Yamaha betting that we've hit the "5-disc CD changer" stage of the retro audio technology cycle

What I like about Yamaha's blocky yet handsome new CD-C603 5-disc CD changer is that it looks just like it was made 30 years ago, but could now also contain—hypothetically—enough storage to hold millions of songs in lossless formats, and all sorts of other technological gadgetry besides, within its gargantuan chassis. But absolutely not: even the "Play X Change" feature Yamaha touts, which "allows the listener to open the multi-disc drawer while a disc is being played and swap out any of the other four," hints at certain heretical methods by which such feats can be aaccomplished.

You may, however, plug in a thumbdrive—USB Type A, as God intended—and it will consent to play any songs stored therein.

A feature from Yamaha hi-fi amplifiers has been included too, which aims to offer the highest sound quality possible from the player by shutting down the digital audio output and turning off the display via the remote to reduce noise interference. And the company reckons that folks can look forward to a "sound full of dynamics and clarity" to boot.

In another modern touch, the big black box sports a USB port to the front for plugging in thumbdrives stuffed with digital audio files up to 24-bit/96-kHz quality. There are analog (RCA) and digital (optical) output around back for cabling the player to a hi-fi amp, along with remote in/out.

With its "short signal paths," "sophisticated circuitry," "intelligent digital servo" and "convenient playback functions" such as random and repeat, the CD-C603 is $549.