Stereo receiver and amplifier

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Can you connect a Yamaha CR-800 to a Yamaha CA-800 and use as a receiver/amp system?

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  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,906
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    You're trying to hook up a receiver to an integrated amp? What are you trying to accomplish here? One is 70wpc the other 45' ish wpc, what is your end goal?
  • RJS6
    RJS6 Posts: 3
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    Thank you for your input. I'm trying to put a system together with good power and great sound. I already have the cr800 receiver and have just purchased the ca800 amplifier. I'm a novice vintage hifi lover and would like to know if it would be worth combining the two of these together in a system, with turntable, cd and tape deck.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,323
    edited September 2022
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    Emlyn wrote: »
    Both have preamplifier outputs and main inputs so either could be connected to the other assuming everything is still in working order in them. Good question though on why do it.

    The CA-800 was/is an excellent midpower (for its time) stereo integrated amplifier.
    The CR-800 should be a very good midline stereo receiver, although I don't have one (I wish I did!) and so I cannot vouch for it personally.

    The only good reason to roll the receiver into the mix (not that a good reason is really necessary! ;) would be to use the CR-800 as a tuner, IMO. EDIT: Yamaha's separate "Tape Out" selector makes this very easy. Oops, the CR-800 doesn't have this, sorry! :p

    @Emlyn hits the nail on the head if you want to use the CR-800 preamp, but -- the other (and perhaps more 'sensible') approach to combine the two components, FWIW, would be to use the CR-800 as a tuner (only). Set the Selector to FM, turn the CR-800 speakers to "off" and connect the tape output jacks (tape 1 or 2) of the CR-800 to any line level input ("TUNER" would be a good choice :) ) on the CA-800.

    xtou0xakwtbk.png
    just a borrowed photo from teh webz
    There is one (minor) advantage to this approach, which is it bypasses the volume control and the active preamp stages (e.g., tone controls) of the CR-800 and "just" uses the tuner.

    I don't know, but a priori I'd expect that the preamp sections of the two components are more or less equivalent in performance.

    The CA-800 is a pretty special piece IMO (and, yes, I am quite biased). If you're new to vintage hifi, @RJS6, you should know about the Class A switch on the front of the amp! This changes the operating conditions for the output (power) amplifier from the standard Class AB condition to the "always on" Class A condition. This has multiple effects: It eliminates crossover distortion at the zero voltage point on a signal, it reduces the electrical efficiency and output power of the amplifier substantially, and it generates lots of extra heat! So, the tradeoff is more transparent sound at the expense of much less output power and more heat. The important thing is this: DON'T switch between normal and Class A operation WHEN THE AMPLIFIER IS ON. It's very hard on the amp, speakers and (especially) on the switch itself! :)

    CA-800 is capable of ca. 15 watts per channel in Class A.

    16563535215_8b032ed302_b.jpg
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,906
    edited September 2022
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    Yes but you're not doubling the power, you're still getting one or the others amp section.
    @mhardy6647 hit the nail you get a tuner in the integrated which you already have in the receiver. You're chasing your tail in this endeavor.
    In other words you'll not achieve 100+ wpc by hooking them together if that was the plan.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,323
    edited September 2022
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    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    ... In other words you'll not achieve 100+ wpc by hooking them together if that was the plan.

    Well, that's a good point! I didn't even think of that as a subtext for the question.

    mih0gb05vigx.gif

    So, lets back up. ;) Just to be sure we're all on the same page

    The CR-800 is a stereo receiver. It contains a tuner section, preamplifier section (volume and tone controls, function selector, phono preamp, tape monitor and dubbing facilities, and some other bits and bobs for tailoring the signal), and a power amplifier section. A "receiver" integrates those three sections in one cabinet, with one power supply.

    The CA-800 is an integrated amplifier. It is so called because it integrates the preamp and power amp sections in one cabinet, with one power supply.

    These are old products, produced in the mid-1970s just after the 1974 US FTC regulations for power output claims for home stereo equipment had caused a massive change (for the better) in the way hifi components' power specs were rated! As a result, though, the specs need to be read rather carefully :)

    Here are the specifications for power output for the CR-800

    0kser9tdpz0n.png
    source: https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/yamaha/cr-800.shtml

    By the "FTC" standards of the time, this is a 45 watt per channel stereo receiver into 8 ohm loads.

    Here are the specifications for power output for the CA-800
    ab7p0k0szksw.png
    source: https://www.hifiengine.com/hfe_downloads/index.php?yamaha/yamaha_ca-800_brochure_en.pdf

    It is a 45 watt per channel amplifier into 8 ohm loads in normal Class AB operation.
    In Class A operation, it's 10 watts per channel.

    In other words, the CR-800 can be thought of, functionally, as "about the same" as having a CA-800 with a radio tuner added on!
    It's not really quite that simple, and I suspect that using the CA-800 as your power source (so to speak) and just using the CR-800 as an FM stereo tuner might be a bit better sounding than just using the CR-800 alone -- but I don't know that for certain. It is testable, though!

    :)

    The CA-800 does offer that selectable Class A operation mode as a bonus, though. Whether that's gonna add value for the OP is... hard to say!
    Here's the thing, the lower output power in Class A means that the choice of loudspeakers to make the best use of a CA-800 in Class A will be limited (and, generally speaking, expensive). Most modern loudspeakers have low sensitivity (which is a measurement of volume output out per watt of electrical amplifier power in). There are high sensitivity loudspeakers, old and new, that can (and will) sound great with that CA-800 -- but most of them ain't cheap.

    What speakers do you have, @RJS6 ?


  • RJS6
    RJS6 Posts: 3
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    (Front) a pair of Sansui sp-x8000 (Rear) a pair of Yamaha NS-10T. Both in clean and excellent condition.
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 50,062
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    Pick one pair of speakers. Running rear speakers in a stereo (meaning 2 channels) rig screws up the presentation.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,323
    edited September 2022
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    Having a pair of NS-10s in the house probably screws up the property value. ;)

    EDIT: I jest. Well, kind of. I actually know nothing about the NS-10T. My snark is directed at the NS-10M, which is legendarily important as a studio monitor -- but also legendarily unpleasant to listen to.

    Back to the topic, sort of -- Either of those two Yamaha components deserve better loudspeakers (and will respond well to better loudspeakers, and vice versa).
    I can say with some degree of conviction that a number of Polk Audio loudspeakers pair exceptionally well with the mid to late 1970s Yamaha amplifiers and receivers.

    Imagine that?! :)



  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,323
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    RJS6 wrote: »
    Can you connect a Yamaha CR-800 to a Yamaha CA-800 and use as a receiver/amp system?

    Oh -- I guess I should have read/considered the OP a little more literally -- because @Emlyn did indeed answer the question completely and correctly. :D

    Oh, well -- I like postin' about anything Yamaha-related, and I need to keep my post count goin' ever upwards, you know?

    ;)

    @RJS6 Kick back and spend some time here reading and "listening" to what folks have to say.
    Also consider spending some time at a forum like hifihaven or audiokarma, which have a somewhat higher percentage of vintage stereo buffs with lots of opinions ;) and experience with the kind of components you're asking about.

    ... and consider some Polk loudspeakers, vintage or modern -- although the best of the current Polks really need somewhat more power than your Yamahas can deliver to be heard at their best.

  • tnguy
    tnguy Posts: 11
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    @RJS6 just sell the CA-800 to @mhardy6647 since he doesn't have one and gain some $ for upgrading the speakers. This will also improve the WAF or significant other factor by having less gear and getting nearly equal sound.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,323
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    I have a CA-800.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,906
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    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    I have a CA-800.

    Of course you do!