26.10.20

Melco launches anniversary model to celebrate 45 years

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Celebrating its 45th anniversary, Japanese digital music library specialist, Melco, has introduced an anniversary edition of its flagship half-width library, the N10 45th Anniversary Limited Edition.

With an exclusive celebratory champagne gold finish, Melco will produce just 50 of the units and they will only be available in Europe. Supplied in an exclusive presentation box, the N10 45th Anniversary Limited Edition comes with an official Melco certificate, pen, chopsticks, coaster, notepad and USB drive. 

Along with the rest of Melco’s EX Series, the N10 45th Anniversary Limited Edition benefits from the recently introduced EX Series upgrades (including Roon compatibility via USB download), representing a major step forward for the audiophile-grade platform. 

The upgrades are based on the introduction of a powerful software suite, Melco Intelligent Music Library (MIML), as well as vTuner Internet radio and web control (from internet-connected devices). The new model also benefits from a capacity upgrade from 3 TB to a 5 TB HDD. 

The half-width N10 has been designed to offer a more convenient form factor as well as better audio performance than the full-width N1Z series.

Housed in two 215mm-wide units, the N10 is made up of a head unit, which contains all the processing electronics and the data connectivity, and a power unit, which has a low-noise linear power supply and power management. Separating the two units allows total isolation from noise pollution, as well as isolating vibration from the power transformer. 

Using advanced techniques, the power supply is able to minimise both internal noise as well as external noise which might affect the main hi-fi system. It features an IEC 3 wire mains supply with a properly defined ground reference point. Connectivity between the power unit and the head unit is by a flexible cord with Neutrik multi-pin connectors. 

The limited edition model uses the same extreme low-noise, high-precision digital music dataflow as the wider Melco EX Series and has been designed as an audio-specific device, meaning it uses no standard IT components or PC parts. 

Using the exact same RISC processor and architecture as the N1Z Series to ensure very low noise with precise data management, the N10’s new low-profile mainboard is optimised for extreme sound quality. 

Twin Ethernet ports are retained, with the dedicated Ethernet Player port connecting directly to the network player without an intervening data switch, ensuring that packet order and timing is maintained. 

The internal storage is a 5 TV HDD, however this can be easily expanded using a USB HDD or by using Melco’s E100 expansion drive. Data rates up to 32-bit/384 kHz and Octo DSD are supported, as well as gapless and markerless DSD. 

Compatible with USB DACs, users can either control it through the Melco app, from the front panel, or from an approved third-party RF remote handset. The N10 will operate with both USB DACs and Ethernet-connected players, even without connection to a data network in standalone Isolated Mode. 

Importing CDs is easy using either the Melco D100 external CD loader or an IT-grade optical drive for less demanding use. Melco does not include an IT-grade loader inside the N10 as it compromises both sound quality and reduces reliability, due to the disposable nature of IT drives. Music backup can be done with a USB HDD.

Direct download of hi-res files from highresaudio.com and other vendors is supported for error-free downloading. A front panel USB socket is specified for convenient importing from USB devices, direct play without importing and for the connection of a USB DAC.

The N10 45th Anniversary Limited Edition is available in Europe only from 26 October, priced at £7,499.