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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Yamaha CR-840

Yamaha CR-840

 

This ebony classic is the Yamaha CR-840 receiver. It was produced from 1979 to around 1981 and retailed for about $500. It was a mid range receiver in Yamaha's CR-XX40 lineup. It puts out 60 watts per channel into 8 ohms.

 

Yamaha CR-840 Left

 

The CR-840 has the big flat toggle switches as do many of the other Yamaha models. Overall it has a very nice sleek hi-tech look to it, though some think the Yamaha models look somewhat sterile.

 

Yamaha CR-840 Right

 

The CR-840 has a built-in AUTO-DX circuit that monitors the signal strength and amount of interference present.  If needed it will automatically switch to the DX Mode IF Stage to increase the selectivity to 83dB.

 

Yamaha CR-840 Meters

 

It also has continuously variable loudness control which means that the frequency balance and volume are adjusted simultaneously to compensate for the ear's insensitivity to high and low frequencies at low volume settings. So, a natural-sounding balance is maintained regardless of volume level. It weighs about 30 pounds and measures 20" x 6-9/16" x 15-1/4".

 

Yamaha CR-840 Inside

 

One problem with the Yamaha CR-840 is that it uses output modules rather than discrete output transistors. These modules have a tendency to overheat and die. Unfortunately, original replacements are difficult to find and newly made versions tend to be out of spec and perform erratically. It has been speculated that the Yamaha IG 02970 output module was in fact a rebadged Sanyo STK 0060-II or STK-0080-II. The STK-0080-II is fairly easy to find which would make repairing these units far easier.

 

Yamaha CR-840 Back

 

The Yamaha receivers have never garnered as much attention as the Pioneer and Marantz receivers but perform just as well.  They do emphasize a "Natural Sound" so they tend to have a more accurate representation of sound which some find to be a little harsh. Prices are rising for these receivers though - especially the higher end models. You can find a nice working version of the CR-840 for about $150 to $200.

 

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