Melco N5-H50 Music Library - The flagship's little brother

It benefits from many features of the flagship Melco N1-S38, but can be offered at a more attractive price, the new Melco N5-H50 Music Library, with which Melco Audio thus wants to address a broader target group.

Story Highlights
  • Based on the flagship Melco N1-S38, the new Melco N5-H50 Music Library is said to come at a much more attractive price.

It is the latest offspring from Melco Audio, which is now available in the form of the Melco N5-H50 Music Library. This is a solution based directly on the flagship, the Melco N1-S38 Reference Digital Music Library, which was only launched in March 2023 and was first presented at the High End 2023.

The new Melco N5-H50 is said to benefit in many ways from the aforementioned flagship, first and foremost from its fundamental design, which has been completely redeveloped and is described as an innovative platform, from the chassis to the completely new mainboard.

Melco N5-H50 – Based on the Melco N1-S38 Reference Digital Music Library

As just mentioned, the designers of the new Melco N5-H50 drew on the experience gained from the realisation of the Melco N1-S38, which is at the top of Melco Audio’s product range and thus has the role of a flagship.

Melco Audio says that they essentially took over the complete basic design, i.e. first and foremost the mainboard as the central platform, which, as is well known, was completely newly developed for the top model.

An extremely high-quality low-jitter system clock from NDK is essential for the best quality, as the manufacturer points out, as are the top-quality connections such as an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet interface in industrial quality for the connection to the network as well as the dedicated RJ45 connection for streaming clients and the SFP Fibre connections. These so-called Small Form Factor Pluggable enable the noise-isolating optical connection with corresponding SPF-compatible devices, first and foremost the Melco S100/2 and Melco S10.

The USB ports of the new Melco N5-H50 are also said to be of industrial quality. The manufacturer itself speaks of Amphenol ports, whereby these can be found on the front as well as on the back and are USB 2.0 as well as USB 3.0 ports.

This means that nothing stands in the way of versatile use, be it to connect appropriate storage media, to bring an audiophile D/A converter into play, or to use a drive like the Melco D100 for reading audio CDs.

Once again, special attention was paid to the power supply, relying on an EMC-filtered IEC connection, which, according to the manufacturer, promises real system reference, as well as a multi-stage linear regulation based on a highly specialised toroidal transformer in a special vibration-damping mount.

HDD instead of SSD

The most significant difference between the flagship Melco N1-S38 and the new Melco N5-H50 is that, in order to achieve a more favourable price point, SSDs are dispensed with and instead conventional hard disks are used, i.e. HDD instead of SSD.

In addition, it should be mentioned in this context that “simplified functions” are used, as the manufacturer himself puts it, in order to further save costs and to be able to address a broad target group with the Melco N5-H50.

Extremely stable chassis

The new Melco N5-H50 has an extremely stable construction with a 3 mm thick stainless steel base plate to reduce unwanted vibrations to a minimum.

As a special design accent, the new Melco N5-H50 has a concealed shadow illumination that changes colour depending on the operating status.

All information is clearly displayed on an OLED display and the new Melco N5-H50 weighs 10 kg with dimensions of 440 x 77 x 353 mm.

Prices and availability

The new Melco N5-H50 is to be available immediately from specialist dealers, with a choice of black or silver. The manufacturer lists a recommended retail price of € 9.000,-.

Getting to the point

With the new Melco N5-H50 Music Library, Melco Audio wants to offer a cheaper alternative to the flagship Melco N1-S38, whereby the most exciting thing about it is that the developers essentially use the same platform, and the main difference is that HDD instead of SSD is used here.

Price€ 9.000,-
ManufacturerBuffalo Inc.
DistributionDREI H Vertriebs GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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