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Yamaha WXC-50 question

Discussion in 'DACs' started by smk1969, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. smk1969

    smk1969 New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    I have been researching the WXC-50 and I am on the verge of finally pulling the trigger.

    I currently have an extremely non-ideal set-up which feeds signals from a desktop computer headphone jack to my Hafler DH110 preamp, which is connected to a DH220 amp.

    I would like to confirm that my intended plan with the WXC-50 will work:
    1) Store all music files on a laptop, which would be linked by wi-fi to the Yamaha WXC-50, which would be wired to the DH220 amp.
    2) Have the ability to control the music (song selection and volume) from EITHER my laptop or through the musicast app on my phone.

    Can someone let me know if this is feasible - particularly being able to control the music from the laptop. All the articles I have read only seem to talk about controlling through the phone app.

    Thanks.
     

     

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  2. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    It doesn't look like Yamaha offers a Musiccast controller for PC, so you won't be able to control it from the laptop or at least not through the Yamaha interface. WXC-50 supports DLNA which may open up additional options, i.e. use it as a renderer from a DLNA-compatible player on PC e.g. JRiver, but hard to say how well it is going to work and it may require some tweaking to get the best results. Perhaps someone who owns one can chime in with their experiences.
     
  3. smk1969

    smk1969 New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Thanks for your comments. I suppose it is not a terrible inconvenience to have to sit in my recliner (with my laptop) and control the music with the phone.

    Would the sound quality be improved if the laptop were wired directly to the WXC-50 vs streaming from laptop to WXC-50? It almost seems like a stupid question, but I feel way behind the technology curve. There are so many terms thrown around in the DAC forum, I really feel like a dinosaur.
     
  4. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Unlike other purposely built DACs the WXC-50 is mainly a network streamer and doesn't offer many digital connectivity options with external sources - it only has one optical Toslink input, chances are your laptop doesn't have an optical output (some do) and if so you will need to invest into an USB to SPDIF/Toslink converter, good ones start from about $100. Given you solve the laptop connectivity the network should still be your best bet as far as sound quality goes. With the WXC-50 I'd say you'd only want to use the optical input from your laptop if you wanted to use a particular music player or perform DSP like room correction/EQ and such on the laptop.

    WXC-50 is quite nice for what it is, but depending on what you need you might be able to get away with a Chromecast Audio device at 1/10 of the cost.
     
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  5. smk1969

    smk1969 New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    What really got me interested in the WXC-50 was having remote control ability for music currently fed from my desktop to my old-school Hafler 110/220. Every time I want to switch songs or volume, I have to get up out of the chair. I realize on the hardship scale, it is low. Just trying to make some improvements.

    Maybe I will look into the Chromecast to see if that would get me what I am looking for.
     
  6. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Chromecast can control volume too. Being a product from Google I suspect it is better supported on Android devices than on Apple. They tend to be on sale for $25 every now and then, maybe on Black Friday next week.
     
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  7. smk1969

    smk1969 New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    I am intrigued by the Chromecast. I don't want to come across as a snob, but my instincts are telling me that the sound quality can't be very good for that price. I would love to be wrong. If I need to be corrected, let me know.

    Are there other streaming options in the $100-150 range?
     
  8. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    It's surprisingly not bad. It also has an optical digital output so you can connect it to a better DAC later if you determine it suits your needs as a streaming device. If you ever get to that point pick a DAC with volume control/remote as controlling the volume on the CCA upstream of the DAC is less than ideal, even if it works over digital - I haven't tried.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  9. smk1969

    smk1969 New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    gvl,
    I do appreciate your input on this. I was reading some other threads since my last post, and I have a few new questions:

    1) It seems that the schiit, topping, and dragonfly DACs do not have remote control. Is that true or did I miss something?
    2) Does the use of a dedicated DAC eliminate the need for the Hafler 110 preamp, if all my music is streaming through the DAC?
    3) Do most people find the use of the jitterbug necessary with the CCA?

    I have not entirely given up on the WXC-50, but I was not aware of all the options that are available. Thanks again.
     
  10. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Some DACs have volume control via remote, but they do tend to cost more. Topping DX3Pro/DX7s, SMSL SU-8, Teac UD-503 to name a few. It is true you don't really need a preamp with a volume-controlled DAC unless you have other sources or maybe you just like the sound of your preamp - some color the sound in pleasant ways, or maybe you can't live without the tone controls. You also don't technically need a preamp with the WXC-50 for the same reasons, or even the CCA if you're comfortable to give up the physical control knob. You can't really use the jitterbug with the CCA as it is a USB device. CCA's digital optical output is somewhat jittery but modern DACs should have no problem to clean that up internally. The WXC-50 should be more flexible overall than the CCA and likely sound better without additional investments. I'd still give a CCA a shot though, you can get one at Target and bring it back if it doesn't work for your needs.
     
  11. smk1969

    smk1969 New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Thanks! This discussion has been a huge help.
     

     

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  12. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Glad it was useful!
     
  13. cpt_paranoia

    cpt_paranoia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    943
    If you are using the laptop as music store, what player app are you running on the laptop? Unless the laptop provides a file server or DLNA media server that the Yamaha can access, you will need a remote control for the laptop player app.

    Many PC music player apps will provide a DLNA media server; MediaMonkey, MusicBee and Kodi are three that I have used that do. Once you have a DLNA media server, you can use a DLNA media controller app to get the server to stream to your Yamaha renderer. There are loads of DLNA apps for Android. I use BubbleUPnP.

    ps. This seems more about network streaming than DACs, so it might be worth having a read of some threads in the Digital Sources subforum; the Digital Integration section may be more at useful:

    http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?forums/digital-integration.124/

    The forum organisation is a bit odd, really; DACs ought to come under a 'digital audio' section. I'm sure it's the result of historical, organic growth.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  14. smk1969

    smk1969 New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Thanks Captain. During one of my middle of the night wake-ups, I realized I was not really sure if I could still store the music on my laptop, or if it would have to be on my phone. Maybe that answer was already given above, now I need to re-read everything.

    This is all new to me and is overwhelming. I don't even know what questions I need to ask.

    I will definitely check out the Digital Sources forum.

    PS - you asked what app I use on the computer to play the music. Currently, I am using an old desktop with iTunes. There is also a default music player on the computer which also works fine. I would not even be opposed to just using that.

    I was going to scrap the old desktop because it is so old, and transfer all the music to the laptop. I don't know yet if there is a default music player on this or not. More investigation is needed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  15. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    WXC-50 supports Airplay, if you're using iTunes that may all be that's needed.

    Seems the only other way for the WXC-50 to access your music library is through DLNA, basically you must run a DLNA server on your PC that publishes your music on the local network in a way that WXC-50 understands. Many music apps have a built-in DLNA server so really not an issue, JRiver is one. Or you can get a network storage device (NAS) with DLNA to host your music.

    I've looked into WXC-50 user manual and turns out it does have a built-in web-interface through which you can control playback from your PC, however it's unclear if it's convenient to use and if it provides the same functionality as the mobile app, but at least it's there.
     
  16. smk1969

    smk1969 New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Thanks gvl. I have been reading all morning and I have learned quite a bit. Also learned that there is a lot more to know.

    I am again leaning toward the WXC-50 for simplicity and flexibility.
     

     

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  17. ben_

    ben_ Active Member

    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    I have wxc-50 and very pleased with it overall.

    I use it as DLNA renderer, webradio player and DAC via optical cable for my TV.

    You can play DLNA with a wide variety of players, and control the volume with those applications. I use mostly BubbleUpnp on my android phone but has used it with audirvana on my MacBook as well.

    One thing to know is the volume control works in preamp mode but also in player mode, seems that only line output level change between the two mode for use with a power amp or an integrated/reveiver.

    It has USB input and can function as a DAC, plus optical and coaxial inputs.

    Remote control looks very cheap but works ok and can control volume.

    The web interface is very limited and mostly used for set-up operations, better use a DLNA player or the Yamaha musiccast app on your phone.

    If you have other questions just ask :)
     
  18. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Afaik the USB input is only for USB flash drives, not for DAC input from PC. I don't see a coax input either.
     
  19. cpt_paranoia

    cpt_paranoia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    943
    Yes, it reads like it's a host port, not a slave.
     
  20. smk1969

    smk1969 New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Does that mean I can not use a USB-to-TOS link converter to run music from the laptop to the Yamaha (if I ever wanted to do that)?
     

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