Melco Audio has launched its first mid-range SSD-based digital music library, the N50, comprising the N50-S38 (in silver) and N50-S38B (black).
Handcrafted in Japan, the all-new N50 benefits from a 1.7mm-thick full-width chassis, an IEC power inlet with noise filtering, plus classic Melco minimalist styling. Improvements to the previous design include an enhanced mainboard with a specially selected 3.84 TB SSD drive coupled to a new SSD cradle, plus a new dynamic PSU that promises 25 per cent more output. Re-engineered isolation feet are also included.
As with all Melco digital music libraries (such as the five-star N100), the N50 utilises the company's remarkably easy user experience. Crucially, the rear panel includes four specific USB ports: USB 3.0; Expansion and Backup, plus a dedicated USB DAC output ready to connect USB DACs, USB DAC-equipped amplifiers or active speakers.
Said ports enable USB devices to connect and operate without any further configuration, including importing or playing music from memory devices, HDD/SSD drives and CD drives (aka CD rippers), capacity expansion with the Melco E100 or other storage drives, and easy back-up to HDD/SSD drives.
The back panel also includes dual Ethernet ports, which provide a dedicated ‘Player’ port in addition to the LAN port in a bid to minimise unwanted noise on the music signal and present network audio players with a direct, high data-integrity connection. The N50 can be connected to a streamer (via Ethernet) using the player port, or used as a local player with the dedicated USB DAC output.
The N50 also boasts an OLED display with push-button control, plus Melco’s Intelligent Music Library suite comprising MinimServer and SongKong software. It is also Roon Ready, DSD compatible and offers app control via DLNA/UPnP (in USB DAC mode) with support for Tidal, Qobuz and vTuner streaming. Qobuz Downloader and HighResAudio.com also enable direct high-res downloads without the need for a computer.
The Melco N50-S38 (silver) and N50-S38B (black) are available now, priced £4999 ($5499, AU$6999). One for the Christmas list...
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