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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.