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REVIEW: Yamaha CR-620 Receiver

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Model: CR-620
Category: Receiver
Suggested Retail Price: $50
Description: 35 watt stereo receiver
Manufacturer URL: Yamaha
Manufacturer URL: Yamaha

Review by Tuneman ( A ) on May 15, 2003 at 12:07:47
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for the CR-620

I figured that I would write a review of the CR-620 since I have refered to it a number of times in my postings and have really failed to give it a proper review. So here goes: I picked this unit up at a local store one day based on the fact that I really liked my CA1010 intergrated amp and the price was right, a meager 40 dollars. I did not know what to expect in that all I was told about the unit was that it was rated around 35 watts @ 8 ohms, so I had to let my ears be the judge as to whether it is a good unit or not. I have used this receiver with a few pairs of speakers and several sources, as well as the tuner section for about a year now and it has yet to really let me down. The most notable Combination was the KG 3.5's and the Apex Digital AD-1200 with zip cord and the free IC's that came with the AD-1200, as it proved to be the worst in my opinion, in that it was bright, harsh, and had an overall sense of grunge to the sound. The best combination seemed to be the CR-8's w/ Monster XP, Sony CE-275 w/ DIY IC's made from Phone wire. I was heavy into Sting that week when I first brought the unit home so I loaded up the cd player with "Mercury Falling", "Brand New Day" and "Ten Summoner's Tales". The other 2 slots were loaded with "August & Everything After" & "This Desert Life" from Counting Crows, if I remember correctly. I believe that I was using a Radio Shack Gold IC at the time and My set of Titans with the CE-275, which had a fairly musical sound as I listened to those 5 CDs. I wanted to really push the CR-620 when I got it home so most of my first listening session was done with the gain turned up to #4, which in Yamaha's gear seems to be about 11 O'clock. I had no trouble filling the large room with sound and still maintaining control over the sound. Of course when I tried to play "Ace of Spades", from Motorhead, I quickly learned that the CR-620 was not the best receiver to crank out heavy metal at loud volumes, but at lower levels it was toe tapping at its best. I compared the CR-620 to the Marantz Model 22, a 40 watt @ 8 ohm receiver and while the Model 22 was a bit smoother, the tuner section of the CR-620 seemed to capture a signal much better with my makeshift 18 guage zip cord antenna. With moderatly demanding music, the CR-620 does a fine job. It is a fairly balanced sound with forward sounding speakers like the Titans and a bit leaner when using very warm sounding speakers like the CR8's. While I have yet to take the plunge into vinyl, it does have a phono input as well as 2 tape inputs, which is a plus as I am a big fan of single well tape decks when I am listening to tapes and making a recording. I am not sure if the phone input is MM or MC. It also has the standard tone controls along with a low filter, for which I am told is to remove rumble in your turntable and a high filter, which is a nice feature as it seems to truncate less of the highs than does the Dolby noise reduction on my Teac V-350 deck when listening to some of my less than perfect tapes of jam sessions and live stuff. The CR-620 is not a powerhouse by any strech, but it does seem to make up for that in build quality. About 6 months ago it started to get some static in the volume pot, so off to the bench it went for a good cleaning. When I popped the top off I was impressed with large transformer and good sized filter caps(I forget the rating). After it was all buttoned up, it preformed like a champ. While not one of my "daily drivers", I still hook up the CR-620 from time to time and enjoy it.

Product Weakness: None for the price...
Product Strengths: Solid and Ruggedly built, can be had cheaply...

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Marantz Model 22 & CR-620
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): none
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Apex Digital AD-1200, Sony CE275, Sony C225, Pioneer PD-F605, Teac V350, Denon DR-M30HX
Speakers: Klipsch KG 3.5,Boston Acoustics CR8, Mini Monitor, Titan
Cables/Interconnects: Monster XP, double run of 18 guage zip cord,DIY, Radio Shack, Monster 550i &
Music Used (Genre/Selections): A bit of everything I have
Room Size (LxWxH): 25 x 12 x 7
Room Comments/Treatments: Wood panel basement with Velvet Elvis painting near first reflection point & blanket
Time Period/Length of Audition: 1 year
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): Leviton Isolated ground Receptacle W/ 12 guage cord Teac EQ-A20 EQ
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner
Your System (if other than home audition): see tuneman's systems

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Topic - REVIEW: Yamaha CR-620 Receiver - Tuneman 12:07:47 05/15/03 ( 1)