Yamaha WXC-50 review: The preamplifier promises to release us from the wires

Yamaha WXC-50 review: The preamplifier promises to release us from the wires

The Yamaha WXC-50 is a preamplifier that allows you to upgrade an amplifier or receiver to MusicCast to enjoy streaming music or to integrate it into a multi-room system. The equipment is compatible with all types of sources and many music services the letter. With a compact and quality design, it will allow us to update any sound equipment that we have at home. It also supports high-resolution audio and offers full wireless connectivity. Let’s go over their characteristics thoroughly.

Yamaha WXC-50: Design

We will have no problem placing this equipment. The Yamaha WXC-50 incorporates a solid metal body with an aluminum cover and a very compact design. This allows us to place the equipment almost anywhere. The equipment is only 5 centimeters high and 22 centimeters wide.

In addition, it can be placed horizontally or vertically. We can even remove the feet and, thanks to its 4 centimeters high, place it on the shelf of a rack. It is possible to place up to two units, one next to the other, in a shelf of 48 centimeters (19 inches).

Despite its small size, the Yamaha WXC-50 offers everything on the front necessary for its operation. It has three small buttons and a large wheel to control the volume. Pressing any button will turn on the device and start playback of the previously selected source.

We also have LED lights on the front that mark the connectivity of the unit. On the one hand, we will know at a glance whether we are connected to the network or Bluetooth. On the other hand, a third light will indicate through which medium we are reproducing, thanks to its color coding.

But if we do not want to control it through its front panel, we will also have a small command available. In addition, the control has six numbered buttons that allow us to access directly our favorite sources. These buttons can be configured to, for example, quickly access an album that we have stored on our NAS. Or just to listen to our favorite song.

The full dimensions of the Yamaha WXC-50 are 21.27 x 5.08 x 24.44 centimeters, weighing 1.43 kilograms. The device is only available in one color, which combines black at the top and a dark gray at the front.

Yamaha WXC-50 review: The preamplifier promises to release us from the wires

Yamaha WXC-50: Connectivity

The most important function of the Yamaha WXC-50 preamplifier is to provide any equipment with extensive connectivity. Therefore, the equipment incorporates a connection to the network, being compatible with all types of sources and musical services.

In addition, the device includes Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with Apple’s AirPlay. That is, we can access music streaming services and internet radio stations, mobile device files, Bluetooth sources and other external sources such as televisions, Blu-ray players or even a turntable. It will even allow us to redistribute Bluetooth sources via Wi-Fi to other MusicCast devices. Or via AirPlay from one Apple device to another unit.

And the Yamaha WXC-50 belongs to the MusicCast family of products. This means that if we have other MusicCast speakers, we can play music on all of them from the main unit. The system allows you to put different music in each room or to make the same music sound through all the speakers. It can also be used with sound bars or hi-fi devices.

Control of the whole system will be done through the MusicCast application. This will connect to the home Wi-Fi network and create a powerful audio streaming system. Using the mobile phone or tablet we can select sources, browse our music library and control playback. The app also allows you to control the settings of the sound equalizer.

Yamaha WXC-50 review: The preamplifier promises to release us from the wires

Yamaha WXC-50: Sound

Under the cover of the Yamaha WXC-50, we have high-performance components and advanced circuitry. For example, preamp circuitry uses the same high-performance ESS DAC as found on Yamaha’s top-of-the-range AV receivers. On the other hand, a power supply configuration designed by Yamaha has been used to avoid sound degradation.

The device also has a 48-bit volume control, which provides greater accuracy and quality than traditional controls.

Technical specifications Yamaha WXC-50:

  • Type Preamplifier
  • Dimensions 21.27 x 5.08 x 24.44 centimeters
  • Weight 1.43 kg
  • Double tone black colors
  • Design Metal body with aluminum cover
  • Distortion (THD) 0.003% (pre-out)
  • S/N 112 dB (AUX in: 98 dB)
  • Frequency 20 – 20KHz
  • Standby power consumption 1.8 W
  • Physical connectivity Ethernet port, optical and analog inputs, optical and coaxial digital outputs, subwoofer output, trigger input/output and remote control input
  • Wireless connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay
  • Control Remote control, MusicCast application
  • Price 400 euros

In addition, the Yamaha WXC-50 supports high-resolution FLAC/WAV/AIFF audio up to 92 kHz/24-bit, Apple Lossless (ALAC) up to 96 kHz/24-bit and DSD up to 5.6 Mhz. Direct Mode will allow us to play these high-resolution audio sources as they are, without any processing.

But if we are playing lower quality files, the Compressed Music Enhancer will improve the playback of sound from mobile phones and other compressed sources, such as MP3 files.

The equipment also has the Volume-adaptive EQ function, which adjusts the bass and treble balance according to the volume level. And even with Advanced Bass Extension, it offers a deeper and graver sound at the lower end.

Yamaha WXC-50: Conclusion

The way you listen to music has changed. Although many users still prefer the physical format, the vast majority have succumbed to digital. And no wonder, we have practically the music we want instantly.

However, if we have a good old sound system we may not be able to connect it to the network to enjoy these sources. This is why products like the Yamaha WXC-50 are born. By connecting this preamplifier to our main amplifier or AV receiver we will have access to the new streaming services. We will equip our ‘old’ computer with the most extensive wireless connectivity.

The Yamaha WXC-50 is sold in specialized stores with a price of around 400 euros.

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