Thanks for the promised review of the Yamaha WXA-50. You answered my main question -- how does the WXA-50 amplifier sound to someone with more experience than myself evaluating hi-fi equipment? I have looked with interest at the NAD D 3020 V2 and the D 3045, but the WXA-50 has some features that swing the score in its favor for me.
These include Wi-Fi streaming with the MusicCast App, tone controls (why are so many audiophiles against these?), and the DSP functions for volume-adaptive EQ and bass extension. My 30-year-old Yamaha receiver has a continuously variable “loudness” control, which I find very useful when listening to music at lower volume levels. I like the weight it adds at lower volume settings. To use the loudness control properly, I have to set it to flat and increase the volume control to my highest listening level. After that, I use the receiver’s rotary loudness control to reduce the volume -- at the same time, the receiver boosts bass output. Unfortunately, Yamaha did not include control for loudness on the remote, so I have to get up from my listening position to adjust the listening level. To have this controlled by DSP is a dream come true. If for any reason I don’t like the effect, I can switch the amp to Direct mode, bypassing any DSP.
Another feature that has me seriously considering the WXA-50 amp (along with its diminutive size) is the preset function. I can program six presets that can be accessed via the remote or the front panel. This is really helpful for my wife, because her favorite radio stations are accessible at the push of a button. To my wife, Simplifi’d hi-fi means not having to use an app on her phone to listen to music.