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Harman Kardon AVR 130 Review

by Toby Daalsgard August 18, 2004
  • Product Name: AVR 130
  • Manufacturer: Harman Kardon
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarhalf-star
  • Review Date: August 18, 2004 19:00
  • MSRP: $ 449

Power (2-channel FTC): 55 W/channel (<0.07% THD, 20Hz ­ 20kHz, 8 ohms, both channels driven)

Power (five-channel): 45 W/channel (<0.07% THD, 20Hz ­ 20kHz, 8 ohms)

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (IHF-A): 100dB

Surround System Adjacent Channel Separation:

Dolby® Pro Logic® I and II : 45dB

Dolby® Digital : 55dB

DTS® : 55dB

High Instant Current Capability (HCC): 25 Amps

Slew Rate : 40V/µsec

FM Tuner Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 70dB/68dB (Mono/Stereo)

FM Tuner Distortion: 0.2%/0.3% (Mono/Stereo)

Stereo Separation: 40dB @ 1kHz

Selectivity: ±400kHz, 70dB

Image Rejection: 80dB

IF Rejection: 90dB

Video Input Level/Impedance: 1Vp-p/75 ohms

Output Level/Impedance: 1Vp-p/75 ohms

Video Frequency Response: 10Hz ­ 8MHz (­3dB)

Power Consumption: 68W idle, 540W maximum (2 channels driven)

Dimensions: 17.3(W) x 6.6 (H) x 15 (D) [440mm x 168mm x 382mm]

Unit Weight: 23.8 lbs; 28.2 gross (10.8 kg; 12.8kg gross)

Pros

  • 5.1 channel inputs ideal for SACD and DVD Audio sources.
  • Complete array of front panel inputs, including optical and coaxial.
  • Friendly enough for a beginner and powerful enough for a serious listener.

Cons

  • No A/B speaker outs
  • Sleek compact remote means tiny buttons that don't glow or have a backlight.
  • No on-screen display
  • No component inputs or switching
  • Only 5.1 outputs

 

Harman Kardon AVR 130 Introduction

A friend at work mentioned to me that he was in the market for a receiver to center his budding home theater around. He'd never had a home system, but he was ready to enhance his listening and viewing experience at his apartment. I asked what he had in mind and what he was willing to spend. "I want it to have good surround sound and I don't want to spend a lot of money" was his response. This wasn't what I'd call a very specific demand, but one that probably reflects the needs of many casual readers or home theater beginners. While I understand that big expensive blinking components are the pickup truck and pitbull for the geek set, there are those who want to begin modestly and to understand what they are seeing and hearing before they ever consider dropping some serious cash into a more powerful deck in the future.

After work one day, I came home to find the Harman/Kardon AVR-130 at my door. I'd heard and read a lot about this receiver before, so I was anxious to bust it out and start playing. Before even plugging in the device, I read the user's manual which proved to be friendly, unthreatening and easy to understand. It was clear that it would speak to a novice as well as someone versed in "home theater speak". A great color-coded quick start guide made installation a snap and large print input/output terminal labels on the rear panel made the neck contorting chore of hooking up any piece of gear into a cramped entertainment center much easier.

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