Melco has updated its Digital Music Library range with three new second-generation products—the Melco entry-level N1A, the Melco N1Z and the range-topping Melco N1ZS.

All three models feature audiophile­grade components and construction combined with unique data transfer and protection software that requires no network setup. ‘Melco Music Libraries are aimed at audiophiles who wish to store and protect their music files, whilst playing them back at the highest possible quality,’ said Mark Gusew, of BMC Wholesale, which distributes Melco in Australia. ‘Designed specifically as a music library storage (or NAS) and playback device, without an internal DAC, it should not be confused with other online music streaming devices.’  Music files from the Melco can be sent to a USB DAC or a Network Media Player. The files can also be accessed by any device sharing the local network, such as smart TVs, computers, zone players etc. Any uPNP software package will operate the Melco.

The range-topping Melco N1ZS features a newly-developed, second-generation SSD (Solid State Drive) for storage of audio tracks. Unlike ordinary computer data drives that are optimised for speed, Melco’s SSDs, which it builds itself (Melco is the audiophile division of leading Japanese computer peripheral company Buffalo Technology), are designed to deliver ultimate sound quality.

Music data is written infrequently and is rarely modified, rendering the usual computer SSD lifetime optimisation algorithms inappropriate,’ Gusew told Australian Hi-Fi Magazine. ‘The N1ZS uses purpose­built SSDs designed especially for audio playback, with a low level and consistent management algorithm that has zero impact on data integrity and lowers the power noise signature significantly.

The N1Z uses two 2.5-inch hard drives (in a configurable RAID 0, 1, or spanned array). Using HDDs rather than SSDs enables Melco to deliver the N1Z at a lower price while maintaining very high levels of transparency and musicality. The change to regular drives also allows increased storage capacity. The N1A uses two 3.5-inch HDDs.

All Melco Digital Music Library units have USB­3 ports, so you can increase the onboard capacity by adding external drives or perform effortless one­touch backups of your music, without the need for a computer or any technical knowledge. ‘Melco’s design brief was to allow audiophiles to enjoy their music in a very simple, straightforward manner and never having to rely on a computer to setup or drivers to install,’ says Gusew. ‘And here in Australia, we supply all Melco Digital Music Libraries with an external CD/DVD USB drive for bit-perfect and lossless imports of your music, in either FLAC, or the better-sounding WAV formats. The Gracenote internet database is used to automatically retrieve album artwork and track metadata. Additional content recognition is available through an optional ‘SongKong for Melco’ application.’

All Melco Digital Music Library units are built by hand in Japan. Available now, the Melco N1ZS20/2 (with 2TB of SSD storage) retails for $11,995; the Melco N1ZH60/2 (with 6TB of HDD storage) retails for $7,495 and the Melco N1AH60/2 (with 6TB of HDD storage) retails for $4,495.

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