McIntosh MS300

It is obvious that music servers with lots-o-storage capabilities are the way of the future. I think that right now, we are at the begining of seeing this type of source equipment being made to "audiophile" standards for high quality playback.

Though I have very little knowledge of/exposure to the MS300, I am curious to learn more about it. In particular, I would like to hear those who own one or have auditioned one.

The bells and whistles are neat. But, what I really want to know is; how does it sound playing redbook cd's?

Would you describe its signature as: Analytical? Neutral? Warm? Would you characterize its sound as "analog" like?...or maybe super-highly resolving and sterile/bright?

I have a lot of 70/80's (poor quality) rock recordings that are unbearable to listen to with ultra-resoving playback gear. Personally, I lean towards the warmer, more liquidy analog like sound.

For reference, my ears are used to my Electrocompaniet EMC-1, 24/192 cdp.

I can't imagine Mc Labs allowing it to be available if it did not sound good.

Are there other cdp's that you have owned or listened to that you feel resembled this unit's character?

Ok, a comment or two on its functionality would be appreciated as well. However, for me, if it isn't a good match for me (sonically) the features of the server have no value in my system.

Your comments are greatly appreciated
I can't speak from first hand knowledge, obviously, but the tech people at Escient told me that the MS300 is really just a tarted up E2-300. McIntosh and Escient are owned by the same parent company.

When I called McIntosh to get some tech questions answered regarding the MS300 (I was also interested), their very sharp and friendly tech guy (Chuck Hinton) told me to call Escient in Indianapolis for any info on the MS300. Based on this, I then ended up buying a used Escient E model...saved a LOT of money.
I have never been as impressed with McIntosh CD players as I have by their amps, preamps and tuners.

For the money you should do some serious shopping. Unless you have built an entire system around McIntosh's ability for the units to communicate and act in harmony which would be just about the only reason I would consider a McIntosh CD player. I am the owner of several McIntosh units so I am not as biased as some.
For less than the MAC stuff you can put together a music server comprised of a laptop, external hardrive, and one of the many components that can be used to connect computer to your hifi system. See themany threads on it here.
I'm still in tears from the day I realized how much more the MS300 costs (than it's kissing Escient cousin). Rich folks just crack me up.

BUT as a professional copywriter I can tell you that some of that $$ went to cover the cost of hiring a non-technical writer to revise the original Escient documents.

If you own a Escient Fireball E or E2 I highly recommend the Mac manual. It's more informative, highly detailed - and it's in conversational English.