Summary: I use this receiver to power a 1977 Rotel turntable with Shure V15 TypeIII cartridge and a pair of Polk 45B bookshelf speakers. I am very pleased. It brings out the warm sounds that vinyl offers. It's amazing how clear the vocals sound. The FM tuner works very well also. The only reason I don't give it five stars is that it is made in China and I'm not sure the quality is that of when HK was made in Japan. Still, it performs as well as receivers twice the price.
SHOPPING THE HK 3490 "POWERHOUSE" RECEIVER: The Best Budget Receiver Currently Available
Carl May "Seeking the Splendid Stuff", Amazon
13 March 2013
Summary: "When you need power, go out and buy some power, otherwise you will have no power."-- Mr. Natural Naturally, needing power, a powerful stereo system, I recently decided to bring my stereo music into the 21st century. Being retired, with an adequate, but not large retirement income, my intention was originally, at minimum, to own an entry level audiophile set up. In the meantime, for a year or two, I would make do with a budget system.
Summary: I have owned the Harmon Kardon 3490 for about 19 months now. It was just working great till I ran into two different problems about 6 weeks back. 1) The receiver's sound output started halting. The sound output to the speakers dropped every other second or so and then recovered. Needless to say, this was a very annoying problem. I re-checked all the connections coming into the receiver and going out of the receiver, all the connections were just fine.
Summary: I give this HK unit a solid 4 and it would be a 5 if it did a few more things. My situation was that because of space and wiring considerations I wanted a high quality stereo system with a powered subwoofer. I've ripped my CD collection to my computer and enjoy listening to Pandora along with other Internet music and talk options. If you go to Best Buy looking for a receiver with modern digital inputs and stereo outputs, you'll baffle the sales support staff.
Summary: The product is well designed, sleek, seems to produce a clean sound and it is used to power a total of 9 pair of speakers throughout my house from a CD player (Onkyo) and an internet radio (Grace). Fairly easy installation, no issues there. Takes 2 digital outputs, that is great too!
Summary: I grew up around stereo systems and the passion for that took me to electronic engineering school. I could never get a decent sound quality from AV receivers for music. I don't really have a budge issue but do not feel comfortable spending thousands of dollars on a sound system. Issue is that there not too many stereo receivers out there on a reasonable price range. There are McIntoshs and other fancy brands at 5K and around, but not that many bellow 1K.
Summary: Had this for about 6 months driving a JBL Paragon. Quite nice and clean with a lot of low-end power. Could clip it if cranked past the endurance level of most humans. Will work very well for 99.9% of people. No complaints. Would buy again if I needed one.
Summary: Very good Amplifier, but in less than a month the remote stopped working and a brown liquid leaked out. Took it to a technician and he said the capacitor exploded. Called Harman Kardon and i am waiting for a respond.
Summary: My first Harman Kardon receiver was the 690i which I bought at a demo sale. I was 16 years old and made a good deal on HK's high end receiver (I think I paid $495) and a pair of Boston Acoustic BA 100 speakers which I paid for from money I made working summer jobs. I know there were better receivers and amps out there but all I can tell you is the sound was awesome. I took my stereo to college, grad school, and numerous apartments, condos and homes.