Melco Launched Ultra High End Network Switch
When I started with Melco a few years ago I was amazed at the improvement they could make to the sound of any good system. An area I’d largely neglected with regards to a server and storage, dismissed as “it’s only ones and zeroes” even by a crazy audiophile like me. But now a complete convert (sorry bank manager), Melco really define the category of not only quality storage and audiophile server, but also ruffle feathers in the standalone streamer arena when connected directly into your DAC via USB, with bit perfect digital reproduction for almost any file type.
Today Melco launch their new (sit down for it…) £1,999 network switch. Designed to isolate your fragile audio path from the remaining noisy network, the S100 boasts 10 ports, 4 x 100MbE with RJ45, 4 x 1GbE with RJ45 and 2 x SFP optical fibre ports. You can even turn off the LEDs to reduce noise for every last percentage of improvement.
The S100 is manufactured in the same beautiful (and anti-vibrating) case as the N10, so it’s bound to look extremely jazzy!
23rd October 2019, Surrey, UK: Melco has launched an audiophile-technology extreme-performance data switch, the S100, which offers improved sound quality for any network audio device using an Ethernet connection.
In developing the new S100, Melco were able to draw on the design team expertise of (huge) parent company Buffalo Technology to create a complete audiophile dataswitch solution. The brief was not to modify a high-end enterprise-level switch, but to design one from scratch, purely for extreme-performance digital audio. The resulting S100, which will make its world debut at The UK Hi-Fi Show Live 2019, has been designed to not only complement Melco’s digital music libraries, but also to offer a clear and easy upgrade path for any systems using Ethernet for audio, especially those using Roon devices and streaming services such as TIDAL and Qobuz.
The S100 features advanced architecture to deliver high performance including a 1.5MB packet buffer, a powerful processor, plus an audio-grade capacitor bank. Its low-noise design, coupled with highly precise data-handling, gives the S100 uncompromising sound quality when used with Ethernet audio devices. The S100’s internal packet-traffic settings have been optimised for use with IT NAS drives, IT routers (for streaming services), Roon Core processor devices, Roon Bridges, and, of course, Melco’s N1, N10, N100 digital music libraries. The S100 features the same vibration-isolating aluminium-chassis construction and form factor as seen in
Melco’s N10 series.
Available in UK and Europe.
€2000 / £2000.
Digital music relies on perfectly timed data in a low-noise environment. Therefore, the limitation for sound quality on an Ethernet network is the network itself, plus the components used. Standard IT parts are designed to be low cost and effective for PC data and gaming etc. ‹ they are simply inadequate for high-quality digital music. High-end managed enterprise switches can, with some expert knowledge, be optimised for audio data, but even with the addition of separate power supplies, there are serious limitations. Melco’s S100 has been designed and manufactured purely for audio by an expert engineering team, led by Mr. Hayashi. Alan Ainslie, Melco Audio’s General Manager said, “With the acclaimed Melco N1 series, we eliminated the data switch from the data path (server to player) and lifted sound quality hugely. But it was still clear that the rest of the network was having an effect. It was, perhaps, less obvious on lesser systems, but as soon as we fixed everything else, it remained a nagging problem.
Melco (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 was 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. These included 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 network 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.