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Harman Kardon AVR 645 - problems

by alin22 / October 19, 2006 5:04 AM PDT

Hi, I received yesterday a brand new HK AVR 645 from Harman Kardon. This is replacing a malfunctioning AVR 635 purchased in May 2006 (US$599). That 635 was a lemon, it never actually worked, the display was freezing when turned on. I took it to a service centre, they've changed the processor, then same thing happened. To make a long story short, HK exchanged it for free for a new AVR 645, which sounded like a very good deal considering the price payed).
Now this one is a whole new story of problems. First, I don't like the way it sounds out of the box. I mostly listen to stereo music on Polk Audio speakers RSi 10. The bass is very boomy, unclear, more like a vibration. The next logical step would be to try setting up the receiver. Now guess what? When pressing OSD button (On Screen Display) on the remote, the signal, coming out from either the Composite or the S-Video Monitor Out connections, is only a bunch of horizontal moving lines, looking like an out of sync image. I have tried running the signal from the sattelite receiver, and this worked quite well. Either Composite or S-Video monitor out would pick up the input from Composite and S-Video, and pass it through perfectly. I even checked plugging in S-Video with Composite out and vice-versa, no problems. As soon as I press the OSD button, I get the lines. The same happens when I unplug the input cables, having no signal coming in. It looks like whatever processor produces the signal for Settings Menu is not working right.
One other problem is playing music using the USB connection. There is a 2-3 seconds delay between the beginning of the songs and the actual moment when sound starts coming from the speakers.
The classic digital and analog inputs work OK, there's no delay there.
I haven't tried the HDMI connection, that is my last hope that I could set up this thing.
Unfortunatelly I cannot return this receiver, since the first one was purchased 5 months ago. I have a lower end Yamaha that sounds just great; even my 8 year old Technics SA-DX930 sounds better than this HK.
I spoke with somebody at Harman Kardon tech support, who was completely puzzled. Had no ideea what to say about the video issues, never heard of them before. The only valuable info that I received, was that in the next few days HK will make available a software upgrade which is supposed to look after some bugs, and he advised me to wait for that as a first step. Apparently they know about the delay when using USB and working on that.
Anybody else who had problems with the Settings display?

Thank you in advance for any help.
Alin

My system info:

Receiver: Harman Kardon AVR 645
Front Speakers:Polk Audio RSi 10
Subwoofer: Velodyne DPS 12
CD Player: Technics SL-MC7
Computer Sound Card: Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Audio

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