts per channel extra power, you get Optical IN and Digital Co-Axial IN.

I play all forms of music, and I think it sounds great (like they all say to each his own and the best pundit for quality is your own ears). I found the bass good, the ability to handle rock was very good too, when I played Judas Priest "Breaking the Law" or "Electric Eye" the guitars sounded great without getting noisy. Similarly when I play, Shakti the strings being plucked sounds great too.

I have JBL ES 80 speakers paired with them.
 
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moserw

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my music is mostly MP3. i agree with u, i need to invest in good cdp too.that i have kept it for last. any idea of marantz source in hyderabad

Need to check about Marantz source. Coming to the CDP, the high end ones will not play mp3, only Audio CD. Since your music is mainly mp3 (as is mine) there are 2 routes you can explore. Firstly if your music is played on a PC then good PC speakers or Audioengine A5 will serve the purpose. If you want to play via your AVR then how about looking at a DAC? I am looking at Beresford TC-7510 and also have been suggested Cambridge Audio DacMagic, but CA DacMagic is nearly twice the cost of the Beresford. A DAC will give more connectivity options and also improve SQ of not only your mp3s, but also SQ of DVDs, TV STB, etc. Just a thought from my side and hopefully will not complicate things further...
 
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wnrao

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Need to check about Marantz source. Coming to the CDP, the high end ones will not play mp3, only Audio CD. Since your music is mainly mp3 (as is mine) there are 2 routes you can explore. Firstly if your music is played on a PC then good PC speakers or Audioengine A5 will serve the purpose. If you want to play via your AVR then how about looking at a DAC? I am looking at Beresford TC-7510 and also have been suggested Cambridge Audio DacMagic, but CA DacMagic is nearly twice the cost of the Beresford. A DAC will give more connectivity options and also improve SQ of not only your mp3s, but also SQ of DVDs, TV STB, etc. Just a thought from my side and hopefully will not complicate things further...

thanks for the info. its always welcome anytime. as u said there are many things to be taken care. but what is basic is a good amp n good matching speakers. so right now i am concentrating on them. the local set up i have at home right now, i connect IPOD audio output to amp directly, not an ideal way may be. may be to begin with i can do the same till i get a good cdp and a DAC n stuff like that. what do u say
 
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wnrao

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Hi! I bought the HK 3490 (pay the 6k extra and get the 3490 instead of the 3480), not only do you get 20 watts per channel extra power, you get Optical IN and Digital Co-Axial IN.

I play all forms of music, and I think it sounds great (like they all say to each his own and the best pundit for quality is your own ears). I found the bass good, the ability to handle rock was very good too, when I played Judas Priest "Breaking the Law" or "Electric Eye" the guitars sounded great without getting noisy. Similarly when I play, Shakti the strings being plucked sounds great too.

I have JBL ES 80 speakers paired with them.

thanks for the input. i am also of the opinion of picking up 3490 . i am a bit more keen with HK amp bcause its the only source having an official distributor in hydbad. can u tell me the present price of JBL ES 80 speakers.
 
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moserw

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thanks for the info. its always welcome anytime. as u said there are many things to be taken care. but what is basic is a good amp n good matching speakers. so right now i am concentrating on them. the local set up i have at home right now, i connect IPOD audio output to amp directly, not an ideal way may be. may be to begin with i can do the same till i get a good cdp and a DAC n stuff like that. what do u say

The reason for suggesting DAC is because "a good CDP" i.e. the high end ones will not play mp3. For the price of a good CDP you can buy a budget DVDP with USB 2.0 support and a DAC which will improve SQ very much. Or you can just get a DAC that will play off a USB or your iPod so there will be no need for a CDP/DVDP. What is the amp you are having at present i.e. the one you are connecting the iPod to? Does it accept digital in?
 
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wnrao

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The reason for suggesting DAC is because "a good CDP" i.e. the high end ones will not play mp3. For the price of a good CDP you can buy a budget DVDP with USB 2.0 support and a DAC which will improve SQ very much. Or you can just get a DAC that will play off a USB or your iPod so there will be no need for a CDP/DVDP. What is the amp you are having at present i.e. the one you are connecting the iPod to? Does it accept digital in?

thanks for the info. its very useful to me. my present amp is a local one and no digital input. i am taking the audio ie earphone output of MP3 player and connecting it to the amp audio in. how good is this method
 
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moserw

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thanks for the info. its very useful to me. my present amp is a local one and no digital input. i am taking the audio ie earphone output of MP3 player and connecting it to the amp audio in. how good is this method

If it works for you then great. Sound is very subjective. A lot of true audiophiles will not even consider iPod, mp3s, etc. as music since there is so much loss during data conversion and only an audio CD will do. I personally enjoy music in mp3 that's anything between 192 to 384 kbps. There was a time I would play music on my Motorola E398 at 96 kbps and to my ears it sounded great. Now I have "graduated" and having heard a Bryston amplifier and DAC I am working my way towards them since nothing else will do for me as of now. Who knows what it might be tomorrow? Maybe the 40 lacs Focals speakers since I have heard a lot of good things about them...

Coming to your setup, concentrate more on improving the source material. If your mp3s are at 128 kbps then try to get the same in 384 kbps. Getting very good CDP, speakers, etc. will not work magic if the basic quality of mp3s is itself bad. In fact the hallmark of good speakers, CDP, etc. are that they should play audio exactly the way it was recorded and not add anything additional to it. I have only seen DACs work magic in improving mp3 quality and Audioengine A5 speakers are the only other thing I can say that improved SQ perceptibly in my many years of audio listening and video watching.

So finally what I am saying Rao garu is that if it sounds good to your ears then great and that's all that should matter. I am sure with time you will upgrade anyways as will the rest of us.
 
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wnrao

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If it works for you then great. Sound is very subjective. A lot of true audiophiles will not even consider iPod, mp3s, etc. as music since there is so much loss during data conversion and only an audio CD will do. I personally enjoy music in mp3 that's anything between 192 to 384 kbps. There was a time I would play music on my Motorola E398 at 96 kbps and to my ears it sounded great. Now I have "graduated" and having heard a Bryston amplifier and DAC I am working my way towards them since nothing else will do for me as of now. Who knows what it might be tomorrow? Maybe the 40 lacs Focals speakers since I have heard a lot of good things about them...

Coming to your setup, concentrate more on improving the source material. If your mp3s are at 128 kbps then try to get the same in 384 kbps. Getting very good CDP, speakers, etc. will not work magic if the basic quality of mp3s is itself bad. In fact the hallmark of good speakers, CDP, etc. are that they should play audio exactly the way it was recorded and not add anything additional to it. I have only seen DACs work magic in improving mp3 quality and Audioengine A5 speakers are the only other thing I can say that improved SQ perceptibly in my many years of audio listening and video watching.

So finally what I am saying Rao garu is that if it sounds good to your ears then great and that's all that should matter. I am sure with time you will upgrade anyways as will the rest of us.

i agree with u entirely. the quality of the full set up is the quality of the weakest component. so its important to leave no weak links in the full chain. it begins somewhere n almost becomes an obseccion. i have seen that happening to my friends. as of know i am not looking at an audiophile grade but something which sounds better the mass brands available. sound quality is an addiction , may be more u have the more u want.
BTW what set up u have got now for audio only, if i can ask n whats your music choice.
 
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moserw

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I use a standard budget Philips DVD player (getting an Oppo 983 soon) via my Onkyo HT system mainly for movies and sometimes for music. I am adding most probably a Beresford DAC to this set up though a Bryston DAC is the ultimate goal. Otherwise, I listen to music mainly on the PC since most of my music content is in mp3 format and stored on the PC and for that I use a Creative soundcard along with Creative 5.1 speakers, but I will be adding Audioengine A5 speakers to my PC setup early next year.

Coming to the video part, I have a Panasonic PV8 and a Panasonic CRT 29" TV and the PV8 and the CRT both rock for SD content in DVDs/Divx/TV so I will not be touching this part of my AV setup for at least a couple of years.
 
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magma

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moserw

how close/far would an Audio engine A5 compare to a warfedale 9.2 with a marantz sr 3001 or a denon 1508 ?

audio only
source mp3
 
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moserw

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moserw

how close/far would an Audio engine A5 compare to a warfedale 9.2 with a marantz sr 3001 or a denon 1508 ?

audio only
source mp3

Very tough to say without auditioning them side by side with same source and content. I have heard them both in entirely different setups. Audioengine A5 was in a PC setting and playing mp3 from a PC and since they are powered speakers they were connected direct to the sound card. The sound was amazing and just blew me away and since my requirement was the same of playing mp3s/wma/flac, etc. on my PC I wanted the same. The Audioengines are impressive because for speakers so small they deliver amazing clarity and depth and are loud too. I have heard (at least read in online reviews) the Audioengines being recommended as good BS in a HT setup, but that's something I have not seen or heard for myself.

The Wharfedales I have heard only in stereo/HT setups with an AVR/Amp powering/driving them. Obviously they were louder and with more clarity and depth than the Audioending A5 but then they had the right equipment, they were paired with a good quality CDP from the CA Azur line.

These are my observations and perhaps someone can add more to it, but ultimately your ears should be the judge.
 
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