Arcam FMJ MS250 Music Server

Billed as the "world's first audiophile music server," the MS250 contains a 400GB hard disk and a CD ripper/player, as well as "a custom sound card specifically designed for the MS250 using four Crystal CS4398, 120dB dynamic-range, 24-bit, stereo DACs, plus properly implemented power supplies and output filters, just like an Arcam CD player."

It has two analog line-level inputs, so that users with an external phono section could rip LPs to the server.

It can connect to a computer to access music stored there and can access the Internet to collect metadata. It supports four zones.

All of this was impressive and shows that somebody at Arcam gets music servers. Not the gentleman conducting the demo, however. When asked by a potential dealer who the MS250 was aimed at, he said, "People too lazy to get up and change a record."

And people wonder why the high-end is in trouble.