early 80s stereo receiver mm/mc phono....

Primarly looking at denon or Yamaha from.this era...with remote...pre outs...Rx 900 or similar? Any other suggestions?
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the Nikko Beta 1 and III preamps have excellent phono stages, so perhaps a Nikko receiver from the same period would be equal.
I got into the high-end business around that time. Nakamichi, Harmon Kardon, Kyocera, Denon all made very nice receivers. I sold Yamaha for years, but didn't really think that highly of it. Just my opinion, but you could do better.
remotes weren't commonplace 'til the late 80s, so you're probably looking at that era. in contrast to mofi, i'm very happy with my yamaha rx1000--lots of power features, etc. i've also heard some 2 ch sony es from the same period which should fit your bill.
Don't know how much you are planning to spend, but there is an HK 790i on ebay NIB Buy It Now for $300.