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Yamaha R-S500

Stereo receiver

73 Reviews | 17 questions - 43 answers


Our take on the Yamaha R-S500

Yamaha's R-S500 stereo receiver was designed with the music listener in mind. It offers inputs for a CD player, a turntable, a tape deck and more. You'll find knobs to control volume, bass, treble, and balance. The R-S500 has a continuously variable loudness control, so you can hear all the detail in your favorite music at even the lowest volume. There's also a Pure Direct mode for your CD player so the music comes through with clarity rarely heard on a standard stereo.

Yamaha's R-S500 stereo receiver was designed with the music listener in mind. It offers inputs for a CD player, a turntable, a tape deck and more. You'll find knobs to control volume, bass, treble, and balance. The R-S500 has a continuously variable loudness control, so you can hear all the detail in your favorite music at even the lowest volume. There's also a Pure Direct mode for your CD player so the music comes through with clarity rarely heard on a standard stereo.

Second zone capability means that you can listen to all of your favorite tunes in another room. There's also a line-level output so you can add a powered sub to bring out the deep bass that most home speakers can't reproduce.

Easy to set up, great sound, and has the tape and phono RCA connectors for the old style of recording music.

kurt, enfield, NH

What's in the Box:

  • Black stereo receiver
  • Wireless remote control (RAX25)
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • AM loop antenna
  • FM wire antenna (with push-on "F" connector)
  • Owner's manual
  • Warranty information
  • On-line product registration information

Product Highlights:

  • 75 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
  • 6 stereo RCA inputs (including phono)
  • 1 mono RCA output for powered subwoofer
  • rec out selector
  • rotary bass and treble controls
  • continuously variable loudness control
  • Pure Direct mode bypasses tone, balance, and loudness controls for cleaner sound
  • multibrand remote control
  • headphone jack
  • front-panel and remote switching for two pairs of main speakers
  • binding post speaker connectors
  • sleep timer
  • 17-1/8" W x 6" H x 15-1/4" D
  • weight: 22.5 lbs
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Yamaha R-S500 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(73 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research

Audio Features
Remote Control

Audio Features

ToP-ART/High Current Amplification: Yamaha uses the ToP-ART (Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology) design concept, which combines the latest and best technologies, parts, and circuit designs, to maximize sound quality. High Current Amplification uses superior quality components from input to output to achieve high current power with low impedance.

High-Quality Power Amplifier: With 75 watts of power per channel (at 8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.04% THD), the R-S500 delivers solid, reliable audio performance even when driving both A and B speakers at the same time.

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

Dual Zone Capability: The R-S500 allows you to play two different sources in two zones. The receiver has a pair of stereo preamp outputs for Zone 2. A separate amplifier or stereo receiver with a pair of speakers, or a powered speaker system is required for zone 2.

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 for the best sound from any source.

Record Out Selector: Front panel rotary knobs let you listen to one source, while feeding a different source to the Tape and Line 1 outputs for recording.

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 they are too far apart for dual banana plugs.

Bi-Wire: Compatible speakers can be bi-wired using the A and B speaker terminals simultaneously (they are wired in parallel).

Impedance Switch: The R-S500 has an impedance switch, allowing operation with two pair of 6 ohm speakers.

Phono: The RCA phono input is designed for moving magnet (MM) turntable cartridges. If you have a moving coil (MC) cartridge a phono preamp is necessary.

Subwoofer Output: The stereo receiver is equipped with a mono-subwoofer output for connecting a powered sub.

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.

Max Volume Adjustment: Use this feature to set the maximum volume level; used to avoid turning the volume too loud by mistake. You can set the Max Volume from -30 dB to +15 dB in 5 dB steps, or to +16.5 dB (full volume range is -89.5 dB to +16.5 dB).

Initial Volume Setting: Use this feature to specify the volume level when the power is turned on; choose between Off (same as the volume when the unit was turned off), Mute, and -89.5 dB to + 16.5 dB in 0.5 dB increments.

Power Management: The power (main room and Zone 2) can be set to turn off after a specific amount of time without any adjustments being made; options include 4, 8, or 12 hours.

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

Remote Control

RAX25 Remote Control: The remote control can operate the receiver as well as other remote control capable components from Yamaha and other manufacturers. The remote is pre-programmed with control signals for other brand TVs, VCRs, DVD player/recorders, Blu-ray disc players, DVRs, cable boxes, and satellite receivers, along with Yamaha CD player/recorders, MD player/recorders, tape decks, and LD players.

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

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

A burgeoning audiophile diving headfirst into HI-FI sound, I was looking for a straightforward, no-bells-or-whistles, affordable, top-notch quality sounding stereo receiver that would not only meet the Phono requirement of my turntable, but would also accommodate other formats of music and sound. Coming upon consistent rave reviews assured me of the product's quality, value, and worth, as did the dependable recommendation of Crutchfield Expert Gene, a superb assistant and fine human being. [ J  May 19, 2017 ]
good clean power [ karl  Apr 13, 2017 ]
Excellent product. [ Kenneth  Mar 19, 2017 ]
good value [ Dorian  Mar 02, 2017 ]
I like the quality the power output and the turntable input. Good price. [ Donald  Feb 27, 2017 ]
Marshall helped me find the right stereo for my wife and me. . [ BILL  Feb 22, 2017 ]
Long history with impressive Yamaha products, including a classic CR2020 receiver that served well for 38 years, and a C3 conservatory grand piano. [ LAWRENCE W  Feb 03, 2017 ]
As 2nd receiver [ TOMASZ  Jan 29, 2017 ]
Recommended by Dallas [ O  Jan 11, 2017 ]
buzz said so [ victor  Dec 26, 2016 ]
Its a gift and the receiver my relative wanted. [ DIANE  Dec 02, 2016 ]
Knowing the reputation of Yamaha audio equipment I purchased this with no hesitation. [ Raymond  Oct 13, 2016 ]
Great choice in receivers, sound is top notch. [ mark  Oct 02, 2016 ]
4 ohm/8 ohm switch gave flexibility in speaker selections [ Alan  Sep 30, 2016 ]
I chose this because of the cd and phono inputs (besides of the quality of course) [ Angel  Sep 25, 2016 ]
The added headroom makes it more a versatile option, e.g., if I decide to use bigger speakers. [ Frank  Aug 24, 2016 ]
Upgraded from a Sherwood and it has outstanding sound. [ Tom  Jul 14, 2016 ]
recommended by Kevin Kevin's Bio: [ ronald  Jun 04, 2016 ]
Looking for ability to play CDs and Cassette tapes [ Edwin  May 16, 2016 ]
Great value for the money. User friendly to operate. [ Thomas  May 09, 2016 ]
this is a great unit, does everything I was looking for and more. I love it!!! [ Kenneth R,  Mar 30, 2016 ]
I have enjoyed good service from an older Yamaha basic receiver and still listen to vinyls. [ James P.  Feb 09, 2016 ]
Brand name and available functions which Crutchfield assisted in my decision making. [ JOHN PAUL  Feb 02, 2016 ]
Fits my stereo needs. Expect it will give good sound for my vinyl & other inputs. [ NEIL D  Jan 30, 2016 ]
need the power for speakers [ edward  Dec 17, 2015 ]

17 questions already asked

Hello Philip, After reading your question I said hmmm and worried. You see my setup is basically the same. The Yamaha r-s500 and 4 Polk Tsi 100's. I stopped worrying (i think) with this thought. The system has been running for a year with that setup. It is rare for me to run only 2 speakers but so far there have been no problems. I know it's not a definitive answer but that is my experience. [ Francis  May 26, 2017 ]
You are correct that your impedance setting should be "Low" if you run both pairs of speakers. But even if you are running only one pair, you should just let the impedance switch stay on "Low". It makes little or no difference sonically (at anything like a sane volume level, that is) and eliminates the need of constant fiddling around. Set it on "Low" and forget it. Happy listening! Tony [ Tony  May 16, 2017 ]
What I get from the manual is to have it switched to low when you're running all four speakers. And if you're only using one pair, A or B, switch back to high. I'm not an expert, but that's what I get. Not sure what difference it makes, but I would go with manufacturers recommendations. [ Scott  May 15, 2017 ]
One of the reasons I bought this receiver was because it was just a receiver with solid spec's. It does not have a plethora of connection options. That having been said, my TV had a 3.5mm audio out just like an ipod or smart phone. I used a 3.5mm-to-RCA cable to go from the TV to the AUX input on the receiver. 'Works great. The only short coming is that your TV remote may not control the volume on your receiver. Mine does not. Your TV may have any number of audio-out connections. Most of them should work the same way. You just need the correct cable to make the connection. [ John  Apr 20, 2017 ]
Yes you can. Just plug cable into any open space. audio video or what ever if you are using direct tv just use out put from box to the receiver.. Same with cable. [ Gary  Apr 20, 2017 ]
I have been running Tv's through rca compatible stereos since 1978. Assuming you have a left and right. Handel volume out from the tv, you can run it to any of the three line-in inputs. This is for sound only, not an optical input or hdmi for picture scenario. [ ERIC R  Apr 19, 2017 ]
My R-S500 manual does not include suffix BL If there is a difference for that suffix you will have to determine it. The receiver is strictly a analog stereo output device (no surround). Inputs are all RCA plugs. If your TV has 2 audio output RCA type plugs (or 1 monaural plug) you could use the VCR or tape input on the S 500 for a TV audio input (no video input) & I believe you may also use the phono input with its preamp turned down (see instructions for Loudness control settings) [ JACK  Apr 19, 2017 ]
Thanks for your question. For information on comparing the different models available I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget. [ Kenny  Dec 06, 2016 ]  Staff
For full multi channel theatrical sound output, no. For stereo you probably can hook up the DVD's2 front channels via RCA plugs/cables from the DVD's 2 front channels. There are no digital HDMI or DVI provisions on the RS500 [ JACK  Dec 06, 2016 ]
You sure can; a dvd player is exactly what I have hooked up to the Yamaha R-S500, and it works great! And yes, I also have speakers hooked up: it's all sweet :-) [ Karen J.  Dec 06, 2016 ]
Certain that should work. If the sound is not clean and clear, you might try the "pure direct" feature (button top right front panel) of rs 500. Best regards, Kirk [ KIRK S  Dec 06, 2016 ]
Mark, I purchased the RS500 about 1 1/2 years ago. We live in a hollow with lots of trees and do just fine with the supplied FM antennae. Can't say much about the AM reception as we never use it. I'm not an audiophile but I've been satisfied so far with it's performance. Ric [ MELITTA K  Oct 02, 2016 ]
Had to purchase fm antenna for good reception. Am reception ok with supplied antenna set up about 6 ft away [ KEVIN  Sep 28, 2016 ]
seems fine to me but I do not live in a populated area gets the stations I want to receive [ Charles  Sep 27, 2016 ]
I have been very pleased with my Yamaha and find that the FM works well with the wires supplied. However, I live in a very rural area and I'm not sure if this info can be of help. I would think that in a populated area there would be a lot of FM signals. Plenty of signals means plenty of choices to me. [ FRED  Sep 27, 2016 ]
I live in a highly populated area as well; it is a suburb of a major city, but not right in the downtown with high rises. I have had no problems with the am-fm reception at all; at times I can even pick up some stations that are an hour and a half drive away. I do use the supplied wire/antenna, and extend it vertically up the bookcase where the receiver sits -- this is a necessity for my location -- and it works great! Good luck! [ Karen J.  Sep 27, 2016 ]
Mark: I live in San Antonio in a quiet neighborhood and like listening to the news and talk radio on AM. We have one of the strongest AM stations in the country but this receiver's AM reception is AWFUL. I have tried several antennas but nothing helps: it stinks. FM reception and sound quality is infinitely better than AM, but that's not saying much. I ended up buying a small Sony shortwave radio to listen to AM because this Yamaha was a tremendous disappointment. The Yamaha does a fine job with CDs, but with a turntable? Forget it. I recommend this only for a CD player. If you want to listen to AM/FM or albums, this is not the receiver to buy. Truth be told, I would not buy THIS receiver again. [ David  Sep 27, 2016 ]
Not the best. Lots of static. We live in the city. We do not use the radio feature. [ CATHERINE  Sep 27, 2016 ]
We don't carry the Yamaha RS 50, but you can view the owner's manual for this RS-500 model on our website by clicking the "Details" tab where you'll see a blue link to "Download the owner's manual" at the top. I hope that helps. My Bio: [ Larry  Feb 17, 2016 ]  Staff
No, I'm sorry it does not. You will find this information on the details tab on the product page under inputs/outputs. [ Kenny  Jan 26, 2016 ]  Staff
Unfortunately do not know [ KEVIN  Jan 03, 2016 ]
I only play my TV through the AV Receiver by connecting the cable feed thru the HDMI-4 slot. There are drawbacks, all sound controls are thru the AV, not the TV. All other components are also thru the AV, so playing DVDs is also through the AV. This negates all advantages of the TV controlling those components, but the sound is well worth it. Never a problem understanding speech. [ daniel  Dec 29, 2015 ]
Yes I am sure it can If a non smart tv can be connected as iur's is I am sure a smart tv can as well No problem [ Charles  Dec 29, 2015 ]
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 they are too far apart for dual banana plugs. Single banana plugs should work fine though. [ Jeff  Dec 18, 2015 ]  Staff
For 4-ohm speakers the manual states you would want to use the Low setting. [ Jeff  Dec 18, 2015 ]  Staff
Just use the front jacks [ Gary  Apr 20, 2017 ]
You need a 3.5 mm (Mini jack) to 2 RCA splitter. I run my computer music through one also. [ Ken  Dec 06, 2015 ]
They crank out all of the volume that I can handle. Not sure of the impedance on my phones but they are not small [ GARY  Mar 02, 2015 ]
I have never used head phones with it. Do these require more power than normal? Yamaha normally does things right. I have had 2 through the years. [ DANIEL S  Mar 02, 2015 ]
The switch is used for impedance matching. When using a single pair of 8 Ohm speakers the switch should be set to High. You could run the unit safely in the Low position however the over all volume output to your speakers will be reduced. [ DAVID  Aug 06, 2015 ]
Thanks [ Trombenik  Dec 29, 2014 ]
I would use the High setting if using one set of 8 ohm speakers. I have noticed better bass/treble sensitivity and sound reproduction. [ STEVEN  Dec 29, 2014 ]
I wouldn't not so much the power but the heat that will be generated will have its affects. [ Walter  Nov 21, 2014 ]
It puts out all of the volume I need. I'm running it through a pair of mid eighties model Polk Audio speakers. [ GARY  Nov 11, 2014 ]
I have this receiver and have been extremely satisfied. I like the fact it has a loudness knob. I would recommend it it is a very nice receiver. Kenny [ KENNETH  Nov 10, 2014 ]
Unfortunately for you I am only running 1 set of speakers at this time. Can understand your wanting to know. that would be annoying. Hope you get an answer that is more informative to you. [ JEFFREY  Aug 18, 2014 ]
I am sorry I cannot help, because I have never tried to do what Chip is doing- altho' I have thought to do so. I am driving only only two 50-year-old, Janszen Z-600 speakers and obtaining beautiful sound from old 33 rpm records, and CDs, DVds,, and FM radio. I would have thought Yamaha would help you; they inundate me almost every day with e-mail. [ RAYMOND F  Jul 29, 2014 ]
I have not noticed a delay. My speakers are in one room though. [ JOHN  Jul 28, 2014 ]
Sorry I can't help Chip. The receiver is at my Father-in law's and he doesn't use the zone 2. He's been thrilled with the unit, and listens to everything, including Sirius/XM. Good luck. [ KEVIN F  Jul 28, 2014 ]
I don't know. I have never used that function. [ CHARLES E  Jul 28, 2014 ]
Chip I have all of my equipment in the same room. I will say I love the receiver and I looked extensively before I bought it. Kenny [ KENNETH  Jul 28, 2014 ]
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: It is recommended to only use 8 ohm speakers when running both A&B speakers. Theoretically it could work at low volumes with 6 ohms speakers but we can't really recommend it. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Greg  Apr 25, 2014 ]  Staff

Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.

Yamaha R-S700

More stereo power, greater system flexibility, second zone remote

The Yamaha R-S700 offers these features:

100 watts x 2

main in/pre-out loop for easy connection to separate EQ or amplifier

CD Direct Amp feature bypasses tone control, balance, and input selector for cleaner sound via the CD input

second remote for zone 2 (requires optional remote relay)