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Thoughts on Harmon-Kardon System?

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Thoughts on Harmon-Kardon System?

 
Old 09-18-2016, 12:36 AM
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Thoughts on Harmon-Kardon System?

What do you guys think of the HK system? I personally like it. Loud and crisp. Sometimes a little distortion occurs though.
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:41 AM
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I had HK in 2 previous Bimmers then bought a BMW 'vert with the janky stock system so I was happy to go back to a premium sound system. Looks like they are putting Burmester in the new C300's.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:11 PM
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Got it in our GL - sounds fantastic. Soon we can compare to Burmester in our GLC, but I'm aware it is a very different car so that will affect sound quality as well.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:14 PM
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I had a loaner 2016 c300 with a burmester and I like the HK in my 2012 way better.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by C3004Matt View Post
I had a loaner 2016 c300 with a burmester and I like the HK in my 2012 way better.
Did it have a lot of miles on it yet? I remember when we had our HK from new that it didn't sound great just yet, it required running in a bit.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:28 PM
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Thought it was fantastic when I first got it. Now, maybe I got used to it but it doesn't sound so good anymore.
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:27 PM
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High end speakers require a break-in period, it's good to play a variety of music genres so the system is exposed a wide frequency/dynamic spectrum. I really enjoy the HK system in my 2012, however; I'm starting to notice some distortion coming out of the center dash speaker.
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dejon2gj View Post
Did it have a lot of miles on it yet? I remember when we had our HK from new that it didn't sound great just yet, it required running in a bit.
The loaner had like 3,000 miles on it.
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:34 PM
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My Dynaudio set up in my 97 Nissan pickup sounds way better.


The HK system did not blow me away. Maybe adding a DSP will improve the stock set up.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:54 AM
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MB C220 Sport W204, 18" AMGs, Grey lthr, xenons, p'ktronic, HKardon, Comand nav.
Had HK from new in my W204. Always very happy with it, although the volume isn't always as high as I would like like it when travelling on noisy road surfaces. It did improve with age as others have said. Had replacement Morel speakers fitted a couple of years ago and its even better.....
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BBB78 View Post
My Dynaudio set up in my 97 Nissan pickup sounds way better.


The HK system did not blow me away. Maybe adding a DSP will improve the stock set up.
Dynaudio makes great stuff. I had Hertz in my Subaru and it sounded substantially better than the HK. It's good for a stock system, but I think I will be added an 8" sub to give it the low end it's missing.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:26 PM
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Make sure to test it with a good audio source. Sirius and most broadcast sources are a bit compressed. Most MP3s will sound better than Sirius does.

I think it could use a dedicated sub but otherwise is a very good system.
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:30 PM
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The HK system in the loaners that I got pumped out a well balanced sound with surprising snaps. HK doesn't boost the mid-bass to compensate for the lack of the lowest notes, which is a good thing. When I pushed the volume to a little beyond my comfort zone, the sound remained clean and I detected no distortion. Over all, they were good comparing to other stock systems.
The noted observations applied to both C class and E class cars that I've driven. Your particular environment (seat position, model, personal preferences, physical characteristics, etc.) affects the perceived audio quality, of course.

Best,

Last edited by ADD0514; 09-25-2016 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:50 PM
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I loved the HK in my BMW for about a year. I spent the next year putting up with it with different settings\EQ adjustments (the BMW system has an EQ). I am getting a JL 12 installed this weekend. The underseat 8's won't do it. Someone got in the car with a spectrum analyzer and exposed the gaping hold in the transition from midbass to midrange and another right in the 130Hz range. I can handle the first one, it's the second one and the fact that it can't reach the lowest lows that I can't deal with anymore.

In the Benz, this isn't so much an issue as it has a real sub, albeit EQ'd all wrong, but it does work where my two don't in the BMW.
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:34 PM
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I think a DSP would make a world of difference with the HK system.
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:13 PM
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Humble opinion the stock HK system really sucks in comparison to what can be done. I had an aftermarket set up in another car running four sets of Utopia Be components. No sub in that set up... just pure SQ awesomeness.

Also, it is true you have to break in the sound system to really enjoy it. About 45 minutes at 3/4 volume will help loosen things up well.
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Old 09-28-2016, 04:23 PM
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Not much out there will compare to Focal Utopia. SQ on another level.

I have Focals in my home set up. Very impressive.
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Kent Seaton View Post
Humble opinion the stock HK system really sucks in comparison to what can be done. I had an aftermarket set up in another car running four sets of Utopia Be components. No sub in that set up... just pure SQ awesomeness.

Also, it is true you have to break in the sound system to really enjoy it. About 45 minutes at 3/4 volume will help loosen things up well.
What mass market car wouldn't sound as good as what could be done with a custom set up? These cars are built to a price point and manufacturers can only afford to devote X amount of dollars to the sound system. I think it is pretty decent overall. Far from perfect, but compared to what sounds systems used to be even 10 years ago in most cars, it sounds really good.
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:43 PM
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The HK system is a little bright with ZERO bottom end.

The dynamic range is OK for not having TA control.
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