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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 38.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 147 45.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 40 12.3%

  • Total voters
    326

DanTheMan

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Prior to connecting this receiver I had an old school T-amp that was hyped many years ago. Many of you will know it. It’s crap on the grand scheme of things with no redeeming features except that it’s cheap and it works for low output music in a near field arrangement. People and their opinions… LOL Then I tried an old accurian amp from the now defunct Radio Shack for $10 (it’s original price was much higher and it was actually made to get an audio signal through the wall outlet if I remember correctly). I modified it to work with a standard line level input through RCA connectors. Some of you will likely remember that fad as well. It was definitely an improvement, but this Yamaha is a different class of product. It has power and sounds clean. It has all the power I need plus enough inputs for a turntable, my keyboard (via my computer), cassette deck, CD player, etc…. My iPad doesn’t recognize its Bluetooth signal but my Qudelix 5K will enable room correction anyway as will my computer which is how I’m going to connect my keyboard just for that ability. I’ve got a of Canton subs that accept speaker level inputs…. This will be awesome when I put it all together. I’m definitely impressed by the amplifier section of the receiver. The tuner is just okay. The Bose radio I have picks up more stations with less static, but I still get the Classical, Jazz, and NPR. That’s all I need. The remote control is a huge feature as well. I’m all set.

edit: I’ll read the manual tomorrow. Maybe there’s some nifty trick for the Bluetooth.

Now I’m going to state an opinion: we bicker and nitpick as a group too much on this site. I got my JDS Atom, my Qudelix 5K, Hidizs S8, a couple cheap and great IEMs, and it confirmed my suspicions that my HD650 is hard to beat. This site has gotten me into house wide and portable fidelity beyond what I would have found without a lot more financial output and trial and error and not to mention time. Time is more valuable than money. Use it wisely and stay civil. This site is a gem. Thank you @amirm
 

TheBatsEar

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New? That's nuts.

Friend of a friend has one with a pair of Teufel Ultima 60 (cheap floorstanders, 4 ohm). They seem to be hard to drive, he says if the amps volume is set to 60% it overheats after a minute or so and turns off.

As he also was complaining about incredibly boomy and loud bass, i recommended to get a pair of small 8 ohm stand mounts and any cheap subwoofer. Should be easy to place the sub where it's less boomy or simply turn it down a bit.
 

DanTheMan

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New? That's nuts.

Friend of a friend has one with a pair of Teufel Ultima 60 (cheap floorstanders, 4 ohm). They seem to be hard to drive, he says if the amps volume is set to 60% it overheats after a minute or so and turns off.

As he also was complaining about incredibly boomy and loud bass, i recommended to get a pair of small 8 ohm stand mounts and any cheap subwoofer. Should be easy to place the sub where it's less boomy or simply turn it down a bit.
New.

I was blasting this thing last night and it was still only moderately warm to the touch. Of course I only did it for a few minutes because it was definitely louder than I wanted to listen and what I should have been listening to it at that hour. Nonetheless, it was bass heavy rap music at house party levels. I wonder if those speakers’ impedance curve dips really low…

I think you gave him sound advice. No pun intended.

I couldn’t be happier with this so far.
 

TheBatsEar

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I was blasting this thing last night and it was still only moderately warm to the touch.
How much current has to be delivered depends highly on the speakers. Yours seem to be benign, those Teufel ones are a hard case.
Again, the problem isn't that the amp can't deliver the current, it's the anemic heat sink. In theory a small fan could solve it, i believe. The heat sinks in the A-S300/301 are much better, but of course there is a price to be paid.
 

DanTheMan

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I thought about getting the as301, but I just couldn’t resist the low price. I’m going to do some longer stress tests today. The room its going to stay in is half it the size of the room it’s currently in. I’m fairly certain it’s going to be okay, but I am going to put it through its paces—in fact I am right now.
 

DanTheMan

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Yeah, playing this loud enough so that the whole house has music for several hours and it’s just barely warm. I’m likely set for the next decade or more. Of course my subwoofers are nearly 15 years old at this point, but they show no signs of giving up yet. They’ve only been used through the subwoofer inputs though. I’m not sure how long they’ll hold up with the speaker level input.
 

beagleman

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To help maybe put things in perspective.

In 1981 I purchased a Harman Kardon 20 watt/channel receiver (HK350i) which I still have in perfect working order.....also a good bit under-rated power wise, but....
It cost literally $219.99

The competitors, Yamaha, Pioneer and Technics, had some similar priced receivers also, that were closer to 35-45 watts for about the same price as my old HK.
Fast forward to now.....:oops:
 

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dr0ss

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In 1981 I purchased a Harman Kardon 20 watt/channel receiver (HK350i) which I still have in perfect working order.....also a good bit under-rated power wise, but....
It cost literally $219.99
I miss the loudness button on receivers.
I've never seen a 'blend' function (other than "mono/stereo", of course); this controls stereo separation somehow?
 

DanTheMan

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To help maybe put things in perspective.

In 1981 I purchased a Harman Kardon 20 watt/channel receiver (HK350i) which I still have in perfect working order.....also a good bit under-rated power wise, but....
It cost literally $219.99

The competitors, Yamaha, Pioneer and Technics, had some similar priced receivers also, that were closer to 35-45 watts for about the same price as my old HK.
Fast forward to now.....:oops:
I do think that the vast majority of older receivers look better than the ones made today. Yours may not have been the cream of the crop, but in the world of Hollywood, she’s a solid Jennifer Aniston and she’s aged well. Congratulations on that.
 

beagleman

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I miss the loudness button on receivers.
I've never seen a 'blend' function (other than "mono/stereo", of course); this controls stereo separation somehow?

Yes, full Mono to full stereo and everything in between. Not sure I really would say it was all that useful, when It was in daily use never found a real need to ever do anything other than full mono or full stereo...so?
 

beagleman

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I do think that the vast majority of older receivers look better than the ones made today. Yours may not have been the cream of the crop, but in the world of Hollywood, she’s a solid Jennifer Aniston and she’s aged well. Congratulations on that.
It stood out back in the day, with the Champagne light gold color for sure. It had like a "Classy" odd look, but that was "Back then",

What sold me on it, was, even back in 1981 it had a slightly "better" sound quality than any other $300.00 or less receiver I compared it to. I have no idea why, but its puny 20 watts just had some oomph that Sony, Pioneer, Yamaha, and Technics lacked, going from 40 some year old memories.
 

Bob101

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It stood out back in the day, with the Champagne light gold color for sure. It had like a "Classy" odd look, but that was "Back then",

What sold me on it, was, even back in 1981 it had a slightly "better" sound quality than any other $300.00 or less receiver I compared it to. I have no idea why, but its puny 20 watts just had some oomph that Sony, Pioneer, Yamaha, and Technics lacked, going from 40 some year old memories.
Harman Kardon in the early eighties were famously conservative with their power ratings. My PM650 integrated from 1981 delivers 50Wpc in 8ohm, but it blew my Yamaha A-S501 (85Wpc) away. Can not not keep up with the A-S1100, but sounds a lot fuller and most of all: more enthousiastic. Of course there's more distortion, but let's call it character and nice.
 

DanTheMan

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I had a Harman Kardon HK3490 that was rated for 120w/channel, maybe 130, and I’m sure they didn't shortchange me. That thing was wild and the ex-wife still uses it as her daily driver. Keep in mind that she had/has no particular love for it, but she had/has to have it. It wasn’t as pretty as @beagleman’s, but it had it where it counts. The tuner seemed to pick up better than this Yamaha’s as well. I’m going to get a better antenna for this one though. I’m fairly certain i had a nice Channel Master antenna on the HK. This one is the wire from inside the box. The classical channel can be a bit noisy as is.
 

Count Dacula

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AVRs are a lot more intimidating to use. You almost have to connect them to a display which many people don't want to do in other rooms in the house, businesses, etc.
I dislike AVRs for a number of reasons, so I stuck it out with a couple of modest old 2ch receivers of good brands. In places that power amps were not feasible, this was my preferred way. I do 2ch AV, so....yeah, I like a decent 2ch set-up w/bookshelves or modest towers.

One day at my place in Daytona, the old receiver goes pop. I had already hauled speakers there from PA, so nfw am I going cold turkey for a few months over the winter. This was 5 or 6 years ago, before I was at ASR, so I checked out my options and was surprised to find ANYTHING not an AVR, and the price got me into a place where I could be open minded about a new 2ch receiver. I think the speakers were KEF Q95s or similar, so I expected them to be underpowered compared to other poweramps they saw, like ADCOM 545-II. Needless to say I was pretty pleased. Without a sub, the system was fine for music videos and movies. It would be great to have a sub out and maybe analog rotary tone, but no complaints. This kind of all-day entertainment center works nicely in 2ch w/o a sub and less idle power draw is preferred too.

Since then, the Yamaha has plenty of hard use, D&B and Madchester et al. Shifting around speakers and amps got it paired up with different KEF and now some Polk speakers, 2x6" drivers, I forget the model, nothing special. The trick here is an old Polk passive 8"sub that I would struggle to integrate into any of my other systems, it works great with those cheap Polk bookshelfs. Power is just about right and the sub iis available at the touch of the speaker selectors, although it be "hard wired" and run parallel just the same.

Sorry for the stream of consciousness post, but not often do I already own the equipment in review, especially for an extended timeframe. In short, I would recommend this for my old school friends who wanna get back into 2ch, and put their leftover budget into speakers. This thing can drive pretty much any starter-mid-old school speakers just fine for "party" volumes. When they are ready to upgrade the amp, they are ready and an old $200 receiver shouldn't stop the show if they really want a better amp.. They will be best served by owning the nicer better speakers later on, with the RS-202 as a placeholder until the upgrade....which will be tricky in itself. The Yamaha makes putting a system together EASY....DAC, RS-202 and the magic lies in selecting a speaker that suits the listener. The RS-202 gives people an opportunity to get back "into" music without the stress of an expensive purchase. Hell, I would put this receiver with $1000 speakers in a starter system.

Also, for a 2nd system. Mine is in the Outer Banks now, at a property that is flood prone, perched atop a big plastic shelf, lol. I don't care if it and the Polks get swept into the North Atlantic, THAT is the best function for old systems, at your getaway man cave. This is an an old Well Fargo bank with a vault, I can really crank up the sound. I tortured it into shutdown many times with driving 3 and 4 speaker set-ups there. I need a system, and why should it cost money?

I remember last year, this song was the nail in the coffin for shutdown....

 
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Count Dacula

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If I did this right, the $200 Yamaha in 2024 would cost about $53 in 1980 dollars.

Screenshot 2024-04-29 002242.png


The old electronics we loved were very expensive then, if you look at TVs or VCRs (lol)
Lets do this the other way around...


ddwdwdwdwdwd.png



A respectable receiver in 1980 was about $500. I could be wrong and am happy to revise this number. It comes out to $1900 in 2024. A $400 receiver would still be $1500 now. I dunno about $219 as a list price...? Closing in on MSRP $1000 ballpark, I guess

So in retrospect, we get incredible price/performance today, despite how we feel on Memory Lane.
 
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Count Dacula

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I found this one for a Nakamichi SR2 Receiver in 1992, the mid one with 55wpc

$1500 is like the magic number.
Screenshot 2024-04-30 224030.png
 
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