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Forte I Receiver Recommendations - Modern or Vintage


DougM
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Hi all,

 

I picked up some excellent condition Forte I's last year, and I love them. I'm currently running them with a Pioneer SX-727.

 

I have spent way too much time researching how to improve this setup (without spending $1k+). I bought a refurbished Harman Kardon 730 recently after reading some glowing reviews, but I have to say the Forte I's still sound better with the Pioneer SX-727. I do plan on recapping the Forte I's since I understand that you're supposed to do that every 35 years or so. Perhaps that would affect the way they pair with the HK.

 

Any Forte I owners out there who have affordable setups they love?  I do like having a tuner and a solid preamp included, so sticking with my SX-727 and a speaker recap is probably the intelligent move.  I am curious how they'd sound with a modern amp like the Outlaw RR-2160MKII though I'm not in any particular hurry to drop a grand on one.

 

If any HK fans are curious about the 730, here's a description of the work done and some pics. I still feel like I may be missing something here. I've run it for a dozen or so hours and, though it does sound pretty darn good with my office RP-160M's, it's just a tad harsh with the Forte I's compared to the Pioneer. Again, maybe a recap on the Forte I's could help there. 

 

"the electrolytic capacitors and problematic transistors, diodes, and rectifiers replaced on the preamp, main amp, and power supply boards replaced with quality audio grade parts including all four of the speaker filter capacitors. The unit was tested for 20 hours for break-in time, then readjusted the power supply, offset voltages, and idle currents to factory specs. All dial and function lamps were replaced with new LEDS. All pots and switches were cleaned with deoxit. All the rear input and output jacks were cleaned. All functions were tested and work flawlessly. The AM and FM sections were aligned and receive many stations."

 

Thanks for any input!

D

 

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Edited by DougM
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  • DougM changed the title to Forte I Receiver Recommendations - Modern or Vintage

@DougM,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

I had great results driving my long gone to the Ukraine Fortes with 80's/90's Denon integrated amps and preamp/amp combos.  They really brought out the best the Fortes could muster with great detail and fast punchy bass.  I really miss the combinations.

 

From what I have read/heard, the modern Denon integrated amps continue with that sound signature(dead on neutral) with some modern enhancements.

 

15 hours ago, DougM said:

I am curious how they'd sound with a modern amp like the Outlaw RR-2160MKII though I'm not in any particular hurry to drop a grand on one.

No need to drop $1000.00 to bring out what the Forte possesses.

 

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/denpma800ne/denon-pma-800ne-integrated-amplifier-w/built-in-dac/1.html

 

Denon PMA-800NE Front

Denon PMA-800NE Back

Bill

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Thanks Bill. I've read good things about Denon.

 

There's an AVR 95 in my garage maybe I should try out, though I understand integrated amps are largely understood to almost always have better preamps than receivers. 

 

I listen to a lot of radio and would love a tuner built in or at least match.

 

Quote

 

 

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@DougM welcome.

I was going to suggest a used Luxman R-117 or 115,114,113....  but if the HK didn’t work for you I’m not sure about vintage Luxman. I have an R-117 that to my ears is way better than my Denon x4300h was, more depth/body and low end sounds better. The R series have phono, tuner etc pre amp, includes pre out if you want a sub and good power. Mine is in for the same maintenance that you did on your HK, will be interesting when it’s back, hope it sounds as good or better. Good luck with your search.

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I'm in Austin.

 

The R-115 looks like a good option. 70 watts would be plenty for me. Curious if there's any difference in the preamp between the R-117 & R-115.

 

I've read that there could be sample variation with HK 730's, and also that the 430's might sound a tad cleaner. But I know just cause I read it on the internet doesn't make it true.

 

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@DougM, the Luxman also have remote control. And the command codes are (hopefully still) available for download to a Logitech universal if you get a unit without the original remote.  I have only owned the R-117 so can’t comment about differences other than what’s on paper.

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1 hour ago, DougM said:

The R-115 looks like a good option.

Hi Doug. Just read you post ... have an extra R-115 (WITHOUT remote) which I can sell for pretty cheap; say $150 - just do not need it anymore :)  Send me a PM if interested. :) 

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28 minutes ago, Emile said:

Hi Doug. Just read you post ... have an extra R-115 (WITHOUT remote) which I can sell for pretty cheap; say $150 - just do not need it anymore :)  Send me a PM if interested. :) 

I'm only allowed to send "0" messages per day. I think if I keep chiming in on my own post here I might garner enough seniority to private message.

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26 minutes ago, DougM said:

I'm only allowed to send "0" messages per day. I think if I keep chiming in on my own post here I might garner enough seniority to private message.

Welcome to the forum!

Just 5 posts here, all will be revealed about PM's and your account access... Cheers!

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I've been advised by someone I trust not to bother recapping the Forte I's unless I was hearing a problem, which I'm not. Any thoughts there?

 

Same person also rec'd the Sansui 8080db and 9090db. Those seem to be in high demand and very expensive. For that amount I may rather try an R-117 with parts+labor to bring it up to spec.

 

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1 minute ago, DougM said:

I've been advised by someone I trust not to bother recapping the Forte I's unless I was hearing a problem, which I'm not. Any thoughts there?

 

Same person also rec'd the Sansui 8080db and 9090db. Those seem to be in high demand and very expensive. For that amount I may rather try an R-117 with parts+labor to bring it up to spec.

 

Try it first before sending off...

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