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Foto © Melco Audio | Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library
Foto © Melco Audio | Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library

Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library – SSD-based in Full Size Housing

Melco Audio presents the new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library, an SSD-based digital music library in the mid-price segment, in the form of an elegant full-size enclosure.

Melco Audio’s new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library is a particularly interesting solution, because it is the first system of this kind in the mid-price segment that relies solely on SSD instead of conventional hard disks.

The company Melco Audio therefore promises that the new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library is the best entry into solid-state technology from Melco Audio, which also presents itself with an elegant full-size housing.

Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library – SSD-based solution

The use of SSD and thus the renunciation of classic hard disks must be explicitly emphasised, because no “moving” parts are used that could cause comparatively high operating noise. Even users who react very sensitively to seemingly excessive operating noise should find no reason to complain about the new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library.

The solution is absolutely noiseless, especially since there are no fans anyway and the system is presented with an almost massive housing.

Particularly heavy, elegant chassis

The manufacturer even speaks of a heavy chassis, which is made of aluminium and has a wall thickness of no less than 1.7 mm. With dimensions of 436 x 70 x 352 mm, the new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library weighs an impressive 7 kg.

The fact that this full-size system is based on Melco Audio’s proven design concept makes for an appealing visual impression and ultimately ensures that the Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library can be easily placed in a hi-fi rack. Because even though it is “IT” at its core, the elegant design of the new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library in no way conveys this impression.

The system rests on improved feet compared to the previous solutions, which should ensure greater stability.

New motherboard

New components are also used inside the Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library, for example, it is equipped with an optimised motherboard, whereby the manufacturer itself refers to this as an enhanced PCB.

The developers have also worked on the power supply, which is described as a Clear Dynamic Power Supply Unit and which is supposed to deliver 25 percent more power than the Melco N1A.

Sufficient storage capacity

Let’s move on to the SSD, which, as described above, is one of the most important features of the new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library.

It has a capacity of 3.84 TByte, which is sufficient for even extensive media libraries. Incidentally, the SSD of the Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library is installed in a separate, rigid metal case.

Dual network connection

How could it be otherwise, of course, the Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library has two network ports, both designed as RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports, one for the connection to the network, the second for the direct connection to a streaming client.

Numerous USB ports

The USB ports play a very important role in the new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library. There is a USB 3.0 Type A port directly on the front and four more on the back.

The port on the front is primarily used to quickly connect corresponding storage media and to be able to use the data directly. An external USB CD drive can also be connected here to rip audio CDs directly and transfer them to the SSD.

A port on the back can also be used for this purpose, whereby the other connections are designed as expansion ports and backup ports. The USB DAC port on the back is also shown separately; how could it be otherwise, an external D/A converter is connected directly here.

Music Player via USB DAC or Network Player

The Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library naturally serves to store audio data on the integrated SSD, so that these can be made available via the network using UPnP. For this purpose, the already mentioned separate network connection, designated as “Player”, is used. However, the Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library can also be used directly as a player via the USB DAC port on the back.

This solution also functions as an OpenHome-compatible or dlna-certified UPnP AV solution, so that in principle you can use a variety of apps for Google Android or Apple iOS for control.

Melco Audio itself also offers a suitable app, the Melco Music HD App, with the help of which you can also access TIDAL, Qobuz and vTuner.

For Qobuz, they offer the Qobuz Downloader and you can also access content purchased from HIGHRESAUDIO directly. A PC or Mac is therefore not necessary.

Speaking of PC or Mac, the Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library can of course also be controlled via web interface and thus any browser. Basic control is also possible directly on the front of the device, thanks to a few buttons and an OLED display.

Did we mention that the new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library is of course Roon-Ready? This means that it can be used as a USB DAC local player directly through the media management and multi-room audio streaming solution, and can be used for bit-perfect streaming via RAAT (Roon Advanced Audio Transport).

“I am very excited to introduce the Melco N50-S38 to the global public. Melco is constantly striving to improve its product offering and as HDD and SSD technology continues to change and evolve, this is the perfect time to add a second SSD storage product to our range. We have developed new components specifically for the Melco N50, including the power supply. All of this has resulted in a fantastic sounding, high quality product that sits in the mid-range of the Melco range.”

Dan Raggett, UK General Manager Melco Audio

The new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library is expected to be available later in November 2021, in a choice of black or silver. The recommended retail price is listed at € 5.399,-.

Getting to the point

The new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library once again offers the advantages that Melco Audio can claim for all such solutions. You get a central storage solution that is designed in such a way that you can manage and transfer audio data in many different ways without the help of a computer, so you are largely self-sufficient. Moreover, it is not just a data provider, but also an excellent playback solution, whether via a streaming client connected via a separate network connection, or even as a streaming transport and thus a DAC connected directly via USB. With the new Melco N50-S38 Digital Music Library, Melco Audio now relies solely on SSDs instead of hard disks, even in the mid-range price range, and packs the fine technology into a chic full-size housing.

PRODUCTMELCO N50-S38 DIGITAL MUSIC LIBRARY
Price€ 5.399,-
BrandMELCO AUDIO
ManufacturerBuffalo Inc.
DistributionDREI H Vertriebs GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG

About Michael Holzinger

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

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