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Thread: Old School Pre

  1. #1
    AUTOBOT BRANDONH's Avatar
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    Old School Pre

    Well I have been playing around with my new uh... old preamp it will be 30 years old next month
    Its a Yamaha C-4 Natural Sound preamp.
    The M/C section does not work properly so I am using my Shure V15VxMR again (I had forgotten how damn good this cart sounded)
    The phono section is breathtakingly quiet and detailed very warm sounding.
    Dual amp outputs great for bi-amping I have my subs plugged into it.

    Anyway I must say that this pre drives my amps like never before and is an amazing sounding unit fact its stunning.

    Download the C-4 manual here
    http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/...h/SepA/C-4.pdf

    Here are some pics






    Last edited by BRANDONH; 10-02-2008 at 05:01 PM.
    my system
    Technics SL-1210M5G
    OC9/MLII
    Marantz AV8003
    Oppo BD-83
    Yamaha C-70
    Crown MA-12000i
    Emotiva XPA-5

  2. #2
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Noo Joisey. Youse got a problem wit dat?
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    I'm not surprised.

    If all one wants is great two-channel sound and doesn't insist on remote controls, the "improvements" made in electronics within the past thirty years or so are really quite minute.

  3. #3
    AUTOBOT BRANDONH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    If all one wants is great two-channel sound and
    doesn't insist on remote controls, the "improvements" made in
    electronics within the past thirty years or so are really quite minute.
    Yeah that's the downfall, now I have to get up to adjust the volume
    but I still mostly play Vinyl so I need to get up off my butt anyway lol.
    I just wonder why they don't make preamps like this anymore
    (or should I say affordable?) this unit is astonishingly accurate with
    a sound stage that is deep and wide and fully fills the air.
    My NAD-C162 is an affordable 2 channel pre and sounds very good,
    but nothing like this unit plus this thing is built like a tank.
    Last edited by BRANDONH; 10-04-2008 at 05:36 AM.
    my system
    Technics SL-1210M5G
    OC9/MLII
    Marantz AV8003
    Oppo BD-83
    Yamaha C-70
    Crown MA-12000i
    Emotiva XPA-5

  4. #4
    Aging Smartass
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    the "improvements" made in electronics within the past thirty years or so are really quite minute.
    I'm surprised no one has responded to this. I've not often disagreed with you, but on this issue, we're on opposite sides of the universe!

    If I look back to that which I used in 30 or so years ago, I'd have to say that it was pretty good stuff for its day: Luxman C-1000 preamp, Apt/Holman amp and a decent, but rarely heard of amp from a company called "QED." None of it state of the art, but all very good. One amp drove my main speakers, and the other, the subwoofer. I tried switching the amps around a few times, but rarely heard any differences one way or the other.

    That which I'm using today is a 12 year-old Adcom GFA-5800 and a 7 year old Parasound PLD-1100. The difference between this combo and that which I had 30 years ago is all but night and day. While my Parasound preamp has virtually no controls (no phono circuit, and not even a tape monitor), and the Luxman C-1000 was a feature and gadget laden unit, that which matters is the sound. There is simply no comparison, and the difference isn't subtle, but substantial. I just can't agree with you on this at all.

  5. #5
    Aging Smartass
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    On a totally unrelated issue, perhaps someone can elighten me as to why the physical size of the posts on this thread are so H......U.....G.......E? I have to "pan and scan" just to read one paragraph!

    Why?

  6. #6
    AUTOBOT BRANDONH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel
    On a totally unrelated issue,
    perhaps someone can elighten me as to why
    the physical size of the posts on this thread
    are so H......U.....G.......E?
    I have to "pan and scan" just to read one
    paragraph!

    Why?
    Its due to the large close up of the preamp.
    when posting/replying to one that had a big pics
    just hit return (enter) sooner to keep the text to
    the left in the text box instead of running the words
    all the way to the end of the text box.
    my system
    Technics SL-1210M5G
    OC9/MLII
    Marantz AV8003
    Oppo BD-83
    Yamaha C-70
    Crown MA-12000i
    Emotiva XPA-5

  7. #7
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Call me a newbie, but I've never seen a product manual that shows a schematic diagram.

    Very cool looking gear. Hard to believe it was made 30 odd years ago.
    Have fun,

  8. #8
    AUTOBOT BRANDONH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Call me a newbie, but I've never
    seen a product manual that shows a schematic diagram.

    Very cool looking gear. Hard to believe it was made 30
    odd years ago.
    Have fun,
    Yeah you wont believe the sound of this unit.

    ![edit]! forgot to mention that this unit drives my amps
    like never before and the sound stage has that total
    WOW factor very clean and clear presentation.

    And talk about cartridge loading options to boot!
    Even though its a pre-digital era unit my
    Elite PD-65 CD player sounds...well analog.
    The Phonostage is state of the art
    and amazingly quiet while the LOMC section works
    intermittently and it does a fine job.
    But I have since dropped using the LOMC OC9/MLII
    and gone back to the Shure V15VxMR MM cart
    strange I know but is just fantastic sounding with this unit
    plus I bought another Zupreme head shell to mount it on.
    The last time I used the Shure was when it was mounted
    to the factory POS cheapo HS I think the Zupreme made a
    world of difference.
    Planning on getting a HOMC Dynavector 20X-H in the future.
    But in the meantime I have an extra Shure VN5xNR replacement
    that the cantilever was broken off by someone (IDK who) that
    I am going to have Sound-Smith repair it with the
    Ruby Cantilever and Optimized Contour Nude Contact Line
    Diamond as soon as I get the RA number from them to
    ship it.
    http://www.sound-smith.com/retip/
    Last edited by BRANDONH; 10-04-2008 at 08:10 AM.
    my system
    Technics SL-1210M5G
    OC9/MLII
    Marantz AV8003
    Oppo BD-83
    Yamaha C-70
    Crown MA-12000i
    Emotiva XPA-5

  9. #9
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRANDONH
    Yeah you wont believe the sound of this unit.

    ![edit]! forgot to mention that this unit drives my amps
    like never before and the sound stage has that total
    WOW factor very clean and clear presentation.

    And talk about cartridge loading options to boot!
    Even though its a pre-digital era unit my
    Elite PD-65 CD player sounds...well analog.
    The Phonostage is state of the art
    and amazingly quiet while the LOMC section works
    intermittently and it does a fine job.
    But I have since dropped using the LOMC OC9/MlII
    and gone back to the Shure V15VxMR MM cart
    strange I know but is just fantastic sounding with this unit
    plus I bought another Zupreme head shell to mount it on.
    The last time I used the Shure was when it was mounted
    to the factory POS cheapo HS I think the Zupreme made a
    world of difference.
    Planning on getting a HOMC Dynavector 20X-H in the future.
    But in the meantime I have an extra Shure VN5xNR replacement
    that the cantilever was broken off by someone (IDK who) that
    I am going to have Sound-Smith repair it with the
    Ruby Cantilever and Optimized Contour Nude Contact Line
    Diamond as soon as I get the RA number from them to
    ship it.
    http://www.sound-smith.com/retip/
    That's really an awesome find, Brandon! As long as it's not digital, sometimes it's better to take a leap back in time. I've been really curious about Sound-Smith and am thinking about sending off my Denon cart. Do you know what compliance the new cantilever would bring?

  10. #10
    AUTOBOT BRANDONH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    That's really an awesome find, Brandon!
    As long as it's not digital, sometimes it's better to take a leap
    back in time. I've been really curious about Sound-Smith and
    am thinking about sending off my Denon cart. Do you know
    what compliance the new cantilever would bring?
    this pre sounds almost like a tube system if that's
    possible but that's what I think as its warm and magical
    bringing out a sound stage I did not think my system
    could produce I am so happy with it.

    That's a Good question about the compliance.
    As soon as I get my RA number I'll ask them that.
    One of the things I like about the V15VxMR is that it
    tracks beautifully at 1g which is where I have it now.
    It seems to be the perfect marriage for my TT and
    this pre.
    it does not do a lot of things the OC9 does but does
    it does many things correctly and to my ears it sounds
    more natural.
    Last edited by BRANDONH; 10-05-2008 at 08:01 AM.
    my system
    Technics SL-1210M5G
    OC9/MLII
    Marantz AV8003
    Oppo BD-83
    Yamaha C-70
    Crown MA-12000i
    Emotiva XPA-5

  11. #11
    AUTOBOT BRANDONH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Call me a newbie, but I've never seen a \
    product manual that shows a schematic diagram.

    Very cool looking gear. Hard to believe it was made
    30 odd years ago.
    Have fun,
    Thought I would chime in again.
    just so stoked right now!
    The Pioneer Elite VSX-39TX that's used
    mostly for Home Theater has a built in tuner that I
    never really cared for the sound from the Elite fact
    never liked the Elite for 2 channel in stereo mode
    reason why I split the system up.

    So anyway ran a patch from the tape record out to the tuner
    input on the C-4 an it works beautifully fact is sounds excellent.
    Far better that the Elite alone which runs through the same
    amps and subs in in front 2 channel.

    (see how I keep the text to the left its a pain I know lol)
    my system
    Technics SL-1210M5G
    OC9/MLII
    Marantz AV8003
    Oppo BD-83
    Yamaha C-70
    Crown MA-12000i
    Emotiva XPA-5

  12. #12
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel
    Why?
    Does anyone have a 2200 pixel wide monitor? Sheesh. Mine is 1600 and it still scrolls. I try to limit my inline images to 1024.

    rw

  13. #13
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRANDONH
    Far better that the Elite alone which runs through the same
    amps and subs in in front 2 channel.
    that simply means that the Yamaha's line stage is better than the Pioneer's. No surprise here. I remember hearing the Yamaha B-2 VFET power amp and the matching C-2. They were excellent in their day.

    rw

  14. #14
    AUTOBOT BRANDONH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    that simply means that the Yamaha's
    line stage is better than the Pioneer's. No surprise here.
    I remember hearing the Yamaha B-2 VFET power amp
    and the matching C-2. They were excellent in their day.
    rw
    Interesting about the line stage I have been trying to
    come up with some reasoning as to why something as
    old as this C-4 can sound so good compared to the
    mega buck preamps of today.

    After a wonderfully musical listing weekend
    shoot I Tried to play every record I have lol
    I am so stoked over this unit I want to tell the whole
    world about it.
    It seems that Yamaha really built a super high quality
    unit back in the day even my CD's sound analog.
    I would say that this unit sounds more like tubes
    than transistor its very warm, detailed and totally involving.
    Plus it drives my amps like nothing before has ever driving them
    with absolute authority and total speaker control.
    The sound stage is beyond anything I ever expected from
    my system, now there is real air around the instruments
    and vocals and a defined holographic stereo imaging.
    I have skipped some of my favorite new run TV shows just to
    keep listening to music something I have not done
    in quite some time.
    This unit brings back the sound of vinyl like I remember
    how records used to sound in a way I have not experienced
    since I was a kid.
    My system did do a great job with vinyl through the NAD C-162
    but the C-4 has that sound I remember music to sound like...
    a wave of emotions came back when playing
    my records even the ones I play most frequently.

    So my thinking is that today's electronics reproduce music in a very different
    way than they did in the 70's? (calling the in experts)
    and I don't know what or how its different just that its different
    in ways I have no words for.
    To me it seems now that after listening to the C-4 for the past few
    weeks that the magic that spark has somehow been lost in the
    translation, so to speak, and over time I too had forgotten how vinyl
    or any reproduced music for that matter is/was supposed to sound.
    I'm sure many will say that "new and improved" is just that!

    So hopefully I will come down from the cloud I have been an float
    soon.
    Yeah sorry for the wide screen pic.
    I just wanted to post a high quality image of a true classic.

    Bravo Yamaha bravo!
    my system
    Technics SL-1210M5G
    OC9/MLII
    Marantz AV8003
    Oppo BD-83
    Yamaha C-70
    Crown MA-12000i
    Emotiva XPA-5

  15. #15
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRANDONH
    Interesting about the line stage I have been trying to
    come up with some reasoning as to why something as
    old as this C-4 can sound so good compared to the
    mega buck preamps of today.
    Well, my comments were in regard to the NAD. Don't get me wrong - I have a NAD AV receiver that does a fine job. On the other hand, it is not in the same league as the Audio Research preamp I use which was only $2500 in its day. A current VTL 7.5, ARC Reference 3, Conrad-Johnson ART would considerably outperform yours and mine alike.

    Quote Originally Posted by BRANDONH
    So my thinking is that today's electronics reproduce music in a very different way than they did in the 70's?
    Only the current consumer grade stuff.

    Some day, you might try building a simple set of attenuators and drive your amps directly with no preamp. I use my pre strictly for vinyl only where I need the gain and RIAA equalization. With the CD source, the image shrinks and some resolution is lost. A preamp cannot *improve* the signal coming from a source - only degrade it.

    rw

  16. #16
    Forum Regular budgetaudio76's Avatar
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    thats a nice preamp brandonh, Some times ill have a chance to try some of the other preamps by yamaha.

    Its just a matter of finding one locally. On my preamp the phono section as some static so i cant use it
    maybe if i can leave the volume on one setting but that doesnt float my boat.
    some tunes you just have to turn it up some.
    Audio exploits of the past year
    :D
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/budgetaudio6/

    even more here!
    http://s574.photobucket.com/home/budgetaudio6/index
    and yes its been a slow but full 3 or 4 years yet!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Call me a newbie, but I've never seen a product manual that shows a schematic diagram.

    Have fun,
    My Hafler gear 945 pre and Amp 9180 have schematics as well as My SoundValves pre.

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