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Yamaha AX-500

Stereo Integrated Amplifier (1987-89)

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Yamaha AX-500


Power output: 85 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz

Total harmonic distortion: 0.01%

Damping factor: 50

Input sensitivity: 0.16mV (MC), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (line)

Signal to noise ratio: 73dB (MC), 90dB (MM), 100dB (line)

Channel separation: 50dB (MM), 50dB (line)

Output: 150mV (line)

Dimensions: 435 x 139 x 332mm

Weight: 7.7kg

Year: 1989


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Reviewed May 17th, 2018 by dave1901

I have one of these My Yamaha AX-500 and have always been impressed with the rich sound from it. It was a hand-me-down from an older brother to my mother and then to me. Lately though, I have not used it much as it only seems to work properly in CD Direct mode. When the CD Direct button is off, I get sound cutting in and out on the right speaker and the quality is poor. Since it is not working my wife is pushing to dispose of it. Do you think it is worth repairing such an old amp or would I be better of putting my money towards replacing it?

Reviewed Mar 10th, 2016 by ilkkasuni

Am I reading my ears right?

I have experienced some 200 different amps and stereo receivers maybe more, since early 70's, I never counted. And I just find hard to comprehend the way, the AX-500 drives a speaker as controversial as the Canton CT-1000, being a very demanding 4 ohm speaker. Have not tested with my other speakers, yet, still this sounds a true combination especially for the analogue source.

The AX-500 sounds to hoover in quite a range of nuances, many other amps are unable to detect. Unfortunately, this very piece of AX-500 appears somewhat defective, thus a comprehensive judgment is hard to make.

4 stars [4.5 with reservations], considering this very amp might be slightly defective.

-ilkka suni

Reviewed Nov 22nd, 2014 by gschlautmann

i have owned this for ovder a year and im still shocked at how good it sounds and how it handles any speaker i have connected. it also is crystal clear if just a tad bright but that can be managed with the variable loudness. great little extras include the variable loudness cd direct and the ability to use either mm or mc carts on your turntable. its got essentially identical specs to the newer yamaha a-s500/a-s501 integrated amplifiers. i actually compare it very favorable to my nakamichi stasis receivers (sr3a/ta2a). so to summarize tons of power and great clarity if you find one that is working buy it and if you find one broken and you can fix it do so.



re: AX-500

Found one of thes Yamahas in its box that had just been dropped off at a metal dealer- someone had cut the power cord. I offered the scrap dealer $2.00 usd for this amp. He said yes. Took it home, de-re soldered a new ac cord to the transformer, cleaned the switches- pots. everything worked. Found this site - checked all componets, perfect. set the finals to 10 ma. shes good to go. Yes, the sun was shining on me that day!!!

VAS current source question

My friend had one of these amps many years ago. We were hifi enthusiasts at the time and I thought it was quite a decent sounding amp.

Does anyone understand the unusual VAS current loading arrangement used here? The voltage amplifier stage is loaded by a current mirror. Unusually the input side of the current mirror is programmed by R208 and C197, via Q117. The base of Q117 is biased mid way between the base of the two driver transistors, Q121 and Q123. The other side of R208 and C197 is bootstrapped to the output rail via electrolytic capacitor C201. It looks like some kind of feed-forward error correction around the output stage. Or maybe there is another logical explaination why this arrangement is used. Any comments?

Yamaha AX-500u


Can't really help you with your problem without hours of pulling out my old textbooks and studying the circuits. But I have a question for you. Never worked on stereo amps before and I don't have an oscilloscope, but I am a pretty good solderer and I want to at least try and fix it before I dump it.

My amp powers up normally but I get no sound. I get the red light, but the safety circuit never gives the "click" that you hear before the sound starts coming out. I was thinking that it must be one of the 4 big power transistors. It's an awesome old stereo. I've had it for since I was 20 years old and would love to put it in my workshop. My backup receiver crapped out on me too.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


re: Yamaha AX-500u

Hi Andy,

It's probably a bit late but you just might still have it sitting in a corner somewhere. Check my post on the Yamaha RX-797. Sounds like the same problem. Pretty common on Yamaha amps. Fast easy fix.

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