Yamaha WXA-50 Streaming Amplifier Review

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Steve Withers, Nov 17, 2016.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. Paul7777x

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      The preamp version at £300 looks to be a perfect partner for some serious active speakers.

      This should turn into another Yamaha legend.

      I want one now.
       
    3. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Yes, the pre-amp version is a clever product, it has loads of possibilities.
       
    4. Paul7777x

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      I've been waiting for something like this for years Steve (the preamp version).

      Modern, tooled up and built by Yamaha. I'll be trying it out with my big Adams. I expect it'll be exactly what I need and sound impressive.
       
    5. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      It's a beautifully made as well, really solid and well engineered little bit of kit.
       
    6. Paul7777x

      Paul7777x
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      Good to know. I'll be going to Peter Tysons on Saturday to check it out.
       
    7. Benzyl

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      I was not that big a fan of Music Cast when I tried it last, so went I with Sonos which has a lot of time to mature to wireless streaming and it really works well with all my other AV gear.
      I am sure the WXC/A 50's will be good on all fronts and I do prefer my AV equipment to be dark rather than white (my connect is hidden from site). The Yamaha's do look a lot more solid too.
       
    8. Onlythesound

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      I've been waiting for a review of this one for a while. Seems nice.
      I have a couple of questions. Does anyone know if there will be a similar review of the Yamaha RN 402 D? Also, can musicast devices stream to non musicast devices such as Bluesound, Mass fidelity or Naim muso?

      Thanks
       
    9. Cliff

      Cliff
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      The pre amp is pretty clever but I wish the price was a bit lower.
       
    10. Benzyl

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      look for a Sonos connect in the classifieds here then was one here a few days agon
       
    11. Dunners

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      There will be a lot of people who buy this as a 2-channel amp to drive some nice stand mounts...

      But really the massive sales potential lies in creating a multi-room situation that ties into an AVR.
      For too long, we've had all brands of home theatre amplifiers struggle with their Zone 2 and Zone 3 implementation. Not only have the amps not been able to share all sources to all zones... they also couldn't offer network autonomy. In other words, if someone is watching Sky TV in the main zone, but then someone else switches on Spotify (or similar) in Zone 2... the main zone switches to Spotify also!
      It can be switched back to Sky, but it's a massive pain and it's seldom explained to people who are setting up a multi-room environment.

      BUT - the WXA50 fixes this.
      Instead of buying a 2 or 3 zone receiver, get a standard 5.1 amp (or 5.1.2 etc) and add as many WXA50 as required. The pricing typically works out cheaper than buying a 3 zone amp AND they offer network autonomy! So not only can you share every source via MusicCast (HDMI to optical to AM radio) but you can use any service without effecting the next.

      Sweet product - and the build is certainly slicker than the Sonos and very plasticy Denon version. I think the Bluesound offering is very nice, but the BlueOS system doesn't offer the input flexibility of the Yamaha.
       
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    12. westham

      westham
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      Just wondering if anyone has one of these in use driving 2 x pairs of speakers? It looks ideal for the purpose I want (a small, Airplay amp I can hide away) but I want one to drive 2 x pairs of ceiling speakers (Key Ci200CR) but not sure if this is up to driving two sets. Has anyone tried?
       
    13. Dunners

      Dunners
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      Yup - been there, done that.
      Just go into 'advanced settings' either via the MusicCast app or via its http://IP address/setup and turn on the fan. That way it stays nice and cool even when you push the volume up.
       
    14. westham

      westham
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      Thanks for this - will give it a go. One of the issues I have is that on a new build I put 4 x speaker cables in to the ceiling space for the Orangery extension so I am a little limited in terms of the parallel/series type wiring but see that you can get speaker impedance balancing switches so may investigate this too if the amp runs too hot. I did ask Yamaha who advised this - in fact the full reply as follows for interest:

      "From your description of your use, the WXA-50 should be fine with the speakers connected in parallel/series as four eight ohm speakers connected in this way will give a impedance load of eight ohms, but the best connection method would be to use a speaker impedance balancing speaker switch, like below:
      Amazon.com: SS4 Speaker Selector Impedance Matching 1 Input 4 Output: Home Audio & Theater"
       
    15. SashaB

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      This is my question exactly! Did you ever try it or get an answer? Could the WXA-50 drive 2 pairs of ceiling speakers??
       
    16. westham

      westham
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      Nearly there! I am in the middle of a house renovation and took the decision to get the Yamaha plus a QED switching box such as this one and both are sitting there waiting to go! I need to get the speakers next and still looking at the Kef's but need to buy and install. Will aim to do this in the next month.
       
    17. Dunners

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      It will happily drive two pairs of 8ohm in-ceiling speakers.
      Make sure you turn on the fan via 'advanced settings' and you'll be fine.
       
    18. westham

      westham
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      I now have 4 x KEF Ci160QR sitting here in boxes ready to go. Just need to find the time to install and hope to do this over the weekend. Once done I will test both with the switching box and without.
       
    19. SashaB

      SashaB
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      Perfect, thank you! That's an answer that I certainly would like to hear.
      Asked a lady at my local RicherSounds this question (they sell the WXA-50) and got an earful on how this won't work - too little power, and if running the amp at close to its maximum capacity over an extended period of time it is going to blow it, the speakers or both. She didn't sound particularly credible. If you've tried this setup and it worked for you I'd rather take your word for it! Thanks!
       
    20. SashaB

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      Am curious if you've gotten around to hooking this up? Any learnings? Thanks!
       
    21. westham

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      I only got them late yesterday! Need to cut holes in the ceiling now and suspect this will have to wait for the weekend as I have a lot on. Will report back once I get it done.
       
    22. westham

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      All done - found some time and cut in to our nice, new, plastered Orangery ceiling to cut the holes for the 4 x Kef's to pair up with the Yamaha amp. The hole:

      IMG_1928.JPG

      Thankfully I had made notes of where I left the cabling and, fairly quickly, had all 4 x speakers installed:

      IMG_1929.JPG

      Really pleased with the look and they fit in nicely.

      I have been using the switching box detailed earlier to connect all 4 x speakers and the Yamaha is contained within a wooden unit so a bit concerned over the heat. Going into setup though I set the fan to 'always on' and proceeded with some testing. Firstly sound quality is absolutely fine for the purpose intended - background music. It goes as loud as you want it to and it fills the space (open plan Orangery, Kitchen and Dining room) that measures about 7m x 7m without issue. Managed to test it during the hottest part of the recent heatwave and after an hour or so the amp was fairly hot to the touch. Trying it in the evening and it was much better running fairly cool.

      I will keep an eye to ensure all OK but probably going to keep to the QED switching box to help things along.
       
    23. stripeyjoe

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      Hi all,
      Having issues with Musiccast's ability to play gapless ALAC from my QNAP NAS (tried Plex & built in DLNA) and also gapless Tidal both via Musiccast and direct AirPlay from iPad/iPhone.
      Has anyone had any joy with this? I'm using the WX-C50 in player mode connect via optical to my Denon 3313.
      Cheers all
      Joe
       
    24. smashboogie

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      Argh - I'm really confused by this product offering - maybe someone can help?

      I have a Yamaha RX-A3050 (with Musiccast built-in) and have a few Multicast speakers running in the house already.

      I am using all my current 'zones' as I have a 7.1.4 Atmos/DTS-X setup. I want to stick some Musiccast speakers in my backyard (wirelessly), and there are currently zero outdoor Yamaha offerings.

      This page- Wireless Amp Turns Outdoor Speakers into MusicCast specifically says the 'NS-AW294 outdoor speakers and the WXA-50 wireless streaming amplifier." can be used together to do what is needed.

      1) If I already have a mucisccast enabled receiver - is this product (WXA-50) moot for me?
      2) And if not, will I need to hook up the WXA-50 to my existing zone 2 outputs?
      3) If I can use this - do I need to run speakers wires to my backyard speakers?

      Halp!
      Thanks!
       
    25. stripeyjoe

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      If you are using all the internal power amps for your Atmos set up then you simply get an external amp and connect it to the zone 2 line outputs on the 3050. You can use any outside speaker you like but you will need to run speaker cable to them.
      Alternatively check the speaker set up part of the manual, you might be able to use your normal Atmos set up and, when powering up zone 1, dropping one pair of Atmos speakers to power the zone 1 speaker outputs. Again, you can use any outdoor speaker but will need speaker cable.
      @dante01 is the go to expert on Yammy speaker assignment.

      I have a pair of AE outside speakers, can’t remember the model but they have 5” woofers, they sound ok to me!

      Good luck!
       
    26. xmb

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      1. The idea of the WXA-50 is to be used just as you do with your current MusicCast speakers, to allow the same (or different) music to be streamed around a house.
      2. You don't physically connect the WXA-50 to the existing receiver, the MusicCast function does this wirelessly (or via the Ethernet connection).
      3. You would run speaker wires from the outdoor speakers to the WXA-50 (placed indoors) and the WXA-50 just needs mains power and be able to connect to your Wi-Fi.
      Alternately, do as previously mentioned and run the outdoor speaker cables to your receiver and employ a external amplifier but this has the limitations mentioned in the previous posts about zone selection issues.
       

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