Yamaha CX-A5000 11.1 SSP (Surround Sound Processor)


Introduction to the Yamaha CX-A5000 SSP

Suddenly the ESS SABRE DAC is showing up everywhere. At first it was only in high-end audio products like the Oppo BDP-95 and BDP-105 Blu-ray players. Now we have seen it in the Pioneer SC-79 receiver and in a pair of SSPs (Surround Sound Processors): The Krell Foundation and the Yamaha CX-A5000. From bench test numbers to listening tests, the SABRE offers up performance that is at the top of the DAC chain. Many of us just assumed we wouldn't see it in a processor or receiver due to the price.


  • Video Connections: HDMI 1.4a (7 Rear In, 1 Front In, 2 Out), Component (4 In, 1 Out), Composite (5 In, 2 Out), S-Video (4 In, 1 Out)
  • Audio Connections: RCA Stereo (9 In, 1 Out), XLR (1 In), Optical (4 In, 1 Out), Coaxial Digital (3 In, 1 Out), Multi-channel (7.1 In, 11.1 Unbalanced Pre-out, 11.0 Balanced Pre-out), USB (1 Front)
  • Other Connections: Ethernet (Internet Radio, DLNA, Streaming and Firmware), 12V triggers (2), RS-232, IR (2 In, 2 Out), 2nd Zone (HDMI, Composite Video, Component Video, Stereo Audio), 3rd Zone (HDMI, Composite, Component, Stereo Audio), 4th Zone (HDMI, Composite, Component), Headphone Jack (6.3 mm), AirPlay
  • Dimensions: 7.5" H x 17.1" W x 17.6" D
  • Weight: 30 Pounds
  • MSRP: $3,000 USD
  • Yamaha
  • SECRETS Tags: Yamaha, SSPs, Surround Sound Processors, Audio, 11.1

The Yamaha CX-A5000 SSP uses a pair of ESS SABRE 9016 DACs to support its 11 channels. A step down from the 9018, the SABRE should provide the Yamaha with superior jitter reduction, less tonal noise floor, and slightly greater dynamic range compared to the other DACs at its price. Is the rest of the CX-A5000 engineered around the SABRE up to the task? Go to Page 2: Design and Setup