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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I got my eye on a brand new, approximately $200 Harman Kardon HK 3490. But I got a question about it;

Why doesn't it have HDMI? Do stereo receivers even have/need HDMI? Wasn't HDMI pretty much best suitable for stereo? And glassfiber for surround?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 01:45 AM
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Stereo = 2 channels. HDMI supports up to 8 (or 11?) Since optical or analog RCA cables can carry 2 channels of lossless stereo, stereo receivers don't need HDMI.
Edit: After taking a quick look at the manual, it doesn't decode any sound formats, so it's more audio-oriented than a/v.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 04:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugenester;12618537 
Stereo = 2 channels. HDMI supports up to 8 (or 11?) Since optical or analog RCA cables can carry 2 channels of lossless stereo, stereo receivers don't need HDMI.
Edit: After taking a quick look at the manual, it doesn't decode any sound formats, so it's more audio-oriented than a/v.

Yeah, I know stereo is channels, but I always thought HDMI just carried the highest quality audio. But I pertty much get it now. I thought optical could carry up to 9 signals?

What do you mean decode? Why should it decode? From what to what?

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by /Ben View Post
Yeah, I know stereo is channels, but I always thought HDMI just carried the highest quality audio. But I pertty much get it now. I thought optical could carry up to 9 signals?

What do you mean decode? Why should it decode? From what to what?
Optical carries up to I think 6 LOSSY audio channels, like the ones from DVDs. It can only provide 2 channels of lossless (LPCM) audio, from sources like Blu-rays.

By decoding, I mean being able to decode stuff like Dolby Digital, Dolby True Surround, Dolby True Surround HD, etc. But that's fine as long as your DVD/BD player can decode these signals.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by /Ben;12618101 
Ok, I got my eye on a brand new, approximately $200 Harman Kardon HK 3490. But I got a question about it;

Why doesn't it have HDMI? Do stereo receivers even have/need HDMI? Wasn't HDMI pretty much best suitable for stereo? And glassfiber for surround?

- Ben

Stereo is analog. If you hook up to HDMI, it will convert to digital (from source device)-->carry over HDMI--> convert back to analog (at destination device). So I guess what I am saying is that stereo only receivers do not need digital inputs, but would include them just for convenience and compatibility with more input devices.

Even if you are only running 2 mains, I would consider something like this Yamaha as well for future upgrade options and built in decoding mentioned already.

It is $250 MSRP which means if you find somewhere that people work on commission and can deal, you might be able to deal down to $200 cash. (BTW, it is easily worth the extra $50 even if you cannot deal down the price)

http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/av-receivers-amps/htr/htr-3063_black__u/?mode=model#tab=product_lineup

I won't get into any X vs Y in brand names on here but I have seen for myself that the yammies are solid at all entry levels, so I will recommend them to you for your price range as well.



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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 04:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugenester;12621537 
Optical carries up to I think 6 LOSSY audio channels, like the ones from DVDs. It can only provide 2 channels of lossless (LPCM) audio, from sources like Blu-rays.

By decoding, I mean being able to decode stuff like Dolby Digital, Dolby True Surround, Dolby True Surround HD, etc. But that's fine as long as your DVD/BD player can decode these signals.

Ok thanks. Next question, what is lossy "audio"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by K3VL4R;12625988 
Stereo is analog. If you hook up to HDMI, it will convert to digital (from source device)-->carry over HDMI--> convert back to analog (at destination device). So I guess what I am saying is that stereo only receivers do not need digital inputs, but would include them just for convenience and compatibility with more input devices.

Nice, I never knew stereo was analog. I guess I'll get some high quality RCA cables then. I mean, converting = lag. Minimum, but lag.

Even if you are only running 2 mains, I would consider something like this Yamaha as well for future upgrade options and built in decoding mentioned already.

It is $250 MSRP which means if you find somewhere that people work on commission and can deal, you might be able to deal down to $200 cash. (BTW, it is easily worth the extra $50 even if you cannot deal down the price)

http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/av-receivers-amps/htr/htr-3063_black__u/?mode=model#tab=product_lineup

I won't get into any X vs Y in brand names on here but I have seen for myself that the yammies are solid at all entry levels, so I will recommend them to you for your price range as well.

Good to know. But I'm not really a Yamaha fan. In stuff like this anyway... It just doesn't attract me.

Anyway, I've just ordered the Harman Kardon HK 3490. It has great design, and good sound. And I can get it for quite cheap.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 09:42 AM
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Ok thanks. Next question, what is lossy "audio"?
Lossy audio is a file that is a compressed version of the original. Common lossy formats include MP3, AAC, and Ogg. The most common lossless formats are FLAC and ALAC. The biggest difference is higher bitrates, (128kbps vs. >2000kbps). So for example, if you listen to the Dolby 5.1 track on a DVD then compare it to the DTS HD Master Audio track on a Blu-ray, you'll notice the differences immediately (better bass, highs, and clarity).

Quote:
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Anyway, I've just ordered the Harman Kardon HK 3490. It has great design, and good sound. And I can get it for quite cheap.
Very true. You won't find budget receivers that output 150 watts per channel.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by /Ben;12629938 
Nice, I never knew stereo was analog. I guess I'll get some high quality RCA cables then. I mean, converting = lag. Minimum, but lag.


Anyway, I've just ordered the Harman Kardon HK 3490. It has great design, and good sound. And I can get it for quite cheap.

Yeah, lag will probably be negligible in most if not all applications.

A true analog system would be something like: record player - rca - tube amp- speaker wire - speakers (btw, probably the cleanest and best SQ I have ever heard)

With modern set-ups, it is pretty hard to get around losing some sound originality. eg: computer - rca - receiver - speaker wire - speakers. Right there you have the media player settings, OS settings, soundcard/onboard (software settings and hardware) and receiver settings that could all potentially alter the sound (if not specifically set up to allow direct-pass-through). Not that any of this is bad though as some people have found some quite unique mix and mash of settings to get the precise sound they like. It is just to point out how many factors can come into play.

I have not tried many high end sound cards, but I prefer to use all direct sound pass through with only the receiver EQ to tweak the sound when it comes to stereo usage.

As for your receiver, since you are sticking with it for 2 channel use, your ears (and probably your speakers) will be happy with the choice since you have more power on tap for those 2 channels and would not have to crank it as much to get the same volume from the other amp.

* Note: Most sound changes with the additional sound devices tend to be quite negligible as well, I just felt like stating them for audiophile and information purposes.



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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 09:48 PM
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Most, if not all stereo receivers do not have any digital inputs.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FearSC549;12639341 
Most, if not all stereo receivers do not have any digital inputs.

Luckily this one has. wink.gif

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