Day 257: Yamaha RX-395 Receiver for 20$

A little while ago I bought a Yamaha RX-395 Receiver at a Garage Sale out of town. The receiver has is from 1997 and has a few visual and mechanic issues and I was able to get it for 20$, actually without knowing about its real value (which is not too far off).
The issues I am going to deal with during the coming days are:

Yamaha RX-395 rx 395 receiver
Yamaha RX-395 Receiver
1. The On/Off button is broken. It is lying loose in the inside of the receiver and it seems that some thin plastic strip broke away that was supposed to hold it. I will try to fix this issue. So far, I am not able to turn the receiver on and hope that it is really just the button..  I blindly believed the elderly man who sold it to me.
2. The receiver is full of dust and has many bad scratches. I think the former owners tried to open the RX-395 with a screwdriver at different spots. Some of the screws are quite tricky to find. Luckily, I figured out where they were located and did not continue to damage the receiver case. I am not sure what to do with some of the spots yet, as there is some 1-2 mm of metal looking up at some of them.
It is a bit hard to get information about the value of the RX-395. According to a past ebay auction, it sold for around 40$ + shipping. I hope to get around 30 to 35$ for it, in particular because of the visual flaws. In particular the issue with the On/Off button seems to be critical for the success of my little investment. Wish me good luck!

A short Review is on my Vintage Speaker Review Blog

More Pictures:
Yamaha RX-395 rx 395 receiver
Yamaha RX-395 Receiver
Yamaha RX-395 rx 395 receiver
Yamaha RX-395 Receiver

Yamaha RX-395 rx 395 receiver back
Back of Yamaha RX-395 ReceiO
Yamaha RX-395 rx 395 receiver back
Back of Yamaha RX-395 Receiver


Day 250: New Speakers! ..not yet

Acoustic Research 18 AR-18s
Short Update: I am currently looking for new speakers that are hopefully in a rather bad condition. I found some Acoustic Research 18s (Ar-18s), but decided to skip them, as the price was too high. As you can see on the picture, I would have to refoam them and probably spend a lot of time cleaning. That sounded great to me, but the owner wants 60$ and I would have to invest 25$ for new foams.  The value of the AR-18s is rather between 40 and 70$..

I will continue my search!

By the way, as my blog receives around 10 clicks per day from my Bose and Fisher speaker pictures, I decided to open a blog in which I review my past, current and new vintage speakers. Have a look at it :), I simply call it:  All Speaker Reviews


Bose Acoustimass 5 Series 2 Redline Soundsystem

Bose Acoustimass 5The Bose Acoustimass 5 Series II speaker system is despite its age still a popular soundsystem. The newer  systems have 5 to 7 speakers, which is the reason why many owners of the older series are looking for an identical acoustimass set. In a home theater component setup, the Acoustimass 5 speaker system is then used as a choice for the surround speaker system rear channel.
Each cube array is composed of two small cubes which can be swiveled. Each cube contains a 2.5" Twiddler cone driver. The two satellites are video shielded to prevent interference with TV signals.
Wires are run from the left and right speaker output of the receiver to the bass module which has two spring clip speaker inputs.

What about the price?
Bose Acoustimass 5 subwooferInterestingly, you can buy the Bose Acoustimass 5 without any closer specification of the series. Bose spends a comparetively high amount of revenue on marketing, which strengthened their brandimage among the public, but hurt its reputation among professionals. The company is also often criticized for recycling old audio concepts and claiming innovations to be there own, even though they are years old. In audio forums, such as audiokarma , you will find people talking rather negatively about Bose speakers, not at last because of a general perception that they are bad in performing lows and highs.
Overall, I have to agree with the criticism. The Bose Acoustimass 5 definetily look great, whether it is the "redline", the normal black or even the white version of the system. My ones also sounded nice and clear. However, I was missing some depth and warmth when listening to them. When watching movies, I can imagine the Acoustimass are quite appropriate, not at last because of the woofer, but when listening to music (which is what I did), the sound was noticeable shallow. I would assume, for the usual auction price of $120-150, there are better speakers out there. Find them!

Bose Acoustimass woofer backDimensions (WxDxH):
Satellite speaker : 3.1 in x 4 in x 6.2 in
Subwoofer : 18.9 in x 7.5 in x 14 in
Enclosure Color Black
Speaker Type Passive Input
Recommended Amplifier Power 10 - 200 Watt and 4-8 ohms output
MSRP $749.00 in 1990.
Current price: $100-140



Day 239: Bose Acoustimass 5 sold!

Income: 215.35 $
Bose Acoustimass speakerI posted the Bose soundsystem I bartered for my free vintage speakers in fall 2011 again on craigslist and lowered the price from $150 to $135, but excluded the speaker cable. I also changed the description of my post and kept the whole ad very short and clear. I have the impression that this made a big difference, as I received 4 serious requests within 2 days. Instead of including the cable into the overall price I added it for 5$ extra and it worked out. I thus received 140$ for the soundsystem and cables.

For the coming days I will spend my time working on an art project, which will be subject of another blog. Let´s see how that works out!


Speaker Article Series Part 1: Basics: Speaker Types and Differences

What is a Stereo Speaker? 

The Stereo Speaker is the most important piece of equipment found in a stereo system. Speakers convert electronic audio into a mechanical movement of the speaker cone. The movement of aur caused by the speaker is what you hear. The greater the movement, producing sharp clarity of sound and a wide range of frequencies, the better the speaker will be.

Speaker Types:
Speakers come in many sizes and shapes. Most average speaker enclosures have a large woofer, midrange and tweeter speakers. The lower priced shelf units might have one to three speakers, such as my old DS-826 speakers.Others might have several tweeters, up to eight midrange speakers, or a separate large woofer. The speakers used for the high-frequency range (tweeter) are usually small metal, hard-coned or horn-type speakers. Midrange speakers vary from 3 to 6 inches, and woofers vary usually from 8 to 12 inches.
The best frequency response is from 20 to 20,000 Hz; most speakers ary from 37 to 20,000Hz. Very few men can hear above 15,000Hz or below 50 Hz, but some women can hear above 22,000Hz. Besides the frequency response, how a speaker sounds is significantly influenced by its speaker enclosure.

1. Acoustic Suspension:
Acoustic Suspension Speaker
AS speakers are completely sealed
Speakers in an acoustic suspension (AS) enclosure are completely sealed without any extra openings. The AS enclosure offers easy listening to all types of music. A three-way acoustic suspension speaker system might have two or three speakers. Because it takes more power to move the air with AS speakers, they usually have a higher maximum power-handling capacity. The tweeter might be a 1 or 2 inch cone, dome, or ribbon-type speaker. The midrange speaker might consist of a 2 to 5 inch cone or dome-type speaker. A woofer speaker in the AS enclosure might be 6 to 10 inches in diameter. The frequency mightvary from 22 to 44 kHz, although many AS speaker frequency responces can go above 50 kHz.

2. Bass-Reflex
Bass Reflex Speaker
Bass-Reflex speakers have a visible porthole
The bass-reflex speaker produces stronger and deeper bass frequencies. They are designed with a tuned porthole to allow the enclosure to resonate and produce low-frequency notes. Some bass-relex enclosures have up to three different sizes of portholes. Bass-reflex speakers can be driven harder and are designed for people who like high-power music.
The small bass-reflex enclosure might have two speakers with a bass-reflex porthole, and a 1 or 2 inch cone speaker supported with synthetic resin for eliminating distortion caused by edge resonance. You might find a 1 to 2 inch conce or dome speaker as tweeter, with a 2 to 6 inch midrange and an 8 to 12 inch speaker as woofer. For power-handling capacity, heat resistant voice coils and adjustable thermal-relay protection circuits are found for safety under high-power driving. A carefully tuned bass-reflex enclosure for producing tight and solid bass reproduction is found along with an antiresonating baffle board in some units.
The bass-reflex enclosure provides good reproduction for classical, jazz, easy listening, rock, and country music. The average frequency response varies from 35 to 20,000Hz. The bass-reflex speaker is capable of covering the entire musical range.

3. Passive Radiator
Passive Radiator Speaker
Note the smaller radiator of this PR speaker
The passive radiator (PR) speaker enlcosure produces greater bass than any other type of speaker. The passive radiator enclosure has two separate woofer speakers, but one is a simple cone without any voice coil or signal applied to it. It has thus an active main driver and a passive radiator.
Actually, the passive-port cone acts as a variable port, increasing the bass frequency response. A two speaker PR enclosure might have a 1 inch dome and an 8 inch speaker with another 8 inch dud cone. The passive radiator is usually larger than the bass speaker. In some units, the woofer cone might be a special design with corrugations for wide-range response.