Harman Kardon AVR 330 Digital Surround Receiver
Photos by Tony Cordoza The model numbers for Harman Kardon's latest line of A/V receivers recall those the company used for receivers it introduced some 20 years ago, and I'm betting that's no accident. Back then, HK scored a solid hit with a compact, simple, affordable stereo receiver called the 330C that was modestly powered but provided consistently good sound. Beyond being compact, simple, and affordable, the new 7.1-channel AVR 330 even echoes the ancestral Model 330C's two-toned black-glass styling, which makes it look very cool indeed.
The AVR 330 is relatively free of gimmicks or gizmos, but it does feature HK's EzSet automatic channel-balancing routine. Like most channel-balancing procedures, EzSet sends noise signals sequentially to each main channel, but it calibrates the relative levels automatically using a sound-level sensor that's built into the receiver's remote control. I've had mixed luck with this luxury feature on previous Harman Kardon receivers, but either my technique has improved or the system has been refined, because the AVR 330's routine worked flawlessly. I couldn't have done much better manually.
RATED POWER 55 watts x 7 or 65 watts x 2 into 8 ohms with maximum 0.07% THD
DIMENSIONS 17 3/8 inches wide, 6 5/8 inches high, 15 inches deep
WEIGHT 30 5/8 pounds
MANUFACTURER Harman Kardon, Dept. S&V, 250 Crossways Park Dr., Woodbury, NY 11797; www.harmankardon.com; 800-422-8027
PLUS Generous power, fine sound. Logic 7 processing for 2-channel material is useful option. Extremely flexible speaker/ crossover-setup options. Impressive multiroom facilities for price.
MINUS Remote control could be easier to use, can't learn codes for other brands. Abundance of setup memories could confuse some users. No parameter settings for DPL II.