Yamaha CR-600

Yamaha CR-600

The clean and orderly Yamaha CR-600 was a mid range offering from Yamaha from around 1973 until about 1976. It retailed for $460.00 and incorporates Yamaha’s signature Natural Sound technology and is known for a detailed and accurate sound.

Yamaha CR-600 Knobs

This era of Yamaha’s has a subtle futuristic look to them with the brushed aluminum face and linear, orderly placement of the knobs and switches. In a dark room the big rectangular dial lens lights up but not too much to be distracting. The rest of the dial face does not have lighting. Both meters are lit. Original replacement bulbs are not easy to find but many have had success with Mouser part # 606-CM2182. They do require some soldering or can be spliced into the existing leads.

Yamaha CR-600 Lit

The CR-600 produces 30 watts per channel though many have bench tested them at around 40 watts per channel so they are most likely under rated.  It has Mic and Headphone jacks on the front panel next to the big rectangular speaker switch.

Yamaha CR-600 Switch

There is also a Signal Strength meter and Tuning meter. The knobs control Mic Volume, Bass, Treble, Loudness and Volume. The Volume knob is a dual control and adjusts Balance as well.

The switches control Low Filter, High Filter, Mode and Tape A + B. Interestingly the red AFC/Station light (and AFC circuit I presume) will go out when you touch the tuning dial and come back on when you let go.

Yamaha CR-600 Lamps

The back panel has two sets of phono inputs and an Aux input as well. It also has a Pre-out and Main as well as two sets of speaker outputs.

Yamaha CR-600 Inputs

The older Yamaha’s were built exceptionally well and the x00 and xx20 models used discrete transistors instead of the power packs that plagued later models (xx40). The CR-600 and CR-800 use the same Alps tuning head which is a high quality and very sensitive tuner.  It measure 18-3/4″ x 6-1/4″ x 11-3/4″ and weighs in at about 27.5 lbs.

Yamaha CR-600 Parts

Yamaha receivers are very popular with vintage audio enthusiasts and prices reflect that. Still, the Yamaha CR-600 can be had for a reasonable price. With its basic features and superior performance it makes an excellent stereo for building a vintage system around.

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15 thoughts on “Yamaha CR-600

  1. Thanks for posting this. I’m a vintage newbie and will be picking up a mint one tomorrow in Toronto (serviced with new bulbs $160.) I can’t wait!

  2. had a CR-320, bought new 1977. several bulbs burned out, & a local stereo shop wanted $35 to replace just one bulb, but I never had one replaced. figured I had ~ 200,000 hours on my receiver playing 24/7 over 30 years except when I took vacations. I bought a FanFare FM outdoor antenna & I got fabulous reception of weak FM stations up to 100 miles away. Yamaha receivers had the dual play/record feature seldom heard of today. – kelly e.

  3. I have a vintage Yamaha CR 600 receiver in good working order. It was originally paired with Tempest 2 heil air-motion speakers. Want now to match this receiver with new analog speakers. Can anyone recommend a good set of speakers for this receiver?


  4. Steve- I’ve got my CR-600 running thru Polk monitor 10a’s. Sonic bliss. Many folks posting on Steve Hoffman and Audiokarma suggested this pairing also. I highly recommend.

  5. Can you add an amp or equalizer?
    I’m testing one from a friend to see if I like it . I’m running 2 Technics A-51’s and 2 JBL 2600’s
    What model amplifiers and or equalizers were available then

  6. Hi everyone, new here!
    Own 800 since 2004. Nice !
    Tech broke my meters installing LEDs. Need set.
    I am going back to incandescent.
    Contact me. Thanks

  7. Hello, I am an owner of this unit and recently the volume knob has been spotty. One of the speakers is playing but not the other. To get the other speaker playing I have to crank the volume know to max and quickly lower it. Would anyone know what would be causing this?
    Thank you in advance

    1. It could just be that the volume potentiometer is dirty and needs cleaned. You could try and spray it with some De-Oxit (electrical contact cleaner) and see if that helps. But, that requires removing the case at a minimum. There are a number of tutorials online for various receivers.

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