Summary: The Harman Kardon HK 3490 is a great sounding stereo receiver with no nonsense power. My setup is the 3490's pre amp outs to a BBE DS24 digital crossover. Crossovers High outs (90hz and above) returned to the 3490s pre amp ins, then out the power amps in the HK to a set of Magneplanar SMGa speakers. Crossover Low out (90hz and below) to a pair of Yamaha YST-SW150 powered subwoofers. System eq and a time alignment check was done with Smaart FFT software.
Summary: I recently purchased my HK 3490 stereo receiver. My previous HK receiver that I had had since 1986 had to go to recycling Heaven after 25 years of faithful service. Although the new HK is bigger and heavier in size (I figured it wouild be smaller and lighter the way most electronics have shrunk in size and weight), I had no problem fitting it into the cabinet where my old HK sat for 25 years.
Summary: I have paired the HK 3490 with Bose 901 Series 6 speakers and for the quality of sound it produces there is no competition in < $500 price range. Initially I used the RCA cable from the box to play music from my Ipod and was alarmed by the weak sound from the speakers. With Ipod volume settings at maximum, I still had to play at -15dB to hear decent volume. The Sendstation line out dock did not improve the volume one bit, nor the quality compared to Head Phone out.
Summary: I doubt there are a lot of people who own both of these receivers, but I now do. It's a long story as to why I did that, some of which will be explained here. If you are trying to decide which 2 channel HK receiver to buy, I can now share with you what I found in terms of how much difference 120 watts per channel makes vs. 80 watts, as well as the value in some of the extra features in the 3490.
Summary: I needed an "old school" powerful reciever to use my Technics SLQL-1 Linear Tracking Turnatable to play my large collection of vinyl. I also want to use my vintage Technics SH-8020 equalizer without a tape deck. This reciever fits the bill perfectly! I didn't want a "home theater" type of reciever that uses middle channel as well as left-right, and sub. The HK-3490 pumps PLENTY of power to my huge old Sansui and JBL tower speakers!
Summary: If there is a better audio receiver (I paid $299 new)for my Bose 901's for the money, I would like to see it. This is the only receiver in this price class taht will alow me to connect the Bose equalizer to the pre-amp out/main-amp in connections and still use digital inputs (optical and coaxial). The sound is very pure and powerful. I have it connected to my home theatre system with direct optical connections to my Apple TV where I can stream all of my iTunes.
Summary: I bought this receiver about a month ago. It was to replace an aged Technics receiver of 165 watts/channel. The Technics had developed some intermittently noisy internal components somewhere downstream of the volume control. The noise, when occasionally present, exiting the receiver at full 165 watt levels immediately destroyed the voice coils of the silk soft dome high frequency drivers in an (otherwise) excellent mid-1970s vintage Visonik passive subwoofer speaker...
Summary: I have been looking for a receiver to drive a pair of 20 year old Snell bookshelf speakers and this is it. I did not want a receiver for my TV, so I won't comment on how it works with movies, etc. I just wanted a receiver that would produce quality sound and push the Snell speakers. I am extremely happy with this product and am sure you will be if you are looking for a stereo receiver. It looks great and sounds even better.
Summary: I just replaced my 30 year old Harman Kardon HK350i receiver ( and it still worked very well, and yes it was really 30 years old and used nearly daily and for long strectches)with this new HK unit. I couldn't be more pleased. I have it hooked into my ipod without the HK bridge, just basic RCA cables and the sound is terrific. The receiver is driving 6 Bose speakers in 3 rooms thru a Monster cable speaker switch without any trouble or distortion whatsoever.
Summary: I would give this a 7+/10. The design on this unit is clean, solid, and pleasing to the eye. Power is plentyful, and it is stylish and pumps out plent of crisp sound with the twist of the illuminated gain control out front. Amazon has a great value here, and better's the price of Vanns, and others.