Yamaha RX-397 Receivers

RX-397

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

User Reviews (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3  
Michel Lariviere   AudioPhile [Dec 24, 2010]

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!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ron medel   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 16, 2006]
Strength:

This unit truly harkens to earlier yamaha products; solid, excellent circuity and simple, clean lines. Has direct phono jacks. Radio reception is just fine, thank you. But it's the knobs; you get to adjust however you feel your music. Even the remote is simple. And what's up with the rock bottom price? They're giving these things away!

Weakness:

The only "extra" feature is the pure direct, which really is just a built-in equalizer. Didn't need it.

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.

Similar Products Used: denon 295, 395, 695. harmon kardon.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
fattony17   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 10, 2005]
Strength:

- Excellent sound quality - Solid construction - Attractive and simple design - Many knobs! - Variable loudness control - Good radio tuner - Plenty of inputs (including phono)

Weakness:

- Tiny, unattractive remote (the older paddle-style remote that came with the rx396 was much cooler, imho) - No A/V capabilities - two channel stereo only! (more of a limitation than a weakness I would say)

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.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha CR-1020, RX-396
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-3 of 3  

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