Harman Kardon power question


Standard Member
I am trying to decide what av amp to buy from pretty much every make in the the approximate 600 quid bracket :smoke:. now i just been reading about the HK AVR-330, and it seems very good. Although the wattage is only rated at 55wpc. I know Harmon have a very modest rating, but still, thats like half what my speakers are rated. Would this amp drive a monitor audio b2 5.1 package without danger of clipping? Also could someone explain why the HK are low watts but seem to be very powerful? Something to do with high amps? How would this amp compare to a pio ax3 in terms of power, despite the difference in rating? Many thanks :p. Sorry for the noobness :suicide:.


Well-known Member
Let's compare the specs of Pioneer's AX3 and harman/kardon's 330:
Pioneer AX3

Power Output DIN 7x100W (1kHz, THD 1% and 6&#8486
Power Output RMS (2 channel mode) 2x100W (20Hz - 20kHz, 0.09% and 6&#8486

harman/kardon 330

Power output Seven-Channel 7x55 Watts per channel @ <0.07% THD, 20Hz – 20kHz into 8&#8486
Continuous Average Power2 channel mode): 2x65 Watts per channel, 20Hz – 20kHz, @ <0.07% THD, both channels driven into 8&#8486

Firstly, look at the distortion figure. For the Pioneer it is 1%, whereas h/k's is 0.07%. In other words, h/k rate their receivers while reproducing a higher quality signal.
Secondly, Pioneer show their ultimate power rating at only 1kHz, rather than the whole audio spectrum as h/k do.
Thirdly, Pioneer use DIN specification to augment low watt ratings while running all seven channels. Note that in stereo the much more stringent (and standard) RMS rating is used, yet there is no change in power. This is a clue that the amp, whilst running all channels, may not be as powerful as initially indicated. h/k always use RMS.
Fourthly, Pioneer use 6&#8486; loads, rather than a more standard 8&#8486; as h/k do. The lower the speaker resistance, the higher the theoretical amplifier power.
Lastly, an amplifier supplies current to your speakers. It is this value that represents the true power of an amp. h/k traditionally make very powerful, high current, designs that drive speakers much better than their wattage ratings would suggest.

This kind of power manipulation is reprehensible. More so from Pioneer as the AX3 is ironically quite a powerful amp.

Hope this helps.



Standard Member
Would the 330 drive a monitor audio b2 5.1 set up? At what volume do you think it would start to struggle?


Active Member
Hi kaleb
The h/k 330 would have no trouble driving the b2 package it would hurt your ears before running out of steam unless you live in a mansion,I used to own the monitor audio silver range and used a nad t752 for amplification which also boasts real wpc same as the harman amps and it sounded great.If your really unsure try and get a demo of the nad or h/k range iam sure you will be delighted with the sound.
Cheers Gonzo.


Active Member
I have a H/K avr 8500 and hver never experienced this. It certainly would concern me and doesn't sound like an isolated incident with that model.

having said that I have never heard of thta on this side of the pond before, If I was after that model I would be wary.

I have no concerns with my H/K amp, it is built like a tank. However, you can set differnet levels for all the sound formats and inputs, it could be the case that those owners hadn't read the manual, which is very common.

When I first played about with the different surround formats they would all vary in volume. It has taken some time but I have set all the levels for all the moddes and inputs I use. I have found this feature very useful.


Standard Member
From what i can make out it seems to be a problem with the earthing of the unit. I wonder if the UK models are earthed and the american ones not?

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