Summary: This 120 watt/channel receiver pumps out clean and undistorted Music-not just volume! Two digital inputs-coax and optical-add a nice "new" school touch to a basic "old school" stereo receiver. The Dolby virtual speaker feature is great for movies and far outclasses HK's previous VMAX offering. However, the display dimmer function is located only on the remote and is a rather awkward design.
Summary: After about 15 years my Pioneer VSX-D503S receiver fizzled out, so I was on the hunt for a replacement and I found it in the HK3490. It has plenty of power to drive my Bose Acoustimass 5 III speakers. I think that I will enjoy this receiver for years to come. There is nothing wrong with this basic receiver that I can see. It was certainly worth the price.
Pros: Accurate Controls, Clean Sound, Durable, Easy To Set Up, Good Power, Streamline
Summary: I purchased this Harman Kardon HK-3490 to drive my 3 pair of Klipsch AW 5.25's I have outside at my pool. I tried a Onkyo TX-8555 and a Sony STR DE-197. The Sony and the Onkyo barely drove the Klipsch. However the HK-3490 had several times the power. This unit is very old school in that respect, but with plenty of new features that you would expect. J&R's price was excellent.
Summary: I'm enjoying high resolution with almost holographic clarity using the above referenced equipment. The Harmon Kardon 3490 receiver is a "head and shoulders" improvement of previous HK editions.[...] I don't know where you can buy a better 2 channel stereo receiver. Excellent quality, appearance, packaging, and sound.Very strongly recommended.
Pros: Clean Sound, Easy To Set Up, Good Power, Sleek Contemporary Look
Summary: I formally owned a Rotel RX-1050 and decided to give the 3490 a try. I really prefer a nice 2 channel amp to drive my B&H 603's and the HK does the job well. What I liked that you won't find in other 2 channel amps is two digital in's, xm ready, ipod integration and 2x sub out. For the price you really can't beat it. The size is about 33% larger than my Rotel. The power about 25% more. The controls of course are very limited, source+balance+tone. No EQ.
Summary: I purchased the HK 3490 mainly for the onboard DAC as the sound from mp3, FLAC and WAV files from my computer were always less than desirable running through my aging Sony amplifier designed for analogue applications. The HK 3490 is simple and powerful with only 2 channels, none of this 7.2 or 5.1 garbage with a huge mess of wires everywhere. My music now sounds clear and bright, no muddy bass or random volume modulations.