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Harmon Kardon citation II Question


Trent_G
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I’m new to tube amps and need some guidance. I found a Harmon Kardon citation II at a decent price that I’d like to get.  My question is I have Forte III’s ran by a Denon  AVR- x3500h. Will this amp make a big difference or is my receiver a major weak link? Thanks in advance. 
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Edited by Trent_G
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6 minutes ago, tube fanatic said:

It will sound different.  Only you can decide if it is more pleasing.  Can you audition the amp in your system before purchasing?  Has the amp been restored?  

 

 

Maynard 

The guy said it has been completely went thru and he has the receipts to prove it. Comes with original manual and extra tubes. He suggested I bring over my speakers also but I would really rather not as they are big and heavy not to mention the chance of them getting scratched up. I was hoping someone could give me some insight as if this would be a good fit for existing equipment. Thanks 

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If the guy offered to let you bring over your speakers can’t he bring the amp over instead?  The issue here is that no one has your ears- it doesn’t matter if 10 guys tell you it will sound glorious if don’t agree when you hear it.  It would be helpful if you could post a picture of the underside of the chassis along with a copy of the seller’s receipt showing exactly what was done.  

 

 

Maynard

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31 minutes ago, tube fanatic said:

If the guy offered to let you bring over your speakers can’t he bring the amp over instead?  The issue here is that no one has your ears- it doesn’t matter if 10 guys tell you it will sound glorious if don’t agree when you hear it.  It would be helpful if you could post a picture of the underside of the chassis along with a copy of the seller’s receipt showing exactly what was done.  

 

 

Maynard

Good point, I will see if I can get a copy of the receipt and ask about trying it out with a deposit. I’m thinking he will take 1200.00 for it. He’s busy today so I have an appointment to see it Wednesday. Thanks 

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41 minutes ago, tube fanatic said:

If the guy offered to let you bring over your speakers can’t he bring the amp over instead?  The issue here is that no one has your ears- it doesn’t matter if 10 guys tell you it will sound glorious if don’t agree when you hear it.  It would be helpful if you could post a picture of the underside of the chassis along with a copy of the seller’s receipt showing exactly what was done.  

 

 

Maynard

Completely agree with this.  And, regardless of who did what, the most important thing is the quality of the work.  There are lots of guys out there that will "service" an amp, unfortunately, there are also lots out there that will unwittingly or even knowingly modify the circuit, along with those that think they know how to solder, but don't......

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  • 3 weeks later...

If the chassis is unmolested, the transformers are good and the price is right, its a worthy investment.I don't recall ever being enamored of the sound but never heard a Citation II in a really good system either.Highly renowned for the output transformers, wish I had a pair of them to fool with.

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It all boils down to condition...and affordability...BUT....keep in mind that Stu Hegeman DESIGNED the Citation II amp TO BE PAIRED WITH the Citation I pre-amp!  They WERE DESIGNED TO GO TOGETHER!

 

The biggest complaint which most "tube lovers" tend to have with the Citation II is that when they roll tubes, they don't get the desired coloration from the other tubes being changed out!  It may not be stated in that manner, but the reality is that is what their complaints boil down to.  The facts of the situation is that Stu Hegeman ACTUALLY DESIGNED the amp to ELIMINATE coloration  as much as possible from the tubes being used in it.  He reached that goal quite well....much to the disdain of those who have come to rely on specific colorations from using different tubes in their amps.  So, consider  yourself  forewarned about this!

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I recently missed out on a Citation II that had been beautifully restored and had retained the original audio path circuitry, but had a few other minor tweaks to make it safer to operate, etc.  Still kicking myself for waiting too long.  The Citation II is one of the TOTL classic amps of all time.

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