Popular Posts

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!
  

28 comments:

  1. I just got one of these at a garage sale for $25. Not in as good condition as yours. Was very impressed with the sound. I bought it for a friend but I'm having a hard time letting go of it. Nice find!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Indeed it is. I plan to give mine away. Give it away with joy and abandon- along with plans to show up at your friend/relatives house with beer and a plan to listen to good tunes on his or her "new" machine! That's my plan. Good audio needs to be shared!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just bought this model at a thrift shop for 32.00 it has a couple of dings but all in all it is in good shape and it has a good sound,
    I hooked it up to a couple of polk audio series 2 speakers that i also bought at a thrift shop for 30.00 bucks and it was a set of 4! yay!
    I like the look of the yamaha stereo receiver.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great find! I have cleaned mine up and given it away to a good friend where it will have a nice home. At that same thrift shop i also bought a pair of brand-new, in the box Polk Mini Monitors for $18, which probably replaces the Rotel 1040 DVD player for $7 as my greatest find ever. Things are tough now that people can sell things so easily on Ebay. Good luck with the R-300, it's really a nice little piece of kit!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have 2 of these R-300 Yamaha Receivers and I'm super impressed with them, hooked up to Paradigm Atoms V1, and a JVC JL A20 turntable. My question is: a) what can I clean the outside and shine them up with? b) What product can I use to clean the inside, I gather not to use air in a can as it can leave moisture? c) How can I restore the lighted face, as the numbers do not light up as they had previously? I took a look inside and the little bulb seems to be soldered. I live in Vancouver Canada, not much here in repair shops that I know of, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, two? I did give mine to a friend, so I can't open it up and comment on the lighting issue, although if you can get to the bulb with a soldering iron it may not be too big a job to replace. Many people are using LEDs as replacements in older equipment so the lights are unlikely to die, but it is a slightly different hue. For cleaning, I do use canned air, the kind for computers, but I always spray several inches away from circuit boards and then vacuum up loose dust. No problems with moisture that way. For cleaning the face a very small amount of alcohol on a die and chemical free sponge seems to work on all but the most stubborn markings or heavy oxidation. To clean the connections I use CAIG, available here:
      http://www.amazon.com/Booster-Electric-Connection-Enhancer-Lubricant/dp/B0002BBVN2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1366248556&sr=8-3&keywords=contact+cleaner

      and I am just careful to not over do it. On plastic use the cleaner and cloth for plasma screen tvs to avoid scratches. Hope that helps a little-

      Delete
  6. I just got one of these from a friend who had no use for it, just a couple of questions though. I've been running Sony equipment and all I did was pull the wires from my old broken Sony and hooked up the Kenwood but I can't turn it up at all, its distorted and extremely loud and thats just turning it to 2 on the volume. I ran new speaker wire and no help, I went from the A speakers to the B speakers and just as loud from both ports. Is it just too powerful for my Sony equipment?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it is too powerful for your Sony stuff, it sounds like something is wrong. Couple of questions- did the Yamaha work okay when your friend had it? Have you tested all of the line-level inputs with an appropriate source (such as a CD player)? If you can, give me some more details about how you are hooking things up-

      Delete
  7. Thank you that was very informative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome! Let me know how your cleaning efforts work out. I just picked up an old NAD 3020 receiver and I will be very challenged to clean it! In fact, once that's done it may still need a re-paint. . .

      Delete
  8. Just got one in perfect condition at a Salvation Army for $3.99!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Score! I love how the post about this humble yet excellent receiver is by far the most viewed. It generates far more interest than my yamaha A-S2000. Maybe I gave away the wrong amp . . .

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the the old equipment...I have bought several sansui and the best finds are the old radio shack brand realistic receivers

    ReplyDelete
  11. I liked my Yamaha R300 that recently in one of my visits to a thrift store i found a CR-820 but they where asking $150.00 USD so i did not buy it that day.
    I went back the next day and they had marked down to $129.00 and with my military discount it came out to $116.00 and it sounds and looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have you beat. I got a beautiful r300 at a salvation army for $4 bucks i couldnt believe it. Thee was a tape deck for a couple bucks more that i got also but the tape deck needs works. But o lovve this receiver, love the green glow and the stereo tuning lights.

    ReplyDelete
  13. how expensive is it to fix the background lights on a yamaha r 300?

    ReplyDelete
  14. My neighbor gave me one of these a few months ago. Finally had a chance to give it a go. Have cheap Sony speakers hooked up. The FM sounds great. It still has the funky selector, but the screw is gone. Will try and figure out a way to make it stay put. What's the deal with the "Loudness" dial as opposed to the "Volume"? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  15. My apologies to everyone for being away and missing some of these great comments. I was very busy working on the show "Modern Family" as a body double for Sofia Vergara. I will follow up on questions and see what I can discover.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I visited a garage sale at the end of the day, they were packing up and they gave me my Yamaha r-300. They were going to throw it out otherwise. It was missing the input selector switch so I got a fairly generic switch from an electronic store. Looks ok. But my display globe blew. Does anyone know what the replacement part is?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Free= Great deal! I did give my unit away, but I will try to find out if the fellow I gave it to can pop it open and get any information on the bulb. Another option (if you are in the US) might be bringing the old bulb into a radio Shack and seeing if they have an LED replacement. You might also want to contact one of the many EBay sellers who do replacement LEDs for vintage gear. I have seen numerous refurbished Yamaha receivers (usually the fancier models) that I would bet use the same exact bulb. Again, they might be able to hook you up with a replacement LED that will last pretty much forever. Congrats on the great find!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am an original owner of an R-300. I bought it and it's accompanying turntable when I finally saved up enough money from my first real job. The turntable is gone but no way was I going to part with the receiver. Yes, the quality and weight of the tuning knob meant a whole lot back then. Yes, 30 watts - like a real thirty watts - could drive a lot of sound. In it's price range, this little guy was about the best...Yamaha made really good stuff back then. So, about a week ago my 12 year decided that he wants to start listening to vinyl. I told him we have just the receiver for it. Then I started pulling out some old vinyl that I had, and check this out: Dead Europe 72 in mint condition, Tom Petty Damn the Torpedos, Cheap Trick In Color, Bowie Changes One, Ramones It's Alive, The Police Zenyatta Mondatta, and.....Michael Jackson Thriller. I'm going to buy vintage turntable on eBay, fire up a phaser and listen to some cool tunes the way they should be played.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well that gets my vote for best . . . comment . . . ever! (Well, so far, anyway)

      Delete
  19. I have been enjoying my R-300 for about 30 years. I bought it paired with a couple of Marantz DS 940's that are still going strong. I included my JBL Century L100's to the system and have rocked my vinyl on a regular basis. The 30 WPC and the smooth sound of the R-300 have kept me very happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All of these great comments about the R300. If anyone is interested in sharing a picture of their R300 in their set up, send it along to me and I will gather them together in one place!

      Delete
  20. Do you know if there is a way to connect 4 speakers on this receiver? I know that there is a A+B channel, but it says 16 ohms minimum, and my speakers are 8 ohms. I find it a bit odd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have had 6 speakers connected to mine for years. On the 'A' channel I have two JBL L100's and two Marantz DS940's and on the 'B' channel I have two Kicker outdoor speakers for the patio. All of them rock!

      Delete
  21. Is it possible to connect 4 speakers on this receiver? I know that there is a A+B channel, but it requires 16 ohms speakers max, which doesn't make sense to me because my speakers are 8 ohms.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Unfortunately, I do not have the amp any more and did not test it with more than one pair of speakers when I had it. it does have the proper hookups to do so, but there is always a danger when running multiple pairs of speakers as the impedance can drop low enough to trip the protection fuse or even damage the amplifier. There are numerous audio sites on the interwebs that provide guidelines for connecting multiple speakers, most of which are by people more knowledgeable than I. If you have trouble finding one let me know and i can make some suggestions.

    ReplyDelete