Digital music relies on perfectly timed data in a low-noise environment. Therefore, the limitation for sound quality on an Ethernet network is the network itself, plus the components used. Standard IT parts are designed to be low cost and effective for PC data and gaming etc. ─ they are simply inadequate for high-quality digital music.
High-end managed enterprise switches can, with some expert knowledge, be optimised for audio data, but even with the addition of separate power supplies, there are serious limitations. Melco's S100 has been designed and manufactured purely for audio by an expert engineering team, led by Mr. Hayashi.
Alan Ainslie, Melco Audio's General Manager said, “With the acclaimed Melco N1 series, we eliminated the data switch from the data path (server to player) and lifted sound quality hugely. But it was still clear that the rest of the network was having an effect. It was, perhaps, less obvious on lesser systems, but as soon as we fixed everything else, it remained a nagging problem.
“Work started to analyse exactly what was going on and the resulting S100 resolves those final nagging sound quality issues. Crucially, while the S100 is clearly befit for Melco owners who use the PLAYER Ethernet port, the difference an S100 can bring to non-Melco systems is quite surprising, especially for the heavy traffic created in a Roon environment, as well as for streaming services such as TIDAL and Qobuz, where the data has been seriously compromised on its journey from the distant servers into the user's home. The S100 restores the magic of the source stream as no IT device can possibly do.''
Melco (Maki Engineering Laboratory Company) was established by Makoto Maki in 1975 in Japan. Maki, an enthusiastic audiophile, established the company to design and manufacture the finest audio components of the time; the undoubted masterpiece of the Melco line was the turntable (introduced into the UK in 1980) which set new standards in music reproduction.
From those early beginnings, Melco developed into the largest computer peripherals manufacturer in Japan (Buffalo Inc.), offering advanced products based on rigorous R&D. These included wireless routers, ethernet data switches and storage devices such as NAS drives. Now, the company is proud to revive the highly respected Melco brand, offering discerning audiophiles high-technology network audio components in the spirit of those much-revered early Melco products, while incorporating the very latest research into reliable, high-performance networked devices and storage.