Melco N5 lifestlye shot front

Introducing the new Melco N5

The Melco N1Z has been with us from the beginning of the Melco project. It was the very first implementation of our award-winning Melco architecture, demonstrating that an IT NAS was the limiting factor in the quest for best sound quality from hi-res digital music files.

Finally, after evolving through two main generations, and the sensational 40th Anniversary limited Edition model, the N1Z was discontinued in 2022. We now have a worthy successor: the Melco N5.

Drawing on the credentials of the recently introduced flagship N1, the N5 has an all-new electronics mainboard, a linear power supply, plus a SFP (Small Form-Factor Pluggable) port. In addition, it also benefits from the very latest Melco thinking.

The styling is borrowed from the N1 too, with a substantial chassis benefitting from vibration-reducing construction, plus isolation of the toroidal mains transformer. The specially selected 5 TB HDD at its heart is mounted using the proprietary Melco HS3 Highly Stable Storage system, plus there is now just a single drive (as in the N1 and the N10), to avoid RAID software intruding into the signal path.

In line with Melco’s design philosophy, there are two Ethernet ports (both from Neutrik), with one dedicated to the network player, plus the LAN port is also duplicated in an SFP port allowing for fibre connectivity directly to a Melco S10 or S100 data switch.

USB connectivity is achieved using robust pro-grade Amphenol connectors. The unit’s USB 3.0 port is assignable as either CD loader, file import, expansion or DAC, plus there is a dedicated USB 2.0 port which is better suited to many DACs. Additionally, a USB 3.0 port on the front panel is convenient for importing files.

The styling is borrowed from the N1 too, with a substantial chassis benefitting from vibration-reducing construction, plus isolation of the toroidal mains transformer

Operation is recognisably Melco – an intuitive OLED display with four push-buttons and informative colour-coordinated lighting. A web server can also be activated to replicate the front panel on any web browser, plus an ADOT-branded remote control handset is also available.

The firmware is new – starting at V1.02 – and includes all the features of the latest V4.32, including the full MIML/EX functionality with MinimServer and SongKong internal. Roon is supported as Endpoint, and using UPnP, the N5 can be controlled from any UPnP control points apps, including Melco Music HD on the iPad.

All formats are supported, including: DoP, Markerless DSD and PCM up to 384 kHz 32-bit, all gapless, of course.

The N5 is a replacement for the N1Z, but is not intended to replace the N10/2 as there is a place for both machines. Both the N5 and N10 share many common concepts.

The sound quality of N5 is simply astonishing: it is hard to imagine how far the increments in sound quality since the first N1Z have taken us. Of course, there is only one flagship N1, but the N5 and N10/2 are pretty close behind. Our Melco dealers are more than happy to arrange demonstrations and comparisons any time.

Finally, if you are considering trading up from your existing Melco, watch out for a future blog on large libraries. As we have MinimServer available to us with several profiles (and customisable as well), there is a very good reason to keep your existing Melco and simply enjoy the new performance of the N5 playing from multiple libraries. There are big advantages to this approach!

To hear the N5 or find out more, contact your local Melco retailer.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: