Yamaha CX-A5200
Yamaha CX-A5200
Yamaha CX-A5200

Yamaha CX-A5200: Ultimate AV processor

The Yamaha CX-A5200 AV processor analyzes the characteristics of the audio signal in real time and adjusts it in accordance with the reference values ​​​​contained in the database. The processing affects dynamic range, dialogue, sound effects, background music and channel balance, due to which, according to the developers, it improves the intelligibility of voices and creates a full-bodied sound, including in scenes with serious musical inserts.

The Yamaha CX-A5200 preamplifier supports Amazon Alexa voice assistants, has seven HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 and three HDMI outputs. It recognizes the BT.2020 palette, three HDR formats (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG) and surround audio formats Dolby Vision and DTS:X in 7.2.4 variations. For improved performance with vertical positioning of sources, Yamaha has updated its CInema DSP HD algorithms. The preamplifier is also equipped with YPAO (Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer), which adjusts the sound to a specific room, and RSC (Reflected Sound Control), which controls early sound reflections.

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Externally, the Yamaha CX-A5200 processor can easily be confused with older AV receivers in the AVENTAGE line, to which it is not inferior in size or weight. Intrigued by this fact, we immediately took a look inside, expecting to find a lot of free space – because this is what happens when, in order to reduce costs, the AV processor is designed in the case of one of the existing AV receivers. But nothing like that – the Yamaha CX-A5200 processor is packed quite tightly. I was surprised by the rather large toroidal transformer in a solid metal casing, mounted in the center immediately behind the front panel. I was surprised by its size – with the stated power consumption of the processor being 65 W, this transformer was clearly chosen with a multiple reserve. The component’s digital blocks and DAC subsystem, along with the pre-amp stages, are supplied with power from separate power supplies located on either side of the power transformer. The main place inside the Yamaha CX-A5200 case is occupied by a stack of electronic boards mounted at the rear wall of the case.

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The similarity with the modern AV receiver of the AVENTAGE series is emphasized by the design of the façade, made of aluminum. The front panel is cut horizontally into two unequal parts. The top one is covered with a dark plastic cover, under which a large information display is hidden. The central place in the lower half is occupied by a door covering a niche in which many keys for controlling the operation of the processor and operational switching connectors are concentrated, including a USB port for connecting storage devices and portable equipment, an HDMI connector for connecting to a video camera, game console or smartphone, an input for measuring microphone of the YPAO RSC 3D automatic calibration system, as well as a headphone output on a jack connector and a standard analog AV input on three RCA jacks. When the door is closed, only two solid metal knobs remain visible – the larger one on the right regulates the volume, and the left one switches inputs. In addition, the key for switching the processor to Standby mode and the Pure Direct button remain accessible on the front. The minimum of visible controls gives the component the solidity necessary for a top-end model.

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A glance at the patch panel immediately reveals an AV processor in the Yamaha CX-A5200 – the place of numerous acoustic terminals of a cinema receiver is given to a variety of XLR connectors, forming a balanced 11.2 analog output. There is also an 11.2 unbalanced output on RCA connectors, which allows you to easily use power amplifiers with different switching equipment. The HDMI interface is represented by seven input ports and three output ports. All ports are version 2.0a, which allows you to work with high-definition video in all current formats, including 4K with a 60p image refresh rate. But that’s not all. The processor’s HDMI ports support HDCP version 2.2 of the media content protection protocol used in the new UltraHD Blu-ray disc standard. This means the Yamaha CX-A5200 is completely ready to work with players of such discs.

Speaking about the switching capabilities of the processor, we mention the presence of a multi-channel 5.1 analog input, a Phono input for connecting a vinyl record player, as well as inputs and outputs for component video – all this is rarely found in modern AV equipment.

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But the main feature of the new product, of course, is the support for new formats of theatrical soundtracks Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Unlike all previous standards, in which specific soundtrack channels (six or eight) were digitized, the new formats are object-oriented and support up to 128 sound channels. Of course, this is now fully realized in professional solutions used in large commercial cinemas. The “home” version is adapted for use in living rooms and is based on “per-channel” high-resolution formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The Yamaha CX-A5200 allows you to implement a surround sound system in a 7.2.4 configuration, when the standard version with seven surround speakers and two active subwoofers is complemented by two pairs of “ceiling” speaker systems – Front Presence and Rear Presence.

An interesting feature of the Yamaha CX-A5200 was not only the support for both speakers actually mounted on the ceiling, and those installed on top of the front and rear pairs and operating on reflection from the ceiling, but also without the use of real speaker systems for the “ceiling” channels when they work emulated by existing acoustics. Such rich possibilities open up a wide field for creativity in the process of configuring and customizing equipment in a particular cinema hall. True, no emulation can fully replace the work of real speaker systems. Moreover, if you have at your disposal a set of a Yamaha CX-A5200 processor and a Yamaha MX-A5200 power amplifier, which is equipped with eleven amplification channels, this is definitely a reason to think about realizing the potential of this combination to one hundred percent, which means building a complete system Surround 7.2.4

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Two 32-bit ESS Saber PRO Premier DACs are responsible for signal processing; the sources can be Bluetooth devices or devices connected via AirPLay. There is also support for the proprietary MusicCast multi-room system with streaming services Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM, Deezer, Tidal and Napster. There are XLR inputs and outputs on board, and support for smart home systems from Control4, ELAN Home Systems, RTI and others is indicated.

All Yamaha equipment equipped with MusicCast supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This ensures the interaction of components within the system – to create it, you can use an existing Wi-Fi router, or connect the equipment directly to each other. The system is also easy to set up: all you need to do is download the MusicCast app on your smartphone or tablet. You then connect compatible audio components to your existing network and pair them with your smart device. This is quite simple and, if desired, you can constantly increase the number of components in the system. MusicCast allows you to listen to music in any room where the corresponding Yamaha equipment is installed, and control its operation using one single application.

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MusicCast was developed by Yamaha from the ground up to provide a stable and reliable multiroom system, as well as equip it with modern functionality. As we already mentioned, one of the most interesting features of MusicCast is that it can include any compatible Yamaha components. That is, you can simply build a system from the components you already have, instead of purchasing a set of new equipment, and will not be tied to any specific set.

MusicCast technology is integrated into many models of Yamaha equipment, including sound bars, AV receivers, wireless speakers and Hi-Fi systems. This means that to create a multiroom system you do not need to buy any specific set of equipment and it can be built from available compatible components. And even if you haven’t thought about building a multi-room audio system, but you have several Yamaha devices with MusicCast at your disposal, you might want to try building one just for fun. Simple integration within one network is an indispensable condition for a modern multiroom system, as is support for the latest High-resolution audio formats, as well as convenient control. MusicCast has all of the above advantages, plus excellent flexibility in use, which makes it very attractive.

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All MusicCast components have built-in Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz, 802.11 b/g/n) and support DLNA 1.5, so they can access network storage devices, and also receive signals directly using Bluetooth and AirPlay. This also means you can listen to music from a source connected to one of the MusicCast components through any other. For example, you are listening to TV through a Yamaha soundbar, and then you need to go to another room, and if active acoustics MusicCast is installed in it, you can continue listening to the audio of the TV program.

Due to the fact that MusicCast components are equipped with built-in Bluetooth modules (2.1, EDR/A2DP, AVRCP), you can connect various devices – speakers or headphones – equipped with BT to the multiroom system. By connecting them to MusicCast, you can transmit a music signal to them from any of the system components. MusicCast supports digital audio with sampling rates up to 192 kHz (PCM), as well as DSD up to 5.6 MHz. There is compatibility with all common formats, including WAV, MP3, WMA, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, FLAC, and it is possible to use Spotify, Napster, Juke, Net Radio services to expand the capabilities of the system.

Characteristics of Yamaha CX-A5200

Decoding – Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Ready, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA / HRA, Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, LPCM 7.1
Frequency response, Hz – 10 – 100,000 (by level – 3 dB)
Signal-to-noise ratio, dB – more than 112
Total nonlinear distortion (Pure Direct, 1V), % – less than 0.008
Auto-calibration system – YPAO 3D
Switching HDMI v.2.0, HDCP 2.2, 4k60p, 4:4:4, inputs / outputs – 7 / 3 Video scaler – up to Ultra HD resolution
Converter of analog video signals to HDMI – yes
Video inputs – composite (4), component (3)
Video outputs – composite, component
Audio inputs – Phono, XLR, RCA (7), multi-channel analog 5.1, digital optical (3), digital coaxial (3)
Audio outputs – multi-channel analog 11.2 (RCA), multi-channel analog 11.2 (XLR)
Audio formats: MP3 / WMA / MPEG-4 AAC: up to 48 kHz / 16-bit, ALAC: up to 96 kHz / 24-bit, FLAC: up to 384 kHz / 24-bit, WAV / AIFF: up to 384 kHz / 32-bit, DSD: up to 11.2 MHz
Additional – USB, LAN, DLNA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi , Airplay 2
Dimensions, cm – 43.5 x 19.3 x 47.4
Weight, kg – 15.2

Resurface CMP