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Harman Kardon A401

Stereophonic Control Amplifier (1976)

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Harman Kardon A401


Power output: 20 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

Frequency response: 10Hz to 80kHz

Total harmonic distortion: 0.3%

Damping factor: 30

Input sensitivity: 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (line)

Dimensions: 330 x 275 x 134mm

Weight: 6.2kg

Year: 1977


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Reviewed Jan 11th, 2019 by wilhamcobly

Delizioso piccolo amplificatore dal suono caldo e brillante. Ne ho posseduti tre e regalati due ad amici che mi sono tuttora grati.

Reviewed Mar 24th, 2018 by ViperZ

One of the best little integrated amplifiers I ever owned. It matches with high sensitivity speakers such as my Klipsch Chorus perfectly. The controls are simple, the parts inside are simple to work on, and plenty of space in there. Very robust and clean sounding integrated.

Reviewed Sep 27th, 2015 by cary2

I bought this, my first stereo amp, in the mid '70's based on the excellent reputation of the HK Citation line of preamp and amplifier. It was also very economical, and I didn't need much power for JBL Horizon speakers.

I was not happy with the sound of the system overall, but I attributed that to the system's low price. By a stroke of luck I acquired a Marantz 7c tube preamp and a Marantz 8b tube power amp (35/35watts). I suddenly understood what was meant buy transistor sound since the tube gear was so much cleaner. I'm sure it did not measure cleaner than the Harmon Kardon a401, but it was a much better sound.

I noticed immediately that the sibilance of singers were gritty and spitty when played through the transistor amp. I thought that was caused by phonograph needle mistracking. Through the tube gear, the same singer's sibilance was clear and pristine. None of the grunge that I was used to. I began to understand what was meant by the glare of transistor amps as I listened and heard other nuances from the Marantz tube gear.

I later sold the Marantz gear because I needed the money, but I learned a valuable lesson. I do not dislike solid state gear now, but I know to choose very carefully. There is some very nice transistor equipment, and there is some poor tube equipment, but I was lucky to get a chance to hear some of the very best.

I think the early and mid 1970's was a difficult time for solid state design. It was still making strides into the future. I had been skeptical of subjective reviewing prior to my experience, but I am much less skeptical now.

Reviewed Sep 14th, 2014 by Rizal

Good amplifier



re: A401

Yeah, those horrible sounding early and mid 70s fully discrete transistor amps/rcvrs like the Harman Kardon 930 & 730 and the Sansui Six, Seven & Eight models! Absolutely horrid! Bwahaha! You know why guitar players like tube amps? Because they're all distortion. There's no way a tube amp sounds cleaner than SS and I've owned everything from old Dynaco Mark III, Eico and Bogen tubes to SS Citation, Harman Kardon Signature, Marantz, Sony, Kenwood, Nakamichi, Denon, ATI and active Dynaudio monitors.... ain't ever going back to tubes. If you liked the sound of the Citation tube amps of the 60s then that's what you should have bought instead of a cheap Taiwanese HK SS.

re: A401

I think the A401, being an early solid state amp, may have germanium transistors, notoriously unreliable and bad sounding. When silicon transistors took over (no germaniums left), sound got better.

re: A401

to me one of the best sounding amps I have ever owned ( I' ve never been rich, so
obviously there is a lot better-sounding stuff out there...) four out of five !

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