I was for a long time a very big fan of the Yamaha C4 M4 combination. If not for the move to home theater I would still be using them today. The Yamaha of the 80s was far superior than the same today.
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Saturn- I still have my Yamaha C2a, a great ss pre from about 1980. It has switchable cart loading, 2 phono inputs, mc step up, 2 tape loops, sep. rec out (with off position), 2 outputs for biamping, even has a plastic rod/u-joint system for input switching to shorten the signal paths. Built like a tank, about twice as heavy as an ARC SP 9. It was my primary pre until about a year ago and now sounds fine in my 2nd system. Don't know anything about Denon from that era. Used it to drive a CM Labs 150 wpc and I could wake the dead. Now interested more in detail and timbre, but no regrets about that purchase.
Saturn99, Yea, me have. Just kidding, I do have the CX1000U. I have the Full Yamaha 1000U line. I like the preamp very much. It is a digital preamp, I think their first, but not sure. I would really love to get my hands on their 10000 line. That was Yamaha's class A line. The MX10000 amp was supposed to have been incredible. Have never seen one. The dealer I purchased my 1000U line from had the 2000U line also. The only difference was cosmetic though, I couldn't see spending half again as much if there was no sonic improvement. The difference was... different color, wood panels on the sides, and analog meters. These 1000U's have been great to us over the years, but I am starting to upgrade. Just started with my speakers, electronics are next.
I've had a Denon pra1000 for 16 years, it currently serves in my second system. At the present time, I have no output from 1 channel, but I dont know if Ill bother to fix it. That is the only thing in all the years I had it to go wrong. I always thought (and still do) that it was a great little piece (plus it has a great phono stage) I would sell this if youre interested
I sold both in 80's. I was not impressed by the CX1000u, MX1000u combo. The sound was clean but stole warmth and some of the sounstage. Earlier models such as the C2a were better. Denon gear is warmer with better transformers. Yamaha made good tuners, such as the T-1 (a collectors item), and T-2. THESE PIECES ARE HOPELESSLY OUTCLASSED BY MODERN EQUIPMENT! Denon and Yamaha, like Onkyo, are now mid-fi companies that dabble in high end only very infrequently.