Harman/Kardon AVR 235 AV-receiver
Harman/Kardon AVR-235 is in the middle of the line and can satisfy even the most unwanted by sellers' contingent - demanding but not very solvent movie lovers. This is precisely the golden mean when simplifications of the design are already sufficient to reduce the cost, but not too significantly deteriorate vital characteristics of the device.
Main parameters, necessary in everyday life, are set from the front panel by small buttons: number of speaker systems, their size and level in each channel. Equalizer activates at the same time and time delays are set in each channel. It is very valuable that there are two working modes of the sub: signal can be addressed to it either from "native" channel or mixed from the front ones. In the latter case if you have small-sized front speaker systems, you can compensate the loss of bass. Three smaller knobs are seen under the volume control handle - these are separate regulators of timbre and balance, which, despite of all frills in DSP, are never superfluous. By large buttons in the center you can choose decoder's modes, sound presets and set FM tuner.
The receiver's capabilities can be called standard for the model of such class, if not two features, which seemed to be not quite usual but very useful. It is EzSet automatic calibration through infrared port and the fact that the vast majority of setting can be made in Global and independent modes. In the first case the sizes of speaker systems, crossover's parameters, delays, standard DSP programs and so on will be set for all inputs, and in the second one - individually for each of the sources. Thus, you can choose the most suitable sound of soundtracks from DVD and, for example, analog sound track from VHS tape recorder. Of course, to do this you should spend a lot time, but for yourself and only once.
I should note that AVR-235 is quite easily set if not fall into the wilds of submenu. Instruction is extremely concise and clear. Work with the remote control doesn't cause difficulties, because it is not very big and buttons are so grouped that the finger finds itself the necessary in this moment button.
In standards of Dolby Digital and DTS Harman/Kardon AVR-235 receiver proved to be a strong and confident machine, being able to drive a difficult system. Transfer from floor speaker systems to shelf was almost painless - bass was the same (the sub compensates its loss), but the room became to buzz. When the whole LF range is focused in one corner, this is inevitable. Car crushes and explosions impress.
I has experimented with Logic 7 for quite a long time. It is an interesting algorithm, especially unusual sound is at the layout of stereo program on seven channels (Logic 7M mode). The feeling of presence in concert hall is almost complete. The spectrum of pseudo-reverberations and pseudo-reflections from walls is simulated in back channels very well; the room as if increases in sizes. While watching DVD I did not notice visible localization, but in whole the sound stage was a bit more contrast when in AC-3.