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Christmas Gift Guide
MP3 Players

Yamaha MusicCAST MCX-2000: a new caste

Some people cast nets into the glittering peace of the ocean, praying for fish to get themselves jammed in the webbing, like snacks of the gods. Yamaha, however, casts music...

If the Sonos Digital Music System is the Ferrari of music-streaming hardware, then the Yamaha MusicCAST MCX-2000 is a Land Rover. According to the box, there's nothing this sucker won't tackle. It's a home music server that rips full-resolution CDs at the touch of a button.

Like a Hungry Hungry Hippo for digital audio, the MusicCAST system is supposed to devour your entire music collection and make it available all over your house without the compromise in quality that MP3 brings. This all sounds extraordinarily exciting to us, so with a gleeful squeak (rather like a pig's mating scream) we unpacked the MCX-2000 this morning.

You'll need to be handy with a screwdriver and have basic plastering skills if you opt for the MusicCAST. Yamaha supplied ours with a selection of plug-points that are designed to be fitted directly into the walls of your home. We couldn't bring ourselves to bore into the office walls just yet, but expect the air to be filled with the sweet dust of a near-fatal exploration later in the week.

This is an epic product. It's going to take some time before we've wired, soldered and bolted it all together. As far as the styling of Yamaha's system goes, it's a unique melange of 80s retro and 90s fitted-kitchen chic. If you don't know what we're talking about, think Bang & Olusfen or Bose. They're both stuck in that time doldrum too. Expect a more exhaustive review once we've fired up the welding torch. -CS