Amplifier Review Streaming & Digital Review

R-N602 From Yamaha: On The Receiving End

 

Sporting a retro amplifier design but packing in numerous digital and networking facilities, Paul Rigby reviews Yamaha’s budget receiver, the R-N602

It’s big, it’s meaty, it’s got buttons and switches and knobs and it’s shiny (silver) or its so dark that light falls into it (black, what else?) and you could put caterpillar tracks underneath it and invade a small neighbouring country without a shot being fired because the populous would run away from it, hands in the air, screaming hysterically. This is Yamaha going back to its 70s roots. You don’t look horizontally at the R-N602, you walk up to it, pause, then you lift your head slowly and see if you can make out the summit…somewhere in the clouds.

You also don’t turn on a 115W R-N602 via the on/off button, you send it a letter of introduction and then wait for permission.

rn602blicucagbflr_f

While doing so, you can note that the R-N602 is designed to be used as part of Yamaha’s MusicCast network audio system that allows you to use all your MusicCast products together or separately, controlled from one app which, of course, also means popular streaming services (where applicable in supporting countries) such as vTuner internet radio, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, SiriusXM, Napster and Juke.  On the networking subject, the ‘Yammie’ also supports AirPlay, DLNA plus Digital Blocking (an iPod’s direct signal is sought feeding the Yamaha’s own DAC). An ECO mode reduces power by 20%, you have access to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi plus a Pure Direct button to bypass the majority of the amp’s electronics to enhance sound quality.

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-21-10-55

In terms of files support, the Yamaha supports 5.6MHz DSD and AIFF 24bit/192kHz, WAV/FLAC 24bit/192kHz plus the usual suspects via a Burr Brown DAC. There’s also a FM/AM tuner, speaker terminals for two systems and, oh yes, the ability to plug a turntable directly into the box because you get a phono amp, built-in. More about that later. Other sockets around the back, apart from plentiful source RCA-based connectors, include two opticals, two coaxial, a wireless port for a screw-in aerial plus the ability to connect Ethernet and a subwoofer.

IN USE

It’s bulky, retro and clunky. In fact, the hefty and expansive Yamaha glories in its retro clunkiness. It comes at you, arms open with that certain ‘look at me!’ exclamation as it displays hulking great knobs that control those old classic controls: treble, bass, balance and, don’t forget that old favourite, ‘loudness’, sitting next to more modern additions such as the USB source socket. Some might question the inclusion of such controls and I would agree that the treble/bass/balance/loudness quartet are worse than useless. That said, the Pure Direct removes any criticism because it allows the sound signal to skip right past them. Hence, their inclusion could be seen as ‘a bit of fun’. In these design terms and for this price…sure. Why not? The target audience, many of which will be maturing beginners with hi-fi experience that relates to their parents old system, may even see the inclusion of such controls as a comforting familiarity.

SOUND QUALITY

I began by spinning Buffalo Springfield’s For what It’s Worth (1966) on the Leema Elements CD Player. Three things hit me immediately. Firstly, the bass was very strong and punchy. Yamaha likes its lower frequencies and the performance here maintains the house sound which means that this track offered excellent bass force and foundation. The song was driven throughout with a strong rhythmic drive that gave the track an enhanced sense of pace.

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There was a lack of engagement, though. By that, I means that the soundstage did sound a little stark. It was almost as if the guys played in a studio that was, by day, an operating theatre. There was a slight lack of soul and musicality in the R-N602s presentation so that the drums never really connected with the guitars or the emotional vocals. Then I noticed that the Pure Direct button had not been engaged. Turning this feature on bypassed much of the amp to provide a more direct sonic pathway. This improved the sound quality immeasurably, giving the vocals a more, well, human quality with delicate textures from the vocal chords more in evident while the guitars offered greater grit and involvement. Despite the good news, though,  a certain analytical edge remained but the effect was greatly reduced in Pure Direct mode.

rn602_dac_ucagbflr_f

The sense of clarity from the upper midrange and treble enhanced the tonality of the music while there was tremendous instrumental separation around the soundstage so the band sounded relaxed and at ease with their playing. There was never any sense of tension. The air and space exhibited also gave the frequencies time to decay properly which enhanced the performance of these organic instruments, increasing detail.

These days, I only tend to handle MP3 files with rubber gloves and a pair of forceps but playing Kylie Minogue’s All the Lovers from her Abbey Road Sessions album in this execrable sound format sounded half decent via my Apple iPhone 6S over Bluetooth. There was plenty of room to be had while midrange and bass existed in an admirably balanced manner. Strings were thin and nasty, yes while Minogue’s vocals made her sound like she had a pinched face (I imagined her as the green-faced witch in the film, The Wizard of Oz, MP3s made Kylie sound just like that) but, even given the lack of musical data, the Yamaha performed tremendously to give you the best performance it could. As if the amp was exclaiming, “Look, guv, I haven’t got much to work with here…but this is the best I could do.” I’ve heard a lot worse, even via equipment price higher than this receiver.

Using a USB stick, I played the DSD version of the Allegro for Bach’s Concerto for Harpsichord, Flute and Violin via the front loading USB port and was pleased to hear the relatively spacious digital performance of the R-N602 continue here. Strings and the wind section did sound a little thin and slightly forced, though, even at this high resolution. The performance basically allied itself to the earlier CD tests, in this respect. That said, there was much to admire with the informative nature of the track giving this textured and detail arrangement time to manoeuvre while allowing complex instruments such as the harpsichord a chance to express itself.

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Up until now, we had a reasonable digital power house that looked great on paper but offered no more than a ‘credible’ performance in reality.

Then something wonderful happened.

I wanted to test the internal phono amp of the Yamaha. At this price, it is more likely that users will be utilising the internal module and not spending out for an external phono amplifier. Pushing an analogue signal through this unit was fascinating because the results were surprisingly good. The slightly sparse nature of the presentation combined with the epic quality of the phono amp and the warmth of the basic vinyl signal to provide a big, bold, open and grand musical return. Trumpets sounded clear and brassy without a hint of stridency or brightness, saxophones were reedy and emotive, vocals offered a precision and enhanced diction and bass was firm, fast and informative. This heady mixture was quite a sonic revelation for the price!

CONCLUSION

The Yamaha R-N602 offers plenty of value for the money and a wide array of features with an appealing retro design. Despite the slightly constricted digital response in CD and general digital file terms, I was blown away by the analogue play and can whole heartily recommend this amplifier if you are looking for an amplifier to act as the heart to your vinyl hi-fi system.

In fact, I would go further than that and advise you not to look at this box as a multimedia receiver at all. Me? I would not buy it for its digital features. I would turn the feature list on its head. I would see this product as the amp section of a new vinyl system with plenty of  bonus digital features added on because even if you saw the Yamaha as nothing else but a vinyl-based amplifier, it would still be good value. Anyone looking to set up a budget vinyl system really needs to place this box on their demo list and pronto.


YAMAHA R-N602 RECEIVER

Price: £339

Web: uk.yamaha.com/en

Tel: 01908 366700

For more specifications, click HERE


GOOD: Pure Direct mode engaged, open and natural phono output, feature count, Bluetooth, price

BAD: Pure Direct Mode disengaged, digital playback

RATING: 7


REFERENCE SYSTEM

Rega RP3 turntable

Leema Elements CD Player

Rega Brio-R amplifier

Spender S3/5R2 speakers

Chord Shawline cables

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73 Comments

  • Reply
    Paul Bisson
    30th May 2017 at 9:41 pm

    I have a Yamaha HTR-3066 receiver, which is part of a Home Theatre in a box package. Can you connect it the RN-602, as I thinking of pur hasing one.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      31st May 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Double check with your dealer but I would say no. The 3066 has a Pre Out socket but that’s aimed at a subwoofer. Not sure of the 602 would be compatible.

  • Reply
    Bob Reuser
    13th July 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Would I be able to plug in Bose 901 Series VI equalizer into any one of the audio input/output RCA jacks and achieve results i.e. Bose recommends plugging in to Tape Monitor jacks (or failing that, preamp/amp jacks) back in the day i.e. 30 years ago?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      14th July 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Hi Bob

      This from Steve Wells at Yamaha’s Technical Dept, “I’m pretty certain that you cannot connect an equalizer to more modern equipment like the RN602, as you would need a tape monitor switch to enable you to select the equalized audio back into the amp/receiver, you could have say one source Equalized (if you daisy chain via the EQ) but I guess the customer would want all inputs into the RN-602 to have the benefit of the EQ, again as the RN602 has no old fashioned in/out like older amps, you don’t have this option either. I will check with the designers of this unit to confirm my suspicions, but I think this is a no, pretty near all modern units are not built to support older legacy kit like EQ’s unfortunately.”
      Hope this helps you.

  • Reply
    Assaf
    15th July 2017 at 3:23 am

    Hi Paul, great review!
    I have the RN500, which is quite similar. The audio is what I’d expect, but there is one annoying thing about it: I have a lot of music on a network drive (around 2TB) , and it takes a very long time for the list of albums to load on the app. I’m guessing that the RN500 is not powerful enough to index it in a shorter time.
    I’m wondering if there is any recommended solution to this problem.
    Thanks.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      16th July 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Let me have a chat with Yamaha about this one Assaf and get back to you…

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      20th July 2017 at 3:18 pm

      This is from Yamaha’s tech dept, Assaf: “This can be down quite a few devices, this can be down to the router, NAS drive or the software used, a quick test is to try another make of music server software, does this seem any quicker, also having the NAS directly connected to the router rather than a network switch. But unfortunately there is nothing that can be done to the Yamaha, sorry this was not the answer your reader was looking for.”

  • Reply
    Martin
    4th August 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Hey. Is it possible to bi amp on this receiver?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      6th August 2017 at 10:14 am

      Hmmm, looking at the rear, I would say no. Unless anyone reading this has rigged up an alternative that works?

  • Reply
    Gousios Dionisios
    25th August 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Hullo there. I do have yamaha’s rn-602 receiver for over a year now and I am pretty much pleased with it, as I can use it as a tuner (fm/am band), as a network receiver and I can also connect to my nas and play the music files I have stored there. But what I really want to ask you is that, do you think I could connect to the rn-602 a digital sound processor (technics sh-ge90) and through that dsp a cassette deck (sony’s tc-ka6es)? Or maby, it would be wiser to put another amplifier between them, one that has the specific indication “rec in-out”?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      29th August 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Gousios

      I talked to Yamaha about your questions and here is what they said. Hope it help, “The R-N602 does have the Rec outs, that can be connected to another amplifier, but this cannot be routed back in for all sources via a GEQ, so it would be best idea would be to connect an amplifier (which has the ability to be connected to a GEQ i.e. main in and out) then use the REC out on the Yamaha as the source to the second amplifier, unfortunately newer products like the R-N, do not have the in/out for a GEQ or a tape monitor switch to enable connectivity to legacy equipment.”

  • Reply
    Dan
    12th October 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Your review has the last word in my decision: I should buy it :). And I want to use it with Dynavoice Dm-6 speakers. It’s ok? Should I take in consideration another model?
    Now, in my country there aren’t any internet music services like Pandora or Spotify.
    Buy, using network, can I search over the internet online music using generic? Like Jazz or rock…?

    Thx,
    Dan

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      16th October 2017 at 11:24 am

      Hi Dan – sorry for the reply delay, just moved house! I’d prefer the Q Acoustics 3020s speakers, a but cheaper and sounds better! Result! https://theaudiophileman.com/q-acoustics-3020-bookshelf-speakers-first-q/
      The Yamaha also includes Internet radio – so you will have access to worldwide ‘streaming’ of all genres via this source.

      • Reply
        Dan
        19th October 2017 at 6:46 am

        Hi Paul,
        Thx for your reply.
        I will go and listen Q Acoustics. They are at half price as Dynavoice 🙂

  • Reply
    Dan
    19th October 2017 at 7:09 am

    Paul,

    What about Dali Zensor 3?
    I ask you because there isn’t any place where I can listen them all 🙂
    Where they have Dynavoice don’t have Q Acoustics 3020.

    Thx,

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      19th October 2017 at 11:09 am

      Yes, Dan, the Dali option is a good one.

      • Reply
        Dan
        20th October 2017 at 8:04 am

        Hi Paul,
        Thx. You are so understanding and patient!
        Let’s rezume:
        1. Q Acoustics 3020
        2. Dali Zensor 3
        3. Dynavoice

        Thx again Paul.

      • Reply
        Dan
        20th October 2017 at 10:32 am

        Hi again 🙂
        One more thing: what about Monitor Audio Bronze 2?
        I saw that they have 8Ω, the others have 6Ω.
        Yamaha said: High Dynamic Power/Channel (8/6/4/2 ohms) – 105 / 125 / 150 / 178 W
        And
        Power Handling R.M.S. – 100W
        Recommended Amplifier Requirements – 30-100W

        That means that they are supported?

        Thx again Paul

        Dan

        • Reply
          Paul Rigby
          20th October 2017 at 11:09 am

          Yes, the Monitors are another good option. I’d recommend a demo, if possible because each speaker type will offer minor sound bias types which may tickle your ears (or not). 8 Ohms is fine but the amp works a bit harder to reach the same volume.

          • Dan
            20th October 2017 at 12:37 pm

            Thx PAul,
            I will schedule a demo with Dali Zensor and also I will try Wharfedale Diamond 220

          • Dan
            26th October 2017 at 12:16 pm

            Hi Paul,

            What about Triangle Esprit Comete Ex?

            Thx,
            dan

          • Paul Rigby
            26th October 2017 at 7:33 pm

            Yes, good design but beware that the punchy presentation can be a little wearing on the ear over time for some.

  • Reply
    Gints
    4th December 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Hi, Paul!
    Some weeks ago I bought this receiver and a pair of DALI Zensor 3. Low frequencies was not enough for me (my room is 4×4 meters) and I bought subwoofer DALI Sub E-9 F. At first I connected subwoofer at LFE but later I testet connect to L channel Line Input (crossover potentiometer put on 80 Hz) and in this connection subwoofer sounds better. May be You know frequency cut on Subwoofer Output on Yamaha R-N602?
    Thx!

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      4th December 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Let me confirm that with Yamaha – I’ll get back to you ASAP.

      • Reply
        Gints
        4th December 2017 at 4:59 pm

        If You connect with Yamaha, may be You can also ask about Speakers Output frequency? On my old reciever Panasonic I can set up “small” or “large” speakers, but in this receiver I cannot find nothing similar!

        • Reply
          Paul Rigby
          4th December 2017 at 5:07 pm

          I’ll do my best 🙂

        • Reply
          Paul Rigby
          5th December 2017 at 11:11 am

          Hi Gints – this from Yamaha “To answer the second question, AV receivers have ability to set speakers to small or large, Hi-fi products normally do not have this function, only our R-N803D has this function, so no speaker size function on the 602. The crossover on our R-N602 is set to 90Hz.”

  • Reply
    Gints
    5th December 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Hi, Paul!
    Thank you very much!

  • Reply
    tdjacw
    8th December 2017 at 2:31 am

    Hello I see this unit is available in silver, bit I find it. Where can I purchase it in silver. I’m in NY USA

  • Reply
    Joel
    8th December 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Just to be clear: based on the published specs, the phono preamp in the N602 is the same as the one in the Yamaha budget amplifiers and receivers. If you don’t need the digital features, there’s no need to pay extra for the N602 thinking you’re getting a premium phono preamp. It’s the same one.

  • Reply
    Alkis
    9th December 2017 at 10:27 am

    Hello Paul
    I’m interested to get the rn602 and i was wondering if the build in phono preamp is better than the creek obh 15 mk1 that I already have.
    I want to pair it with wharfedale diamond 10.1, Nad c525bee and a technics sl 1200 mkII.
    I’m between the 602, the new one rn 803d and the lower end rn 402d.
    Now my system is with onkyo a9010, does it worth to change it with one of the above yamaha’s.
    What is your opinion?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      9th December 2017 at 10:51 am

      Hi Alkis – No, the Creek is better. Just about any dedicated external phono amp will be superior than a bundled, built-in model for any amp. That’s the rule of thumb. As far as the Onkyo question is concerned, what is your primary source format: vinyl or CD? That will determine your next move. I wouldn’t spend money on the Yamaha, I would look first at your source. Depending on what you listen to most, that is. For a stereo system, Onkyo units feature a good amp module.

  • Reply
    Alkis
    9th December 2017 at 11:03 am

    Thanks for your reply Paul

    my source are both cd and vinyl but as I have a lot of music in flac and mp 3s plus the network amenities the yamaha’s have I was wondering if this change / upgrade of my onkyo still worth it.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      9th December 2017 at 11:19 am

      Hi Alkis – If 90% of your listening is done via FLAC and other digital files then entering the Yamaha ‘family’ might be a good idea because that will open you up to Yamaha’s multi-room system and associated network facilities plus the supported music services, etc. If digital listening is less important or equally divided amongst the other sources then I would look to improve your turntable and then your CD player and then your digital server source. If you’re looking to upgrade the Onkyo to the Yamaha purely on amplifier terms, though, then you would be better concentrating on those sources I mentioned instead. The Onkyo is a good product.

      • Reply
        Alkis
        9th December 2017 at 12:07 pm

        Thanks for the advice Paul.
        My listenings are equal from cd, vinyl and digital formats ( for the time being only cd and vinyl that’s why I wanted to change the onkyo with the yamaha’s for the digital formats and the internet radio).
        I was wondering for your opinion about the new yamaha rn 803d.
        Thanks again for your help.

  • Reply
    Alkis
    9th December 2017 at 11:51 am

    Thanks for the advice Paul.
    My listening is rather equal from cd, vinyl and digital files so I’m going to consider your thoughts.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      9th December 2017 at 12:24 pm

      No problem, Alkis – if you need further buyer’s advice on those, give me a shout when you’re ready.

  • Reply
    Daniel
    29th December 2017 at 9:00 am

    Hello Paul, I want to update my old amplifier to match my new Dali Zensor 7 speakers. My first idea was Onkyo 9010, but since my main source is CD/spotify music, I thought it is better to buy an amp with bluetooth connection. The Yamaha R-602 seems a good option, but after reading your review I got the impression this is perhaps not so good. I wonder if it might be a good idea to get the Onkyo (or similar) + external bluetooth adapter? I thought the “all in” option is better, but you are the expert here. Any suggestion along this line is welcome. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      29th December 2017 at 1:55 pm

      What’s your budget, Daniel?

  • Reply
    Daniel
    29th December 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I dont want to spend more than 500-600 euros.

  • Reply
    Daniel
    29th December 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Hi Paul, thanks for the quick reply. This looks like an excellent option, which would be your second choice? My first idea was something cheaper, but I feel the Dali speakers sound great and I am goint to miss performance if I buy a cheap amp. Conerning the option amp + external bluetooth adapter, I guess your advice is against it?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      29th December 2017 at 9:32 pm

      You’ve got it, Daniel – you need a quality amp to get the best out of these speakers. If you can’t afford it now, I would advise saving up.

  • Reply
    Terje
    6th January 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Nice review! I just got this stereo receiver. I have one question tho: will the subwoofer get a LFE signal while the pure direct mode engaged? Or is the subwoofer-output deactived while in pure direct mode? I ask because I don’t have a subwoofer atm but thinking about future options.

    Best regards from Norway!

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      10th January 2018 at 10:13 am

      Hi Terje – this from Yamaha, “With regards to your question, both our R-N602 and R-N803D will keep the subwoofer on with pure direct “ON” or “OFF”.”

  • Reply
    Rajesh M P
    15th January 2018 at 10:37 am

    Hi Paul,

    Nice review. I am not an expert and planning to upgrade my amp. Have Yamaha NS-777 tower speakers without sub (only two channel). In-terms of numbers, the much cheaper R-N202 is also having comparable wattage. Then what difference does R-N602 makes in terms of sound quality.
    Thanks…

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      15th January 2018 at 1:04 pm

      Hi Rajesh – the 602 provides better quality speaker terminals, a built-in phono amp for a turntable, a sub connection if you need one later, optical and coax connections, wireless and networking facilities, USB, Bluetooth and more. Not sure how they compare in terms of sonics, I’m afraid but I would venture to suggest that the 602 uses superior components and will – taking an educated guess but no more – sound better because of it.

  • Reply
    Rajesh M P
    16th January 2018 at 9:02 am

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your prompt response.
    Sorry for my delayed response.

    602 weighs 9.8 Kg against 6.3 Kg of 202. I think system weight is predominantly contributed by it’s transformer. So can we assume (wild guess) 602 would deliver the rated power tirelessly apart from component quality.
    I am presently using a Fiio X1 for playing music and it has got line out facility. Does using built in USB gives better sound quality than using an external player like Fiio.

    Thanks…

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      16th January 2018 at 7:31 pm

      Hi Rajesh – correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the Fiio only have a 3.5mm output? A USB is not really in the picture as an option, I believe. Even so, the Fiio is a good little DAP and should work well with the 602. Or have I misunderstood your question?

  • Reply
    Rajesh M P
    17th January 2018 at 9:38 am

    Hi Paul,

    Fiio has a 3.5 headphone jack But the same can be set to get line out (I never tried though). I was wondering using in-built USB, are we getting better sound because of minimum signal loss and or better matching to amp.

    If so it would be one justification spending extra for the model having in-built usb.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      17th January 2018 at 10:38 am

      I would highly recommend using the line out option via the headphone jack to improve sound on your Fiio, yes. The USB on the Fiio is for charging only, I think. For the Yamaha, the USB port is well worth pursuing, yes, if you have something compatible to plug in.

  • Reply
    Maciej R
    17th January 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I just bought this receiver. I have one question regarding DSD playback. I have got few sample files in .dff and dsf format (DSD64 i believe) but receiver seems not to “see” these in my shared music folder. It does play mp3 and FLAC files located in the same place on my PC though. I also tried to copy these DSD files onto my phone and connect via USB but with no luck. Not sure what I am doing wrong.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      17th January 2018 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Maciej
      Have you been able to play these DSD files anywhere else? Are the files themselves ok? If so, copy the files to a USB stick and try to play it/them from there. After that, try and play them from an external hard disk, if you have one. Then come back and let me know how you got on. Could possibly be a PC issue.

  • Reply
    Martijn van der Kooij
    23rd January 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Paul, I was wondering if this receiver is good in combination with the Yamaha 2700 soundbar. I’m not having space for speakers with 2 little kids jumping around at the moment. Or is this combi too much the same,and waste of money? I will use it mostly for Radio / Stream (music),

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      24th January 2018 at 11:10 am

      That’s a moot point, Martijn – I’m not a fan of any soundbar, to be honest. No matter what type or brand. Too many compromises. That said, if you forced me to recommend one then it would be the Q Acoustics example: https://www.richersounds.com/q-acoustics-m4-blk.html (I’m not recommending the retailer, this information is just for your reference). It includes Bluetooth.

  • Reply
    Dominic
    9th March 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Hi Paul! I just bought this Yamaha RN602. As your review says, you seem to really like the phono amp on this one. When I plugged my Akai turntable in, I noticed a HUGE sound level gap between the analog and digital (spotify). The digital sounds 2X louder than the analog… I tried it with my brother’s Technics turntable and I got the same results… Did you experience the same issue?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      10th March 2018 at 1:12 pm

      There’s a host of possible reasons for this – did you try other digital sources, incidentally? One good reason may be the compressed nature of Spotify streaming which will give the impression of a higher gain/volume while the lesser or zero compression on a purer and higher quality analogue source signal will give the impression of a lower gain/volume. Connected with this, noise in a signal can produce seemingly higher gain. This is one reason why your vinyl records sound a lot better than a Spotify stream, there’s less noise to mask the finer detail on offer via analogue.

      • Reply
        Dominic
        10th March 2018 at 6:34 pm

        I tried with all other digital sources, cd player etc… and they pretty have all the same sound level. I really think there’s an issue the analog build-in amp with my receiver… Not only the sound level is much much lower but it also seem muffled… You didn’t experience the same problem during your tests?

        • Reply
          Paul Rigby
          11th March 2018 at 5:08 pm

          Not with my hi-fi chain, I’m afraid Dominic. There may be a technical issue, certainly. It’s difficult to tell at this distance, of course. Have you checked other components in the chain including cables, etc? Have you tried simple things like disconnecting and reconnecting, switching off – waiting – then on again? Sometimes the basics can bring surprising results. If the lower sound gain occurs with a turntable, have you been able to try another turntable and/or cartridge? The issue could be with that.

  • Reply
    jay stephenson
    25th April 2018 at 12:45 am

    hello paul
    i have one of these receivers and i am wondering can you get a signal from the out jacks on line’s 2 and 3 and plug them into another line on a different amplifier ? like a tape loop.if not how exactly do the out’s work? and what can you connect to them to get a signal.
    many thanks

    jay

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      25th April 2018 at 9:23 am

      This reply is direct from Yamaha, Jay: “I can confirm that you will need to select either input 2 or input 3, to listen to your preferred device. Then the attached output (out 2 or 3) will output just that device.”

  • Reply
    Julian
    9th May 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Hi Paul

    Nice review, I also read your review of the Yamaha WXA-50 and I’m undecided between that and this R-N602 and would be interested in your opinion of which is better as I’m having trouble finding anywhere that has both available to listen to. I like the small form factor of the WXA-50 but if the R-N602 sounds better I’d happily go with that. I listen to pretty much just Spotify (rock, jazz, classical) and internet radio (6 music and radio 3). You’re not very complimentary about the 602 for digital music. I have Tannoy Arena 5.1 speakers (with an old Yamaha receiver) but am possibly going to change to stereo speakers: Monitor Audio Bronze 2, Q Acoustic 3020i or Dali Zensor 3 (or just keep the 2 front tannoy speakers and the sub) – interested in your view on that and any other suggestions welcome, budget is £300-£400 for the Amp and around £300 for the speakers. Many thanks!

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      9th May 2018 at 3:23 pm

      Thanks for your question Julian and your kind words. As a choice between the two Yamahas from a digital perspective, then yes I’d go for the smaller units with a pair of Q Acoustics.

  • Reply
    jeff
    10th May 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks for the nice read and all the effort in the feedback here.
    I’d be really curious, if you speak to the yamaha types again, if they have any plans to ever put some crossover control in a stereo amp, without the rather ridiculous method of using an app, like on the r-n803.
    Why on earth can’t stereo makers just put this obvious, cheap feature on board. I mean, literally dozens (or more) of us have subwoofers, fer feck sake. 😉

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      10th May 2018 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks for your kind words Jeff and – yep – I’ll certainly pass that one on 🙂

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      16th May 2018 at 1:25 pm

      Sorry for the delay with this, Jeff, this direct from Yamaha, “…currently the R-N803D is the only Hi-Fi product with Subwoofer X-Over adjustments. To my knowledge we currently do not plan to include X-Over adjustments outside of the app. This is something I will be reporting back as a feature to be added on future models. On a side note, to achieve the best pairing between a Hi-Fi amp & a subwoofer, I would advise to use a hi-level connection (if the subwoofer supports this) with the subwoofers X-Over dial on the back, as this usually enables finer X-Over settings rather than 20Hz / 10Hz / 40Hz steps like on the app & AVRs.”

  • Reply
    Rohit Khanna
    12th May 2018 at 9:58 am

    Hi Paul
    Can I connet 4 Audio Monitor CL50 speakers and 1 Polk Polk Audio
    sub woofer DSW PRO 55OWI to this amp without the amp getting overloaded and tripping?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      12th May 2018 at 7:25 pm

      Looking the manual, that shouldn’t be a problem Rohit.

      • Reply
        Rohit Khanna
        14th May 2018 at 8:38 am

        THANKS A LOT….APPRECIATE YOUR HELP AND ADVICE.

  • Reply
    Edvīns
    21st May 2018 at 7:00 am

    Dear Paul, many thanks for the detailed review. I see that a similar question has already been answered higher, however, I think I have a slightly different perspective here. I am choosing between WXA-50 and R-N602. I have heard quite different opinions about both pieces of equipment but had a chance to test only WXA-50 at an audio shop, so cannot judge by myself which one of them is better. They both offer very similar versatility as regards WIFI connectivity, streaming music from Spotify etc. I would bet that R-N602 bosts better sound naturally as it is a bigger receiver and one cannot fool the physics (apparently). Nonetheless, I have been told that WXA-50 sounds better due to a better DAC (and that the same DAC can be found in R-N803). I wonder whether this really is the case – what is your opinion? Now I am looking at an offer featuring WXA-50 with Wharfedale Diamond 230 floorstanding speakers. Is it able to handle these floorstanding speakers? Or should I need the additional power of R-N602 for them? Many thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      21st May 2018 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Edvīns – both Yamaha products are not perfect and both have pros and cons but if digital is your preferred source then, yes, the 50 is my preferred option. The speakers should be fine with the 50.

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