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The best Digital Music source for discerning audiophiles      melco-audio.com

 

We are proud to present Melco and its N1 series of products – the worlds first true Audiophile grade source component to access, store and deliver High-Res digital music without any of the compromises of computers and their peripherals. At any stage. this is Pure and Simple; even set-up is really easy. The Melco N1 is both a music store and UPnP server for Ethernet connected streaming solutions, a Direct Music download engine and is also an extraordinary source for a USB dac. Sound quality is unsurpassed! We are not suggesting you have been listening to The Beatle, Brahm or Taylor Slow before, but with the Melco nothing is missing, because there is nothing to take it away. There is even no need for a PC in order to setup or manage this system and not a single intervening switch or ‘IT’ component to come between you and your music.

Until now the only way of distributing, storing and listening to even the highest resolution digital music has, at some stage, involved computers or computer-like devices – equipment designed to handle far more than music, so it has never been solely dedicated to sonic excellence. Even when players have been designed by “Audio Specialists”, old thinking and “IT” connectivity has impaired audio performance.

All that has just changed.

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Melco History

Melco, (Maki Electronic Laboratory Company), was established in Japan in 1975 by Makoto Maki, a passionate audiophile determined to create the finest, high-end components. His undoubted masterpiece was the groundbreaking modular Melco turntable that set new standards in music reproduction. From those early beginnings Melco became the largest computer peripherals manufacturer, Buffalo, offering technically advanced products based on rigorous R&D. These included Wireless routers, Ethernet Data Switches and storage devices.

Mr Maki personally initiated the current Melco Audiophile NAS project having identified serious shortcomings in the conventional IT industry solutions being used for hi-res audio at the highest level.

To achieve its incredible level of performance and flexibility, the Melco, by its nature, is a very advanced technical product - BUT it was always in the minds eye of the creators to make the product approachable, easy to understand and most importantly easy to operate, for everyone.

From an audio perspective, Melco is the best possible digital source for any Hifi system. A Melco N1 will feed music files to either a USB DAC or a streamer, and will easily outperform a PC or Mac source, NAS drive, or CD transport. Your preferences of sound and hifi brands are unaffected by using a Melco source - the N1 is simply designed to ensure the data arrives untainted by timing errors, noise or distortion at the DAC or streamer of your choice. 

MELCO Digital Music Libraries - Explained

True Audiophile performance
Audio performance is paramount as the industry moves beyond the legacy standards of the CD format. This makes such issues as data integrity and jitter even more critical. For this reason, the Melco range uses none of the IT industry norms in creating this solution.

Internal and external data communications are differentiated with separate and isolated power supplies, whilst SSD data management is especially optimised as the requirements for audio are quite different to PC requirements (music data is written infrequently and is rarely modified, rendering the usual SSD lifetime optimisation algorithms as inappropriate, especially as they also tend to impact on data integrity). The flagship Melco N1ZS uses highly stable purpose-built Audio Grade SSDs designed especially for audio playback, as they have a low level and consistent management algorithm that has zero impact on data integrity. Audio Grade SSDs also greatly reduce power supply spikes compared to fast IT SSDs.

All digital processes, including the external Ethernet communications, are derived from a precision ultra-low jitter data clock to ensure total freedom from jitter-induced artefacts on final D/A conversion. The low jitter Ethernet connectivity is provided by RJ45 ports isolated with high grade TDK magnetics. This ensures absolute freedom from interference and noise, which is otherwise fed into sensitive analogue electronics in the playback system. The Ethernet connectors have light-pipe data transfer indicating LEDs, which can be extinguished to provide the purest connection environment.

Power supplies are critical in all high-end audio applications. Not only does Melco separate power supplied for internal and external data communications, but also specially designed components minimise common mode interference, protecting delicate analogue circuitry elsewhere in the playback system. N1Z chassis models benefit from twin medical grade supplies.

Simple setup – no computers
In the spirit of Melco being a true Audiophile source, the Melco N1 does not have a web server and does not require a computer to either configure it or to enable it to play. A versatile array of useful customisations is available from the informative OLED front panel display and navigation buttons. During playback, the display shows the selected track along with sample rate. For ultimate audio performance, the display can be switched off during playback.

Storing music files to the Melco is simple via the USB 3.0 socket on the rear or over the LAN, whilst backup is easy thanks to the dedicated rear-mounted BACKUP USB 3.0 socket, which automatically offers to start to backup the music data onto any external drive with enough capacity upon connection.

Melco offers users the ability to download HD music from several online stores directly into the Melco without any requirement for external computers (other than to confirm the initial purchase) – the Melco polls all user accounts seeking newly purchased music and will download directly and verify the music files ready for immediate playing.

Newly introduced is Melco Direct CD-import allowing archival bit-perfect copies of the users CD collection.

Expansion to over 12Tb is easily achieved by simply adding a USB drive to the dedicated rear-mounted EXPANSION port. No configuration is required – the additional capacity is simply available to store more music.
The Hi-Fi style front panel on/off switch means that the N1 is up and running after only 15 seconds and can be shut down safely in under five seconds. Were there to be a power cut, music files remain safe, thanks to Melco’s robust design.

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MELCO Direct Streaming Music (DSM)
Regardless of the precautions and optimisations within a digital music source/ network player, it all comes to nothing when sensitive music data is put onto a LAN network. Compromises such as commodity grade data cables and data switches designed purely for rapid data transfer all have a detrimental effect on music files. To combat this, Melco N1 Music Libraries have a dedicated Ethernet port for direct link to the network player. By removing the necessity for external network switches, this architecture not only ensures the best possible data delivery from the Melco to the player, but also reveals the benefits of carefully engineered precision Ethernet cables.

A separate opto-isolated Ethernet port provides a high-quality connection to the LAN, so that the network player will still be connected via the Melco and, therefore, can be controlled by iOS or Android devices, whilst also connect to music streaming sites or Internet radio. But for the simplest purest playback of High Resolution music on a network player that has its own control, all that is required is the Melco N1 and a precision Ethernet cable. Setting the Melco into Direct Mode activates an internal DHCP server removing the need for any IT devices in the audio path.

System connection using Streamer / Network Player

N1_NetworkStreamer

System connection using USB DAC

 

N1_USBdac

Local USB-DAC Player
The Local USB-DAC player can be used in the same manner as the Network Player. The Local USB-DAC player is simply controlled from a UPnP Control App on a Smartphone or Tablet on the network. The App discovers the N1 & DAC combo as a Digital Media Renderer or Player on the Network as soon as a DAC is connected using a standard USB cable to the N1.
The N1 Local USB-DAC Player supports PCM up to 384 kHz / 32 bit, and DSD up to 11.3MHz MHz quad DSD. Automatic sample rate adjustment is offered to match the capabilities of the connected DAC - e.g. 192 kHz is automatically downsampled to play on a 96 kHz capable DAC. DSD to PCM conversion is also supported, with the conversion of DSD to 24 bit PCM for USB DACs that do not support DSD via a manual setting in the Menu.

 

FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS

  • No PC required for either set-up or installation and no specialist knowledge required in any way.
  • Simple set-up from OLED display.
  • Specific DSM IP port for Ethernet Streamer/Player with separate LAN port for control and network.
  • Automatically creates very simple robust network for streaming high resolution music and control.
  • Simple power operation, normal ON/OFF switch. Just 5 seconds to power down and 15 seconds to be ready from switch on.
  • Informative OLED display with just 4 navigation buttons, displays all relevant settings, connected devices, capacity, setup, format and current song playing.
  • Simple Backup – music is secure with a USB connected Backup in a single button press.
  • Simple Expansion – when the music collection out grows the internal storage capacity a USB drive connected to the Melco will extend capacity without any setup being needed.
  • Simple music import from USB drive in just one button press.
  • Simple CD Import from USB connected drive - add CDs to the Melco with bit-perfect quality and metadata. (*New May 2016*)
  • Simple music download from High Resolution vendors direct to Melco without the need for a PC.
  • Safe against power failure or unintended power down - Melco design protects against the loss of precious music files.

NA1Melco N1A with 4TB internal storage.
Simple USB Backup and Expansion.
Dual Ethernet Ports – DSM direct to Player Connection and LAN.
USB connection to external DAC.

FEATURES

  • Light pipe isolated Gigabit Ethernet ports to eliminate interference.
  • Illumination can be disabled.
  • Specialised high performance TDK magnetics for precise network communications impedance matching
  • Ultra-low jitter system clock for outstanding audio quality
  • 60W low noise power supply
  • Specialised low noise low vibration audio HDD on anti-vibration mounts.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Model: N1A (silver) N1ABK (black)
Network Connectivity: LAN Gigabit Ethernet (1000Base-T)
Player /DSM Gigabit Ethernet (1000Base-T)
USB Connectivity: Backup USB 3.0 Rear Panel
Expansion USB 3.0 Rear Pane
lUSB 3.0 (DAC port) USB 3.0 Rear Panel
Front Panel USB (DAC or Import)
USB 2.0 Front Panel
Power Supply: Multi voltage 117V – 230V Nominal
3 wire IEC withground
60W PSU for LAN and SSD & USB Related devices
Internal System regulator
Music Storage: 2 x 2TB
Configure as Spanned (4TB) or RAID
Local USB – DAC Player Control: UPnP Control Point Type 0 or Type 1 supported
Size: 436 x 70 x 352 mm (17.2 x 2.8 x 13.9 inches)
Weight: 7kg (15.5lb)

N1ZMelco N1Z H60 with 6TB HDD storage.
Audio grade HDD – special algorithms ensure no impact on audio data. 
Dual power supplies isolating internal and external communications.
Dual Ethernet Ports – DSM direct to Player Connection and LAN USB connection to external DAC.

FEATURES

  • Light pipe isolated gigabit Ethernet ports to eliminate interference.
  • Illumination can be disabled. Specialised high performance TDK magnetics for precise network communications impedance matching.
  • Ultra-low jitter system clock for outstanding audio quality.
  • Medical grade low noise power supply for LAN and processor.
  • Medical grade low noise power supply for USB and HDD.
  • Buffalo Capacitor bank to sustain operation and elegant shut down in case of power loss.
  • Anti- vibration HDD mounting. Rigid H frame for structural integrity
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Model: N1Z H60 (silver) N1Z H60BK (black)
Network Connectivity: LAN Gigabit Ethernet (1000Base-T)
Player /DSM Gigabit Ethernet (1000Base-T)
USB Connectivity: Backup USB 3.0 Rear Panel
Expansion USB 3.0 Rear Panel
USB 3.0 (DAC port) USB 3.0 Rear Panel
USB Power (5V for Router) USB Rear Panel
Ground Terminal: Screw Terminal – System Ground
Power Supply: Multi voltage 117V – 230V Nominal
3 wire IEC with ground
30W PSU for LAN related devices
30W PSU for HDD & USB Related devices
2 x Buffalo Capacitor Bank
Internal System regulators
Music Storage: 2 x Audio Grade HDD 3GB
Configure as Spanned (6TB) or RAID
Local USB – DAC Player Control: UPnP Control Point Type 0 or Type 1 supported
Size: 350 x 65 x 370 mm (13.82 x 2.6 x 14.6 inches)
Weight: 7kg (15.5lb)

 

 

 

N1ZMelco N1Z S10 with 1TB SSD storage.
Audio grade SSD improves audio performance compared to computer SSD or HDD drives.
Dual power supplies isolating internal and external communications.
Dual Ethernet Ports – DSM direct to Player Connection and LAN USB connection to external DAC.

FEATURES

  • Light pipe isolated gigabit Ethernet ports to eliminate interference.
  • Illumination can be disabled. Specialised high performance TDK magnetics for precise network communications impedance matching.
  • Ultra-low jitter system clock for outstanding audio quality.
  • Medical grade low noise power supply for LAN and processor.
  • Medical grade low noise power supply for USB and HDD.
  • Buffalo Capacitor bank to sustain operation and elegant shut down in case of power loss.
  • Audiograde SSD – special algorithms ensure no impact on audio data.
  • Anti- vibration HDD mounting. Rigid H frame for structural integrity.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Model: N1Z S10 (silver) N1Z S10BK (black)
Network Connectivity: LAN Gigabit Ethernet (1000Base-T)
Player /DSM Gigabit Ethernet (1000Base-T)
USB Connectivity: Backup USB 3.0 Rear Panel
Expansion USB 3.0 Rear Panel
USB 3.0 (DAC port) USB 3.0 Rear Panel
USB Power (5V for Router) USB Rear Panel
Ground Terminal: Screw Terminal – System Ground
Power Supply: Multi voltage 117V – 230V Nominal
3 wire IEC with ground
30W PSU for LAN related devices
30W PSU for SSD & USB Related devices
2 x Buffalo Capacitor Bank
Internal System regulators
Music Storage: 2 x Audio Grade SSD 512GB
Configure as Spanned (1TB) or RAID
Local USB – DAC Player Control: UPnP Control Point Type 0 or Type 1 supported
Size: 350 x 65 x 370 mm (13.82 x 2.6 x 14.6 inches)
Weight: 7kg (15.5lb)

 

Melco-Audio Ethernet Cable   ~ Precision Engineered For Perfect Music ~

In the journey to making a noise free environment to transfer and control the passage of data on board the N1 products, the development of the dedicated DSM connection was born. Using the DSM connection avoids any data switch or ‘IT’ components being in the signal path, thus ensuring absolute integrity of packet data to the Ethernet player. However it become clear, to fulfil this aspiration of integrity and performance that the connecting cable became the weakest link.

Melco had to develop their own solution to ensure this integrity!

By using the Melco Audio Ethernet cable any jitter, normally introduced by cabling, is reduced by over 80%. This translates into a clearly and measurably cleaner and more open eye pattern to the digital transfer of data. Importantly this is immediately appreciated with better Audio quality via the DSM connection!

Furthermore attention to detail with carefully crafted connections to improve impedance matching as well as individual screening of data pairs to reduce crosstalk and noise, opens the eye pattern further, thus enhancing the best possible environment for optimum musical performance.

Finally a careful overall screening of the cable ensures that the delicate analogue audio systems are not effected by any form of digital leakage.

The cables are currently available in 0.5m, 1m, 2m and 3m lengths.

 

 
  • Wide bandwidth Category 7 construction for low jitter
  • Precision 100 ohm balanced twisted data pairs for perfect transmission
  • Precision 100 ohm accurate and rigid mechanical alignment connectors ensures stable performance without possibility of mechanical misalignment. Unbreakable latch for precise alignment.
  • Individual screening of each data pair eliminates crosstalk.
  • Overall screening of the complete interconnect assembly ensures freedom from external influences.
  • Advanced materials technology for optimum long term performance with flexible and convenient handling.
  • Gold plated data connectors and shield
 
 

 

  • Double shielding – eliminates both external influence and internal crosstalk.
  • Each individual data pair within the cable is individually screened to eliminate internal crosstalk.
  • Secondary overall screening of the complete cable assembly eliminates external influence and interference. Five step screening ensures purity of the digital music transfer.

 

 

 

 
  • Wide bandwidth low jitter design. – CAT 7, 600 MHz
  • The wide band cable design, including the precision connectors, ensures both optimal data transfer and elimination of data jitter to ensure the integrity of the data transfer between network connected audio components.
  • C1AE has wideband transmission speed 6 times that of Cat 5e, 2.4 times of Cat 6