Melco Introduces The Larger-Capacity N100-H50 Digital Library
Melco announces its new N100-H50 entry-level digital library with 150% more music capacity than its standard sibling.
Melco Audio's N100-H50, as its name might indicate to those up on Melco's naming conventions, sports a 5TB drive as opposed to the N100-H20's 2TB spinner.
Furthermore, we are told that the upgraded, high-density 5TB HDD is no ordinary drive either, as the N100-H50 is treated to the same audio-specific model featured in its £7,499 (~US$10,490) sibling, the N10 45th-anniversary limited edition digital music library. The dedicated drives are apparently hand-picked by the factory to provide exceptional audio performance.
The familiar half-width, compact 215mm-wide chassis remains, as does the extreme-low-noise, high-precision digital music dataflow that Melco has become renowned for. The N100 library is designed from the ground up as an audio-specific device: Melco famously eschews standard IT components or PC parts.
Under the hood, you will find the same RISC processor and architecture on the N100-H50's low-profile mainboard as used in the flagship N1Z series. This, we are told, ensures very low noise with precise data management.
Additionally, like its N100-H20 stablemate, the device benefits from twin Ethernet ports. One is employed as a dedicated Ethernet player port that connects directly to network streamers without an intervening data switch, ensuring timing is maintained.
The N100-H50 can also be used as a self-contained local hi-res digital music player when connected via a USB DAC; data rates of up to 32 bit/384 kHz and Octo DSD are supported, along with gapless and Melco markerless DSD.
You have the option to control the N100-H50 by the Melco Music HD app, via the front panel buttons, or from approved third-party RF remote handsets. Also, the N100 will operate with both USB DACs and Ethernet-connected players, even without connection to a data network in standalone Isolated Mode. When connected to a network, popular UPnP apps can be used for control. The N100-H50 is also Roon Ready following a recent firmware upgrade.
The front panel USB offers convenient importing from USB sources and direct playback from USB drives without importing.
Should you eventually discover that the 5TB internal drive is not enough, storage is easily expandable, either with a standard USB HDD or to maintain sound quality, the Melco E100 2TB expansion drive.
CD importing is also easy, with either the Melco D100 external CD loader or an IT-grade optical drive. Although, Melco points out that it does not use IT-grade loaders as “it both compromises sound quality and also reduces reliability”.
Finally, music backup is as easy as plugging in a USB HDD and pressing a button. Direct Hi-Res downloads from HighresAudio.com and other vendors (with more to follow in 2021) is supported for error-free downloading.
The Melco N100-H50 will be available at the beginning of July, priced at £2,499 (~US$3,400). The existing N100-H20 is available now priced at £1,999 (~US$2,790). Both are available in black or silver.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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