Harman Kardon HK3490, Marantz PM6004, Cambridge Audio AZUR 650A for 150W speakers?


Standard Member
All 3 amps within my price range (<£300): Harman Kardon HK3490 (120W), Marantz PM6004 (45W), Cambridge Audio AZUR 650A (75W).
I have a pair of Celestion DL8 Series 2 speakers, capable of handling 150W, and I read reviews that they like to be driven by higher power.

At the moment, the Harman Kardon has the highest power, and more functionalities such as optical in, and more importantly, additional preamp output for subwoofers, which I think I'd like to add some extra clear and punchy low frequencies bass.

I'm a newbie in Hi-Fi. Any opinions much appreciated.


Distinguished Member
Personally I would also look at the power consumption.
Marantz = 150 watts
HK = 310 watts
Cambridge Audio = 600 watts
This is a good guide to check if the amp will really deliver.

My money is on the Cambridge.

Check this out Speakerguide - SH/SC Wiki

Summed up here.

A modern Yamaha 5.1 receiver has 130 Watt power rating per channel.
An older Harman Kardon AVR 80 has 80 Watt power rating per channel.
Yet, the Harman Kardon is more powerful, because the measurements differ.
1) The Harman Kardon is measured with all 5 channels in use at the same time, which puts more stress on the power supply, the Yamaha is measured for each channel discrete.
2) The Harman Kardon is measured for the frequency range from 20hz-20khz, whereas the Yamaha's values are measured for the frequency range at 1khz. The difference is that the output will differ in inductivity and capacity for each frequency, complicated physics stuff.
Bottomline: RMS can give you SOME indication, but when comparing products make sure they are measured the same way!

Hope this helps.
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