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Review and Measurements of Yamaha WXA-50 Streaming Amp

Juhazi

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PROBLEM SOLVED - it was Enhancer!
Enhancer info.jpg


So, the fancy accelerating V8 engine sound at test sweep was excessive 2nd an 3rd distortion produced by Enhancer dsp-function! Actually the info text is misleading, this feature helps small speakers to give apparently more bass, by adding heavy distorion to the bass sounds that will not be produced by speakers. I don't have a decent ADC, so I had to use my diy-speaker's output for these test. Software is REW and windowing is set to 200ms, speaker at 1m from mic at normal position in the corner. Elevated highs are necessary because I am aged with hearing loss of highs.

WXC-50 Enhancer on vs off distortion.jpg

WXC-50 Enhancer on vs off spl.jpg


Then I tested Equalizer, and it has moderate effect when the unit's Volume is adjusted. Spl normalized at 1kHz in this graph.

wxc-50 Equalizer volume 0 to -35 dB response.jpg


So, please set SETTINGS2 of WXA-0 or WXC-50 to Direct for hifi listening with good loudspeakers!

WXC-50 SETTINGS.jpg


( I have made a similar post at diyaudio.com )
( small differences in responses come because I was sitting close to the mic, so reflections from my body are varying in each measurement)
 
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Juhazi

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I tested also what other dsp settings do - only Enhancer adds distortion. Funny to see, that Bass extension actually looses low bass and adds for one octave. However his might be good for typical small boxes with bass-reflex ports - they will sound louder and cleaner!

wxc-50 settins2 response.jpg


Loudspeaker type settings make only very small changes in response, none in distortion.
wxc-50 speaker type response.jpg



Single tone examples of Enhancer distortion

Bt Enh On Off 50Hz disto-tile.jpg


Bt Enh off 80Hz disto-tile.jpg
 
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carmagff

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Any thoughts on how to unblock Tidal and Qobuz services in the device for the region its not supported? I tried to change the firmware to the one downloaded from the American site, but they seem to be the same. Also tried the Musiccast application installed from the Turkish appstore. No effect, still cant see Tidal Qobuz in Musiccast. Somehow these functions are disabled programmatically.
 

ecioffi

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Like several people on this forum and others I have read online, I have been quite frustrated that the WXA/C does not have proper bass management (adjustable low-pass filter on sub out, corresponding high-pass on preamp out). So, I called Yamaha support today. They said that no one has requested this feature! I told them that people here want it, and they're putting the request through, as well as connecting me with a "tier-2 specialist" tomorrow. I really hope it's easy for them to just add the option in the firmware, which I think is the same for both WXA and WXC.

As I also told Yamaha, I really don't want to have to buy a Bluesound node 2i with inferior DAC performance instead. Bluesound apparently has posthoc added a proper crossover configuration in their software (link).
 

ecioffi

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Well, I hate to have gotten everyone's hopes up, but Yamaha responded today -- no dice. It seems like the DAC output is exactly the same to the sub out as the pre out. This goes along with some measurements someone did earlier in this thread showing the bass management curve from selecting speaker type is applied to the sub out as well. This is truly asinine because that means the cut at like 80hz for say "bookshelf" speakers is applied to the sub. I also saw they contacted Yamaha support as well. At least they said they would consider it with future products....

So now the question is should I get a node 2i and buy an external DAC, or WXC-50 and build an external active crossover (ESP project 09)?
 

waynel

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Well, I hate to have gotten everyone's hopes up, but Yamaha responded today -- no dice. It seems like the DAC output is exactly the same to the sub out as the pre out. This goes along with some measurements someone did earlier in this thread showing the bass management curve from selecting speaker type is applied to the sub out as well. This is truly asinine because that means the cut at like 80hz for say "bookshelf" speakers is applied to the sub. I also saw they contacted Yamaha support as well. At least they said they would consider it with future products....

So now the question is should I get a node 2i and buy an external DAC, or WXC-50 and build an external active crossover (ESP project 09)?
I believe you are referring to my measurements. I also contacted Yamaha and told them they are doing it wrong. They suggested I buy an AVR.
 

ecioffi

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I believe you are referring to my measurements. I also contacted Yamaha and told them they are doing it wrong. They suggested I buy an AVR.
I am. Yes they told me the same, but at least said they might consider the feature for future products. I already have a receiver for the main system. This is for my desk. I wanted one small device that can do it all without breaking the bank. Really frustrated and unsure of a direction to go in.
 

Tangband

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I tested also what other dsp settings do - only Enhancer adds distortion. Funny to see, that Bass extension actually looses low bass and adds for one octave. However his might be good for typical small boxes with bass-reflex ports - they will sound louder and cleaner!

View attachment 123304

Loudspeaker type settings make only very small changes in response, none in distortion. View attachment 123307


Single tone examples of Enhancer distortion

View attachment 123306

View attachment 123305
Thank you for doing this.
Ím an owner of WXC50 that I use as a digital pre-amp to my Genelec 8340 .

I would really love to see measurements on the digital spdif out - Is Yamaha wxc50 good enough to use as a digital preamp ( in pre amp mode ) when you are using the digital volume control från the spdif out ? Yamaha talks about 48 bit resolution in the volume control. Is that true ?

No one seems to have done any measurements on the digital out .
Can you do that ?
 

milan616

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Got my Amazon certified refurb WXA-50 today and it's certified dead sadly. Chatted with someone from Yamaha support that said Yamaha will take care of it, just waiting on them to send me shipping label. With the current shortage and high prices second hand I'm really hoping it works out!
 

milan616

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Well after getting my WXA-50 back from the service center it finally worked ... for all of 12 hours. I'm still in the return window so it's going back to Amazon rather than mess around any further with warranty repairs. Buyer beware if you see it back on Amazon Warehouse!
 
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So there is an update for the musiccast app which seems to provide more options for eq etc. Or is it just a new interface? I mainly use the wxa-50 with spotify connect, and I haven’t messed around with the settings that much. Can anyone provide some insight?
 
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Well after getting my WXA-50 back from the service center it finally worked ... for all of 12 hours. I'm still in the return window so it's going back to Amazon rather than mess around any further with warranty repairs. Buyer beware if you see it back on Amazon Warehouse!
I just loaded a used WXA into my Amazon Cart a minute ago and came here to read some more about it before pulling the trigger.
Wonder if its yours?!
 

milan616

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I just loaded a used WXA into my Amazon Cart a minute ago and came here to read some more about it before pulling the trigger.
Wonder if its yours?!
I hope not! It was just sent back yesterday so I doubt Amazon got it back already. Hopefully if you do order you'll get a working one! Edit: I really hope you don't mean one of the above retail price used units! I got mine from Amazon Warehouse for $300. $600 is crazy money.

As an aside I'm kind of glad it didn't work out. When I switched to the WXA I felt like something sounded worse than my SMSL SA300. It seemed like it was missing some bass, but I wasn't sure if I was new-product-over-analysing. When I hooked the SA300 back up I realized yep, the WXA definitely wasn't playing down to what my speakers can do. Both were set to "direct mode" so neither should have been doing any processing. I saw a review of the SMSL DA-9 the other day, the SA300's doubled up amp chips big brother, that included a few comparisons including the WXA-50 and they also noted a lack of bass. To be honest I'm not sure if the WXA-50 is incorrectly rolling off or SMSL is being sneaky and applying some boost when they shouldn't, but I much prefer the SA300 (and hopefully the Sabaj A20a I ordered - SMSL sister company version of the DA-9). Also not seeing a visual indicator of the volume level made me a little nuts with the acceleration dependent volume knob on the WXA.
 
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I hope not! It was just sent back yesterday so I doubt Amazon got it back already. Hopefully if you do order you'll get a working one! Edit: I really hope you don't mean one of the above retail price used units! I got mine from Amazon Warehouse for $300. $600 is crazy money.

As an aside I'm kind of glad it didn't work out. When I switched to the WXA I felt like something sounded worse than my SMSL SA300. It seemed like it was missing some bass, but I wasn't sure if I was new-product-over-analysing. When I hooked the SA300 back up I realized yep, the WXA definitely wasn't playing down to what my speakers can do. Both were set to "direct mode" so neither should have been doing any processing. I saw a review of the SMSL DA-9 the other day, the SA300's doubled up amp chips big brother, that included a few comparisons including the WXA-50 and they also noted a lack of bass. To be honest I'm not sure if the WXA-50 is incorrectly rolling off or SMSL is being sneaky and applying some boost when they shouldn't, but I much prefer the SA300 (and hopefully the Sabaj A20a I ordered - SMSL sister company version of the DA-9). Also not seeing a visual indicator of the volume level made me a little nuts with the acceleration dependent volume knob on the WXA.
Ha! It was 357 USD as used in VG condition.... I started to read more about it and since the WXA was launched back in 2016 I decided that for Class D tech, there have been big strides since then (reading all the comments about these devices on ASR) - especially in the low cost arena. I went with the DA - 9 . I would have bought the Sabja for a few bucks less but I was thinking for 40 bucks its nice to have the BT connectivity. I have a pair of the powered Nuemi Speakers and while there is a difference between its cheap internal DAC, and connecting a better one via RCA, its a fairly minor improvement that requires your full attention to differentiate.
 
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