Clean, simple, powerful. With 50 watts per channel of full-bandwidth-rated power, Yamaha's RX-397 delivers rock-solid audio performance that will drive your stereo speakers with authority. Careful design and high-quality construction preserve signal purity to reproduce your favorite music with greater fidelity and clarity.

The integrated AM/FM tuner features 40 presets for easy access to all your favorite stations. The RX-397 offers inputs for up to 5 components, including a turntable. Two sets of speaker outputs allow you to enjoy your music in two different rooms simultaneously. You also get easy receiver operation with the included remote control.

Product Highlights:

  • 50 watts x 2 (stereo) into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.04% THD
  • 4-ohm capability allows use with a wide range of speakers
  • 40 AM/FM presets
  • 5 audio inputs (including phono)
  • tape monitor loop
  • rotary bass and treble controls
  • continuously variable loudness control
  • Pure Direct mode bypasses tone, balance, and loudness controls for cleaner sound
  • remote control
  • headphone jack
  • front-panel and remote switching for two pairs of main speakers
  • binding post speaker connectors
  • sleep timer
  • 17-1/8" x 5-15/16" x 12-13/16"
  • weight: 16 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Receivers: Your ticket to sensational sound

Your receiver powers your speakers and lets you connect and select your entertainment sources. But a great receiver does a lot more — it ignites your emotions. From the passion of a favorite musical artist, to the crossfire of a super-charged movie soundtrack, to the intensity and immersion of a fast-paced video game, your receiver is the key to experiencing and enjoying it in full.

Yamaha RX-397 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

25 reviews
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Darn Good Receiver

Written By Navigator, Cornelius, NC on Monday, February 28, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I should have replaced an old Onkyo years ago because it wasn't fitting my needs
and was developing problems. This Yamaha is just about perfect! I just need good
sound in my home office. No video, no special hook ups. Just straight forward
good music reproduction. This fills the bill. Would have liked to have a "Line
Out" connection but I can work around it. Excellent FM reception with just the
included wire antennae. It makes me happy every time I turn it on and mad at
myself for not purchasing earlier. Crutchfield beat out everyone else's price also!

Last Chance - Yamaha RX-397

Written By MT, Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, February 19, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a wonderful receiver. It came down to a choice between this and the Onkyo 8255. This receiver won out because it has loudness control (necessary for listening at low volume), more convenient radio preset controls, better AM reception, wider vision angle for the remote control (we can actually bounce the signal off the wall in front of the receiver to change stations), and a finer volume adjustment when controlling volume from the remote. We are very happy with the receiver and especially with Crutchfield. Buy this beauty today while you can because it has been discontinued and the replacement (R-S300) looks awful, costs 28% more, and only gives you line-level subwoofer & an iPod/iPhone/Bluetooth jack as a benefit.

Yamaha rx-397

Written By rickydj, mich on Saturday, February 19, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Good cheap two channel reciever. Will be using in hobby room for fm and playing vinyl.
Bought as replacement for vintage pioneer unit which died and main consideration was
the phono inputs

Always Yamaha

Written By LaGato, Reading, PA on Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is my second Yamaha receiver. I cannot afford a high end product so I need
to settle for something in the low end, so to speak. When one allows the
receiver is playing approximately 4 to 6 hours daily and sometimes all day if I
go out for the day (the pets need music while I am out!) this receiver manages
very well with the JDL speakers. If one cannot afford the high end products one
should definitely consider this one. In addition my vinyl and cd collection is
worthy of note.

Straight up stereo

Written By Regorider, Rego Park, NY on Saturday, February 12, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Wanted a stereo just for music- not a complex 5, 6, 7 channel home entertainment unit. After hunting around and being told to get a home entertainment receiver and just use it as a 2 channel stereo, I finally came across this simple gem. 50 watts /channel with very low distortion makes my bookshelf speakers sing! Great sound, quality construction and good looks make this Yamaha a winner.

Good Choice - Yamaha RX-397

Written By EJ, Salt Lake City on Saturday, February 05, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

We purchased this receiver to play our new "in the ceiling" speakers.
It does a great job of giving us good sound.
A few reasons for choosing this particular receiver was our use requirements, price, and the ratings it had received from other people who had purchased this receiver.
It is a good product for not a huge price.
The people at Crutchfield have been great too. How many places does one receive a hand written thank you card? Keep up the great customer service Crutchfield.

Yamaha RX-397

Written By bill, kailua, HI on Saturday, February 05, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I had a 30 year old tuner that finally gave up the ghost. I looked at reviews of receivers and
decided to buy the Yamaha RX-397. Its sound is wonderful. It has many options to connect
with other equipment. I am pleased with the receiver and recommend it.

Yamaha RX-397

Written By Andy, Syosset, NY on Sunday, January 30, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Everything I wanted. A 2 channel "stereo receiver," not a "home "theater."
Therefore it had a phono input and inputs and recording out ports for a cassette
Only problem I foresee, the newer HDTV's seem to be eliminating audio analog out
jacks, so I am wondering about plugging their sound into my receiver (though I
suppose there is probably some conversion solution).

Easy to use basic stereo receiver for cheap

Written By Derf, SF Bay on Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Basic easy to use controls, all features easy to get to and understand, great
musical sound with Polk RTi4 speakers. My favorite feature is the one remote
button push for the sleep timer. With my XM receiver plugged into the switched
AC outlet on the receiver I can just set the timer and not have to think about
turning anything off.

Nice two-channel sound.

Written By jt, Alaska on Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this receiver to power a set of Boston Acoustics bookshelf speakers I've had for years but haven't used in a while. The system is in the kitchen now and have a wireless network hooked up to it, so we can listen to music off the computer. It sounds great, very clear, no background noise. I'm not enough of an audiophile to speak to warmth of tone etc, but the system is more pleasurable to listen to music on than our 7.1 home theater setup.
I'm very satisfied with the Yamaha and will have it until it dies.

Yamaha RX-397

Written By Richrad, Long Island,NY on Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Always wanted a Yamaha to add to my other toys. It sounds great in my den. Been
delaing with Crutchfield for 20+ years, never a problem.

Love this Yamaha

Written By ez, central florida on Sunday, December 05, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This receiver has a wonderfully simple layout and sounds great with a pair of
bic venturi 62i's. I am listening to some well recorded piano on local fm right
now and it sounds heavenly. This was my first purchase from Crutchfield and the
entire process has been flawless.

Perfect for My Secondary System

Written By DanS, Charleston, SC on Friday, November 19, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This receiver replaced a 15-year-old Sony for a small system in my library. The Sony
went to the garage to replace an even older receiver that had given up the ghost. The
Yamaha is connected to a pair of Energy bookshelf speakers and an 8" Energy

The first thing I noticed when unpacking the Yamaha was how substantial it felt
compared to the Sony. Connections were easy and only took a few minutes. The lack of
a direct subwoofer output was not a factor as I already had the subwoofer's speaker
level inputs wired in parallel with the left and right speakers. When I switched everything
on and popped in a CD... wow! The sound is amazing, crystal clear and detailed, very
noticeably superior to the old Sony.

Just one very minor nitpick: The index mark on the volume knob is very small and
difficult to see in low light. I fixed this by applying a bigger one snipped from a leftover
piece of a self-adhesive postage stamp book!

All-in-all, this is an excellent piece of equipment at a very reasonable price that I
recommend most highly. Perhaps the most telling thing is that although I have a much
larger and more elaborate system in my living room, I'm spending more listening time in
the library than ever before!

Yamaha RX-397

Written By Anonymous, Rockville, MD on Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The unit works very well. It was easy to set up and lives up to its billing. I have a turntable, so the phono connection was important. It turned out later that I also have a pre-amp built into the turntable, which allows me to use the auxilliary inputs. The sound is better than my 34 year old Sony, which is quite a workhorse. FM radio is particularly nice on this set. All in all, a great deal.

Breath of fresh air

Written By Mark, Prairie du Sac, WI on Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is a fantastic product. The controls are simple. The unit feels substantial. And, the sound is fantastic. Before I hooked this unit up, I thought maybe my hearing was going. It has given me a new appreciation for my old music. And, I finally own a Yamaha - something I've wanted since my college days (which is farther away than I care to think about). Crutchfield makes buying electronics very simple and easy, which is truly a bonus.

great unit

Written By Gary, scranton pa on Monday, September 07, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This unit replaced my 16 year old receiver that gave out on me. This a great, simple receiver with great sound and very solidly made. Especially good for hooking up equalizer. This baby, at ONLY 50 watts per channel, sounds great with my 1993 speakers. If you don't care for home theater, as I don't, then this receiver along with any of the Yamaha RX line, the 497 and 797 for more power and sattelite, would be a great choice. Real knobs and a loudness control, which to me, acts like more like a mid-low range EQ. Thank goodness they still make 2 channel receivers, home theater receivers just aren't as good for 2 channel music listening, no way. Most people just don't listen to music like they used to, but hopefully 2 channel setups will make a comeback. Highly recommend.

Just right

Written By Hoyt, Asheville, NC on Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent unit which replaced my 24-year-old Sony stereo receiver. It is very user-friendly: good volume control with small increments. The remote has an excellent design with large and well-placed buttons for volume and source (which is about all you use). The angle over which the receiver can detect the remote is said to be 30 degrees each side but in fact is larger than that.

The FM tuner seems especially good.

Basic Excellence

Written By Bongo Fury, Lakeland, FL on Monday, May 25, 2009

I am not interested in home theater. All I wanted was a basic stereo receiver. I bought this one to replace a very similar Yamaha that was 20+ years old. Also, I wanted a dedicated turntable hook-up, with the grounding wire connection post, which this unit has. I have been recording vinyl to CD, and the results have been great. I really like this receiver. The sound is great, the functions are simple, and the build quality is what you would expect from Yamaha. All I wanted was quality with basic operations, and this one delivers. Very pleased. Power is ample for my uses, and the tuner works well. If you are on the fence, don't be. This is a great receiver.

Perfect for its intended purposes

Written By Ed, Lebanon, New Hampshire on Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This replaced a 25+ year-old Pioneer receiver that was going downhill for me. I didn't need a TV stereo system, just a replacement for my tuner, CD and turntable system. And it did so perfectly.

Not for someone who anticipates upgrading; nor for someone with a larger grand scheme in mind. But for limited purposes, you'll be pleased.

Excellent replacement

Written By Paul, Evanston, IL on Monday, January 19, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this receiver to replace an old model with similar specs. The tuner reception on the old receiver was weak, and the audio quality seemed to have degraded over the years.

Searching the market on-line, there are now very few basic receivers that aren't designed for large home theater configurations. The Yamaha was actually the only model that I could find with 50 watts per channel, two channels and phono inputs. Having once owned a Yamaha cassette player that was of very high quality, I trust the brand.

Although my speakers are ancient 6 ohm, paired with this Yamaha, there is a noticeable improvement in the clarity of sound. But the main improvement is in the tuner, which offers perfect reception for all of the desired FM stations.

Yamaha RX-397

Written By Jeff, Tulsa on Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This receiver is an outstanding value. It is very musical and has plenty of dynamic power to drive most speakers. Put simply, it has a great amplifier and preamplifier section. My salesperson Rhonda advised me that Yamaha makes good receivers and I completely agree with her recommendation.

Great No-Frills Receiver

Written By Patrick, Watertown, NY on Friday, March 14, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Yamaha RX-397 is a replacement for my 23 year-old Yamaha R-3. I thought about buying Yamaha's latest equivalent without any research or shopping - but, what the heck - shopping is part of the fun!

2 important aspects to me: The feel (touch) of the receiver's controls (not the remote - I do not use remotes) and the preamp / amplifier.

Thr RX-397 has a nice "executive feel"and look... all the front panel knobs and buttons have a high quality, solid feel. I went to a few big box stores and just touched the controls of the receivers, the RX-397 has about the best feel there is at this price point. The negative for me is the poorly designed binding post speaker connections - good for banana plugs, but terrible for bare wires.

With respect to preamp / amplifier section, I always felt that 50 watts of power is plenty for all home applications. The concern is that the amplifier has a transient power rating well beyond its 50 watt (into 8 ohms) power rating. Yamaha has the best THD rating (0.04) in its class is the only manufacturer to state a linear damping factor (150). These numbers mean to me - excellent transient responce. My speakers have an efficiency rating of 93db w/m with frequency responce down to 28Hz - who needs a sub-woofer - I don't.

No need to pay for "bells and whistles" - I think this is the best, basic, 50 watt receiver on the market for the price.

Yamaha Surprised Me:

Written By Gregg, Wichita, Ks on Thursday, February 07, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

From the moment I turned it on I was completely Surprised. I was looking for a 2 channel stereo hookup for my Speakers that I have had since 1966 and recently upgraded the crossovers. Replaced an aging Pioneer receiver and this unit's power and clarity are truly amazing. I usually purchase Sony and am glad I decided to try a Yamaha product.

I highly reccomend this product.

Excellent Small Receiver

Written By oldcat, Ephrata, PA on Thursday, October 25, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This 50 watt receiver replaced a 20 year old Sony 65 watt AV receiver which had been retired to my bedroom over 10 years ago. I expected to hear no real difference other than some improvement in FM reception, but was surprised to hear far greater clarity in the sound overall. The Sony had IC outputs while the Yamaha has discreet, bipolar output transistors. This does make a difference.

Yamaha RX-397

Written By Dave, Holly, MI on Saturday, February 03, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this unit based on my needs to add additional equipment to my stereo system. This receiver had enough I/O capacity to meet my requirements, although I would have liked to seen at least 1 more set of input/output connections for future additions to my system.

This system replaced a Kenwood receiver & the digital FM performs much better than the Kenwood's analog tuner. The adjustable loudness feature is a complete departure from the standard implementation of a loudness circuit; to date, I haven't found a situation or music source that warrants its' use.

I've had the unit about a month now & I'm very satisfied with this product thus far.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Black stereo receiver
  • Wireless remote control (RAX16)
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • AM loop antenna
  • FM wire antenna (with push-on "F" connector)
  • Owner's Manual
  • Warranty card
  • Important safety instructions

Product Research

Audio Features
Remote Control

Audio Features

High-Quality Power Amplifier: With 50 watts of power per channel (at 8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.04% THD), the RX-397 delivers solid, reliable audio performance even when driving both A and B speaker systems at the same time.

Wide-range Frequency Response: The receiver's wide-range frequency response, 10Hz to 50kHz, allows you to enjoy the full fidelity of any source with two channel analog outputs.

Back-Up Memory: The unit is equipped with back-up memory which provides approximately one week of memory storage when the power cord is disconnected.

Impedance Switch: The RX-397 has an impedance switch, allowing operation with 4 ohm speakers.

Loudness: The amount of loudness compensation is adjustable, using a rotary knob on the front panel.

Pure Direct: The Pure Direct feature bypasses the bass, treble, balance, and loudness controls, this eliminates any alteration to the signal and produces the purest possible sound.

Speaker Terminals: All of the receiver's speaker terminals are binding posts. They are not 5-way binding posts because a plastic collar prevents their use with spade lugs and there is no good spot for a pin connector. Bare wire, single banana, and dual banana plugs are compatible.

Phono: The RCA phono input is designed for moving magnet (MM) or high output moving coil (MC) turntable cartridges. If you have a low output MC cartridge an in-line boosting transformer or moving coil head amplifier is necessary.

Headphone Jack: The receiver has a standard 1/4" headphone jack on the front panel for private listening. When headphones are plugged in, the receiver's speaker output is not muted, so remember to turn the A and B speakers off.

Sleep Timer: The sleep timer turns the receiver off after 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes.

Remote Control

RAX16 Remote Control: The remote control can operate the receiver as well as compatible Yamaha CD players and cassette decks.

Remote Jack: The receiver has a mini-jack input and output for use with other compatible Yamaha components.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.