February 2017 – London – MELCO, the audiophile division of leading Japanese computer peripheral company Buffalo Technology, has announced updated versions of its range of network storage and playback solutions. Launched three years ago, Melco established the audiophile digital storage category, receiving considerable acclaim from the technical press and consumers alike.
The three new models build on the leading-edge performance, flexibility and ease of use offered by the original N1 series, and reflects both technical improvements and feedback from owners to not only further improve sound quality but also to add innovative new functionality previously not possible with this type of Audiophile Source Component.
And still all of this is achieved without the user needing to use any computer or IT devices in order to enjoy Hi-Res Digital Music from many sources.
The three models are priced as follows
Dedicated Audiophile Neutrik USB 2.0 DAC port
The three new models directly replace the existing product line up and benefit from key improvements in connectivity, software, component specification and functionality. In particular, Melco has worked hard to enhance playback performance when used as a source for USB DACs, with all three models now connecting to a USB-DAC with a dedicated Neutrik USB 2.0 DAC port.
DIRECT PLAY of Music Files and CD
All Melco models now support the direct playback of content connected via USB without having to import to the internal drives. Whether it is content stored on a USB drive or a CD played back on a USB-connected optical drive, users can choose to import to the internal storage via a single button press or play directly, thanks to the easy-to-navigate front panel display. Direct play is aided by a delightfully simple CD Player-type interface on the Melco front panel.
Advanced DSD Capability – Melco Markerless DSD
Melco Music Libraries support 11.3MHz QUAD DSD. Now we have advanced DSD playback by providing an alternative to DoP (DSD over PACKET).
Melco Markerless DSD is a DSD transport which does not burden the data stream with the DSD Markers that are inserted into the data in the case of DoP. This represents a processing overhead for both the N1 and the player. So Melco Markerless DSD is a pure DSD data transport which is compatible with an increasing number of DACs that support ASIO DSD drivers. A list is on the Melco website.
Melco N1 Mk2 line-up
The flagship N1ZS20/2 builds on the immense talents and reputation of its predecessor. Two new 2nd Generation 1TB Audio Grade SSD, built for the application by the Buffalo memory division and totally unlike any IT industry SSD (conventional IT SSD have been proven, in a high performance environment such as the Melco, to be audibly inferior to SSD built specially for the purpose), are mounted on a massive non-magnetic anti-vibration platform. These are supported with a dedicated power supply, with additional capacitor banks using audiophile grade Film capacitors, just for the SSDs, ensuring absolute purity at the start of the signal chain. At this level of performance, even the drive configuration becomes audible and the default setting is now RAID0 – with immediate musical benefits.
There are a great many small detail improvements to the already outstanding N1ZS10. This is a device built to the most rigorous standards expected of high end audio equipment.
The N1ZH60/2 takes the highly rigid vibration damping casework of the flagship and pairs it with two 3TB SFF HDD drives, which are configured by default to give a 6TB internal library. Using small form factor drives in conjunction with a dedicated HDD power supply, high data integrity is ensured at the start of the dataflow as in the flagship, but at a lower price point.
The N1AH60/2 is the entry point to the range but the improvements to the specification are no less significant. As well as adding a Neutrik Dedicated USB port and the improvements to the playback and control software common to all three models, the internal capacity has grown to 6TB (with the same options for adding external drives on the EXPANSION port to boost this). For the first time, a capacitor bank derived from the N1ZS20/2 is used to ensure that the feed from the power supply is as quiet and stable as possible.
All Melco models will have new operating firmware, giving flexible user control of the internal DAC player directly from the front panel, removing the need for any network connected controllers or Apps.
As well as offering unparalleled audio performance, the three units have been designed to offer flexibility, convenience, simplicity of operation and very simple installation and setup. Crucially, no computer interaction is required to set up and playback music files on a Melco. By completely replacing computer and IT devices for the acquisition, storage and playback of Hi-Res digital music files either via USB DAC or via Ethernet connected Streamers / Renderers, Melco Digital Music Libraries ensure users can obtain maximum enjoyment from their digital music collection and access it in a variety of different ways, safe in the knowledge that they are hearing the best possible representation of the original file.
The MK2 range from Melco is available from UK distributor Kog Audio.
To download the pdf of the full release, click here.
For images, click here.
About MELCO – www.melco-audio.com
MELCO, which stands for Maki Engineering Laboratory Company, was established by Makoto Maki in 1975 in Japan. Maki, an enthusiastic audiophile, established the company to design and manufacture the finest audio components of the time – the undoubted masterpiece of the MELCO line being the turntable, introduced into the UK in 1980, which set new standards in music reproduction.
From those early beginnings MELCO developed into the largest computer peripherals manufacturer in Japan (Buffalo Inc.), offering advanced products based on rigorous R&D, including Wireless routers, Ethernet Data Switches and storage devices such as NAS drives.
Now the Company is proud to revive the highly-respected MELCO brand, offering discerning audiophiles high technology networked audio components in the spirit of those much revered early MELCO products, while incorporating the very latest research into reliable high performance networked devices and storage.
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