View Full Version : Info on vintage yamaha, Pioneer, Rotel, marantz Onkyo, receivers?

01-22-2003, 06:12 PM
Here are a few of the receivers I own that I don't have specs on. Does anyone have any info and/or specs on them. Thanks

CR 400
CR 620
CR 640
CR 820
R 400

RX 402

SX 3800
SX D7000 AWESOME RECEIVER!!! I have to clean a lot of dust out of it but it is a real monster

JVC JR S600 - has some serious issues. turns on and off if shaken. output sound so low it can only be hear if turned up to 100%. Then very faint

Onkyo TX 4500

KR 9400

Marantz Model nineteen
Marantz 2338B
Marantz 2226B

ANy info is appreciated
Thanks, Garland

01-22-2003, 07:20 PM
I have a brochure and owners manual for the SX-D7000. If interested, I can make copies of my photocopies. I'm in the process of scanning all my manuals/brochures and hope to have them on CD soon.

01-22-2003, 08:00 PM
Hi Blurg

I just sold my Yamaha CR-620 and still have an Onkyo TX-4500MKII.

The Yamaha was a nice receiver. It dated from ca. 1979 and was about 35 wpc. I liked the 'wraparound' wood cabinet but never really got used to the unusual styling otherwise. Playing through my ADS L620 speakers, it sounded fine.

The Onkyo TX 4500 is a fine receiver, too. It is the series of Onkyo dating up to about 1978. I *think* that from 1979-82 they added the 'MKII' to the model lineup.
These Onkyo's are becoming my personal favorite receivers. Besides their beauty, the sound is so sweet and clear, yet without the low range distortion-induced warmth that others, like Marantz have. It's still somewhat of a secret among vintage audio buffs that Onkyos of this era are overachievers among their class. Ebay prices are still modest. IIRC, the 4500 had about 55 wpc. The only drawback to these receivers was the sheer width of them. My 4500MKII is 21 inches wide. That much too big for it's moderate power output, IMO. Otherwise they are superb.
Here's a tip--for not much more money, move up to the TOTL or near TOTL Onkyo receiver. The power and features go way up yet prices are still reasonable. Maybe Bully Pete will add something else here.
Oh, and in case you're wondering if I'm putting my money where my mouth is, I'm quietly selling almost all of my Marantz and Sansui stuff and moving into vintage Onkyo!! ;) :cool:

01-22-2003, 08:19 PM
yes, I will toss in a bouquet here for the Onkyo receivers.
I know I thought Onkyo a 'cut above' back in the 70s. More akin to Marantz & Luxman, etc.

There is no real reason that the Onkyo receivers from the mid/late-70s are so often overlooked.
I have three (and 2 amplifiers) receivers: TX-8500 Mk II (a humongous 160 wpc piece), the TX-7000 (90 wpc) (best 80-100 wpc receiver I've had the enjoyment to hear playing), and a very, very sweet TX-5000 (65 wpc).

Nice nice gear

01-22-2003, 08:29 PM
No such number as Marantz 2338B

Model 19 - 50 wpc made early 70's

2226B is 25 wpc, made mid to late 70's

2238B - 38 wpc " " " "

2330B - 130 wpc " " " "

Rotel RX402 20 wpc - made mid 70's

They're all good receivers:)

01-23-2003, 11:18 AM
Owners manuals (with full specs) for some of the Yamahas you asked about are linked to from here:

01-23-2003, 11:30 AM
Onkyo guys...

What's the difference in the MKII series Onkyo's??:dunno:

What's the going $$ for a TX-8500 Mk II :confused:

01-23-2003, 06:24 PM
Why the "Mk II" I don't know. The TX-8500 is a very big 110 wpc receiver, the 8500 Mk II (that I have) is huge with 160 hard-pulling wpc.
Kinda like the "B" Marantz models, but at least with the Marantz, they were distinguishing something from the previous model with the *same* 22xx model designation.
Having the "90 wpc" TX-7000, that might easily have been rated with 110-120 wpc, mebbe the 8500 Mk II is simply a restatement of output to match, commercially, the Pioneer & Kenwood, etc.
:dunno: :confused:


01-23-2003, 08:36 PM

Bully made a good analogy comparing the Onkyo MKII and 'non MKII' to the Marantz 'B' and 'non B' receivers, although I would've said the difference is more akin to the difference between the 2270 and the 2275.

Most of the 'non MKII' Onks were made from 1977-79. Like most receivers of the day, they were stoutly built, had conservative power ratings and had a real wood case.

It seems that many of the MKII models were introduced in the 1979-80 period and ran until 81-82. They had updated facial styling, increased power ratings and a Marantz-like vinyl covered metal case. Signs of cheapening, perhaps? Another interesting feature was the "quartz servo-lock", or words to that effect. It allowed one to simply spin the dial to the approximate station setting and then the quartz dealie would 'lock in' the station. Mine works quite well, although I usually fine tune it manually anyway.

It's hard to say which series is 'better'. I think the MKII is prettier but it's hard to beat the real wood case of the earlier series. Some guy on the AA vintage forum says that the earlier series sounds WAY better than the MKII, but I haven't done a direct comparison.
I would have posted ebay pics of each series to highlight the differences better but couldn't find any good pics with the lights on! oh well maybe the sellers' lights aren't on either...:D

As for the going price of a TOTL TX-8500 MKII, it seems to have jumped recently. A month or two ago, someone (me?) posted about one that got away for $102.50, with no takers!! Presently, they seem to be climbing up to around $200 but they come up only about once a month so who can tell?:dunno:

01-23-2003, 09:21 PM
Good analysis, Jay.
Yeah, somebody, a month ago or so, had what 'sounded' like a nice TX-8500 Mk II (stock picture?) with a BIN $130, and no takers! (or, he ended early, before I saw the dang thing and somebody here posted the link in a post!)

I remember that guy on (& AA?) that, in his opinion, the TX-8500 was superb, and he preferred it to the Mk II.

Looking at the two receivers side-by-side, the TX-5000 (65 wpc) and the KR-9400 (TOTL, 120 wpc), the Onkyo is possibly wider than the 'wide track' Kenwood!

I can say that my TX-8500 Mk II is built UPS-tough! It suffered a horrendous drop (obviously, from container and the damage inside). But, only the tuner knob shaft and the source selecter shaft were bent &/or broke loose from their mountings. The HEAVY glass face also broke, taking most of the little push-buttons with it. EVRYTHING else remained solid and undamaged.
I am listening to it now (driving my two pair of Utah's, the 'new' CL-30 12-inch, 3-way acoustic suspenion and the big MP-3000 15-inch 3-way bass reflex).

bully pete the bully

01-23-2003, 10:09 PM
I have a KR 9400 and I'm not much on it. It's unbelievable heavy. one of the heaviest receivers I have. The output power does not seem to come close to what I would think a receiver of that size should put out. Also, I'm not at all thrilled with the sound reproduction. I'll probabaly sell it on E bay next month. I'm was never much of a Kenwood person and this hasn't done anything to change my mind. It's just collecting dust and takig up space... a lot of it at that. :puke:

Charles Baird
05-09-2004, 11:14 AM
Here is a nice site for Marantz specifications:

It has the Marantz 19 and a bunch of others, by the way, does anybody know what the "Custom Calibration" option was on the Marantz 19? Charley Baird.

05-09-2004, 11:51 AM
While this has come back, the SX-D7000, JR-S600 & the KR-9400 are all 120 wpc units. The 9400 is early 70s, the JVC late-70s, and the D7000 came out in the early-80s. I believe they all were TOTL units.

05-09-2004, 12:49 PM
Hi guys,

Maybe I can answer some of the questions regarding Onkyo. I started working for Onkyo in 1975 right out of college with a degree in electrical engineering. Originally when I started there, their product line up was the TX220, TX330, TX440, TX560, TX670, and TS500 and a bunch of speakers that were AR wanna be's. To be blunt, the TX220, TX330, and the TX440 used power modules with limited slew rate and frequency response and were dull and sounded pretty awful. I don't know if you know the history of Onkyo but in Japan, they were known as Osaka Onkyo and started as a speaker manufacturer. They originally came to USA as a joint venture between themselves and Mitsubishi and failed miserably at selling Onkyo speakers. Mitsubishi and Onkyo parted ways after about 6 months after I was hired and Onkyo started concentrating on achieving better sounding receivers and tuners. The first attempt was the Onkyo T-4055 tuner which had an awesome review in Absolute Sound. After the review came out I remember that we never could keep the tuners in stock. When we were ready to start conceiving the new receiver line, we came up with a different look than the last product line as it became known as the TX2500 and TX4500 (We didn't have enough budget to develop a complete line then). It's hard to imagine but this was Onkyo's last ditch effort to survive in the audio world and they put all their marbles into these 2 receivers. Onkyo was definitely ahead of its time because they realized the importance of a good phono preamplifier even when their older separates were made (A-7022 and A-7055). If you compare the transient response of the phono preamps in those units to their peers, it was immediately obvious. In our earlier test, we would inject a pulse followed by a since wave and check the dilation of the pulse into the sine wave and the phono preamps were outstanding! The TX2500 and TX4500 incorporated these design parameters so their phono section sounded remarkably good (This is preHolman's white paper of phono preamp TIM). We also upgraded the analog tuners. The TX2500 had the servo lock tuning and the TX4500 had the quartz lock tuning. The quartz lock tuning worked remarkably well and the tuning accuracy was only limited to the quartz time base in each unit. Keep in mind that this is predigital tuner days for receivers. Then we concentrated on the power amplifiers. The power amplifier section of the receivers rivaled Harman Kardon's receivers by achieving low tilt figures for the low frequency and high slew rate for the upper frequency response without sacrificing hum and noise like HK did. If there's any negative comment regarding their product line was that the tone control/line preamp amp lacked the same type of clarity and transient response. The success of TX2500 and TX4500 catapulted Onkyo into the audio world and then the development of the TX1500 and TX8500 began to create a full line of receivers. A few years later, the Mark II series of the original line was introduced but it was a variation on a theme of the original product line. Another interesting product line that you might be able see on ebay is their original Integra line. If you ever have a chance, check out the P303 preamp and M505 power amp. They both have unique circuitry and cosmetics that might interest the collectors. The P303 is literally a straight line preamp with a MC stage with gain. The front panel is sparse but the sonic characteristic is phenom. The M505 (105 wpc) is a bit underpowered but the transient response is awesome. As years progressed, Onkyo because less interested in the sonics and more in profits and I left the company (I think in 1978) to pursue product development in separates with Nikko to revamp the Beta, Gamma, and Alpha separates. As of now, I still have a TS-500 Quad Receiver, T-4055 tuner, TX4500 MkII, and a broken TX4500. I'm looking for a new glass front panel for the TX4500 because the shipper that sent the TX4500 packed it so poorly that it damaged the glass. I still have sentimental attachments to alot of their product because it brings back great memories of the earlier stages of my career in the audio industry. Someday when I actually can find time, I'd like to restore the TX4500 and redesign the tone control circuitry to match the rest of the receiver.

Wtih warmest regards,

Tom Ishimoto
Northridge Electronics

05-09-2004, 05:35 PM
I am curious about the Nikko pieces you spoke of. I have owned a couple of their PreAmps and tuners of that beta/gamma line and I thought the little heavy tuner to be outstanding for the price they bring today. are there particular models in that line of note? I still like their size performance ratio; always thought they were superior to their big receivers. . . Any truth to this? Just curious. . .

05-09-2004, 10:26 PM

Although I can't speak for the complete line of Nikko, I can say that during my tenure there, we have made some awesome products. The quality of the front panel metal extrusions and the metal enclosures were much beefier than the standard receivers of that era. The Alpha III MOSFET DC amp was only 80wpc but if you had efficient speakers, it was the cleanest amp you have ever heard. If you wanted more power, we had the Alpha VI, which was rated at 300wpc (for a measly $1400.!) that was great for driving speakers like the AR LST or the Bose 901's. Both amps had high slew rate and excellent square wave response while maintaining extremely low THD and TIM distortion. The Beta III had a direct coupled phono preamp coupled with its high speed circuitry. The Gamma V FM tuner had selectable IF bandwidth with amazing tuning accuracy. We also created the ATD1, which was Nikko's version of the Audio Pulse's and Advent's time delay processor. I also presented a white paper at the AES convention titled "Application of gyrators in graphic equalizers" for the development of the inductorless graphic equalizer called the EQ1. A little history behind the company:

Nikko started off as a circuit breaker manufacturer and their main customer was JNR (Japan National Railroad). The company chairman's daughter married a true audiophile and the chairman started the audio division to fulfill his son-in-law's interest. The son-in-law cared very little about marketability of the product and basically, it was his pet project to crank out audiophile type products. I certainly am not knocking the son-in-law because he truly had golden ears and he designed products like the Alpha V, which was a true class A 100 wpc power amp that sounded awesome but it was not marketable due to the insane price tag of the product. Because the revenue from the audio division was so small compared to the circuit breaker division, we were eventually phased out to consolidate Nikko's efforts in their main business. By the time we developed the 19 series (NR-1019, NR-1219, etc.), we could not compete against the giants like Marantz, Sony, and Pioneer who had an immense price/unit advantage over us. The strange thing about Japanese manufacturers in that era was that they were stolidly against outsourcing the manufacturing outside Japan. Perhaps, if we subcontracted the production to Taiwan like NAD did, we would have had a fighting chance for survival.

With warmest regards,

Tom Ishimoto
Northridge Electronics

05-09-2004, 11:06 PM
Tom, what's your opinion of the Pioneer C-21 preamp?

I own one (it's in my avatar) and it's the most accurate I've heard.



05-09-2004, 11:50 PM
I always liked the cosmetic and the construction quality of the series 20 product line. I think this was one of Pioneer's best attempt in making a great sounding preamp and I liked the over neutrality of the gain stages. This preamp utilized single ended push pusll class A stages throughout both the phono and line preamp and the THD distortion characteristic was second to none. About the only negative I can say about their design was that I think they could have achieved better s/n ratio in the phono because if my memory serves me correctly, it only could achieve about 80dB s/n through phono with A weighting which was not bad but certainly not state of the art. Also, if my memory is correct, this preamp was about the same price of the Onkyo P303 which was around $400 and the Onkyo provided a MC head amp for the same price with gold plated RCA jacks. Both the Onkyo and Pioneer used extremely good components internally during this era. All in all, it's a very respectable preamp in my book!

With warmest regards,

Tom Ishimoto

09-24-2006, 06:45 PM
I've held onto my 4500 MkII (just can't dump it!), and I think I will set it up in my office. Any thoughts on some good bookshelf speakers? I'm thinking of some Paradigm Titans, but not sure about current models.

09-24-2006, 07:55 PM
on the JVC, make sure that the connectors between the preamp and main amp are in place and making good contact.

If they are out, or not connecting, you will have the symptoms you describe.

09-25-2006, 12:00 AM
As the owner of an Onkyo TX-8500 (BIN of $99 back in December) I would say that it is very well built for the power rating. Dual trannies at 110wpc? I mean what more could you ask for. I think the Onkyo receivers tend to be a tad overlooked, but some brands just are, it doesn't make them any worse than the competition in some cases, just overlooked. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another TX-8500 if the opportunity was to present itself.

09-25-2006, 07:32 PM
This thread has got me thinking, when is the last time anyone actually saw an Onkyo TX-8500 mkII up for sale or auction? I have been checking "that auction site" regularly for months just out of curiousity and I don't think one has been put up there in at least 3 or 4 months. Are they that rare an item? I'm not in the market for one, I was initially just curious about value, but after looking for so long and never seeing one it made me start wondering if they were perhaps more rare than I had thought. For whatever it may be worth, I absolutely love mine!

Elmer Fudd
09-27-2006, 10:21 AM
I have an onkyo tx-8500 that I thought ran my braun L-810's extremely well until I recently bought an 8500mkII. The 8500MKII really matches up well with the brauns. The only problem with the 8500MKII is that it is missing a knob for one of the fm presets. If anyone has one that they would sell please let me know.