Yamaha C-50 Preamplifiers

C-50

Natural Sound Preamp w/ Turnover Tone Control Frequencies

User Reviews (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6  
Just a Big Kid at Heart   AudioPhile [Jun 18, 2005]
Strength:

Audio quality. This preamp doesn't add much of its own noise so I leave the Disc Direct switch off.

Weakness:

Well, it doesn't have a remote control, but if you like vintage gear (like I do) you also like the process of flipping switches and making adjustments to get it just the way you want it...

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!

Similar Products Used: Adcom, Crown
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
hf   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 05, 2002]
Strength:

Very functional,high quality,low noise design. Great dollar value!

Weakness:

The volume control pot has left channel sound leakage when turned fully ccw. This has been totally corrected on 3 occasions with Ideal electronic contact spray.

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.

Similar Products Used: Used with carverm400,hologram generator,Teac tapedeck,Technics tapedeck,2Yamaha tuners,4B&W speakers ,Sony receiver.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Robert Yee   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 18, 1999]
Strength:

Superior construction; excellent heavy duty power supply. High quality long lasting pots and switches.

Weakness:

Outdated tone control technology

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 However, if you like tone controls, you will have to modify the circuit as the chips used in this section are outdated and are disastorious to the sound.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.

Similar Products Used: Onkyo P304, NAD 1600, Hafler DH-101, DH-100
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
TODD   an Audio Enthusiast [Jun 05, 1999]

I just purchased this preamp used along with the Yamahe M-50 Power Amp and what a team ! This preamp may be 15 years old - but it sounds much warmer and more natural than any of the preamps on the market today. There really is something to be said for some of the older more classic equipment on the market today as opposed to their digital bretheren.
No hint of distortion - and adjustable frequencies for crossovers ( continuosly variable ) - similar to a parametric but with more control.

If you can find this used - buy it - you'll love it !

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Bruce Morgen   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 22, 2000]
Strength:

Nice overall sound with tone controls switched out

Weakness:

Cheap relays used in low-level circuits are unreliable

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.

Similar Products Used: Low-end Adcom preamps
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
John Dooley   Audiophile [Oct 21, 2000]
Weakness:

Cheap copper inserts in the inputs & outputs come off. Easly out classed by other high end companies

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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