Harman Kardon HK 3390 Stereo Receiver Review
The Harman Kardon HK 3390 sits in a much overlooked niche, the 2 channel stereo (non AV) receiver. It seems more and more that the needs of the stereo oriented end user are being ignored in favour of the 5.1 and 7.1 av consumer. I guess the manufacturers make more money on speakers that way.
While the name Harman Kardon may not be a household name to your average consumer they have had a good reputation for making solid no nonsense hi fi components to those in the know. The Harman Kardon HK 3390 Stereo Receiver is a very good example of this, the HK 3390 is aimed squarely at the informed home user who needs a no nonsense stereo amplifier/receiver and doesn’t need a “brand name” badge to go with it.
So after that little screed lets move on to the actual product itself. The HK 3390 has a minimalist black and grey frontage with small and almost too well hidden series of front panel controls for tuning, source selection, station changing etc. I quite look the look of the unit, its not too fussy but by the same token makes all the commonly used functions easy to access with a minimum of fuss. The frontage also sports headphone out, a single video input and a matching stereo input. The back panel is as you would expect a lot busier, as I said earlier this unit is not really oriented towards being an AV hub but is far more suitable as an integrated stereo amplifier/receiver solution for your home. Back panel I/O includes AM and FM Antenna Terminals, 3 sets of 3 Audio/Video Inputs, 1 set of Audio/Video Outputs, a single Video Monitor Output a Remote Infrared (IR) Input and Output, 2 Switched AC Accessory Outlets for control of power to other separates in your system (max 100w power per outlet), 2 sets of standard speaker outputs (banana plug jacks, A/B selectable from the front panel) and a subwoofer output (with associated SW trigger outs) and finally CD, Phono and Tape Inputs.
Now on to where this receiver shines, sonically its actually a very impressive piece of kit that punches well above its weight. The tuner is extremely good and we found it provided solid reception even without an attached ariel. Setup is easy and didn’t provide us with any surprises or gotchas once we had it connected it performed extremely well though not massively powerful (2 x 80w @8 Ohms) it sounded full, clear and with a mid range that is smooth and reliable, Stereo Imaging was very good and the bass response was decent and became extremely nice with a couple of different mid range subs we tried the HK 3390 Receiver with.
So with all this on offer what are the units shortcomings? We as previously stated its not really geared up for AV or surround, this unit is pure analog I/O (no digital ins), stereo with no HDMI, S-Video or surround of any kind, the unit also lacks any EQ with only a simple pair of bass trebble knobs fon the front panel, having said that there is room to connect an external graphic eq on the back. With these minor niggles out in the open how do we feel about the HK 3390? Well if you are in the market for a very decent mid range audio reciever with some extra video capabilities the n this unit is a very solid buy, but if you are in the market for a full on AV receiver look elsewhere as this unit doesn’t have what you’re after.
Type: Stereo receiver
Power (FTC): 120 x 2
Bandwidth : 20Hz – 20kHz
Impedance: 8 ohms
Dolby Virtual Speaker: Yes
Audio inputs : 7 (1 on front panel)
Video inputs: 4 (1 on front panel)
Video outputs: 2
Subwoofer output : Yes, 2
Preamp outputs/main amp inputs: Yes
Accessory outlets: 2 Switched
Shipping weight: 21 lbs.
Dimensions: 17W x 15D x 6.4H inches
List Price: $399.00 (Check Amazon For Current Pricing)