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Autonomic Controls MMS-2 Music Server Review Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 April 2011
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Autonomic Controls MMS-2 Music Server Review

I used the MMS-2 with both FLAC and WAV files ripped from CDs and from my live music collection. The Band’s Music From Big Pink, the Mobile Fidelity hybrid SACD remaster, sounded  fantastic,  just about the best I have heard the Redbook layer. Espers, a neo-psychedelic folk group, were well served, no pun intended, on the presentation of their album Espers III. The music was rendered with tremendous spaciousness and true to the promise of superior fidelity from error corrected hard drive playback. This is the clearly the digital playback medium of the near future.  

Logistically, the MMS-2 worked flawlessly for the time I had it in my systems. I kept it on 24/7 and it got slightly warm to the touch on warmer days. The unit was generally noiseless, but after extended use I could hear some mechanical noise, but only with my ear a few inches from the chassis.  I was impressed by how responsive the server was, and that made perusing the library a painless and fun endeavour.  It was quicker than my Squeezebox navigating folders and files, which was very welcomed.    

server front


I really enjoyed have the Autonomic Controls MMS-2 server in my system. It performed solidly, was fun to use, and offers up a host of features that are very forward looking.  My only two reservations are the limit of a 500 GB hard drive, and only one digital (optical) output, which is a bit limiting, but optical has a big advantage in that it is not susceptible to ground loop issues. With a price tag of $1995, there is stiff competition, from a number of vendors. But I must fully admit the MMS-2 was one of the best sounding digital playback solutions I have heard. With so many features and highly anticipated “cloud” access, I was almost expecting the sound quality to be secondary consideration. But I was dead wrong. I can’t stress how well the MMS-2 performed sonically. I was also very impressed with the Autonomic support team. I had a month of hassle free listening after the initial set up.

Autonomic Controls has clearly flexed their engineering muscle on the MM2-2 and I will be sad to see it go.  It also will play back high resolution 96 Khz files, which are available for download from a variety of websites, like Hold on to your hats, as there has never been a more exciting time in home entertainment, with servers, streamers, and cloud based products storming down the path. The Autonomic Controls MMS-2 is on the cutting edge, and I strongly recommend those seeking a streamlined, great sounding central music server solution to check it out.        


  • Autonomic Controls MMS-2 Music Server: MSRP $1995.  
  • Video Output: VGA, 15 Pin D-Sub Connector; component video available with optional adaptor
  • Supported Streaming Services: Pandora Internet Radio, SiriusXM Internet Radio, RadioTime Internet Radio
  • Supported Audio Formats: .aif, .aifc, .aiff, .au, .cda, .flac, .m4a, .m4p, .mid, .midi, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .rmi, .snd, .wav, .wma, .wpl
  • Audio Processor: Realtek ALC662 5.1 Channel HD
  • Digital-to-Analog Conversion: 44.1k/48k/96kHz
  • Master Volume: -80dB to +20dB
  • Frequency Response: <10Hz to 48kHz
  • S/N Ratio: 95db, A weighted
  • Dynamic Range: >110dB
  • Channel Separation: >90dB
  • Audio Connection: Pre-Amp Output: 1x analog unbalanced stereo line-level audio output; maximum output level: 2.0 Vrms
  • Toslink Digital Output: 1x digital 5.1 channel output, toslink via included adapter
  • LAN: (1) 8-wire RJ45 with 2 LED indicators; 10/100/1000 Mbits/sec BaseT Ethernet port; green LED indicates link status; yellow LED indicates Ethernet activity
  • Power Connection: 110V-240V: (1) External power supply DC 19 V @ 3.4 A; mates with removable SATA power cord (included)
  • Control System Interfaces: AMX, Crestron, RTI, URC, Windows PC/Mac, Adobe Flash-enabled mobile devices and computers, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad
  • Control System Protocols: IP, 2-way documented API
  • External Controls + Indicators: Power On/Off
  • Humidity: 10% to 90% RH (non-condensing)
  • Temperature: 32° to 104°F (0° to 40°C)
  • Main Power Consumption: 60 Watts @ 120 Volts AC, 50–60Hz
  • Internal Storage: 500 GB Magnetic
  • Dimensions: 2.8" H x 7.5" W x 7.9" D; 2U rack-mount chassis with rack kit (not included)

Manufacturer Info

Autonomic Controls Inc.
200 Business Park Drive
Armonk, New York
914 598 1647

Reviewer System 1

  • CD Player: Naim CD5 XS with Flatcap 2X
  • Music Server:  Olive 04HD 
  • Preamp: Audio Research SP16 
  • Amplifier: Audio Research VS55 
  • Speaker: Thiel CS2.4 
  • Cables: DH Labs Revelation (IC), Kimber KCTG (IC), Transparent  MM2 Super (IC),  Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Element Cable Element Cord, (AC)  Shunyata Venom (AC) Pangea AC-9 (AC) Audience powerChord e.(AC) 
  • Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Sound Anchors stands,  Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner, Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Salamander rac  

Reviewer System 2

  • CD Player: Marantz 5003
  • Music Server: Squeezebox 3 
  • DAC: CIA VDA-2 with VAC-1 Power Supply 
  • Tape Deck: Revox A77 
  • Preamp: Belles Soloist 3 
  • Amplifier: Belles Soloist 5, Revox A722 
  • Speaker: Spendor S3/5R, Harbeth Compact 7ES3 
  • Cables: Kimber/QED/Transparant/Shunyata(AC)/PS Audio(AC), Pangea Audio, RS Cables, Element Cable, Belkin Gold (USB) 

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