MCX-2000 Music Management, CD Recording, Client and Remote
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 I even setup hot keys on my Universal remote 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
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.
You assembled the perfect playlists and loving the musical liberty they bring you. Now what about when you leave the home? No problem. You can simply burn a playlist on a recordable CD and you're good to go. Should you choose to take advantage of MP3 compression to fit more of your songs on the CD, make sure in advanced that your car CD player supports MP3 format otherwise you will have to stick with PCM and may have to shorten your play list to 74-80 minutes so it will fit on the CD.
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 (most?) 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.
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.
The wireless MCX-A10 main use is for locations where it makes it cost prohibited to run new Cat-5e cables. Older constructions and condos or apartments that a customer does not want to run cables to run multi-zone audio would opt for this solution.
The LAN port can be used in the event you want to forego the 802.11b wireless connection or desire a greater distance from the server than is possible.
AUX IN Jack
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.
OUT L/R Jacks
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 system.
VIDEO OUT Jack
Connecting the video output of the MCX-A10 allows you to view the contents of the LCD screen on an external monitor. This is nice if you happen to be configuring the client into another home theater system (like a bedroom system) or you plan to be too far away to read the LCD display. Other than this, the LCD provides ample feedback for your configuration and playback needs.
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 wall-mounted 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.
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
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