Melco owners

Thought this may be of interest to those who use these machines. It's from an email update from a dealer i'd got earlier this week (rather more informative than Melco's own website !)

Melco are re-launching their N1 music servers with a host of revisions and improvements. All models have been significantly upgraded with a complete new Player/Renderer, Dedicated USB port for USB DAC's (UAC2 compatable), completely redesigned and upgraded power supplies, plus improved internal wiring and hardware (based around the 40th Anniversary N1Z model).

Of more interest to me is -

A significant new firmware (including the new Player/Renderer) will be launched to coincide with the release of the new models which will also be available to existing Melco owners.

One year on and i'm still very impressed with my N1A - as a USB source it's been superb and very easy to live with and use. 

James

Original Post
Chag... posted:

Could it be Melco's response to the Core? :malin1:

Chag -

Have anybody been able to compare the Core with a Melco NAS?

I would be very interested in hearing your impressions!

I have quickly compared the Core with a Mac. It was performed like this:

We (the dealer) took a CD. It was ripped in the core and the exact same CD was then ripped in the Mac with “dp-poweramp” (I think it’s called) and stored on the ssd in the Mac.

The test was blind and I did not know which rip was played first. The system used was a Naim Uniti Atom with Chord cables and Dynaudio speakers.

I listened to the first song and after that the dealer changed to the “other” music server. After 5 seconds it was clear that the second rip/server sounded better. We listened to the whole song and I was asked which server was number 1 and 2. I responded: “This was quite easy, first you used the MAC and the second time you used the Core”

It was quite easy to hear the difference. I wonder how big of a difference the Core will make in a system with even higher quality and resolution…

I have not heard a Melco but been thinking about it after all great things I have been reading.

So, will a Melco or a Uniti Core sound best in a high resolution Naim system…? Anybody done the test?

/Marcus

MarcusM posted:
Chag... posted:

Could it be Melco's response to the Core? :malin1:

Chag -

Have anybody been able to compare the Core with a Melco NAS?

I would be very interested in hearing your impressions!

I have quickly compared the Core with a Mac. It was performed like this:

We (the dealer) took a CD. It was ripped in the core and the exact same CD was then ripped in the Mac with “dp-poweramp” (I think it’s called) and stored on the ssd in the Mac.

The test was blind and I did not know which rip was played first. The system used was a Naim Uniti Atom with Chord cables and Dynaudio speakers.

I listened to the first song and after that the dealer changed to the “other” music server. After 5 seconds it was clear that the second rip/server sounded better. We listened to the whole song and I was asked which server was number 1 and 2. I responded: “This was quite easy, first you used the MAC and the second time you used the Core”

It was quite easy to hear the difference. I wonder how big of a difference the Core will make in a system with even higher quality and resolution…

I have not heard a Melco but been thinking about it after all great things I have been reading.

So, will a Melco or a Uniti Core sound best in a high resolution Naim system…? Anybody done the test?

/Marcus

That is a question that I have wondered since the Core was anounced (specifically, rendered output direct to DAC).

It would be good to learn several people's views, on different but high resolution systems.

And ideally including the same music file ripped elsewhere or purchased, loaded into each device, as the comparison of different ripping is only relevant to new rips and not existing collections.

This is quite interesting, the new Uniti products when streaming via Ethernet so I understand and seen work quite differently.. they effectively fast transfer the media from the media server as quickly as possible, like a file transfer, and then play the media from the local Uniti memory... therefore bypassing  many of the issues with media server quality and Ethernet quality. Clearly USB however works differently and is more realtime into a DAC

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

 they effectively fast transfer the media from the media server as quickly as possible, like a file transfer, and then play the media from the local Uniti memory... therefore bypassing  many of the issues with media server quality and Ethernet quality. 

Interesting approach. Makes a lot of sense.

So now I am not that sure if I will make the switch to that new software. This has been promised for over a year and not delivered. In the meanwhile I have been playing through mime and have been satisfied, while it also has some strange things ........

I interested to see what the hardware changes bring, while I am not expecting to again make investments in this space, unless they go further up from 6tb to more...

"Melco are re-launching their N1 music servers with a host of revisions and improvements. All models have been significantly upgraded with a complete new Player/Renderer, Dedicated USB port for USB DAC's (UAC2 compatible), completely redesigned and upgraded power supplies, plus improved internal wiring and hardware (based around the 40th Anniversary N1Z model)."

As a matter of interest I did use my dealer's 40th anniversary model in my system for a while, but I couldn't discern much difference between it and my standard N1Z.

james n posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

 they effectively fast transfer the media from the media server as quickly as possible, like a file transfer, and then play the media from the local Uniti memory... therefore bypassing  many of the issues with media server quality and Ethernet quality. 

Interesting approach. Makes a lot of sense.

Slightly different angle,but IIUC what Audirvana does as a library/renderer is load each track's file into local RAM before playing, whether it is from an internal drive, or a networked one, so no UPnP server involved. 

It sounds as if Core might be doing the same whan outputting a rendered stream direct to DAC. 

Innocent Bystander posted:
james n posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

 they effectively fast transfer the media from the media server as quickly as possible, like a file transfer, and then play the media from the local Uniti memory... therefore bypassing  many of the issues with media server quality and Ethernet quality. 

Interesting approach. Makes a lot of sense.

Slightly different angle,but IIUC what Audirvana does as a library/renderer is load each track's file into local RAM before playing, whether it is from an internal drive, or a networked one, so no UPnP server involved. 

It sounds as if Core might be doing the same whan outputting a rendered stream direct to DAC. 

Interesting but I think that it would make more sense if DACs would convert from RAM after all data transfer has completed, at least as an option.

nbpf posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:
james n posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

 they effectively fast transfer the media from the media server as quickly as possible, like a file transfer, and then play the media from the local Uniti memory... therefore bypassing  many of the issues with media server quality and Ethernet quality. 

Interesting approach. Makes a lot of sense.

Slightly different angle,but IIUC what Audirvana does as a library/renderer is load each track's file into local RAM before playing, whether it is from an internal drive, or a networked one, so no UPnP server involved. 

It sounds as if Core might be doing the same whan outputting a rendered stream direct to DAC. 

Interesting but I think that it would make more sense if DACs would convert from RAM after all data transfer has completed, at least as an option.

That would only be possible where the renderer and DAC are combined, which in essence is what a 'streamer' is -  in other words for streamers to include sufficient RAM and control software to load the file first. I don't know of any theoretical reason why that should not be done, nor why it isn't, and it does sound as if it would be beneficial - yet to the best of my awareness neither Naim nor Chord do that (and Chord's top streamer's DAC is below Dave in level).

Well i've had no issues at all with the update and it's a nice SQ boost too (i'm using it as a USB source) over the previous firmware.

It now also works with the Lumin app. Unfortunately my old 1st gen iPad struggles using Lumin and slows down which is a shame as the Lumin app has a very nice interface. Kinsky continues to do the job though 

I've just done my update and all's well. The sound quality does seem better - wonder what they've done to achieve this?

Not tried Lumin; Kinsky works OK on the iPad but I found it a bit of a nuisance to switch over from what I'm doing on mine to pause or change music so I bought a cheap little Android Acer tablet & use BubbleuPnP, which works very well indeed. The Android version of Kinsky's awful though, full of bugs.

Melco are not the most forthcoming on info but i suspect they've been optimising the original firmware to minimise what the device is doing during playback. I'll be interested in what you think of the beta Alternative Renderer too as to me it sounds different again  - (Settings, USB menu).

James

 

I've done the firmware update too, with no problems. I'm not sure whether there is a SQ improvement - it could be due to a glass or two of a nice 2012 Amarone. It certainly doesn't sound any worse!

Going back to some earlier posts in this thread, a Melco can't hold a candle to a Unitiserve (and by extension a Uniticore) as a ripper. 

Until I installed Minimserver, I couldn't get the Melco to work satisfactorily - kept getting dropouts. Anyone else had this experience?

Just trying to listen to music. I'm using Nstream on IPad to select what I want to hear, and with the 'native' Melco database, it keeps dropping out, especially on 24 bit material, whereas Minimserver is virtually problem free, except having to force rescans when I copy new downloads to Melco.

Maybe I wrongly inferred a Melco/Core ripping comparison in an earlier post, but Mac V Core would equally favour Core, as a process, in my view.

No dropout problems with mine either before I converted to Minimserver. I don't use my Melco for ripping simply because it's more convenient to rip on my iMac using DbPoweramp, but I have tried the Melco's ripping arrangement using a Samsung drive & it works well. There's been lots of discussion around what gives the best rip & having listened to rips from various sources using the same CD I'm content that bits is bits - unless something's faulty you'll get a good rip from either Naim, Melco, or Mac/PC.

Tony, the advantage of using US over Melco as a ripper is that you can simply edit the metadata using N-Serve on Ipad. Also, the rip is automatic as soon as you put the disc in the slot, as opposed to having to push some fiddly buttons and squint at a small display.

James, it was acknowledged to me some months ago that Melco was aware of some drop-out problem, but I didn't pursue it, as Minimserver has proven quite robust. I may take it up with them again, but where to get the time.......?

I was looking at some Innuos boxes yesterday, and if I didn't already have a Unitiserve, I might have been tempted. The entry level Zen is £700 (1TB) or £800 (2TB) and they essentially seem to do the same things a Unitiserve will do. I liked the fact that the controller is browser based, so works on any phone, tablet or computer.

 I bought my Melco after comparing it to the NAS that I was using (and still use as a back up) at the time. It was, and is, clearly a step ahead and extremely convenient however that was before the arrival of Innuos,  which is now not only quite a bit cheaper than the equivalent Melco but is built to a higher standard, has a CD ripper, better software and, I think, sounds a bit better too. The price of the latest Melco range is pushing it out of contention sadly. I still think it's a great product but it's no longer top of the pile.

Dave J posted:

 I bought my Melco after comparing it to the NAS that I was using (and still use as a back up) at the time. It was, and is, clearly a step ahead and extremely convenient however that was before the arrival of Innuos,  which is now not only quite a bit cheaper than the equivalent Melco but is built to a higher standard, has a CD ripper, better software and, I think, sounds a bit better too. The price of the latest Melco range is pushing it out of contention sadly. I still think it's a great product but it's no longer top of the pile.

unfortunately i found no information on this forum or reviews by hifi critic, ear or hifi news which can tell that the innuos zenith is better than the melco. perhaps for just ripping. Why you say that?  and why say that the innuos have a better software than melco?   i am very curious. I would like to upgrade my unitserve/ tp ps, but can't find for the moment.

the melco and innuos zenith are a bit soft and less dynamic than unitserve/ nds/ ethernet mode. The core appeared for me a bin thin and in your face presentation vs the unitserve. But the core is more dynamic and spatial vs the unitserve.

Aurender n10 with a future ndac 2?

Keler Pierre posted:
Dave J posted:

 I bought my Melco after comparing it to the NAS that I was using (and still use as a back up) at the time. It was, and is, clearly a step ahead and extremely convenient however that was before the arrival of Innuos,  which is now not only quite a bit cheaper than the equivalent Melco but is built to a higher standard, has a CD ripper, better software and, I think, sounds a bit better too. The price of the latest Melco range is pushing it out of contention sadly. I still think it's a great product but it's no longer top of the pile.

unfortunately i found no information on this forum or reviews by hifi critic, ear or hifi news which can tell that the innuos zenith is better than the melco. perhaps for just ripping. Why you say that?  and why say that the innuos have a better software than melco?   i am very curious. I would like to upgrade my unitserve/ tp ps, but can't find for the moment.

the melco and innuos zenith are a bit soft and less dynamic than unitserve/ nds/ ethernet mode. The core appeared for me a bin thin and in your face presentation vs the unitserve. But the core is more dynamic and spatial vs the unitserve.

Aurender n10 with a future ndac 2?

Some time in the past year or so someone posted quite a detailed account of his journey through Melco and Audivana and one or two other things to Innuos Zenith, so you should find if you conduct a search. Unfortunarptely I don't recall the member's name.

Keler Pierre posted:
Dave J posted:

 I bought my Melco after comparing it to the NAS that I was using (and still use as a back up) at the time. It was, and is, clearly a step ahead and extremely convenient however that was before the arrival of Innuos,  which is now not only quite a bit cheaper than the equivalent Melco but is built to a higher standard, has a CD ripper, better software and, I think, sounds a bit better too. The price of the latest Melco range is pushing it out of contention sadly. I still think it's a great product but it's no longer top of the pile.

unfortunately i found no information on this forum or reviews by hifi critic, ear or hifi news which can tell that the innuos zenith is better than the melco. perhaps for just ripping. Why you say that?  and why say that the innuos have a better software than melco?   i am very curious. I would like to upgrade my unitserve/ tp ps, but can't find for the moment.

the melco and innuos zenith are a bit soft and less dynamic than unitserve/ nds/ ethernet mode. The core appeared for me a bin thin and in your face presentation vs the unitserve. But the core is more dynamic and spatial vs the unitserve.

Aurender n10 with a future ndac 2?

Just my view and from my experience of both products, I'm not basing this on any reviews that may have appeared.  To make clear, I'm still using the Melco, I don't see that there's anything inherently "wrong" with it, it's a great bit of kit, just that the Innuos goes a little further and at a more accessible price.

Dave J posted:
Keler Pierre posted:
Dave J posted:

 I bought my Melco after comparing it to the NAS that I was using (and still use as a back up) at the time. It was, and is, clearly a step ahead and extremely convenient however that was before the arrival of Innuos,  which is now not only quite a bit cheaper than the equivalent Melco but is built to a higher standard, has a CD ripper, better software and, I think, sounds a bit better too. The price of the latest Melco range is pushing it out of contention sadly. I still think it's a great product but it's no longer top of the pile.

unfortunately i found no information on this forum or reviews by hifi critic, ear or hifi news which can tell that the innuos zenith is better than the melco. perhaps for just ripping. Why you say that?  and why say that the innuos have a better software than melco?   i am very curious. I would like to upgrade my unitserve/ tp ps, but can't find for the moment.

the melco and innuos zenith are a bit soft and less dynamic than unitserve/ nds/ ethernet mode. The core appeared for me a bin thin and in your face presentation vs the unitserve. But the core is more dynamic and spatial vs the unitserve.

Aurender n10 with a future ndac 2?

Just my view and from my experience of both products, I'm not basing this on any reviews that may have appeared.  To make clear, I'm still using the Melco, I don't see that there's anything inherently "wrong" with it, it's a great bit of kit, just that the Innuos goes a little further and at a more accessible price.

ah ok, interesting information, thanks.

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