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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
FM isnt really a 'thing' either given its most very very MoR breakfast radio... you know... Nickelback, Taylor Swift....
I still have FM on the radio in my car on the way to work. I like listening to some local morning shows. They typically don’t play any music. So it informs me on community. There is a college station in my town that does a pretty fun job of curating 80s and 90s playlists. They dive into some of the deeper tracks that i barely remember or in some cases never heard. I’m sure I could get that with streaming, but at least it’s not curated by some algorithm I listened to last week. it’s kinda cool to hear what a DJ likes once you like their taste. But agree with you, radio is pretty much a dying thing.
 
Great review, I hope we get to see more Yamaha integrateds and receivers reviewed, it would be cool to know if there's a point of diminishing returns in the model lineup

Regarding radio: I'm lucky to live somewhere that still has excellent FM and AM radio stations, so I still tune in (usually via Internet radio streams, admittedly) at home or at work
 
Ma sono d'accordo con te, la radio è praticamente una cosa morente.
no! Why?
let's hope not!!

Radio is fun!!

I always use it, in fact, now even when I go on longer trips I always use it. I can hear music, news, stories, traffic, weather forecasts... in the car after a while I get bored just listening to music!!! I already do it at my house!! ;)
 
I see this amplifier at at Goodwill often for less than $40. I picked up the R-N303 for $50.
 
Hummm ??
A receiver for the 2024 market without a digital input, a HDMI input, a turntable input?
But it does have a tape loop for your cassette recorder.
Sorry Amir, this might have been OK in 1980 but today?
 
The thing about radio usage in US is that majority of it is in the car. People use them during the commute (as I do). Just looked up the stats and the next location is at work: https://www.westwoodone.com/blog/2023/07/03/nielsen-audio-today-2023-am-fm-radio-is-americas-1-mass-reach-media-with-65-of-listening-taking-place-out-of-home/#:~:text=91% of Americans are reached,ad-supported Spotify (17%)

"44% of all AM/FM radio listening occurs in the car. 19% occurs at work and 2% occurs in some other place."

Yeh, they seem to not know any math as the above doesn't add up to 100%! :eek:
35% is at home, which a decent amount. (I'd bet most of time while cooking, working or out in yard/garage.)
They wrote the article in a funny way.
"In an average week, 65% of all AM/FM radio listening takes place away from the home."
44% car + 19%work + 2% other =65%
 
We've got a lot of spec-chasers here and I'm admittedly one of them.

But on the other hand I think people are really kidding themselves if they think there's going to be some kind of meaningful real-world difference between this and a 85db SINAD amp.

Sure, maybe with higher-end speakers and a well-configured listening room but if you're looking at Revels you're not looking at $200 receivers in the first place.

This is a great system for somebody who wants a fun 2.0 setup. Gifted some Overnight Sensations speakers to a friend 5 years ago. Gave them some amp options including mini amps and they chose the Sony STR-DH190 that's awfully similar to this Yamaha S-202. Why? They valued the extra inputs relative to palmtop amps from SMSL/Topping/etc and the space savings weren't an issue because it was going into an existing A/V shelf. The older R-S201 which was available at the time didn't have Bluetooth so I think that's why they chose the Sony over the Yamaha.

They run that thing 12+ hours a day at fairly high volume so that's 20,000+ hours of active duty so far. (and yes I'm being very literal with those numbers!) I would expect the Yamaha to be similarly durable.

Not sure a mini amp will be that durable. Although, then again, I have a SMSL SA-60 amp currently on Year 9. But it's in use less than 1 hour per day and only at low volumes.
 
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Also, am I alone in the following thinking?

While a palmtop amp is obviously smaller there's usually a giant power brick. That's still going to be less total cubic inches than this Yamaha even if you count the brick. But in practice a lot of times it winds up feeling messier.

It's hard to really hide the brick since it needs some ventilation space. Sometimes I just velcro it to the back of the furniture so it's out of sight but still has breathing room. But that's not always feasible. Most of the time I'd rather just have a single cool box rather than two smaller warm/hot boxes connected by a wire.
 
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I got a kick out of using single sided board and having to put all those jumpers in there. Years ago there was a big difference in cost of single vs double sided PCB. I think it is a lot less premium today, making that choice dubious. With double sided PCB they could optimize the layout much more than with jumpers.
That's interesting. I'm so clueless about the manufacturing side of things. When did that price difference start to go away?

The R-S202 is a minor revision of the R-S201 (just adds BT I think) which was available in 2013 and possibly earlier, so the design probably is quite old....
 
So….I certainly understand that “19”x19” is an unnecessary standard in this day and age. Fair enough. But back in the day, that kind of front panel real estate got you, if you wanted a late seventies Yamaha, [and were well healed enough (I wasn’t)] something like this...
Sorry guys. The tiny boxes out there, as wonderful as they may be at very reasonable prices, will never make my heart go pitter pat like the Yammy 2040. ; )
 

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Thank you for the review @amirm, and thank you @donor.;)
There are nearly 5000 reviews on Amazon. Assuming only 10% leave reviews, Amazon alone has sold 50,000!
Amazon also sells quite a bit of boomboxes and portable wireless speakers.
 
A gentle reminder;


JSmith
 
...."In an increasingly congested media landscape, AM/FM radio continues to be resilient. Now in its second century, Nielsen’s most recent Radio Today report revealed on average AM/FM radio reaches 91% of U.S. adults 18+ each month. The reach figure is greater than live and time shifted (90%), smartphones (87%), connected TV devices (86%), PC’s (79%) and tablets (57%).

The reach of AM/FM is strong across all adult age groups. For example, Nielsen found for the hard-to-reach adults 18-34 demographic, 87% listen to AM/FM radio each month. Among older age groups the monthly reach is higher. For adults 35-49 the reach is 93% and for older adults (age 50+) the reach is 92%.

The monthly reach of AM/FM radio easily exceeds other popular music sources (both ad supported and subscription based) across all age groups. According to Nielsen, among adults 18-34, Spotify has a monthly reach of 43%, YouTube Music has a monthly reach of 35%, Pandora and AppleAAPL -0.7% Music both have a monthly reach of 18%, The reach of Amazon Music is 13% and Satellite Radio has a 10% reach."

"44% of all AM/FM radio listening occurs in the car. 19% occurs at work and 2% occurs in some other place."
How the heck do they really measure and determine how many people listen to [*AM/FM] radio and for how long?
Percentage of the population that radio "reaches" is a whole other conversation, whereas there are real metrics to - for example - Spotify that can reveal the exact number of listeners at any instant and subscription-base can attest to their stats.

Nielsen has never contacted me once and I have been listening to FM radio even before all parts turned digital (except at the antennas).:(

EDIT: Added [*AM/FM] in first line for clarity
 
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How the heck do they really measure and determine how many people listen to radio and for how long?
Analytics
Because internet radio stations operate online, they can collect analytics data like websites and social media sites do. Your internet radio station can collect real-time data from streaming analytics tools about the size of your audience, what types of devices they're listening on, their location, and other important information. You also can tap into analytics data from your company website and social media profiles. This provides a wealth of information.

It's simple for online radio stations to collect analytics data using streaming analytics software. However, terrestrial radio stations operating internet sister stations, running websites, or using social media profiles can collect analytics data.

Portable People Meters (Nielsen Meters)
Both internet and terrestrial radio stations track audience size using devices called Portable People Meters or Nielsen Meters, a couple of basic radio terms to know. These are device-selected groups of sample listeners used to record their listening habits and report the data to media research providers such as Nielsen. PPM devices used to be similar to pagers, but today wearables often serve as PPMs.

Radio Listening Diaries
Radio listening diaries are a manual counterpart to PPMs. They consist of paper pamphlets where sample listeners can record information about their listening habits. The pamphlets contain forms where listeners can record what stations they listened to each day and when and where they listened to them. Participants also answer demographic questions—companies such as Nielsen mail PPMs to selected listeners, who return them when completed.


JSmith
 
How the heck do they really measure and determine how many people listen to radio and for how long?
Percentage of the population that radio "reaches" is a whole other conversation, whereas there are real metrics to - for example - Spotify that can reveal the exact number of listeners at any instant and subscription-base can attest to their stats.

Nielsen has never contacted me once and I have been listening to FM radio even before all parts turned digital (except at the antennas).:(
They use a mix of meters that listen to what you are hearing, and a variety of diaries

We were a Nielsen household for a short time years ago with the diary.

Can Spotify tell us how many people left it streaming when they turned off their amp, left the room, or fell asleep while it was playing. While some will eventually pause and ask if you are still listening, I've had hours of TV programs play while the TV was off by mistake before. Turn it on the next day and go 'woops, they really think I like that show'.
 
Also, am I alone in the following thinking?

While a chi-fi amp is obviously smaller there's usually a giant power brick. That's still going to be less total cubic inches than this Yamaha even if you count the brick. But in practice a lot of times it winds up feeling messier.

It's hard to really hide the brick since it needs some ventilation space. Sometimes I just velcro it to the back of the furniture so it's out of sight but still has breathing room. But that's not always feasible. Most of the time I'd rather just have a single cool box rather than two smaller warm/hot boxes connected by a wire.
That is an excellent point. The power bricks are such a pain. Usually the cord from the brick is just a bit too short to reach the component from the floor and too long to bunch up behind the component with the brick.

Also, as much as the audio fans balk at the permanently connected power cord on an amp like this, a nice flexible cord that doesn't have a plug sticking out of the back of the amp a couple inches, can be pretty nice. And for the average user that will plug it in and leave it for years that is really a better option. For the audio nut that changes their amps more often than they wash their sheets it isn't quite as handy. Same thing with the speaker connectors, for those that don't change the equipment or move it around, those are actually pretty decent
 
Hummm ??
A receiver for the 2024 market without a digital input, a HDMI input, a turntable input?
But it does have a tape loop for your cassette recorder.
Sorry Amir, this might have been OK in 1980 but today?
Why would they put a phono input in it when most turntables under $350 have a preamp built in? You'd be taking the number of buyers that will use this with a turntable and then reducing it to the tiny little number of those that have a turntable without a preamp built in. And that would be making everyone else pay for something they don't need.

If they put a DAC in it all we'd be hearing right now is how bad the DAC is because they'd try to keep the price down as low as possible. Or it would have to be $100 more and then the comment would be "Why would you buy this over the streaming capable R-N303 which is $329.95 and also has digital inputs?" And it also has fancier speaker connectors.

Not only are most of the people that buy this probably not looking to connect those sorts of things, if they are then they can just step up to the next model that has them. What is wrong with offering a simple solution for people with simple needs?
Sure, they don't redesign these every year like the direct from China ones to add the latest 'features' but there is something to be said about the reliability that comes along with that. It reminds me of the car ads that stress that this years model is "All New" because last years model was such junk they didn't want to keep any of it in the new one and everything in the new one is unproven.
 
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A receiver for the 2024 market without a digital input, a HDMI input, a turntable input?
Yeah, the market here is probably just a cheap amp and BT streamer, which is why they probably keep using this old design as fidelity is not paramount.


JSmith
 
And [including a phono input] would be making everyone else pay for something they don't need.
And "real" audiophiles wouldn't use it anyway because they (okay, we) would want a higher fidelity discrete phono pre-amp.... an integrated phono amp would basically be catering to a niche market of people who have thrifted old record players without integrated preamps.
 
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