SSPs

Yamaha CX-A5000 11.1 SSP (Surround Sound Processor)

ARTICLE INDEX

The Design and Setup of the Yamaha CX-A5000 SSP

The Yamaha CX-A5000 is a large beast for a preamplifier. Large in stature and heavy to boot, it certainly feels like a top-end component. Thankfully Yamaha has decided to keep the CX-A5000 as clean as possible on the front panel. There is only a pair of knobs, input and volume, as well as Power and Pure Direct buttons available. More controls are hidden away behind a door on the front panel. The front LED screen is large and easy to read from a distance unlike the tiny letters many companies choose to use.

The rear panel is not nearly as simple as the front of the unit. With 11 channels of output available in both RCA and XLR outputs. Curiously the subwoofer output is only available as an RCA output despite subwoofers usually having much longer cable runs. There is your full array of HDMI inputs with dual outputs, a multichannel analog input and a stereo XLR input. Unlike many new products there is a full array of legacy S-Video and Component video inputs for you to use.

The main items missing are built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There is Airplay for those using Apple products but Bluetooth is far more prevalent. I'm unsure how many people hardwire their preamp instead of using Wi-Fi but including the optional adapter would be nice at this price point.

Setup of the CX-A5000 is simple, including the YPAO room correction. In a first for me, there is a 3-point attachment for the microphone when you do your measurements. Using this device the CX-A5000 can calculate the angle of the speakers to the listener, and the reflections, and adjust the output to account for this. It offers the choice of measuring a single listening position, multiple positions, and if you want these angle measurements made. The measurement process is very fast and takes less than 15 minutes.

The measurements are also very accurate. From levels to distances and crossover points, the CX-A5000 was spot-on when I used YPAO. I swapped in different pairs of speakers, added and removed a subwoofer, and made position changes and it never skipped a beat. With how often these systems get this wrong I am always surprised to see this.