The Harman Kardon 330B was a modest offering from the company. It was designed as a budget receiver that still produced hi-fi level sound. It produces 18 watts per channel so if you want to shake your foundation then it’s probably not for you. However, for a low end, budget minded receiver it produces some really nice sound and sold for only $199 when introduced.
The 330B was introduced around 1973, followed by the 330C, and was somewhat of a staple for many years. You’ll find many people who still own and rave about their 330B and many others who regret selling their 330B. That should tell you something about their performance. They are very minimalist in their design. A simple red power button, black switches, and corrugated knobs run across the front. The tuning knob is only slightly larger than the other knobs. The split front panel with brushed aluminum bottom and black glass top give it a different look. An optional walnut cabinet was also available.
The 330B is a really well built receiver for it price. It weighs about 21 pounds and measures 15 3/8″ W x 13″ D x 4 1/2″ H.
While many audio manufacturers of the time insisted that the human ear couldn’t hear below 20 Hz and above 20 kHz Harman Kardon felt differently. They specifically designed their amplifier circuitry to reproduce frequencies well below and above these alleged limitations.
The Harman Kardon 330B was manufactured as a lower end budget receiver and most stereos of that type don’t sell for much these days. But, the 330b holds its own. A really nice, serviced 330b can sell for more than $200. A good working unit will run about $100 to $150.
We’re going to step back a little farther in time for this receiver. This Harman Kardon Festival D-1100 was made long before the days of monster receivers with brushed aluminum faceplates and features ad nauseum. This was made back in the days of simplicity and function. In fact, this D-1100 was the successor to the D-1000 which has its own place in audio history. The D-1000 was designed by Bernard Kardon who, along with Sidney Harman, formed Harman Kardon when they both left the David Bogen company in the early 1950’s. The D-1000 debuted in 1954 and was essentially the very first compact integrated receiver. It incorporated a tuner, amplifier and component control all in a compact chassis. This design led to other manufacturers following the same design path. Integrated receivers had been born and they were set to dominate the audio landscape for years to come.
After the D-1000 came the D-1100 which is seen here. It was offered around 1956 and retailed for about $200.00.It also has the trademark copper plated chassis with a copper and black color scheme for panels and enclosures.
As you can see the D-1100 has AM and FM bands as well as an analog tuning meter at the right side of the tuning dial. It has bass, treble, and loudness controls and puts out 30 watts. It is pre stereo so has only mono output. Of course, Harman Kardon produced the first stereo receiver just a couple years later with the TA230.
The input selector has a couple interesting settings in EUR and RIAA. RIAA equalization on LP’s was standardized in 1954 so many owners of the D-1100 would have records that were not RIAA eq’d so they would need the ability to change settings.
The Harman Kardon Festival D-1100 has two big transformers and the following 16 tubes:
- 12AT7 x 2
- 6BA6 x 2
- 6AU6 x 2
- 12AU7 x 3
- 5881 x 2
As is typical of the older tube receivers it has point to point wiring and obviously no circuit boards.
Harman Kardon played a significant role in audio history and the D-1100 fits in to that history very well. It is very popular amongst collectors because it is an early representative of the integrated receiver as well as a tube driven unit. Many collectors prefer tubes over solid state. All the early Harman Kardon units are in high demand which translates into fairly high prices. Still, the D-1100 can be found for under $300 in good working condition. Of course, most of them will need some work given their age if they haven’t been restored at some point.
The more iconic D-1000 sells for around $650-$700.