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Review and Measurements of Yamaha WXA-50 Streaming Amp

SimpleTheater

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I've tried the following:
1) kept the WXA unplugged for more than 2 minutes - no result
2) did a reset of the WXA - no result
3) restored factory defaults on the WXA - got the settings back (I can change settings in the web-interface now), but still no sound from the optical input
4) changed the output sound format on the TV from SPDIF to PCM - no result

So, I guess that is it...
Thanks to everyone who replied :)
Regards
The only other thing is to test the cable. Plug the TV into something else with optical input and make sure you’re getting sound. Otherwise it would appear the optical input is bad.

And let me say one really dumb thing, there is both an optical input and output on the unit, so I’m assuming you’re using the input.
 
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The only other thing is to test the cable. Plug the TV into something else with optical input and make sure you’re getting sound. Otherwise it would appear the optical input is bad.

And let me say one really dumb thing, there is both an optical input and output on the unit, so I’m assuming you’re using the input.
Thanks

That also crossed my mind: I will try to find something else to plug the TV in and test the cable. Although, the cable does glow red at the end, so I don't think it's the cable. Might be wrong, of course.

I am using the "optical in" - btw, I can't find an optical out on my WXA-50... :)

Regards
 

SimpleTheater

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Thanks

That also crossed my mind: I will try to find something else to plug the TV in and test the cable. Although, the cable does glow red at the end, so I don't think it's the cable. Might be wrong, of course.

I am using the "optical in" - btw, I can't find an optical out on my WXA-50... :)

Regards
I looked at my WXC-50 before I posted and assumed it had the same inputs/outputs as the WXA, sans the amp. But you’re definitely right, no optical output on the WXA.
 

Juhazi

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I just bought WXC-50 for my bedroom set which has diy stereo spekers with Hypex FA123. Now connected with RCA, but digital might be worth trying. But no noise and enough max spl this way so why bother... FA's can be chained with digital so that first one is master and L or R and sends other channel to the other. I connected tv with optical, other main source is wifi/Spotify, the Bluetooth when I want to play Youtube videos.

Installing MusicCast and getting wifi working was painful with the phone app, but pressing WPS button in router solved that. I have another Yammy in living room, but no need for multiroom features. MusicCast looks nice at first sight with many features and options, but best for me is that WXC-50 wakes up and shuts down with Spotify.
 
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Juhazi

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Are your speaker active or passive? WXA-50 has an amplifier inside and it is supposed to be used with passive speakers, connected with speaker wires (not RCA) WXC-50 is designed to be used only with active speakers or a power amplifier.

WXA-50 does have line out RCAs (AUX Out), but I cant find specs if it has fixed voltage (spl). Those can be used for active speakers.
 
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Are your speaker active or passive? WXA-50 has an amplifier inside and it is supposed to be used with passive speakers, connected with speaker wires (not RCA) WXC-50 is designed to be used with active speakers.

WXA-50 does have line out RCAs (AUX), but that is not for active speakers with amplifiers inside, because AUX has fixed voltage (spl). Well you can connect them, but volume control must be done at speakers.
I thought it had out RCAs before buying it! it's my bad for not researching enough... will get some speaker wire then. I have a pair of JBL A130s, passive and a SVS sub (the sub out is indeed RCA). Thanks for the answer!
 

Juhazi

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I ask everyone with WXA-50 or WXC-50 to download the Advanced manual and study it carefully!

Unit has numerous options and defaults are not the best for hifi! Sound goes thru DSP and by default it has eg. speaker setting "Bookshelf" and loudness EQ "On" Go to page 31 in manual, title Settings2

I measured my active speakers with direct feed and via WXC-50 analog input. There was enormous distortion below 100Hz and above 5kHz, obviously measurement signal suffered from clipping because of speaker setting "Bookshelf" boosting bass and highs.

ps. My AVR Yamaha RXV-685 has these same dsp-settings, and they can be selected with remote control buttons! And bypassed by pressing "Pure direct"

wxc-50 settings2.jpg
 
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mononoaware

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I ask everyone with WXA-50 or WXC-50 to download the Advanced manual and study it carefully!

Unit has numerous options and defaults are not the best for hifi! Sound goes thru DSP and by default it has eg. speaker setting "Bookshelf" and loudness EQ "On" Go to page 31 in manual, title Settings2

I measured my active speakers with direct feed and via WXC-50 analog input. There was enormous distortion below 100Hz and above 5kHz, obviously measurement signal suffered from clipping because of speaker setting "Bookshelf" boosting bass and highs.

ps. My AVR Yamaha RXV-685 has these same dsp-settings, and they can be selected with remote control buttons! And bypassed by pressing "Pure direct"
So many settings is probably "enjoyable" for regular consumers. I know I like reading the manual in full & tweaking small settings etc.

Sound settings adding a huge boost might be overloading the input of your speakers. With "speaker settings/EQ on" have you tried measuring again after lowering the pre-amp volume level of the WXC-50?
(because if you are using with "DSP on" you may as well use the volume control)

From Yamaha WXC-50 "Audio Section" specifications, the Maximum output of Pre-out (RCA) can actually reach 4.0v (likely due to software gain + pre-amp gain).
So you maybe over-loading your Speaker max input signal which could be 1v or 2.0v.

Maximum Output Level - PRE OUT (0.9% THD, PRE AMP / PLAYER mode, Gain offset +6 dB)4.0V
 
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mononoaware

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I tested the speaker settings to see if any of them would act like a high pass filter ,
I agree the frequency response does look weird.

I am interested in the WXC-50, and have read conflicting things about the product.
It seems the number of combinations of adjustable settings could be the cause of these conflicts.

One thing I did read online was that the WXC-50 comes with "high-pass filter on" out-of-the-box.
Maybe if you do a factory reset (after recording your current settings) it will give you the high-pass you are looking for?

Or is the "high pass" they are referring to just the "bookshelf" speaker setting (which I read is the default).
Maybe they are using Bookshelf speakers and so it sounds like it drops off below 50hz.

waynel said:
The speaker type setting only had an effect when bass extension was switched on.
What about the effects of "speaker type" settings with Enhancer (off), Equalizer (set to bypass), Bass extension (off).
I know you already tried Bass extension (off), but maybe different combinations give different results?

I find your test results useful as they show what is going on, but since there are so many combinations of settings I do wonder if the results could look different when using different settings.
 

Juhazi

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Sorry, I don't have energy to test/measure the effect of all these Settigs2. For that speaker testing I used analog input in WXC-50, but that was just a test. I didn't even save those measurements because they were so bad in distortion (bass sounded like a V8). I used ODAC but it didn't give max voltage (2.1V). I am sure WXC-50 was not giving too high voltage to Hypex FA123, spl was lower than with ODAC straight to FA123. And now I can't hear such distortion with other feeds in WXC (Spotify, optical, Bt).

I disabled all other dsp tricks except Enhancer in WXC-50, because I listen to Spotify a lot. With RXV-685 I play with multichannel emulation etc. a little, which is easy with the remote. With it I listen to music in stereo, but for TV I may use tricks.
 
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mononoaware

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Sorry, I don't have energy to test/measure the effect of all these Settigs2.
Please understand I am not asking you to do any measurement.
I am just trying to help understand the issue so maybe you can fix.

Your original complaint maybe 100% correct "increased distortion and clipping added by DSP process".
I would also suspect it could be caused by Analog > Digital > Analog conversion (if you used Aux input).

Juhazi said:
For that speaker testing I used analog input in WXC-50
I understand now you used external DAC (ODAC) signal into the WXC-50 Analog input.
If you used Aux (analog) RCA input on WXC-50 it is rated at 2.4v which is higher than ODAC output so this should be ok.
WXC-50 Advanced Manual "Audio Section" said:
Maximum Input Signal• AUX IN (1 kHz, 0.5% THD)2.4 V
Juhazi said:
I am sure WXC-50 was not giving too high voltage to Hypex FA123, spl was lower than with ODAC straight to FA123.
So I just wonder the reason you feed ODAC into WXC-50 Analog input.
They are both DAC. But Yamaha has added "Analog input" as an option to use WXC-50 as a Pre-amp, but I suspect this is just a "extra" feature and WXC-50 is designed to be a DAC/Digital Streamer product.

Juhazi said:
And now I can't hear such distortion with other feeds in WXC (Spotify, optical, Bt).
So Digital signal input into WXC-50 with "Speaker type" on and "EQ" on and there is no distortion/clipping?

WXC-50 should function better if you send it Digital signal (while signal is Digital optional DSP processing is applied), then WXC-50 DAC converts it to Analog (conversion only one time) and then output to your speakers.

If you are correct (sound issues with analog input) - then WXC-50 should NOT be used as Pre-amp with Analog input.
 
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Juhazi

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I've been using ODAC and REW for speaker project measurements since 2013, with tens of different preamps, avrs, dacs, amps etc. This was first time with such strange and extreme distortion at regular signal levels. Typically test sweep signal overdrive shows constant % clipping distortion throughout spl range.

It just came to my mind to ask @Archimago to test wxc- 50 which is otherwise a really nice gadget.
 
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mononoaware

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This was first time with such strange and extreme distortion at regular signal levels.
So according to your comment below, I assume if you send the test sweep signal through digital input (coax, optical or AirPlay etc) WXC-50 shows no clipping/distortion behaviour.

And now I can't hear such distortion with other feeds in WXC (Spotify, optical, Bt).
-

At this point I just think Yamaha did a poor job with the design of Aux (analog) input. I think products designed to be mostly digital have negative results from Analog inputs.
I just thought being product from Yamaha, they would have done proper job and have an option to Pass-through the Analog input only through a Analog Pre-amp section. (From the product photo's it is large and looks well engineered, even uses linear power supply according to a review)

I did consider the WXC-50 to use as a Analog Pre-amp (just volume control between DAC & Amplifier).
Maybe it was a good idea I didn't buy it.

- Just thought I would add here I found there is a firmware update (date 2020-12-15 version 2.70) if it fixes anything...
 
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Juhazi

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I can do more tests during next weekend. I emailed Archimago yesterday, but he hasn't answered yet.

I don't believe that Yamaha would let out a device that has such a fundamental flaw with analog input.

But a new problem occurred when I had to reset my wifi router this morning - Music Cast application missed the units. It must be because net addresses have changed. Then resetting MusicCast didn't work right away because my phone and tablet use 5Ghz and Yamahas talk only 2,4G. After making connection they do work with 5G remotes because router is set to share 2.4 and 5G nets. Well, actually I don't need MusicCast app at all.

Now web browser connection doesn't show Firmware number, my guess is that it is 2.70 already.
 
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mononoaware

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I don't believe that Yamaha would let out a device that has such a fundamental flaw with analog input.
I agree. I actually typed this same sentence in my last post, but I deleted it.
I also have high expectations of Yamaha products (even their cheaper ones).

Anyway so yes I also think it is possible there is some "combination" of settings or "one" setting which is causing this issue for you.

Hopefully it can be discovered which is the fault, the Aux (analog) input, or the DSP processing.

Juhazi said:
But a new problem occurred when I had to reset my wifi router this morning - Music Cast application missed the units.
Hi I also sometimes have this problem with my Apple TV (3rd gen which I use for AirPlay) when the router resets/power cycles.
I am able to fix it simply by turning off, then unplugging the Apple TV, waiting for a minute and plugging back in (power cycle device).
Hopefully this helps.
 
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Juhazi

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I agree. I actually typed this same sentence in my last post, but I deleted it.
I also have high expectations of Yamaha products (even their cheaper ones).
Haa, I've been addicted to Yamaha hifi since 1981! Never had an outboard or snowmobile Yammy, just one SRX-6, a piano and a guitar. My kids play Yammy sax and flute.

 
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Juhazi

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Nice for the Finnish summer!
Silly me, I do have a custom painted - 01 Yamaha F100 outboard engine!

Here also my ex -86 SRX and my youngest daughter, had the bike for 5 years but the tuned-up engine was broken most of the time... But now I ride - 04 Triumph Sprint RS with my younger son.

904620_10202391101447007_2082524786_o.jpg jammu f100.jpg 11187333_10207090187321217_5668750989459387361_o.jpg

ps. No, I don't have the -97 MB SLK 230K any more!
 
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mononoaware

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Haa, I've been addicted to Yamaha hifi since 1981! Never had an outboard or snowmobile Yammy, just one SRX-6, a piano and a guitar. My kids play Yammy sax and flute.
When I was younger I played with Yamaha Guitar. During difficult times I stopped playing and sold it for cash.
Yamaha was involved in the design of the engine (acoustics) for the Lexus LFA car I found this interesting.
https://archive.yamaha.com/en/news_release/2009/20091021.html
 
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