Summary: I've owned some nice receivers before but this purchase several years ago was my very FIRST Harmon Kardon... I'm sorry to say that I was very disappointed. The brand speaks for itself in terms of quality but obviously from my experience and a multitude of others across the web this model was a bad apple. I kept this amp in a room where it was used only occasionally rather than daily. Just over a year after purchasing it brand new it began to deteriorate...
Summary: My three year experience with the Harman Kardon AVR45 has been great. The AVR45 never gave me any problems. The stereo and surround features gave me a clean and powerful sound. No complaints from this AVR45 owner. I recently upgraded to a newer HK receiver with DTS.
Summary: I got the amp, it was awesome. Then less then a month later it crapped out on me. The center channel, the rear and the sub-out none of then worked. I took it back to where I bought it, they charged me the shipping to get it repaired, they are crap too. A couple of weeks later I get it back, I was told there was nothing wrong with it, it must be your equipment. So I hooked my EQUIPMENT up to my Yahamma amp from 1990 and it all worked perfect.
Summary: HK makes good products...except this one. Look over the web and you will find many complaints about this reciever. I know, I own one. The amp overheats then the surround modes go away. For a while, only the bypass mode worked. Now, I have an expensive paper weight. Save you money and buy a different model. I have had good luck with other HK's, just not hte AVR45.
Summary: I purchased my HK AVR45 in July. It sounded great except for the hum. Went through all of their suggestions, it was in the shop for almost two months waiting for parts. But the parts did no good. I worked with HK customer relations people and they were great. They are replacing my unit with the brand new AVR500 model. Hopefully it will not hum. If you are having trouble with your unit contact them by phone or e-mail.
Summary: I had this receiver for 28 days, about the 20th day the volume spiked to maximum on its own and almost blew my speakers. On the 28th day, the sound degraded to that of an old AM radio just before it stopped sending sound to the speakers completely. It came back to life on and off a couple of times before I pulled out every cable and boxed it up. While it was working it sounded very warm. powerful, and the imaging was great. This unit gets hot, much hotter than it should.
Summary: I finally bought a receiver that has true power. You can tell that this receiver is in the "high current" class. I have mine powering Polk Audio speakers and the results are astounding. I just wish that this receiver had an s-video input, otherwise it would have 5 stars for price/value.
Summary: HK makes some of the best high-current amps available to the mass-consumer market. If one owns better speakers from this range such as Pinnacle, DCM, Yamaha, JBL, Bose, etc. then HK amps make a much better choice for clarity and definition of sound. (Sorry Kenwood does not compare).