Harman kardon HK 990 v MF A3.2, Yam A-S 1000 or seperates



Hi,  I am thinking about an HK 990 integrated for $800.  I am also looking at other integrated such as Yamaha A-S 1000 and MF 3.2 all for slightly less. I have always liked HK dating back to the mid 70s but also find some of their  gear can be slightly thin in the midrange and top end. Natural and musical but somewhat thin Wondering where the HK 990 fits?  As for the Yamaha   I had an A-S 500 and 700 and thought they were really good but the image focus was somewhat soft. Had a MF 300 years ago but cannot comment as the system has changed to much. Reminded me of a more focused ,richer Rotel.  I find most mid to upper mid fi gear today over detailed, lean and unmusical and I know I am not the only one by any means.  I have even heard items were I swear the timing is messed up.
I also wonder if for less money  I am better off with the NAD or Rotel seperates  ie RA 981, RC 1070 or C162 2400THX and so on.  FYI have had a few Rotel power amps and the 981 does not sound like the others. Really good. In an integrated,  I really want a headphone jack and built in phono stage.  Outboard means more cables more comparing, more cost.  Getting tired.  I really prefer integrateds but....
Money is beyond tight and the good times are over so I am limited to what I can do.  The speakers are old Infinity RS 2.5s.  These things are amazing  They were being closed out when I started  in the audio biz and I had never heard them. I have had PSB, POLK, ADS Vandersteen, Von Schwiekert, Mirage, Def Tech and on and on.  These are something else.
The really question here should be opinions  on the HK 990?  Thanks
geph0007
Honestly, at your price point, I'd think that an integrated would definitely be the best value for the money.  I've also (recently) heard Harmon Kardon (AVR-146) and reviewed (two) Yamaha receivers.

http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/receiver-processor/yamaha-aventage-rx-a3050-receiver-review/

http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/receiver-processor/receivers/yamaha-rx-a1040-audio-video-receiver...

If your choice is between those brands only, I'd give the (very slight) sound quality edge to the HK, although I think that the Yamahas are probably better built.

There may be some other integrated choices that you might consider, though, particularly if you're willing to buy used.  Both Arcam and Hegel make integrated amplifiers, either of which would sound, IMHO, significantly better than the HK or the Yamaha.  I've owned the Hegel H80 before, and it's no slouch (particularly if you leave it on all the time and keep it warm).  I've only heard the Arcam in stores, but it sounded good too.

The "brand new" prices on these Arcam & Hegel items are beyond your stated budget, but on eBay,..

Happy shopping!

Went to listen this morning It got sold last Friday
The problem with the HK 990 is that it was a one off.  They hadn't made anything like it for a decade or more, then released, not a line up of integrated amps, but one single model.  I read a detailed review of it at the time and one issue he found was with the room correction, he found it incorrectly applied to such an extent that it was next to useless, something that you would expect from a company that is releasing its first amp in decades.

I'd suggest the C375BEE from NAD.  They've been pumping out integrated amps since the 70's and have great models.  You might be able to still get a demo model for cheap from Spearitsound.com.  I have the little brother C326BEE and simply love the rich full sound.  Just a thought.