Yamaha MCX-2000 Specifications

3.07.06
Yamaha
MusicCAST
MCX-2000
Digital Audio Server
Review by Gene Della Sala of Audioholics.com
Introduction
I remember my first epiphany in digital playback
convenience when I purchased a CD changer
nearly 20 years ago. I was the cool kid on the
block serving up labeled and categorized 6 disc
magazine cartridges like they were going out of
style. Pop one in, hit random, and you’ve got
nearly 5 hours of music playback for up to a half
dozen of your favorite artists. Little did I know, I
was taking a mere baby step in music distribution.
Welcome to the 21st century where science
strives to make bigger and better tomatoes and
the audio industry presses on to win over your
hard earned dollars on the latest and greatest
technological “must have” advancement.
Enter Yamaha’s MusicCAST MCX-2000
Digital Audio Server. Yamaha’s successor to the
MCX-1000 previously reviewed by our own Clint
DeBoer.
Some of the major added features of the
MCX-2000 compared to its predecessor (MCX1000) include:
• Larger Hard drive storage space (up to
160GB from 80GB)
• Integration of FM tuner and XM radio
functionality
• Networking capability to play content from
other computers’ internal network
• Internet radio support
• Support for a larger client network with up
to 15 simultaneous clients (5 wireless)
According to Yamaha, they wanted to
incorporate many of the recommended features
their customers were asking for such as a
larger hard drive. With 160GB of storage, the
MusicCAST MCX-2000 now has the capability
of storing up to 60,000 songs. MusicCAST also
now incorporates an FM tuner and has XM-ready
features. They also added local area network
(LAN) compatibility for use to stream and play
content from other computers via an internal
network (now you can use all those MP3s you
downloaded and paid for). Finally, Yamaha added
Internet radio support to offer users greater
flexibility and almost endless choices for their
streaming content.
www.audioholics.com
Set-Up
Setting up the MCX-2000 couldn’t be any
easier. Gone is the hassle of running 3rd party
software on a PC to copy CDs. Enter the era of
convenience with a single front panel push button
labeled “CD AUTO STORE”. Finally, someone
developed a music storage system that doesn’t
Yamaha MusicCAST
MCX-2000 Digital Audio Server
review
Review Date 3.07.06
Review Summary
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Value Rating: 4.0/5 Stars
MSRP: $1999
Yamaha MusicCAST MCX-2000 back panel view
intimidate my wife. Her comments when
uploading CDs to the MusicCAST were along
the lines of “That’s it? Wow that’s cool!”
Before ripping CDs, some critical setup is in
order. Let’s take a look at the back panel to
explore all of our connectivity options - which on
this system are plentiful.
From left to right, we have the 802.11b
antenna for wireless communications, composite
and s-video connections, LAN (Ethernet/RJ45)
connection, toslink I/O, analogue I/O, and RS232. I would have liked to see provisioning for
a digital COAX output in addition to the toslink
connections. In my situation, I connected the
MCX-2000 to my family room system (where
most of the partying will be done) and also
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Pros
Unlimited configurability
Endless entertainment
Easy to setup and operate
Unobtrusive
Excellent sound quality
Integrated XM/FM capability
Cons
Doesn’t prevent or warn of
double CD copy
Limited Internet radio functionality
High dependency on using
OSD to operate
Specifications
Yamaha MusicCAST MCX-2000 Digital Audio Server
MCX-2000 Server
• 160GB hard drive
• 1000 CDs in 320kbps MP3
• 200 CDs in PCM
• 8x/4x CD-R/RW drive
• Optical SPDIF I/O
• Analogue stereo I/O
• LCD Display / GUI
• FM, XM and Internet Radio
• RS232 communications for PC
• Gracenote CDDB
• OSD via S-video/composite
• PS/2 Port
• Headphone jack
• RS-232 Port
• IEEE 802.11b/g wireless
• 10/100 CAT-5 link
• IR remote
• Dimensions (W x H x D):
17-1/8” x 3-3/4” x 16-1/16”
• Weight: 14.5 lbs
• MSRP $1999
MCX-A10 Wireless Client
• 17wpc x 2 Digital Amp (optional)
• MP3 to all clients
• Linear PCM
• Retrieve music by Artist,
Album, Genre, Playlist
or all songs
• FM, XM Tuner Access
• LCD display
• Set time for Playback
• Sleep timer
(120, 90, 60, 30 min)
• Wireless IEEE 802.11b network
• Speaker Output
• Line Out:
• Subwoofer Output
• OSD
• Dimensions (W x H x D):
8-1/4” x 8-1/4” x 3-1/8”
• Weight: 6.6 lbs.
• MSRP $600
www.audioholics.com
MCX-C15 Wired Client
• Similar to MCX-A10
but not wireless
• Mounts in standard dual
gang Vboxes
• Dimensions (W x H x D):
4-1/2” x 4-1/2” x 4-1/8”
• MSRP: $399
MCX-CA15 Inwall Amplifier
• 17wpc x 2 Digital Amp
• input sensing
• analog I/O
• subwoofer output
• DC/IR pass thru
• Dimensions (W x H x D):
4-1/2” x 4-1/2” x 4-1/8”
MCX-SP10 Speakers
• Aesthetically Matching
• 17WPC
• Bass Reflex
• Wall Mountable
• Dimensions (W x H x D):
8.25” x 8.25” x 3.125”
• Weight: 2.6 lbs
• MSRP $120/pair
review
The first thing you will notice when ripping a
CD into MusicCAST is that it almost instantly
recognizes artist, title and song lists. This is
no coincidence. The MCX-2000 is powered
by Gracenote. Gracenote is an onboard (over
350k titles built in) and Internet-based database
system (originally developed by volunteers, but
then later licensed off) that contains informational
content on virtually any CD you throw at it. The
beauty of the MCX-2000 is it even works the
album-labeling and categorizing magic with no
Internet connection. You will still want to wire
up the system to the Internet as I found several
CDs that were not recognized until the MCX2000 pulled the info from the Gracenote server
online.
For more information about Gracenote, check
out this Gracenote informational.
Wanna be slick? The MCX-2000 allows
you to configure a Yamaha RS-232 equipped
receiver automatically for use with the
MusicCAST system. You can select the AV
receiver input to which the MusicCAST will be
connected, synchronize/slave power on/off of
the receiver to the MCX-2000, change surround
programs based on music genre, and even allow
MusicCAST clients to broadcast audio from
your receiver’s tuner section. You can even
set automatic playback and shutdown on each
of your remote clients. How’s that for custom
configurability? It makes you wanna stay in
the Yamaha family of products for your entire
theater solution. Yes?
wanted to connect it to my main theater room
upstairs but could only do it via analogue. Most
users will opt for the wired or wireless clients, so
my configuration scheme was a bit unusual as
was trying to route the MCX-2000 as a source
component through all of my audio systems
rather than using its ancillary devices such as
the MCX-A10 Wireless Digital Audio Terminal or
the MCX-C15 Distributed Audio Controller.
I connected the MCX-2000 to my router using
a straight-thru Ethernet cable as seen in Figure
1 above. This is how you connect your MCX2000 server to the Internet to take advantage of
the Gracenote CDDB CD recognition service.
MusicCAST comes armed with a very good
GUI (Graphical User Interface) which has the
same look and feel of what is in their most
recent receiver line up. The first thing you will
want to do is engage the “Easy Setup” feature
to configure your music server and wireless/
wired clients.
XM, FM, Internet Radio
– Oh MY!
Did somebody say Radio? The MCX2000 has that (FM at least) and much more.
Manufacturers have made the push recently to
Note
integrate XM into their product lines. Yamaha
is no different as they were one of the first to
Don’t skip this step as I found out the hard way
implement XM in their receivers and have now
that it was impossible to get Ethernet connectivity to
added it to the MCX-2000’s arsenal of supported
run Internet radio without running through this. It’s
quick and painless, and very straightforward.
wife’s stuff since MP3 works just fine for her formats. Also new to the plate, is Internet
(she isn’t as critical as I am with fidelity.) And radio. The MCX-2000 was preconfigured with
Next you want to select your encoding yes, I did get permission with the wife for doing
preferences in the Recording menu under this, unlike some of you other folks out there
Setup. I chose “PCM + MP3” that way I had that would attempt to pull a fast one on your
the option of retaining the uncompromised significant other. I selected 256 kbps since it
PCM transfer for high quality recordings that was virtually indistinguishable on the recordings I
I planned on doing critical listening to, or chose to implement compression on. According
discarding it in favor of the MP3 compression to the stats page on the MCX-2000, this freed
scheme which frees up considerable hard drive up hundreds of recording hours for us, which
space. I discarded PCM data for all of my party was needed given our vast musical tastes and
music, 80’s rock recordings and most of the collection.
www.audioholics.com
review
URLs for five Internet radio stations via sky.
fm.com. Browse the Internet for more free
radio services, enter the URLs into the MCX2000, and presto, you’ve got free radio with no
commercials or annoying DJs. With just a few
clicks on the remote, I was soon listening to
Salsa, Jazz, 70’s and 80’s hits absolutely free.
Well, not free of compression though. Just like
XM, Internet radio is highly compressed. While
it may be unpalatable for audiophiles such as
myself, I found it mildly entertaining provided
that I didn’t do any critical listening and just
enjoyed it as background music. The Salsa
channel was very cool indeed and opened me
up to music I was unfamiliar with - inspiring me
to spend more time in the Salsa section at the
record store. I was a bit disappointed that this
Internet radio didn’t include song info such as
title and artist like XM does (as do most of the
PC Internet radio players),. I was a bit perplexed
that the 70’s and 80’s channels were being
broadcast in 128 kbps while the Salsa and Jazz
channels were at a mere 96 kbps. I’d rather
see, or more appropriately stated - hear - less
compression on the more demanding music.
XM was no different. Most of the channels
suffered excessive compression (no fault on
the MCX-2000, mind you), making the vocals
sound metallic and causing instruments to lack
any real punch. Again, if you aren’t that critical,
you’d likely be satisfied with the fidelity of these
services. At the very minimum, they expand your
listening palette to new music which you could
then purchase.
radio list are editable. This is a very useful
feature when you need to edit a large amount
of information. I’m guessing, though, that a
majority of users will simply opt to plug in a
computer keyboard via the front panel of the
MCX-2000 to do quick edits of music files.
To access the MusicCAST music archive from
a PC, simply type the MCX-2000’s IP address
into your browser.
Streaming Music From Your PC
The original MusicCAST MCX-1000 lacked
a critical feature for the more computer savvy
customers which was found on other music
server / HTPC solutions. This was the ability
to stream audio from a networked PC. DiXiM
Media Server software enables this ability. This
software, after being installed on your PC,
begins to operate immediately whenever the
computer is booted up to publish the content
contained in pre-specified folder(s). The content
Web Browser Editor Feature
Once you’ve got the MCX-2000 connected to delivered to the MusicCAST MCX-2000 is
your PC network, you can edit text information processed specifically for delivering music over
in your music archive using a standard web the PC network so that the original files aren’t
browser that is running on a computer within actually copied onto the MCX-2000 hard drive,
your network. Text information including artist but instead streamed from the linked PC on the
name, album title, song title, playlist name, and network. Music streaming is available for mp3,
Internet radio station names from the preset m3u, wma and wave files.
“ The MCX-2000 didn’t
miss a note here. The
PCM transfer sounded
every bit as good as
the original CD…”
Gene Della Sala
www.audioholics.com
After you load up the DiXiM software on
your PC, the software will prompt you for a
media server name. Of course I labeled mine
as “Audioholics”. It is important to label this,
especially if you plan on streaming music from
more than one PC on your network. You then
have to permit access for the MCX-2000 to
link up with your PC as seen in the picture to
the right. On the MCX-2000 simply enter the
Network menu and select the music server you
want to stream music from. One cool thing
about this software is it actually automatically
identified most of my music folders on my PC
that contained mp3 or other compatible music
files. Additionally, on the MCX-2000 it actually
retained the folder structure found on my PC
where I had the bands all categorized. With this
feature set in the MCX-2000 arsenal, the music
delivery capabilities are virtually endless. I was
loving the fact I could now rekindle some of the
old progressive rock music I downloaded to my
PC and haven’t listened to on a stereo system in
nearly a decade. I quickly navigated to my Peter
Gabriel era Genesis folder and played cuts from
Trespass, Nursery Cryme, and Foxtrot. Despite
the fact it was playing a compressed mp3 file,
I still loved Watcher of the Skies from Foxtrot,
and listening to it in PLIIx Music Mode was
simply awesome!
Music Management
After uploading a dozen or so CDs, I got all
jazzed up at the MCX-2000’s file management
system. If only I could get it to organize my office
so neatly and concisely. It correctly categorized
my music by artist, and genre and even allowed
me to perform related searches. Loading up
some of my favorite Pat Metheny CDs and
programming a compiled favorite song list for
this artist, I soon was experience what die hard
Metheny fans refer to as a Pat Attack. In fact,
the MCX-2000 will allow you to program up to
1000 playlists and will furnish you with statistical
playback habits. This is a handy feature to help
you gauge just what music you and your family
actually listen to on a regular basis.
My wife and I loaded up the MCX-2000 with
popular party music and created groupings for
Latin, Dance, 80‘s, etc in preparation for our
upcoming house warming party. Our guests
will be in for a pleasant surprise when they
hear their favorite tunes uninterrupted. Most
importantly, I don’t have to worry about anyone
fussing with the stereo gear (a big plus for me).
I even setup hot keys on my Universal remote
review
so I could switch between party/dance favorites
such as Carlos Vives to get our groove on,
Steely Dan’s Kid Charlemagne during cocktail
hour, or Michael Franks’ Burchfield Nines during
dinnertime. There really are no configurability
limits with MusicCAST allowing the listener(s) to
choose exactly how they wish to playback and
distribute music throughout the house.
Editorial Note of Caution
about Uploading Music to
the MCX-2000
Yamaha MusicCAST
Wireless Client System
In case streaming music from your PC or
serving up your entire music collection from
one location to your home theater system isn’t
enough for you, Yamaha gives you the ability to
stream music wirelessly from the MCX-2000
music server to 15 clients (up to 5 wirelessly)
independently and simultaneously.
Line Out L/R Jacks
Unfortunately the MCX-2000 isn’t smart enough
to realize when you install a particular CD more than
one time to record it to the hard drive. Not knowing
this, I accidentally popped in one of my favorite
Marillion CDs Holiday’s in Eden, on two separate
occasions to upload it to the server and didn’t realize
I had a double copy of this disc until I decided to play
a few tracks from it a day or two later. With the
powerful database Gracenote on board, I was really
surprised Yamaha didn’t include a menu option to
flag a user when this situation occurs to ensure
no double copies of CDs are made, unnecessarily
eating up valuable hard drive space.
Connect your MCX-A10 to a receiver using
these 2Vrms line out jacks. These are full range
line outputs.
Subwoofer Out Jack
If you are connecting the client to a receiver
and speakers you can also send signal to a
subwoofer via the SUBWOOFER line output.
This is a variable full-range mono output, so
you’ll want to engage your sub’s crossover
and set it to the appropriate frequency for your
MCX-A10 Client
The wireless MCX-A10 main use is for system.
locations where it makes it cost prohibited to
CD Recording
run new Cat-5e cables. Older constructions and Video Out Jack
You assembled the perfect playlists and loving
Connecting the video output of the MCX-A10
condos or apartments that a customer does not
the musical liberty they bring you. Now what
allows
you to view the contents of the LCD
want to run cables to run multi-zone audio would
about when you leave the home? No problem.
screen
on
an external monitor. This is nice if you
opt for this solution.
You can simply burn a playlist on a recordable
happen to be configuring the client into another
CD and you’re good to go. Should you choose
home theater system (like a bedroom system)
to take advantage of MP3 compression to fit LAN Port
The LAN port can be used in the event you or you plan to be too far away to read the LCD
more of your songs on the CD, make sure in
display. Other than this, the LCD provides ample
advanced that your car CD player supports mp3 want to forego the 802.11b wireless connection feedback for your configuration and playback
format otherwise you will have to stick with PCM or desire a greater distance from the server than needs.
and may have to shorten your play list to 74-80 is possible.
minutes so it will fit on the CD.
Aux In Jack
Editorial Note on CD Copying
The Yamaha MusicCAST can only record to
AUDIO CD-R/RWs. This is due to the fact that
the MCX-2000 is classified as a Consumer Audio
Device, making it subject to the rules associated
with SCMS (Serial Copy Management System) an
outdated, useless copy protection system developed
back when the RIAA was concerned with this new
CD technology resulting in a loss of revenue due
to pirating and CD-R/RW drives were not prolific
in desktop PCs.
More modern components of late have really
started to skirt this limitation and we kind of wish
Yamaha would also play it fast and loose, allowing
the use of the less-expensive Data CDs.
You can connect an external analogue source
here. This would be utilized if, for example, you
were using the optional MusicCAST speakers
and wanted to feed an MP3 player, computer or
other audio device into the system as well.
www.audioholics.com
Speaker Out Terminals
The spring-clip speaker terminals are rated
to drive 17W x 2 into 4-ohms and the optional
speakers are very nice looking and don’t sound
bad for the $120 price. No they aren’t going to
replace your $2k/pair tower theater speakers.
However, they are well constructed and weigh
about 2.5 pounds each - not too shabby
when you figure in the fact that a decent set
of computer speakers will run you this much.
I’d much rather listen to these units. Like the
MCX-A10 client, the speakers can also be wallmounted or positioned side-by-side with the
main unit for a clean, elegant look.
For more details on how the wireless client
system functions and performs, check out
our review of the original Yamaha MusicCAST
MCX-1000.
review
Remote
Control
There really isn’t
much to say about
the remote for the
MCX-2000
other
than it is functional
and intuitive for the
most part. The circle
buttons centralized in
the remote are the
ones most used to
navigate through the
MCX-2000’s GUI
interface. It has the
ability to serve as a
universal remote for
situations where the
MCX-2000 acts as
the demarcation point
for a music system. However those hooking
the MCX-2000 into a home theater receiver
would likely opt for either using the receiver’s
remote or a good universal one. I rarely used
this remote as I quickly uploaded its code to my
universal which incidentally is backlit. Hand me
a remote without backlighting and it will quickly
find its way into my storage bin (as this one did
during a majority of my reviewing session).
Listening Tests: Music
A majority of my music listening was done via
the MusicCAST digital outputs into my receiver
which is the typical and usually preferred hookup
method when mating the MCX-2000 with a
home theater system. I spent more time than
“Yamaha’s MusicCAST
truly redefines the way
you listen to music
and anyone previously
unfamiliar with the
power and flexibility
of a music server,
especially one that can
stream music wirelessly,
is really in for a treat. ”
Gene Della Sala
I care to admit listening to the archive of music
I created. In fact, I found myself listening to
stuff I ordinarily don’t, not because it sounded
fabulous on the MCX-2000 so much as it was
there. If you are like me, you are probably all too
familiar with the scenario of lacking motivation to
load up your CD changer with discs you rarely
listen too. When you have instant access to
your entire music collection at your disposal,
you find the motivation to broaden your listening
palette. Such was my realization 2-3 hours after
listening to my first song on the MCX-2000.
If you don’t
have Shakira
in your music
collection, you
don’t
know
what you are
missing.
It
has
nothing
to do with the
fact that she is
absolutely gorgeous or that she is a superb
dancer. Her musical content as far as Latin pop
goes is top notch. It is obvious both from her
lyrics and passion in her voice that she pours
her heart into her music. My wife uploaded
her entire Shakira music collection which I left
intact as PCM to preserve its integrity. I thought
I would do a quick spot check to ensure the
transfer went well and found myself listening to
nearly the entire Oral Fixation Volume 1 disc.
Track #2 “La Pared” sounds killer in PLIIx Music
Mode. This song certainly qualified on one of
our favorites playlist. Track# 3 “La Tortura”
and Track #8 “Las de la Intuicion” were more
excellent examples of her high energy, thought
provoking lyrics that get your foot stomping
and head spinning (that is if you understand
Spanish). I am still learning, and luckily my wife
is a great translator.
The MCX-2000 didn’t
miss a note here. The PCM transfer sounded
every bit as good as the CD as I confirmed by
switching back and forth between the two in
real time using my Denon DVD-5900 to play
the CD.
I recently acquired an old collection of
progressive rock CDs from one of my brothers,
most of which I loved growing up as a child,
but simply wouldn’t commit to purchasing them
because of over familiarity with the music, and
usually low fidelity associated with poor transfers
to CD. Thus, I threw a half dozen of them
into the MCX-2000 and let her rip. First up
was Emerson Lake and Palmer’s Love Beach.
www.audioholics.com
Die hard fans
will
scold
you for even
mentioning
this CD which
in many ways
represented
their departure
from
the
dying era of
progressive rock to a more pop influenced
decade known as the 80’s. Despite the obvious
feeble attempts of trying to sell out in a few
of the tracks, some of the musical content
on this CD in my opinion is still to this day,
excellent. Thus I selectively copied the tracks
worth listening too, such as the 20 minute song
“Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman”. I
threw is some “Works Vol 1”, “Pictures at an
Exhibition”, and “Brain Salad Surgery” and
wham I had a rather diverse collection of some
of the bands best music at my finger tips to
enjoy and reminisce of the good ole days of
progressive rock. The music sounded sterile
in comparison to more modern recordings, but
this was no fault of the MCX-2000 as it was a
limitation of the recordings themselves.
Moving on to some high quality recordings,
I fed the MCX-2000 my Fourplay, Pat
Metheny, Uncle Festive, as well as the rest
of my jazz collection of music. Again, I retained
the PCM data for all of these recordings. John
Scofield / Pat Metheny I Can See Your House
From Here CD from BlueNote Records, is a close
mic recording
that portrays
a very intimate
f e e l i n g
sonically. On
a good system
(and room for
that matter),
the speakers
will
literally
disappear and
you will be left with two legendary guitarists
jamming away making some very cool lumpy
jazz (free from the Jazzac found on the radio
these days). Track #4 “Everybody’s Party” is
an upbeat swing kinda song with phenomenally
great guitar solos from Scofield and Metheny
along with some very dynamic drumming. The
MCX-2000 handled it with ease sounding every
bit as transparent as the original source disc
when playing back the PCM.
review
Useful Guidelines on
CD Copying
As was the case with pretty much
every Yamaha CD/DVD transport I have
used in the past, the MCX-2000 was
a bit finicky in playing back CDs that
contained excessive scratches, dirt and
blemishes. Perhaps one of the reasons I still
have my 10 year old Sony ES changer on
hand is I can literally run a knife over my
CDs and they will still play on the Sony
with no hiccups. This wasn’t always
the case with the MCX-2000 and I
learned this lesson the hard way after
I went to access some of the CDs I
uploaded into the hard drive. I found
two or three CDs that some of the
tracks did not transfer well and you could
hear distortion, high frequency crackling and
skipping continuously throughout the particular
tracks. In Yamaha’s defense, not even my
venerable Sony machine would play a couple of
these blemished CDs. Thus I have listed some
basic precautions when uploading music to
your MCX-2000 to avoid later headaches and
embarrassment when hosting a party and your
Milli Vanilli music skips more than usual.
Editorial Note on
CD Sound Quality
There are many factors that influence the sound
quality of source material such as:
1) How the source material was recorded (ie. equipment, mics, etc)
2) How the recording was mastered
and transferred to CD
(level, compression, etc)
For a more thorough discussion on typical
ailments that plaque recording quality, we suggest
the following reading material:
Current Trends in the Recording
Format Arena P1
Current Trends in the Recording
Format Arena P2
Issues with 0dBFS+ Levels On
Digital Audio Playback Systems
The Case for NOT going above 0 dBFS
For Digital Playback Systems
Suggestions for Improvement
This is a rather short list and a tribute to
Yamaha listening to the feedback from custom
installers, and reviewers to continually improve
product features and usability.
Despite the almost limitless configurability
of the MCX-2000, there were of course some
Pre-Recording Guidelines
shortcomings just as there are with virtually all
home theater equipment in the eyes of the anal
• Make sure the surface of your CDs are
retentive Audioholic. Listed below are some of Conclusions
The Yamaha MusicCAST MCX-2000 is a
clear of fingerprints, smudges and gunk.
the issues I would like see improved upon or
dream
come true to anyone looking for an easy
• Spot check each track for playability
incorporated into future iterations or upgrades
to
use,
intelligent file management and server
of your CD on the MCX-2000 before
of this product.
solution for their music database. Though more
recording it.
tech savvy enthusiasts may opt for building a
• Spot check playback of each recorded
• Ability to recognize and prevent double
HTPC solution to save a few bucks, they will
track of the uploaded CD to ensure it’s
copying of CDs
still not likely be able to achieve the usability of
free of clicks, pops, and other anomalies.
• Integrated web browser or navigation tool
to more easily find Internet music stations the MCX-2000, not to mention its elegant slim
line chassis and Yamaha brand name ensuring a
As you can see in the pic to the right, one of • Bigger front panel display and less
great track record of reliability and quality. The
my favorite Steely Dan CDs didn’t fair to well
dependency on using the OSD
MCX-2000 will be the hit at any of your social
baking in my Slappa CD case in my car for the
past two years. The gunk that can be seen on
this CD is now literally engraved into the disc.
I found about a half dozen or so of my CDs to
suffer this ill fate. My advice is to burn copies of
the CDs you want to listen to in your car. Don’t
store the originals in that heat (of course I live in
Florida so it’s a bit worse here.) In fact, you may
even wish to create discs exclusively for the car
which contain your favorite hits from each artist
to avoid skipping tracks or thumbing through
your entire Prince collection (or ‘artist formerly
known as Prince’, or whatever he considers
himself these days) to get your quick 1999 fix.
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gatherings or parties and although unobtrusive
in appearance, will make itself known to your
guests when they hear all of the great songs,
interruption free, you selected for your playlists.
A Custom Installer can have a field day
configuring and utilizing all of the great features
of the MCX-2000. Because of its feature set,
this will ensure a satisfied customer base and
points with your clients once you empower them
with the ability of streaming audio at the press
of a button. This product truly redefines the
way you listen to music and anyone previously
unfamiliar with the power and flexibility of a
music server, especially one that can stream
music wirelessly, is really in for a treat.
My whole experience with this system has
been one of delight. It brought me in touch with
the music I grew up with and often forgotten
widened my listening palette. Most importantly,
it made me a superstar to my guests at a recent
party we threw that went on until the early hours
of the morning because of all of the dancing and
non stop great music it served up. Now if only it
could brew a pot of coffee…
By Gene Della Sala
Email - gds@audioholics.com
A Wife’s Perspective
Who would have thought that the electronics
industry, especially in this day-in-age, could
make a product that was consumer friendly.
I’m talking about the ease of use and facility
of understanding the different capabilities the
product has to offer. The best part, the instructions
are even easy to read and understand.
You may ask, what is this little woman
referring to? Well, I will tell you. I’ll start by letting
you know that this is currently my favorite toy.
I used and abused it (not really, not yet) and I
don’t think I will ever get tired of mistreating it.
Any ideas yet? No. That’s Ok. It’s no other than
Yamaha’s MusicCAST MCX-2000. This new
baby is able to download and save hundreds
of hours of quality CD recording (mp3 not
included), as well as multi-server capabilities
(Internet Radio, FM Radio, etc, etc, etc). The
menus concocted by the engineers of this
cleaver machine, are extremely easy to navigate
through and decipher. No more need to have the
“guys” tell you and run it for you (although, it is
nice to feel serviced), which let’s us show them
that we can do it too. But, it does feel great to
have the ability to work this toy on your own. I
have to tell you ladies, this is an easy, likable,
compact and wonderful product to use. The
best part, most of the music in it will be yours
and yours alone.
By Tica Molinares-DellaSala
Yamaha MusicCAST MCX-2000
Score Card
The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The
numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating
equal to: Performance x Price Factor/Value = Rating
Audioholics Ratings Scale:
Outstanding (reserved for features or areas that exceed market norms)
Above Average
Average
Below average
Very poor
Metric
Build Quality
Ease of Setup
User Interface
Remote
Appearance
Features
Sound Quality
Overall
Value
Rating
/2
/2
1
/2
1
1
/2
1
/2
1
About Yamaha Electronics
Yamaha Electronics Corporation (YEC), USA, based in Buena Park, California, is
a wholly owned subsidiary of Yamaha. YEC offers Home Theater components and
systems, featuring A/V Receivers, Amplifiers, DVD/CD, Speakers, Mini-Systems,
Video Projection, as well as A/V & IT Convergence Products.
Yamaha MusicCAST MCX-2000
MSRP: $1999
Yamaha Electronics
6660 Orangethorpe Avenue
Buena Park, CA 90620
(714) 522-9105
http://www.yamaha.com/yec/
Non-exclusive reprint rights have been provided to Yamaha Electronics Corporation to reprint and freely
distribute this review. Any other uses or instances of this review by other parties or by Yamaha Electronics
Corporation are prohibited without prior approvals from Audioholics. The original review can be viewed
online at www.audioholics.com.
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