Yamaha or Harman-Kardon, and many other questions...


Well-known Member
I had already decided in favour of the Yamaha rxv 430 . Since I don't have
optical output in my dvd, will the receiver have all the decoding options
through the coaxial input? I mean, can I decode with the Yamaha rxv 430,
with a signal through the coaxial, using dts,Prologic II and all the other
features that it is claimed the receiverhas? Otherwise, I would have to
change my mind..., or my dvd player!
Then, reading reviews, I entered into Harman-Kardon, and it looks worth to listen! So
now that I have found a web site where I can buy either theyamaha rxv 630
or the Harman-Kardon avr 2550, I want to listen to both, and then decide. I
will go for one of them, I am sure. But anyway, which one would you
prefer? I have heard that HK has better stereo, but also that it sounds
very "American" (as far as I know, that means sounding in your face), and
that Yamaha brings more
Now, one question about speakers... Do you think that I could put two
floorstanding speakers, one next to each side of the tv, instead of the
central channel? Because then I will have 6 speakers in total (and waiting
for the subwoofer, maybe for Christmas...), all the same (so perfect tonal
matching). I guess I can buy only one also. Would it work the same with one
next to the tv? Would I have problems because of lack of shielding?
About the dvd, I have a cheap one, I didn't worry about it, when I bought
it I simply wanted to have the possibility, now I want to have the
QUALITY... Do you think I could hear it and see it, if I moved to something
better? I tried with my cd-player to compare both, and I couldn't feel the
difference, although the amplifier and speakers could also limit that...
Once thing more... Is it worth to do bi-wiring? My Magnat Motion 60 came
with that possibility, but I haven't explored it... Will be problematic if
I use long cables? (for the rear speakers I guess I will need around 5-6
meters of cable from the amplifier to each of them...).
Ok, lots of questions... I hope somebody will ask, I am not having much succeed, maybe I should apologize for my english, lack of politeness, or something...
I wait for answers! Thank you!


Standard Member
The receiver will decode whatever it states it can decode. Optical or coxial it doesn't matter.

Only you and your ears can decide which receiver you prefer.

You will need shielded speakers if you decide to put them right next to the TV. This will upset your plans for tonal balance unless the others are shielded. Some people don't bother with a center channel. The receiver will create a phantom center if you tell it you don't have a center channel.

If you're happy with your current player I wouldn't bother replacing it. Some players exhibit the chroma bug (search the forums for more info). Unless you're using a front projector its difficult to see the difference between a high end and budget player.

Bi-wiring - some swear by it. Personally I don't really see the logic behind it. If you are cursed with golden ears and too much money maybe you will hear a difference. You cable runs are not particularly excessive and will not pose a problem if you use the correct wire gauge for the power being delivered to them.



Active Member
If you decide on the 630, save some money and go for 630se (the diff is that it comes in black and no tuner). I have not listen to the HK but it is gorgeous look. I am well pleased with 630 in films and music Compare the specs (esp.), price and decide with your ears.


Standard Member
In my experience of both makes, I used to own Yamaha and now own Harman Kardon. The HK is much better in stereo, instantly noticable, it is a much cleaner, detailed sound with good base.

The yamaha appears to be less dynamic - a bit 'thin' sounding.

I think the Yamahas are loaded up with features most of which I never used, whereas the HK has minimal features but better quality ampification.

You can tell which I prefer, but I think if you demoed them you would agree also.


Well-known Member
Ok, I will demo both. Maybe also the Marantz 4300 (would it be comparable to those other two?). But one thing: I have read that HK doesn't protect against possible short-circuits in the speaker connections... What about that? Does the Yamaha do it?


Standard Member
i'm afraid I can't answer that question. would it be in the manual?
otherwise call HK themselvesi'm sure they will help.

I think you will find the HK better in stereo than the Marantz based on my friends audition, but I would be very interested in your views having listened.

Lucky Scotsman

I had decided to go for a Yamaha 430 and was going to be picking it up on Saturday. Then I had a demo of the HK 2550 today (both music & DVD).

I haven't heard the Yamaha yet, but I will wait. If I can (hopefully) get a little more money, I will get the HK as it was amazing and I just wanted to run out of the shop with it right then.

One of the main things (I think) that is on the HK and not on the Yamaha is Logic 7. This sounded wondefull in the demo and makes the HK a good choice. It also does DPL 2, which HK used to leave out as Logic 7 was better.

I'd say listen and decide for yourself, but I think if you do that, you will walk away with the HK.

It sounds great and looks great too.


Well-known Member
Hi there!

I have received answer from Yamaha, they have a protection against short-cuts both for the source power and for the speakers. Don't know yet about HK and Marantz, still waiting... But I read in a review that HK actually burned the circuits of a guy who short-cut the speakers by mistake...
Ah! I have listened to the HK 2550. Great. But I still need to listen the others, and we will see... Anyway, the stupid guy in the shop needed "hours" to set it up, and he did it only with a cd, so I couldn't test surround, etc... Maybe the "a/v" meaning is something not very clear for them? Anyway, after waiting so long I was in a hurry, so I didn't even complain and just left the store.
Impressions: very balanced, great separation between channels, if that means, as I understand, that you can place each sound between both speakers. Maybe a little bit too much bass? I checked both rock and classical guitar music, and the sound was very fair, better than my sony str-de 135, in any case, which is one of my goals.
News are coming about Yamaha, and I still cannot find a place where to listen to the MArantz 4300 or 5300.


Standard Member
I would be surprised if all modern receivers don't offer some form of protection from shorts - it's such a given that it's not even listed as a feature.

When you are doing your listening tests, if you are not doing them with the same speakers in the same room how do you know what is responsible for the difference in sound? It could be the acoustics of the room, if the speakers are different then certainly you will not be able to judge the differences between the receivers. Things like bass response are a product of the speakers characteristics, the rooms acoustics and the actual bass setup on the receiver itself.

Your best bet is to find a shop that carriers both the receivers you are interested in and do a listening test using the same speakers.



Well-known Member
Thanks for the advice... I already had thought about it, but I cannot find a shop with that possibility... Of course even the cd or dvd player would affect the final result. I even thought that the best would be to carry my speakers to the shop, but I don't think they would agree with that unless they were sure I would buy there.


Standard Member
I'm not a fan of the opinions voiced on audio review too many people with personal agendas...

Shorting protection should not really be part of the criteria you use to judge one receiver from another unless you feel they are so similar that's the only difference. A little bit of care in wiring the speakers will ensure it never becomes an issue.

Unless you are listening to your choices with the same speakers, it's going to be a lottery. At the end of the day you may be better off just looking at the feature list and going with the one that fits best with your current and future setup.



Well-known Member
Ok, thanks for both advices. Nice to have well-founded opinions. I was worried about all that of the short-cuts, but I have never made such a mistake... Although as a physicist, it should happen to me more often than to a normal human being...
Then, I will not take into account that issue anymore. I will look specs and sound.
I think in specs Yamaha wins... But sound is more important. Who cares about all you can play around with eq. programs if none puts the stage into your room?
And I also agree with that about the speakers... I definately NEED to find a place to listen all of them with the same speakers. Ok, I am quite stubborn, so I guess I will succeed.
The only thing I find not fair is that I will buy it in an internet shop, that is for sure... Then, it is a kind of cheating when I go to others...


Standard Member
Yamaha definately has more sound option than HK but when I had my Yamaha I didn't listen to any of them apart from to try them out.

Just as an aside, when i demoed the Denon 3802 even with big floorstanders in stereo there was just no base, so you can gain some information even though the speakers you are listening through are differant although ideally you should listen with similar speakers if possible.

I think when you listen there will be a big differance in stereo sound it will be clear to you which you prefer.


The HK 3500 has 5.1 in compared tp the 2500 from memory. Also slightly more power. HK has a new 2550 but to be honest the 2500 would be a better pick as it has both higher power/current and front inputs.

I personally have a Yamaha 630, and am very impressed although the cosmetics IMHO could be improved such as the plastic volume knob (Feels like you will break it) That aside I am happy.

Marantz are smoother/laid back compared to the fast transient attack feeling of the Yamaha (Personally I think this is better for Home theater but worse for stereo.

My aim is to connect a ME75 stereo power amp for stereo.....

Yep, Im in Australia so that helps. (ME amps are Australian)


Well-known Member
Ok, after asking, listening, etc... I see that my speakers are not good enough to show an improvement in sound from the Yamaha rx-v430 or 530 to the 630 or Harman-Kardon 2550 or Marantz 4300. So The decision now is... Will I buy new speakers soon? Since the answer is no, I think I must stick to the Yammy 530 (more inputs). Unless... Unless the specs matter... The main difference between 530 and 630 is a center rear channel and the TopArt... But the center rear channel, in any case, is only "es compatible" for the Yamaha, so I think it is not a so good improvement... And, in addition, I think that if I someday upgrade speakers, any of the today-fresh receivers will be already old, lacking specs, etc... So better save money.
Moreover, everything started as an upgrade of an stereo hifi, and all I wanted was to get the 5.1 without loosing quality of sound... Well, I have a sony str-de 135, and since I have been told that ANY of the a/v receivers in the 350 euro range will give more sound quality, I think I should be happy.

I will add a sub from Magnat (Alpha 30A) and a center speaker also from Magnat (Vector Center 13). Both together, 350 euro, approx. The speakers were a major problem, because they are not very well known... Finally, one person from the company told me which ones would fit in all respects. I also have found a german guy who has a similar equipment, and is very satisfied with this center speaker.

Since I can get the Yam 530 for 350 euro now, I think it is a good deal. I have been told that there is no competitor to Yamaha in that price range... Funny, that was my first option... Lots of research to end up with the first idea...
But I think I have achieved my goals: save as much money as possible, keep (at least) the sound quality I have, find a balanced receiver for my speakers (I don't want a Ferrari with tractor tires), and match the tonality of the whole speaker set. I feel good! I will tell about impressions as soon as it arrives home...

Respect to one question I posted... I have been told that any receiver includes protection against short-cuts. I knew it would be too stupid to skip it (but who knows...)!

Thank you all and sorry for so much bothering. I finally didn't demo all these receivers together, I was going to do it today, but yesterday one guy opened my eyes, and I was too lazy this morning. Anyway, if I have the opportunity by chance, I will do it, for sure.

Ah! I will not order until monday or tuesday, so if you think I am doing a big mistake, I am still on time to redeem my fault...

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