This monster Yamaha CR-3020 hit the audio market in 1978. It is the BIG brother of the CR-1020 and CR-2020. The CR-3020 is rated at 160 watts per channel into 8 ohms. It also has a frequency response of 5-100,000 Hz and total harmonic distortion of 0.01%. It is arguably the most collectable of the vintage monster receivers. It has been speculated that only around 2000 of the CR-3020 were made. Yamaha began manufacturing them at a time when the power war (meaning watts per channel) amongst the audio giants like Pioneer, Sansui and Marantz was subsiding. Other manufacturers were already transitioning to lighter weight designs and cheaper components and demand for bulky, heavy, monster receivers was dwindling. As a result not many were sold.
The CR-3020 has controls for Bass, Treble and Presence. Speaker selection includes Off, A, B, C, A+C, A+B. It also has Low and High filter switches and a Mode switch for L, R, Stereo, and Rev. Input selector includes Tape 1+2, Tuner, Phono, and Aux.
The Yamaha CR-3020’s aesthetics are excellent. It’s housed in an ebony wood case as opposed to the usual walnut. Despite the plethora of controls they are laid out nicely on the front panel so it still doesn’t have a crowded look. The dial scale is a bit small due to the three meters to the left of it.
The lighting is typical Yamaha for the time with white meter lights and white backlit dial face.
SP OUT Level Meters – These sensitive, wide-range peak meters measure the output power for each channel from 0.01W to 316W. The right-hand meter also doubles as the signal strength and quality meter (changing over to this function when the tuning knob is touched).
SP OUT / SIGNAL Q Meter – This meter indicates the strength of the signal for both AM and FM stations, and indicates FM interference by fluttering, with the amplitude of variation showing the extent of the interference. It also doubles as an output level meter.
FM Tuning Meter – This meter indicator points to dead center when a station is perfectly in tune.
LED Indicators – These indicate whether the POWER, AUDIO MUTING, FM BLEND and OTS STATION are on, and the TONE CONTROL and REC CAL are operative. They also indicate whether an FM STEREO station is being received and whether it is in FM DX or FM LOCAL mode.
TURNOVER FREQUENCY Switches – Select 125 or 500 Hz turnover frequencies (for bass), 2,6 or 8 kHz (for treble) and 2 or 4 kHz (for presence), or defeat all tone controls with the DEFEAT switch.
FM Tuner Section Controls
TUNER Function Switch – This switch has five positions, FM AUTO, FM DX, FM LOCAL, AM and REC CAL, and permits selection of FM or AM reception, Setting the switch to REC CAL position causes a sine wave of 333 Hz to be generated, thus facilitating checking of FM program recording.
FM MUTING Control – By operating this control, the FM muting level can be freely set at any level between 3 uV and 30 uV (300ohms). In OFF position, FM MUTING is cancelled.
FM MODE Control – When this control is set to AUTO position, FM broadcasts are received automatically in stereo mode. By setting the control to MONO position, the broadcasts can be received in monaural mode, while at the same time the muting circuit is canceled.
OTS ON/OFF – In the ON position, the Optimum Tuning System will correct any slight mis-tuning, to assure optimum reception of FM stations. In the OFF position, accurate manual tuning becomes necessary. Note that even in the ON position, OTS only comes into effect when you have released the tuning knob.
FM BLEND – This switch is used to reduce the hiss noise that affects the weaker FM stereo stations.
DOLBY FM ADAPTOR – Only if you have purchased and fitted an adaptor for FM ‘Dolby’ broadcasts should this switch be ON: without an
adaptor the ON position will turn your FM tuner section off.
PHONO Selector Switch – This switch permits selection of an input circuit to match the phono cartridge being used, when the INPUT SELECTOR is set to PHONO position.
AUDIO MUTING O/-20 dB Switch – This gives a straight 20 dB reduction in listening volume without having to adjust the VOLUME control. Use it whenever operating selector or other switches, and when lowering the phono cartridge onto the record.
Some of the other features of the CR-3020 are:
- Dual tuning and power level meters (right-channel meter doubles as signal-strength indicator).
- Meters also read tape output
- Independent headphone level control
- Dual tape monitors with two-way dubbing
- Bass, midrange and treble controls with switchable turnover frequency and defeat
- Separate volume and variable loudness compensation controls
- Adjustable FM muting level
- DX/Local/Auto select
- Audio muting
- Dual phono inputs with moving-coil head amp (switchable) on one
- FM high-blend
- Dolby adaptor switches
There are not one but two headphones jacks on the front panel!
The CR-3020 is massive and weighs in at just under 82 pounds! It also won’t fit in most standard audio cabinets.
- Tuning range: FM, MW
- Power output: 160 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
- Frequency response: 5Hz to 100kHz
- Total harmonic distortion: 0.03%
- Damping factor: 70
- Input sensitivity: 0.5mV (MC), 2mV (MM), 120mV (line)
- Signal to noise ratio: 71dB (MC), 82dB (MM), 100dB (line)
- Output: 120mV (line), 1V (Pre out)
- Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
- Semiconductors: 178 x transistors, 9 x IC, 14 x FET, 64 x diodes, 14 x zener diodes, 11 x LED
- Dimensions: 24″ x 7″ x 19″ (632 x 191 x 494.5mm)
- Weight: 35kg
The Yamaha CR-3020 is definitely on the top 5 list for most receiver collectors. It’s very hard to find as it had a list price of $1500 when new which limited the amount of people that could afford it. With a low supply and high demand these days prices for the CR-3020 are substantial. But, if you have a chance to acquire one it would be hard to pass up.