| audio, gear, HK, vintage | 14 comments

Does this guy look familiar? It should, because I used to own a Harman Kardon 430 which has a very similar design. Despite being part of a fairly sought after line of HK receivers, I could hardly dig up any information on this unit.

Yet another one of my 2013 fall finds—and strangely familiar! I used to own a Harman Kardon 430 which was my prized posession for quite a long time, and just like the 430, this unit has the same twin powered design that these HK receivers are known for. I also need to get into the habit of taking more photos of these units, because some people like to see the guts. So here it is:

This model is a little strange, though. I can't really describe it other than it feels a little cheaper, considering the build quality alone. I only have my previous 430 for comparison, but both the knobs and the tuner dial feel a bit cheap. I did some digging, and from what I could find, other owners seem to have the same opinion. I don't think it's low quality but any means, I just feel like maybe it's an earlier model that got refined with later versions. There is also very little information to be found online—I downloaded the service and owner manuals, but neither of them list the specifications. It appears as though it's related to the HK 930, as it shares the same tuner dial design and knobs. My old 430 seems to be more closely related to the 730 for the same reasons. I am starting to think that maybe the 630/930 were early models, and the 430/730 were their successors. 

That said, I didn't need to do much for this piece other than give it a good polish and replace the feet. All of the bulbs were working and there was no need to make any other internal adjustments. One interesting feature it has, is dual-channel bass and treble knobs. If you want, you can individually adjust the tone for each channel. This feature sounded strange to me at first, but I realized its actually extremely handy in certain situations. If you have a speaker stuffed in the corner of a room and it has a rear bass port (like me*), that speaker might have a significantly higher bass output as a result. So with this receiver, you can simply adjust one of the knobs to compensate.

Pret-tay good.

*I actually had to laugh at myself after writing this. I realized it's ambiguous whether I mean that I have a speaker stuffed in the corner of a room, or whether I literally have a rear bass port (if you know what I mean). You decide.


Perfect work!
Your HK 630 looks mint. Outstanding photos. Now I must also look for a HK receiver.

Thanks! They're very nice, the hardest part besides tracking one down is convincing the owner to part ways with it.

I have had a 630 and prefer it to the later gen. It is the same generation as the 930. I find it better built than the 430, not sure why we differ. I especially like the speaker and antenna connectors, you can really crank them down tight as they are not those common spring loaded clamps. There is enough space between the terminals for pretty heavy speaker cable,. The power amp alone is worth having the unit around for. It makes a great stand alone power amp to mate with a separate preamp. I have use mine in this manner with the likes of McIntosh, Philips, Soundcraftsman, AVA and numerous others and it can stand up to many separate power amps. The tuner is very competent, competitive with a lot of good 3-gang tuners.

The Klipsch crowd seems to have a special liking for the x30 dual power/mono amp receivers and for good reason. I have a set of Heresy IIs and while I find them to be both amp sensitive and can be tiring, with the 630, the synergy is really showing through with classical, jazz and vocals. Not tiring, harsh or honky whatsoever. I have also found them really nice with Bozaks, Wharfedales, Advents and a lot of others.

The phono preamp seems pretty close to a great match to Shure and ADC cartridges both of which were amongst the more popular higher quality cartridges back when the unit was made.

I am in the process of reducing the number of units and systems and the 630 is slated to become very possibly my new many receiver.

I love the multichannel tone controls. When I was younger my dad had a 60s era Fisher receiver and the tone controls were split: the front half of each control controlled the output for one channel, and the back controlled the output for the other. I couldn't get over how cool that was.

Of course, now, I'm over it....

You've inspired me! Just ordered a HK 730 on ebay. Any suggestions for speakers under $200 for it?

Sorry, I can't recommend speakers. They're more of a personal thing, IMO. You need to listen to a few pairs before deciding on one that you really like.

My dad had one that looked just like this in the late 80's, I'm guessing. The sound was amazing, not sure how many models HK made that had the same basic controls and look. Funny that you mention the quality of the knobs. They felt extremely high end and in some ways, I still compare knobs, to the feel of those, all these years later. I can't remember the speakers he had paired, with them. I just remember the effortles power, the flawless receiver, and the great sound that came out of that 2 channel set up. I'm just wondering if in retrospect, I imagined it was better than it was. I would totally use that setup as opposed to an AV as I'm not that interested in surround sound.

My first receiver!!!!!! and I just got it back from my sister. It is a strong unit and I also have the 330c receiver I got for my parents back in the 70's. Strong amps with the big power supplies and great FM tuners.

Hi, have just seen one of the 630s for sale. This has a phono setting but does it need a preamp? Thanks

Patrick, "phono" implies a phono pre-amp!

Awesome blog, would you say the 430 sounds better or same as 630? Also, how polish up the faceplates to look so kickass??

Hi, I am looking for some L-11 tuning dial lamps a Harman/Kardon 630
receiver. Spec's : 6V 250mA. Size: 0.25" diameter, 1.25" long.
Do you have any for sale?

Howard, I usually contact this guy for any lamps I need: http://sites.google.com/site/dgwojocom/

Mine blew and before I buy another I can't seem to find the amp of the fuse anywhere