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Yamaha C-50
6 Reviews
rating  4 of 5
MSRP  530.00
Description: Natural Sound Preamp w/ Turnover Tone Control Frequencies


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Just a Big Kid at Heart a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I find the C-50 to have a good, warm sound. I don't use the tone controls much, but they sound fine and the variable turnover frequency allows very subtle adjustments for your speaker placement in the room.

There are a substantial number of controls under the front-panel cover, but once I had them set to my system I never even opened the cover. The switches give a nice solid click as you activate them and the volume control has a pretty good feel to it and a nice audio taper.

The phono section is is very quiet. My B&O MM turntable/cartridge sounds great through it. I don't have an MC cartridge.

I really like this pre!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $125.00

Purchased At:   eBay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by hf a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I bought the C-45 Yamaha preamp in the mid 1980s. The unit has high input overload on phono magnetic preamp section.I no longer utilize the phono section but find the two tape inputs and outputs handy with the associated features. Specifically the record output selector switch. The unit is cheap nowadays considering what some preamps are priced at. It is very versitile with a ready combination of inputs and outputs on the rear panel.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $529.00

Purchased At:   Natural Sound



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by John Dooley a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Bought this Yamaha C-50 pre-amp to go with a Yamaha M-45 amp back in the mid to late 1980's. It lasted over 10 years, did better than the Yamaha M-45 amp in controlling sound. When I bought some Martin Logan SL-3 speakers, the Yamaha M-45 amp was the 1st to go, the Yamaha C-50 pre-amp stayed a little longer until replaced with an Audio Research LS-9 pre-amp (which lasted a year) & then an Audio Research LS-16 pre-amp (I am now happy). When I replaced the Yamaha M-50 amp with an Aragon 8008BB amp, the Martin Logan SL-3 speakers came alive in purity, presence & strength. Later when I replaced the Yamaha C-50 with the Audio Research pre-amps, I notice a difference in purity only. I am more pleased with how the Yamaha C-50 stood up against higher class pre-amps than the Yamaha M-45 amp did against better amps. The phono stage in the Yamaha C-50 was nice with the MM & MC settings, dial settings were to the point & easy to use. I was so use to the tape loops with the Yamaha C-50, that I miss them with the Audio Research pre-amps. One bad thing about the Yamaha C-50 pre-amp was the cheap copper inserts in the inputs & outputs, what was Yamaha thinking; when taking off interconnects, the copper inserts would come off half the time & were hard to put back on. They were sharp & could cut your hands. This Yamaha C-50 pre-amp is outdated & better pre-amps are in the market place. Look else where.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Purchased At:   Roger Sound Labs



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Bruce Morgen a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 22, 2000

Bottom Line:   
This is a nice-sounding solid-state preamp when it works
and if you don't engage the tone control circuitry --
"when it works" being the watchword. Mine has been
nothing but trouble since I bought it used from Soundex in
Willow Grove, PA about ten years ago, mostly because of
about half a dozen cheap Matsush'ta (Aromat in the USA)
relays, some of which are in very low-level areas of the
circuitry. These relays have clear plastic dust covers
but are *not* environmentally sealed and have failed on a
regular basis -- I'm fed up now and will be dumping the
piece soon rather than replacing yet another flakey relay.
If you replace *every* relay with Aromat's best-sealed
alternative, you *might* have a decent preamp. Another
reviewer has recommended replacing some inexpensive tone
control chips, but since I leave the tone controls
switched out that was never an issue here.

On the plus side, the phono preamp section is excellent,
very low noise and a clean, warm sound with my ancient
Shure V15 Type II. Never tried an MC cartridge with it.
The large, rectangular pushbuttons for selecting inputs
are egonomically pleasant and emit a satisfying electro-
mechanical click when pressed -- very "retro!"

In summary, a potentially excellent solid-state preamp
pretty much ruined by a single procurement decision by
Yamaha. If you buy one, be prepared the change out every
relay (*don't* buy Yamaha's overpriced replacements, which
are no better than the originals, get Aromat's best-
sealed alternative from an industrial electronics
distributor) or suffer with intermittent channel cut-out
and/or distortion. My verdict is bespoken by the fact
that anyone who wants mine can have it in exchange for a
modest sum of cash or a serviceable pair of small
speakers.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert Yee a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 18, 1999

Bottom Line:   
This is a very good preamp with a rich warm overall flavor. However, if you like tone controls, you will have to modify the circuit as the chips used in this section are outdated and are disastorious to the sound. The chips used are JRC 4560's which at the time of construction were the best bipolar chip available but are now hopelessly outdated. The simplest remedy is to change these two chips located just behind the tone controls to current technology ones. The superior BI-FET Analog devices AD-712 can be substituted easily (available from Old Colony Sound Labs 1-603-924-6371) and you will be stunned by the difference!! The chips are about $5 each and you can have your local shop install them for a reasonable fee should you be unfamiliar with electronics. With this change I wholeheartedly agree that this is a wonderful sounding preamp well worth the time buying and modifying. My rating, modified, is five stars for sound and value otherwise two for sound and two for value.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995




Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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