Yamaha RX-397 Receivers

4.33/5 (3 Reviews) MSRP : $300.00


Product Description

  • Pure Direct Amplification
  • High Sound Quality
  • High Dynamic Power Capability
  • 40-Station AM/FM Random Access Preset
  • Low-Impedance Power Supply


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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michel Lariviere a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 24, 2010

Bottom Line:   
The best Receiver i bought.Had Tecnics and Sony before.Great sound...like the "loudness"damping at 1 khz...A real good stereo receiver for $250(march 2009.If you want stereo only,it is the right thing to buy!!You can ear the Yamaha quality.Love it!!!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2009



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ron medel a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 16, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Where are the mid-price, mid-fi 2-channel stereo receivers? Is everything going multi-channel, multi-feature? Our upstairs living room provides nearly perfect sound phonics for stereo music. We listen to music, not movies and did not want another multi-surround set (that's downstairs). But no way could we justify hi-fi (ad-com, rotel, etc.), so when this unit showed up new in 2005 it immediately caught my eye. Boy is this a simple set; no frills or extras at all. It's all ear candy, deep clean bass, clear mids, sharp highs (even higher with the "pure direct" feature but the highs are sharp enough without). And knobs. Real knobs for bass, treble, mid, and even loudness. I had to have it and was I ever glad I waited. An audio friend showed up that first night and thought the test vinyls (neil young) sounded better than the cd's, but he was getting giddy, too.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $229.00

Purchased At:   etronics



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by fattony17 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 10, 2005

Bottom Line:   
This receiver was purchased to replace an aging Yamaha CR-1020 Natural Sound that was having problems with the left channel cutting out. I had briefly owned a Rx-396 a number of years back and was very pleased with the sound/features, so decided to give the 397 a try.

First impressions: pretty much all modern Yamahas are much smaller than the massive CR-1020, which is nice, though I was struck with the weight of the 397. Just enough to feel quite substantial, but not as back-breaking as the 1020. Setup was straightforward. As far as features go, I was very pleased that Yamaha retained the variable loudness control (a superb feature sadly missing on their lower-end A/V receivers - I asked the guy at Best Buy about it and he was like "huh?") and an input selection knob instead of a set of buttons. Turning knobs is such a satisfying experience. The number of inputs is adequate for my usage (+1 from the 1020), though I miss the ability to control which input is directed to the tape monitors independent from which is directed to the speakers. The 1020's two headphone jacks go down to one in the 397 (no complaint; I hardly ever use headphones with the receiver, and certainly never two sets at once!). The ability to store radio presets is a nice improvement over the older receiver with its analog tuner (but too bad it is not knob-controlled!) And I do miss those beautiful analog level meters. Also, the rx396's digital radio signal level meter is missing from the front display. The "pure direct" switch, which bypasses all pre-amp tone controls for a "cleaner" sound is nice in principle, though I don't really find myself using it much. The volume knob is nice and big, with a good feel to it (certainly much better than the 396, which felt cheap).

But how does it sound?? I bought this receiver "sound unheard" so to speak, without much worry, because I have great confidence in Yamaha's product quality. The only concern I had was the drop in power from the 1020's 80watts/channel to the 397's 50. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. This receiver retains that beautiful, well-balanced, tight sound that is what I love about Yamaha. The power difference is noticeable, but still more than enough to drive my vintage Advent "Loud Speakers" (which still sound amazing after 30+ years!) The sound quality is if anything, a bit tighter, crisper than the 1020 it replaces, which is a welcome change as I like the added "punch" and definition. There is no discernable noise added by the amplifier - it is a very quiet unit.

I strongly recommend this product to anyone who loves music and wants an attractive, high quality receiver without spending a fortune. The Rx-397 is doubtless one of the great bargains out there today.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $249.00

Purchased At:   Electronics Warehous




Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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