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Review and Measurements of Yamaha WXA-50 Streaming Amp

KEW

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The WXA-50 seems awfully tempting, but I have no use for the streaming features. I hate to pay $500 for it, knowing that I'll never use it for it's main purpose... Are there any good alternatives without the streaming that are also similarly compact, measures well, includes optical input, and are hopefully cheaper, since they wouldn't include the internet connectivity hardware?

I know last year Amir had mentioned that there were "far better choices" if the streaming features aren't needed....
What speakers do you have?
How much power do you need?
Will you use a sub? (which will reduce power demands on the integrated amp)?
All in all, I believe the WXA-50 is a pretty good value even w/o streaming features!
 
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What speakers do you have?
How much power do you need?
Will you use a sub? (which will reduce power demands on the integrated amp)?
All in all, I believe the WXA-50 is a pretty good value even w/o streaming features!
Speakers: Monitor Audio Silver 1 - specs page says they want 40 - 100W. Planning to use near-field for a desktop PC setup, hence the need for a small amp. Not planning to use a subwoofer. Since it's near-field, definitely looking to make sure there's no hiss or noise from the amp.
 

KEW

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Speakers: Monitor Audio Silver 1 - specs page says they want 40 - 100W. Planning to use near-field for a desktop PC setup, hence the need for a small amp. Not planning to use a subwoofer. Since it's near-field, definitely looking to make sure there's no hiss or noise from the amp.
For "far better choices", I suspect Amirm is thinking of full size units like Yamaha A-S501 ($550)

Parts Express sells lots of mini amps, but I think they are gambles on your no hiss or noise, unless you can find them measured here (or some other independent source).

Consequently, I would stick to companies with a pretty well established reputation. (and even some of them will have hiss if the gain structure is wrong!

The good thing is since you are listening near-field you should be good with the low end of Monitor Audio's 40W-100W range (which I expect is for a normal mid to far-field setup)!

The best bet I can think of is the Emotiva BasX A-100; however it is a whopping 15" deep!:
https://emotiva.com/products/a-100?...EYV6xov5JYQBUc7IQhWTPhd0WRAt8o7IaAiUgEALw_wcB

As I said, the potential for hiss (up close) is there, but it is much more likely with very efficient speakers (like Klipsch).
More importantly, the A-100 has a fan. It may be that it would never kick on for your usage, but that is something to research/ask Emotiva about.
Emotiva gives you 30 days to return for full refund, but you will pay return shipping!

Maybe someone else knows of a good option for you, but unless the Emotiva fits, I'd play it safe and stick with the WXA-50 ... especially if you are not averse to using an app for control. The MusicCast app is mature and I tend to use it instead of the remote! It also gives you bass-mid-treble tone controls.
 

Unclevanya

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Speakers: Monitor Audio Silver 1 - specs page says they want 40 - 100W. Planning to use near-field for a desktop PC setup, hence the need for a small amp. Not planning to use a subwoofer. Since it's near-field, definitely looking to make sure there's no hiss or noise from the amp.
The NAD 3020v2 is nice and compact.
The WXA-50 seems awfully tempting, but I have no use for the streaming features. I hate to pay $500 for it, knowing that I'll never use it for it's main purpose... Are there any good alternatives without the streaming that are also similarly compact, measures well, optical input is nice but not required, and are hopefully cheaper, since they wouldn't include the internet connectivity hardware?

I know last year Amir had mentioned that there were "far better choices" if the streaming features aren't needed....
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/desktop-amplifier.14688/

I like my Yamaha a little more than my NAD 3020v2 but I need a little more power than you do. The NAD is very good. I 'think' the Yamaha sounds better driving my 3 way floor standing 6 ohm speakers but I wouldn't put money on the outcome of a double blind test.
 

Unclevanya

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I should also point out that while new pricing is not far apart on the Yamaha and NAD, I bought my NAD as an open box item from this company:

https://www.safeandsoundhq.com/products/nad-electronics-d-3020-v2-hybrid-digital-amplifier-factory-refurbished-open-box?variant=31123250380911&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google Shopping&gclid=CjwKCAjwh7H7BRBBEiwAPXjadun5DarE3EmKU92Og9tcCoHTZrRuJXYD750HQ4LJ10sB5BtEyE9ngBoC_38QAvD_BwE

It was pristine, and came with a full 2 year warranty and money back return for I think 60 days.

My Yamaha was used on eBay and wasn't as simple. It came without original box, without remote, without manual and without a stand. It looked mint and has worked well. I added a square trade warranty just in case.

Anything cheaper than the open box NAD and it starts to be a compromise in one way or another. I looked for a long time and settled on those units. Teac makes some nice small units also but beware the one recently on Drop, the AI-101, as it has runaway volume control issues the company has ignored. https://www.avforums.com/threads/teac-ai-101da-intermittent-volume-issues.2079188/
 
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KEW

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Teac makes some nice small units also but beware the one recently on drop AI-101 as it has runaway volume control issues the company has ignored. https://www.avforums.com/threads/teac-ai-101da-intermittent-volume-issues.2079188/
Also, be aware that the Teacs can run pretty deep (despite the smaller face). My DR-H300 is a little over 14" deep and that makes it close to 16" required if you use banana plugs and clearance for the IEC (power) plug!
Of course it all depends where he needs the compact dimensions!
 

waynel

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Speaker type options are 1. Floorstanding 2. Bookshelf 3. In Ceiling 4. In Wall 5. Compact. If the 'Auto' setting does anything, it's a black box that only testing could determine if any change occurs at all, though I doubt they'd put it there without making some change to the output.

There's a bunch of stuff here, so let me know if you want a screen shot inside another option.

*NOTE* Yellow pages is the /setup, the other ones are the standard web interface. View attachment 58771 View attachment 58772 View attachment 58773 View attachment 58774
I tested the speaker settings to see if any of them would act like a high pass filter , what I found was very disappointing. I did my tests on a WXC-50 as it was easier to pull out and has the same settings.

The speaker type setting only had an effect when bass extension was switched on. Each setting applied a boost centered between 90 and 130 Hz and a dip centered at 38-46Hz depending on the speaker selected. None of these are really suitable as a high pass filter when using a subwoofer.
wxa speaker settings.jpg


But wait it gets worse. I checked the sub output and stupidly the same filter was applied to the sub output! Why Yamaha?

wxa sub out.jpg


This is beyond broken for bass management. How hard would it be to add one setting that places a 4th order (or even 2nd order) Linkwitz-Riley high pass filter at 80Hz while either doing the same with a LPF for the sub or just leaving the sub output alone for adjustment in the subwoofer settings. Bass management is broken on the WXA-50 and WXC-50 and yamaha has had 4 years to fix this though a firmware update. Very very disappointed in Yamaha on this one.

Wayne
 

Unclevanya

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I tested the speaker settings to see if any of them would act like a high pass filter , what I found was very disappointing. I did my tests on a WXC-50 as it was easier to pull out and has the same settings.

The speaker type setting only had an effect when bass extension was switched on. Each setting applied a boost centered between 90 and 130 Hz and a dip centered at 38-46Hz depending on the speaker selected. None of these are really suitable as a high pass filter when using a subwoofer.
View attachment 85124

But wait it gets worse. I checked the sub output and stupidly the same filter was applied to the sub output! Why Yamaha?

View attachment 85125

This is beyond broken for bass management. How hard would it be to add one setting that places a 4th order (or even 2nd order) Linkwitz-Riley high pass filter at 80Hz while either doing the same with a LPF for the sub or just leaving the sub output alone for adjustment in the subwoofer settings. Bass management is broken on the WXA-50 and WXC-50 and yamaha has had 4 years to fix this though a firmware update. Very very disappointed in Yamaha on this one.

Wayne
Are we certain the wxc and wxa are identical in this respect?

The sub output is very disappointing if that holds true. I assume if bass extension is off it does not alter either the speakers or sub curve?
 

waynel

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Are we certain the wxc and wxa are identical in this respect?

The sub output is very disappointing if that holds true. I assume if bass extension is off it does not alter either the speakers or sub curve?
I’m pretty sure as the interface and settings are the same. Also Yamaha has been silent on the issue and not clarified use with a subwoofer. I would assume the wxa is the same unless Yamaha says otherwise. It’s a shame because other than the option to integrate a sub, I’m happy with the unit and ecosystem.
 

Unclevanya

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I’m pretty sure as the interface and settings are the same. Also Yamaha has been silent on the issue and not clarified use with a subwoofer. I would assume the wxa is the same unless Yamaha says otherwise. It’s a shame because other than the option to integrate a sub, I’m happy with the unit and ecosystem.
Interesting. I thought I'd seen some differences but I could be mistaken.

Again just asking for clarity, if base boost is off then both are flat including sub?
 

waynel

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Interesting. I thought I'd seen some differences but I could be mistaken.

Again just asking for clarity, if base boost is off then both are flat including sub?
If bass extension is off then the sub is flat below 200hz
 

waynel

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I tested the speaker settings to see if any of them would act like a high pass filter , what I found was very disappointing. I did my tests on a WXC-50 as it was easier to pull out and has the same settings.

The speaker type setting only had an effect when bass extension was switched on. Each setting applied a boost centered between 90 and 130 Hz and a dip centered at 38-46Hz depending on the speaker selected. None of these are really suitable as a high pass filter when using a subwoofer.
View attachment 85124

But wait it gets worse. I checked the sub output and stupidly the same filter was applied to the sub output! Why Yamaha?

View attachment 85125

This is beyond broken for bass management. How hard would it be to add one setting that places a 4th order (or even 2nd order) Linkwitz-Riley high pass filter at 80Hz while either doing the same with a LPF for the sub or just leaving the sub output alone for adjustment in the subwoofer settings. Bass management is broken on the WXA-50 and WXC-50 and yamaha has had 4 years to fix this though a firmware update. Very very disappointed in Yamaha on this one.

Wayne

And a response from Yamaha Support:

"
Thank you for contacting Yamaha Support.
Subwoofer crossover frequency is 250Hz fixed output/Volume output is variable. It cannot be changed. If you wanted to adjust the cross over output it would have to be done on the actual subwoofer itself. The speakers will receive the full range signals to them and you cannot set a cross over for them. "

Not good news,

Wayne
 

ceut

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Hello,
I'm new here.
I have bought a brand new Yamaha WXA-50, since 1 week.
It sounds great, I use it with my computer/firefox to control it.

I have the same problem as everyone: heat produced on the left side.

So I have found the Service Manual, and the power part is a B&O Ice Power module , the genuine 125ASX2 board (not the fake one found on ebay or aliexpress or other chinese reseller).
This board receives the Analog Signal from the (superb) SABRE9006AS DAC.
I attached the diagram here.

Also, you can check many infos on computer with the "/service_info" link (there is for example the T° raw value from the MCU ADC, number of running hour etc..).

The PDF from the 125ASX2 board tells that "A minimum clearance of 12 mm. around the module is required for safety and ventilation reasons. ".
Yamaha has not followed the B&O instruction, so they add a Fan to cool down the board, that's why there is no hole on the upper left side: for the fan to blow from inside to outside on the left side.

So I think there must be another solution do reduce the generated heat.

Also, I have checked the line power with a wattmeter: I have the 240V EU model, and only 16W is used at my volume level.
 

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ceut

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Some photos after half an hour running without sound:
>From the outside:
flir_20201004T225635.jpg


>Inside, after cover removal:
flir_20201004T225721.jpg

The transformer is at more than 66°C ! And without any sound on speaker....
The "A/D Monitor" is at "TMP1: 108"

Also, all (japanese) capacitors are very hot on the IcePower board.. So not good at all for their life :rolleyes:

Will try this test without metal cover
 
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KEW

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Some photos after half an hour running without sound:
>From the outside:
View attachment 86133

>Inside, after cover removal:
View attachment 86134
The transformer is at more than 66°C ! And without any sound on speaker....
The "A/D Monitor" is at "TMP1: 108"

Also, all (japanese) capacitors are very hot on the IcePower board.. So not good at all for their life :rolleyes:

Will try this test without metal cover
My contention is that this unit was designed (from a cooling standpoint) to be oriented as shown in the photo below (even though Yamaha offers no mention of this that I saw) :

Could you be so kind as to take a thermal image of the unit after it has been operating in this position with equivalent loading as was used before your photo in the horizontal position to determine if I am correct in my belief that the cooling will be much better?


Because of the vent holes on the top and the vent holes right of the volume knob, I believe the 6" vertical distance between these vents will result in a fairly effective thermal (chimney draw) to aid cooling.
When the unit is positioned horizontally, there seems little reason for much air flow between the vents!


Thanks!
 
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ceut

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My contention is that this unit was designed (from a cooling standpoint) to be oriented as shown in the photo below (even though Yamaha offers no mention of this that I saw) :

Could you be so kind as to take a thermal image of the unit after it has been operating in this position with equivalent loading as was used before your photo in the horizontal position to determine if I am correct in my belief that the cooling will be much better?


Because of the vent holes on the top and the vent holes right of the volume knob, I believe the 6" vertical distance between these vents will result in a fairly effective thermal (chimney draw) to aid cooling.
When the unit is positioned horizontally, there seems little reason for much air flow between the vents!


Thanks!
Yes, good idea !
For me, the place where I would like to leave my WXA-50 is on that side.

I will do that tonight, and if there is lot of difference, I will see how I can change the place where it will be.

Also, I have checked the T° on the Service Info, it was powered off all night, and I have not powered on, so this value is the "idle" value:
"A/D Monitor: TMP1: 122" at about 22° on the top of it now.

"A/D Monitor: TMP1: 108" was yesterday at about 41°C on the top and 66°C on the inside after half an hour running without sound.

(http://<ip_adress>/service_info , it works even in standby with network standby option on)

So the raw value of the sensor is not very good: it is not very senstive so I think the Fan will not be powered on correctly .
 

KEW

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"A/D Monitor: TMP1: 122" at about 22° on the top of it now.

So the raw value of the sensor is not very good: it is not very sensitive so I think the Fan will not be powered on correctly .
I don't follow your convention for specifying the temperature!
What does the 122" in the first line above represent?

I don't know if it applies to this unit, but on some units, it is widely believed that the fan is provided solely for the purpose of meeting the RMS power specification. IOW, it is not really intended as a preventive measure, but rather as a way to prevent the unit from a thermal shut-off when it is pushed to its limits! There are many of these fans which seem to never activate during normal consumer use, despite the unit getting pretty hot.
 
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ceut

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I don't follow your convention for specifying the temperature!
What does the 122" in the first line above represent?

I don't know if it applies to this unit, but on some units, it is widely believed that the fan is provided solely for the purpose of meeting the RMS power specification. IOW, it is not really intended as a preventive measure, but rather as a way to prevent the unit from a thermal shut-off when it is pushed to its limits! There are many which seem to never activate despite the unit getting pretty hot.
Hello,
The 122 number is the raw value of the Temperature sensor (a LM19) , taken from the ADC of the main Toshiba MCU (the TMPM462F15FG) for managing the Fan, and over temperature Protection.
Here a screenshot of what I have now with power down (I have erased all MAC):

1602017465105.png


In my room, the termperature is about 22°C so 122=22°C.

This raw value decreases when Temperature increases, the lower value I have had is 106, when I have posted the FLIR photos previously.
The WXA-50 shuts down if it is too hot, it is one of the reason we can see it in Service Manual.
And if it shuts down, it saves in the EEPROM: the Volume level, the input source, and the On Time before protection kicked in.
And the history of protection recorded in memory is 4 .

It will be interested if some of you could post their TMP1 value to compare.
 
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ceut

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Ok, I have found the Temperature Sensor Location: it is in the Network module...behind the AUX Left IN/OUT (on the PCB called "MAIN(2)").

Not good at all because it's the IcePower board which is hot :rolleyes:

Also, @KEW, I'm testing the vertical position for about 1 hour now, and the unit is cold ! (I'm listennig to some metal music on it :cool:).
I'm waiting a little more and will take FLIR photos.

Seems that the WXA-50 is made to be in vertical position ?(with the volume knob at the bottom).
 
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