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Review and Measurements of Yamaha WXA-50 Streaming Amp

BillG

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2.1+EDR is correct. How can they use that in a 4 yr old product (note: none of these are good reasons) 1) their main competitor SONOS had no Bluetooth, so they probably thought that is a win. 2) most people don’t care 3) they don’t consider this their flagship and want you to buy the RX-A3080 which has Bluetooth 4.2
In any case, using bluetooth version 2 in a 2016 product screams cheap. Specially when there is no way for the user to upgrade manually. I'd have used the wireless airplay feature and now I'm concerned about the range.
 

Unclevanya

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I use primarily musiccast but there's nothing stopping anyone from adding a good external Bluetooth. Some even have optical outputs. I wouldn't let the archaic Bluetooth bother you. Airplay is also supported in case that helps...
 

roh

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Hello I have a similar question as SPOautos.

My plan is to use WXC-50 in multiple ways:
- TV into optical
- Airplay
- USB drive
- turntable into analog input

Output would be to my active monitors Tapco S8. So I want to use it as a preamp as well to control the volume.

But I am quite confused about the volume control. It is supposed to be digital based on the ESS Sabre DAC.

But how does it control the volume from the analog input?
 

SimpleTheater

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But I am quite confused about the volume control. It is supposed to be digital based on the ESS Sabre DAC.
I don't know if it is based on the ESS Sabre DAC, or if they're using some other method, but it is digitally based.
But how does it control the volume from the analog input?
Everything gets digitized. If you use the analog inputs (turntable) it digitizes everything and uses its internal DAC. There's no way to escape that.
 

roh

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so there has to be an ADC there, but I never saw it mentioned in the reviews...

this is unfortunate, and the product is disqualified for me, such a pity it looked so nice :(...
 
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I noticed a lot of people mention the lack of specific volume control as a bug bear for this amp. Are you guys aware that the amp has a more pro website interface? You just put the location/name you gave the amp when setting it up, with -'s instead of space, followed by .local into your web browser. So for instance my amp is called living room in the app so its living-room.local and boom, more detailed volume and all the controls from the app interface too ready to use from any device that has a web browser.

View attachment 54224
For the life of me I cannot get this to access through the web browser when typing my location name. I called it blackhole and then type blackhole.local but it just does a google search in chrome. At least I can get to it through file explorer.
 

SimpleTheater

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For the life of me I cannot get this to access through the web browser when typing my location name. I called it blackhole and then type blackhole.local but it just does a google search in chrome. At least I can get to it through file explorer.
I think you mean this:
IMG_0132.png

You get here by putting your ip into your browser and adding \setup.
 
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I think you mean this:
View attachment 75170
You get here by putting your ip into your browser and adding \setup.
Ah yes I was able to get to that version of the setup by doing that thanks! Either way I guess it doesn't matter really. So far the amp seems to be pretty good, looks nicely engineered and well built. I feel like I have overpaid in some ways for what I am really using it for just as an amp, but it fits nicely on my desk, didn't get to hot and I was able to buy it somewhat locally. Haven't found a pure amp that is this size with a sub out locally. The only unfortunate thing is I ordered a floor model but it didn't come with the remote, stands or antennae. I don't really need the remote or antennae at this time but I think I would like to have them all the same incase I use more of the wireless capabilities. Haven't been impressed with the KEF LS50 speakers. Going to return them and try some ELAC DBR62.
 

MrDodge

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Hi everyone, recently started my audio journey. A Yamaha WXA 50 and Wharfedale Diamond 230s. Love the audio quality - I had a sony soundbar with a separate subwoofer - decent for simple TV functions but it blew a fuse and I decided to find an alternative. I have been reading reviews across websites including ASR and youtube for the past year and a half. Got a great deal via RicherSounds.

The wharefedale's have a lot of bass and sound melodious - my room is small so not a lot to go into high volumes. My music choices range from Audioslave to some Indian music. I will be honest, I have not auditioned a lot of speakers - a few visits to Richer Sound stores to audition the popular bookshelf and floorstanders. Almost ended up buying a Naim muso but happy I went down the stereo route. Must say the Yamaha makes it very convenient to go optical from my TV or play Spotify or even listen to some radio. The Musiccast app is great, does its job well without any apparent bugs or disconnects yet.

I have a question though. The optical volume from my TV to the WXA 50 is considerably lower than the direct app integration via Spotify. I have been trying to find out the reason but cant figure it out. Any suggestions or has anyone else faced this issue. Would an RCA connection make this better? Or is there any way to boost the input signal?

Sony TV -> WXA 50 -> Wharfeddale 230s.
 

SimpleTheater

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I have a question though. The optical volume from my TV to the WXA 50 is considerably lower than the direct app integration via Spotify. I have been trying to find out the reason but cant figure it out. Any suggestions or has anyone else faced this issue. Would an RCA connection make this better? Or is there any way to boost the input signal?

Sony TV -> WXA 50 -> Wharfeddale 230s.
output via Sony is fixed, so not much you can do. The output voltage via the Sony is just less than the Yamaha is expecting.
 
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I like all the features of the WXC-50 (including sub out) which probably has the same preamp section of the WXA-50. Is there another streaming preamp with all the same inputs/outputs/features but higher on the preamp SINAD list?
 

Unclevanya

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The only unfortunate thing is I ordered a floor model but it didn't come with the remote, stands or antennae. I don't really need the remote or antennae at this time but I think I would like to have them all the same incase I use more of the wireless capabilities.
I have a source for the remote but I'll have to look it up again. eBay often has them also. Mine unit was bought used and came with the antenna but no stand and no remote. I've replaced the remote. I'd love to find a compatible stand. As for the antenna it looks like a standard issue item. eBay link here (not affiliated with me) https://www.ebay.com/itm/363057453729 claims this works.
 
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I have a source for the remote but I'll have to look it up again. eBay often has them also. Mine unit was bought used and came with the antenna but no stand and no remote. I've replaced the remote. I'd love to find a compatible stand. As for the antenna it looks like a standard issue item. eBay link here (not affiliated with me) https://www.ebay.com/itm/363057453729 claims this works.
Thanks appreciate it. I actually am ordering a new one, the sub out kept cutting out on the model I got, my sub would just not be working and then all of the sudden work. It also sounded very boomy although I think that is more just the limited options for the sub on the amp vs my vanatoo speakers I was using having some built in DSP settings.
 

waynel

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I own one which I use in a living room system and I think this is a great unit. The largest flaw in my opinion is not being able to high pass filter the main channel outputs when using a sub. I think all the hardware /dsp is there but for some reason Yamaha has not updated the firmware to provide this. The similar Sonos amp does this well as the hp filter is automatic when a plug is in the sub rca jack.
 
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I own one which I use in a living room system and I think this is a great unit. The largest flaw in my opinion is not being able to high pass filter the main channel outputs when using a sub. I think all the hardware /dsp is there but for some reason Yamaha has not updated the firmware to provide this. The similar Sonos amp does this well as the hp filter is automatic when a plug is in the sub rca jack.
That would be nice, I am sure I can figure out how to do it in some EQ software eventually, but I can't say how nice it was on the Vanatoo speakers to just plug in the sub and whatever they set up made those speakers killer for the price and size.
 
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