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Yamaha R-S202 Receiver Review

Rate this stereo receiver:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 13 4.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 126 38.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 147 45.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 41 12.5%

  • Total voters
    327

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Yamaha R-S202 Receiver (tuner plus stereo amplifier) with Bluetooth. Money was kindly donated by a member for me to purchase it new for $200 from Amazon.
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Review.jpg

The R-S202 harkens back to the old days of receivers being the most popular way to play your content with inclusion of AM/FM receiver and preamplifier to select among your inputs. Alas, the volume control is the new incarnation with poor/stiff feeling but otherwise, a lot is familiar including bass and treble controls (which used to be knobs but now up and down buttons). The back really brings back old memories:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier remote control Review.jpg

I hated those spring speaker terminals then and now. They don't allow thick wires to be inserted and you never know how far you have pushed them looking from above. I know every cent needed to be saved here but are these really cheaper than standard binding posts??? Another factor is the attached cord which Japanese companies stick to in their budget audio products.

As you see a remote control is provided. No, you don't have motorized volume control. It is a digital rotary control which likely uses an analog programmable gain buffer.

Overall though, the impression is positive. The insides look roomy and while the heatsink is the spring metal type, it seems adequate for the job, making the unit pretty light to carry around. The amp space helps with cooling as in my testing, the top barely got warm above the heat sink.

Yamaha R-S202 Amplifier Measurements
For a long time I have standardized on setting the gain on integrated amplifiers to 29 dB. Lately I have been thinking that is a mistake as our DACs can output so much signal that can drive almost any amp to its full power at lower gain settings. So decided to dial that down to 25 dB (max was 33 dB and change). It should have a very slight impact on measurements, allowing direct comparison still be made. Here is our dashboard with that setting:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Measurement.png

Performance is just good enough to land in our "green" zone:
Best stereo receiver review 2024.png

Best stereo receiver review zoomed 2024.png

As noted in the graph, power supply noise is quite visible and partially responsible for not so excellent showing. We see that in our dynamic range measurements:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier SNR Measurement.png


This is a class AB amplifier so frequency response is wide and load independent:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Frequency Response Measurement.png


The bass control does what you expect but tweeter response is kind of wild:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier bass treble Frequency Response Measurement.png


Crosstalk/channel separation is very good:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Crosstalk Measurement.png


Multitone is good where it matters in mid frequencies:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Multitone Measurement.png


But highs suffer and this is reflected in 19+20 kHz IMD test:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier 19 20 kHz Measurement.png


Response is noise dominated until distortion sets in when sweeping for power:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Power 4 ohm Measurement.png

Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Power 8 ohm Measurement.png


Allowing 1% THD, we get our standardized power levels for 4 ohm:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Maxand Peak Power 4 ohm Measurement.png

That is good amount of headroom for bursty content as music would be.

Sweeping frequencies we get increased distortion at lower frequencies (and generally high noise level):
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Power 4 ohm vs frequency Measurement.png

But predictable response due again the amplifier being class AB. Design was quite stable, not shutting down even though the amplifier went into clipping at all frequencies.

The amplifier improved a bit as it warmed up:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Warm Up Measurement.png


There is significant spike in the output as you power the amplifier on and off even though it is going in and out of standby:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier on off noise pop Measurement.png

The more sensitive your speaker is, the more likely you will hear these noises.

Yamaha R-S202 Complex Load Testing
I was surprised to see Yamaha rate the amplifier down to 2 ohms in burst mode so powered up my reactive load test:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Power 4 ohm reactive Load Measurement.png

We see that it indeed is able to get down to 2 ohm. But change the phase angle and you barely make it out of 4 ohm and by 2 ohm, you better have basically resistive load:
Yamaha R-S202 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver Amplifier Power 4 ohm reactive Load Power Measurem...png


Conclusions
It is hard to imagine a major audio company can product such a receiver and get it to my door for $200. Measured performance is just acceptable which makes that even a more pleasant surprise. The design seemed robust handling many instances of me pushing it into really dire circumstances with very low impedances going even below 2 ohm. You can get better noise and distortion from other products at even lower costs but not with this feature set. Or looks for far listening.

I am going to put the Yamaha R-S202 stereo receiver on my recommended list.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
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You gotta love Yamaha, (almost) everything they do they do it well. This amp costs peanuts, looks nice, works well and probably will last and be seriously customer supported more than most of the current low cost SINAD wonders.
 
I'm sentimental about Yamahas,my first one is now in the hands of the forth or fifth (extended) family member,kind of a family legacy.

I'm surprised by the power of this one,I never expected them to do more than 50-70 watt given the size and heatsink!
And I'm more surprised that delivered even at 2 Ohm load (even in that limited condition).

Thanks Amir!
 
Yeah, but how's the AM radio?

Glad it's not too bad, but I'm a bit disappointed in this amp, even so. Tiny class D amps like the Aiyima at $65 do better. Although that particular one has less power.
 
Hi Amirm, thanks for the review.

Unusual product, nowadays. However given the price, with good performance.
It could be the good basis for a second home system, receiver, two speakers and a basic cable for streaming content via smartphone, or for the first system to start.
But maybe, the classic "shop" receiver where the radio plays all day at a low volume. Assuming I can use 4 speakers together (I see speakers A, B on the front).
Of course, for a little more I saw the 202D version with iDAB and Bluetooth. This becomes much more interesting and functional.
Do you know if the OUT output on the back can be used as a Pre-out? if so, with volume, it would be interesting for a class D power amplifier or a subwoofer.
 
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no way you are asking for even more functionality at this price point when this already has so much
No one has said that. I am just saying that today you get Sub out in amps like Fosi, Loxjie, Arylic (which I dont like) and others for less money and still with competitive specs. @amirm mentioned that for a Sub you need a HTR, but it would not be at this price point. You would need to at say $150 more.
 
Yamaha is making it very difficult to not come off sounding like a Fan Boy. It’s by no means perfect. But it’s $200. They are clearly getting the message sent by ASR among a couple others. Thanks for looking at this one.
 
How much more for some bass management?
 
How much more for some bass management?
Probably a lot in terms of decent performance.
MiniDSP still struggles after all these years and is still not perfect.

They could go analog though through the existing output ,except is a plain one,not affected by volume,balance,tones,etc.
 
Probably a lot in terms of decent performance.
MiniDSP still struggles after all these years and is still not perfect.

They could go analog though through the existing output ,except is a plain one,not affected by volume,balance,tones,etc.
Wonder if its just not in the marketing outlook. Minidsp struggles? Not sure what you mean by that last sentence....
 
Minidsp struggles? Not sure what you mean by that last sentence....
Have a look at their forum or this thread which resulted in a partial fix:

 
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