Yamaha CR-400

Yamaha CR-400 Faceplate

 

No, the Yamaha CR-400 receiver isn't big. It isn't powerful. It doesn't have a lot of features and it's not sought after by collectors. But, what it is, is a well built little receiver that will perform perfectly in a smaller room. Besides, the more features there are the more that can go wrong with it right? At $330 it was Yamaha's entry level offering which, at the time, included the CR-600, CR-800 and CR-1000.

 

Yamaha CR-400 Wood Case

 

The CR-400 was introduced in 1975 and is rated at 16 watts per channel so it isn't going to blow the doors off your room. It may be the lowest power output of all the vintage Yamaha receivers. Even the later CR-240 put out 20 watts per channel.  It's also not going to stress your audio rack because it weighs in at a paltry 21 pounds. But, by today's standards I guess that's pretty heavy.

Interestingly, there is no separate Balance control. Instead Yamaha implemented separate dual-concentric Volume controls for each channel. The volume knob has two sections, the inner for the left channel, and the outer for the right channel.

 

Yamaha CR-400 Dials

 

The CR-400 has a Microphone input with its own separate Volume control. This allows for  mic mixing, which lets you play any signal source, then blend in your voice and even record the results.

 

Yamaha CR-400 Knobs

 

It has inputs for Phone, Aux and Tape so you can run a iPod through it utilizing the Aux input with the correct adapter (3.5mm to 2 Male RCA Y connector) which runs about 5 bucks on eBay. It also features:

  • Dual FET FM Front End
  • IC and Ceramic Filter FM IF Amplifier
  • IC Multiplex Demodulator
  • Dual Tuning Meters
  • LED Indicators (Power/ FM Stereo)
  • 3-Stage DC Phono Equalizer
  • Mic Mixing
  • DC OCL Pure Complementary Power Amplifier
  • Subsonic Filter
  • Speaker Selection (A, B, A+B)

 

Yamaha CR-400 Inputs

 

Overall the Yamaha CR-400 is just a simple little stereo that will do its job well in a smaller space such as an office or a den. It's easy to repair and has no unobtainable parts. It does have that flat / neutral Yamaha Natural Sound that some people really like and others really hate. The CR-400 was one of Yamaha's first widely distributed receivers in the U.S. market.

As a collector's item it's not that desirable mainly because of its lack of power and features. You can pick up a really nice one for about $100. A good working one for around $60.

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Sansui QRX-7500

Sansui QRX-7500 Front

 

In the early to mid 1970's Quadraphonic sound was just coming to the forefront. Sansui was one of the leaders of the 4-channel movement with their QR line of quadraphonic receivers. Around 1974-1975 they introduced the QRX line which included this beauty, the Sansui QRX-7500. The QRX-7500 was the top of the line at the time in terms of power output at about 30 watts per channel (4 channels into four 8 ohm speakers).

 

Sansui QRX-7500 Meter

 

The receiver features a built in CD-4 album decoder, SQ decoder (phase matrix), QS decoder (regular matrix), two phono inputs, and outputs for two sets of four speakers.

 

Sansui QRX-7500 Knob

 

What's the difference between the QRX-7500 and QRX7500A? Well, it all has to do with the decoding.

The QRX-7500A was a "hybrid" unit as Sansui moved from the discrete component vario-matrix decoder circuits to their custom Vario-matrix IC's that were used in the QRX-7001/8001/9001. There were two distinct ICs. The 'decoder' IC and the 'control' IC which enhanced the separation and decoding ability. The QRX-7500A has the decoder IC but not the control IC. The later receivers had both.

In all there are three variations of decoders built into the Sansui QR/QRX series over their entire production period. The QRX-7500 utilizes the basic QS decoder as originally designed. It's sometimes called an "RM" or regular matrix decoder. The basic decoder is capable of 3-12db of inter-channel separation. The QR series receivers, the QRX-4500, QRX-5500 and QRX-6500 also have this early decoder design.

 

Sansui QRX-7500 Lamps

 

With the QRX-7500A Sansui introduced the partially developed vario-matrix decoder circuit containing two of the three custom ICs required for full Vario-Matrix decoding. The circuit performs similarly to the 'basic' decoder mentioned above because the missing 'control' IC is the biggest factor in increasing inter-channel separation and this design doesn't have it. This decoder is capable of 3-12db of inter-channel separation. So, the QRX-7500A has the newer IC designed circuit but lacks the full Vario-Matrix capability of the later design. The Sansui QRX-5500A and QRX-5001 have the same design.

The fully developed Vario-Matrix Type A design with all three IC's was used in the QRX-6001, QRX-7001, QRX-8001, QRX-9001, QRX-777 and QRX-999. The QSD-1/2/1000 decoders also have the Type A decoder. The Vario-Matrix Type A decoder was limited by design by Sansui to 20db of inter-channel separation, though, in theory, Sansui claims that it is capable of infinite inter-channel separation.

 

Sansui QRX-7500 Inside

 

The slightly later QRX-7001 is the improved version of the QRX-7500 with the better decoder circuit as well as a beefier amp section. The QRX-7001 produced 35 watts per channel in Quad mode.

 

Sansui QRX-7500 Back

 

The Sansui QRX-7500 is a great quad receiver. It has its limitations given the early decoder design and some issues with solder joints on the circuit boards but overall it is a good performing unit. The QRX-7500A may be a better choice since it has the IC decoder design but if you really want a great decoder then you'll want the QRX-7001, QRX-8001 or QRX-9001. Expect to pay a premium for those however. Any of these units would most likely need a restoration and perhaps some modification which isn't cheap. Once done you would have an exceptional performing receiver though. For a full restoration check out QRXRestore.

QRX-7500's sell for around $300+ while the A version sells for around $400+. The QRX-7001 is around $500 and the QRX-9001 around $800-$1000.

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