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Monday, July 2, 2012

Yamaha R300 Stereo receiver

My wife has discovered that among the myriad items individuals dispose of by donating to thrift stores are articles of the fancy or frilly stationary one might buy at Michael's or some other arts and crafts store.  I think that previously she thought that they were only filled with discarded electronics that only fools could take any interst in, old mismatched golf clubs and stained pairs of Zubas (if you have to ask. . . ). Last we went, she came home with an armful of notepads, magnets, stickers and the aforementioned pastel stationary.  What she'll do with it, I have no idea- but while she's busy with that I can stuff the trunk full of broken tape decks.  Win-win.

Planning for a Saturday trip,  I had gathered up a box of clothes and other items to take in (but I'm keeping all of my 1991 Buffalo Bills Zubas for those still following the joke), and off we went.   I of course had to see what audio treasure might be found and came up with this:

A nice Yamaha R300 stereo receiver, 1982 vintage.  In the store I noticed that the input selector switch was loose, but amazingly, the allen-style screw was still in place.  I am sure the receiver hadn't been at the thrift store long as a few flicks more of the input selector and that screw would have disappeared forever- it is TINY.  So, $24 later I had yet another piece of gear for which I have no real use.  I scrubbed it thoroughly, took off the top and blasted everything with canned air and Deoxit.  Amazingly, I had an allen wrench that fit the selector switch screw and was able to tighten it right up.  The selector switch is made of metal and has a great weight to it, with a wonderful tactile sensation when turned. (Looking at the picture I may have to re-seat the tape monitor button- crooked).   

Darned if it isn't EXACTLY like the selector switches on my new A-S2000 integrated amp.  Even the font is identical (that's branding for you), and the loudness is that same, graduated and very useful system Yamaha also  uses on the A-S2000.  The R300 has a 30 watt per channel amp, but it had no trouble whatsoever driving the Paradigm Mini Monitors to rock levels playing "Clockwork Angels" from the new Rush CD, and the FM tuner is quite good, even without a decent antenna.  On that same note, this one came with the original AM loop antenna.

Gotta love the faux vinyl wood grain.  It's in fantastic shape with no scratches, and the corners are still pretty sharp.  The only mark on the thing seems to be a slight scratch on the tuning knob, which I will gradually try to get out.  The weighting of the analog tuning knob is also terrific for such an inexpensive model.  I would imagine that in 1982 the quality of tuning knob feel was not unlike the sound of a car door closing on a dealer's lot as an arbiter of sales.  I've heard that Lexus spent tons of money getting that closing car door sound and feel just right- to exude a certain quality.  I can definitely see people in Crazy Eddie's during the late seventies and eighties on Route 347 near the Smith Haven Mall making that final decision between two similar receivers just by the way the tuning knob felt.

The spring-clip speaker terminals are better than average as well.  My NAD 3125 terminals are absolute junk by comparison, not to mention they have rusted and need to be cleaned or replaced.  The R300 must have been stored in a less humid environment because the terminal springs look rust-free and snap closed with authority.  In the near future I'd like to do a comparison between the R300 and the NAD 3125, as I think they were comparably priced.  Still a lot to learn about the R300, and I have to re-clean the balance control as it still has a little crackle.  All in all though, pretty neat!  Anyone with any info to share, I would be most appreciative!