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Harman Kardon Citation 12

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Senior Contributor 200+

Joined: 29 Aug 2011
Posts: 215
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:58 pm    Post subject: Harman Kardon Citation 12 Reply with quote

I bought HK Citation 12 power amp few weeks ago. This amp has been made in 1971... so I replaced 8 electrolytic´s on PCB, but have not been able to source 50v/6000uf -10000uf 1,75" dia main filter caps yet. PCB connectors needed also cleaning and bias pots had to be changed. Speaker terminals are pretty good but input RCA:s must be replaced.

I did remember that Ken Kessler did review Ciation 12 in the Hifi News Anachrophile series in the 80´s. I did find October 1983 issue of Hifi News from my magazine collection and it was quite big surprise to me, when I red how Ken described Citation 12 performance. When he compared it to the best solid state amps of 1983, he found Citation 12 to be a bit soggy on bass. Warm but slightly "congested" sound quality was found to be typical to Citation. Soundstage was found to be good, but nowhere near as three-dimensional as any of top 80´s valve amps. However, my own findings were pretty same, when I tested the amp after cap replacement. I might slightly disagree about soundstaging, stage width is OK but depth information is only fair or maybe less than fair.

Even this state of the art amplifier from 1970 is not up to present standard or even up to 80´s standard, I do find it worth to restoration. One good friend says to me why bother, you have 5 better performing amplifiers. What can I do, if I find Citation 12 to be quite nice and somehow sympathetic?

This amp has not been too popular in the UK, in US there should be no shortage of twelves... Nelson Pass did also mod article in Audio Amateur in 1981.

So... if our fellow members do have any memories or information about Citation 12, it would be nice to hear their comments.

Best Regards

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