The Harman Kardon 430 receiver was introduced in 1976 along with the 730. It followed in the footsteps of the Harman Kardon 630 and 930 which were released a few years earlier. The 430 puts out 25 watts per channel and has a simple yet elegant design that features some slight changes over the earlier 630 and 930. It retailed for about $325 which was a little pricey relative to other similar stereos.
Here is the sequence of Harman Kardon’s release of the 430 through 930 receivers:
Series 1 (1973-75)
- H/K 630 (Power: 30w; Price: $350)
- H/K 930 (Power: 45w; Price: $475)
Series 2 (1976-78)
- H/K 430 (Power: 25w; Price: $325)
- H/K 730 (Power: 40w; Price: $400)
- Citation Receiver (Power: 85w; Price $1200)
The Harman Kardon 430 is definitely a classic and features unique H/K circuitry. “Twin Powered” means that each channel has an independent power supply which really enhances performance. So, even though it’s rated at only 25 wpc it can handle most anything you throw at it and still produce outstanding clarity and detail. Harman Kardon said in their ad for the HK 430:
As the 430 receiver vies for attention on your dealer’s shelf, it may seem almost diffident. Don’t believe it! For within its graceful contour lies such power as to meet truly demanding conditions – without compromise of sound quality.
The source of the 430’s energy is not the conventional single power supply. It has two discretely separate power supplies – one for each channel. Consequently, no matter how much energy is called for by dynamic music passages, performance of one channel is not affected by the other.
The HK 430 receiver featured:
- Signal strength meter
- Treble and Bass controls
- defeatable interstation muting
- loudness switch(contour)
- high and low frequency filters
- tape monitor circuit
- Front-panel headphone jack
- Outputs and switches for two sets of stereo speakers
- Phono, Aux, and Tape inputs
Original buyers could team up the HK 430 with the Rabco ST-7 turntable, the A401 integrated pre-amp, and the Citation power amplifier (all made by Harman Kardon).
Harman Kardon’s opinion was that the HK 430 receiver could match the performance of not only other receivers of the time but also most separates or individual components.
Here you can see the dual power supplies utilized in the HK 430. Harman Kardon used very high quality parts in the stereos. The circuitry and design layout are excellent as well.
One common problem with the HK 430 is that the bulbs/lamps burn out including the 6v 35ma micro bulb on the dial pointer. The power button lamp requires removal of the faceplate to change. The frequency meter light and tuner display lights are 6v fuse lamps and require removal of the indicator lamp board. It’s not too difficult as it’s only held on with a few screws. Lamp kits can be found on eBay.
Keep in mind that the HK 430 does not have a protection relay so be a little careful with the speakers you pair it with. The tweeters will need to be able to hold up to the dynamic power.
Harman Kardon still posts many of the user manuals for their past products and that includes the HK 430. You can find the PDF of the owner’s manual HERE and the service manual HERE. If you’re looking to rebuild / restore your Harman Kardon 430 receiver there are kits available of eBay:
Overall, the Harman Kardon 430 receiver is a well built, well performing stereo. If you can find a 430 in good working condition, and are not overly concerned with having massive watts per channel, then it is worth getting. The styling and performance really can’t be beat by any other similar unit from that era. In fact, it outperforms many of the more expensive stereos of the time. Even today you will have a hard time finding anyone who does not like the HK 430.