I just put my Marantz NR1508 on eBay after purchasing it (keeping it only for a few days and spent a few hours playing with the sound settings) and comparing to it the Harman Kardon AVR 340 with the differences below:
• Marantz sounded a lot flatter than the HK and there was slight amount of distortion on the treble and mids compared to the HK.
• The sound from HK feels like it gives life to all sound new and old. I also noticed the HK had a much more clearer sound and I could hear each instrument clearly rather than the Marantz which sounded quite muddled.
• The HK is 15 years old compared to the Marantz which is only 2 years old but the sound quality from the HK was much better despite all of the features from the NR1508.
• I noticed there wasn’t much difference in sound with the eARC technology. The amount of clarity through Digital Input (TOSLink) makes me question the point of having it all even though more data can be passed through Hdmi.
• I know the Marantz NR1508 is an entry level AVR compared Harman Kardon AVR 340 but I wouldn’t have expected the sound quality to be so different.
• The only issue is HK is quite old now so I will need to look for another brand when sound and technology progresses in the future.
In the future I will look at purchasing the Arcam AVR 300. I have checked the reviews and this does sound really good!