When we heard Onkyo was going to launch a hard disk-based hi-fi, we were in the middle of writing the Daily Mail a strongly worded letter explaining that if it really wants to hear something worth linking to suicide cults and death, it should listen to one of Crave's favourite metal bands, Cannibal Corpse, whose set lists include such classics as Hatchet To The Head, Blowtorch Slaughter and the romantic masterpiece Meathook Sodomy.
But enough about newspapers that don't know squat about music. Onkyo knows a hell of a lot about music, which is why we just had to check out the specs for its new X-NX10A system -- a CD player backed by an 80GB hard disk for ripping CDs, a massive LCD display, Ethernet for Internet connectivity (we'll confirm what this does when we get one in), USB, gorgeous 26W speakers and that sweet Japanese styling we've come to love Onkyo for.
You can rip your music to MP3, WAV and ATRAC, but that's all. FLAC would've been nice, though sadly fewer and fewer people seem to care about preserving. And a larger hard drive wouldn't add very much to the system's overall cost (the industry seems hell-bent on only using pathetic 80GB drives in these systems) and would increase its appeal from the average consumer to the audiophile.
Remember? It came with a pair of 400GB drives, pleasing the audio nuts and Crave equally.
But still, the system will cost somewhere around £400 when it's released later this month in Japan. We just had an Onkyo spokesperson on the phone, who can't confirm it'll make its way to the UK any time soon, but we'll keep you posted. Shame if it doesn't though, huh? -Nate Lanxon