Melco Audio -The Speaker Shack
I was a total newcomer to Melco Audio and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the brand. I was asked if I wanted to review the entry-level N100 EX digital music library and so I did a little bit of research. It certainly looked like an interesting product, as I have reviewed streamers before, but this was from a Japanese technology specialist with a long history (since 1975) in the computer industry, so I was intrigued as to how it would perform against other brands that I had reviewed and owned.
The Melco experience has totally revived my digital library and music-listening and taken it to new levels of enjoyment. The amazing detail-retrieval is what initially hooked me to the brand, but the biggest surprise was when Melco sent me the S100 data switch to try with the N100 library; surely a digital switch couldn’t make much of a difference, I thought? But, how wrong could I have been!
I was sceptical about how the S100 would improve the sound in my system. It most certainly removes noise and allows the music to be heard ‘complete’, bringing new levels of enjoyment that I didn’t know were possible until now; even my Bluesound NODE 2i has improved. The S100 switch does wonders for your network by removing unwanted noise and allowing your music to be heard at its full potential.
Something else that Melco Audio has perfected is the ease of use and GUI experience, which is one of the best I have used: it makes it a breeze to operate and it works flawlessly. It doesn’t take long to have it up and working, too, as it is a plug ‘n’ play experience.
I have been in the Telco (telecoms) industry for over 34 years and have been involved in a lot of networking projects and now I work predominantly with fibre optics, so this brand has really piqued my interest in what is possible for the future of networked digital audio.
The S100 has dedicated SFP (small form-factor pluggable) connectors for fibre, and I know that fibre optics can transmit huge amounts of data at incredible speeds, so what else can this data switch do for my music that I haven’t already experienced? This is something that I would love to try as the technology and the science behind it makes more sense now than ever before, as the way we transmit the data matters and reconstructing the audio signal improves what he hear through our systems.
This is sometimes a controversial subject as there are many people in the hi-fi world who think zeroes and ones are not subject to the same type of interference as a normal analogue wave form. I have also had my doubts in a lot of products over the years, but what I have learnt is that your ears are the best measuring tool, so let them be the judge and never doubt them especially when it comes to hi-fi.