Melco Audio has upgraded its entry-level N100-H20 digital music library, creating a new high-capacity HDD variant, the N100-H50, which more than doubles the original device’s music storage capability. The new N100-H50 benefits from a 5 TB HDD, which is the same audio-specific model featured in the N100-H50’s upmarket sibling, the £7,499 N10 45th anniversary limited edition digital music library.
The N100-H50’s half the width chassis uses the same extreme-low-noise, high-precision electronics and is designed from the ground-up as an audio-specific device: Melco eschews standard IT components or PC parts. A low-profile mainboard uses the exact same RISC processor and architecture as the flagship N1Z series, ensuring very low noise with precise data management. The device benefits from twin Ethernet ports: a dedicated Ethernet ‘player’ port connects directly to network streamers without an intervening data switch.
The N100-H50 can also be used as a self-contained local hi-res digital music player when connected via a USB DAC; data rates of up to 32 bit/384 kHz and Octo DSD are supported, along with gapless and Melco markerless DSD. Control is via the Melco Music HD app, from the front panel, or from approved third-party RF remote handsets; the N100 will operate with both USB DACs and also Ethernet-connected players even without connection to a data network in standalone Isolated Mode. When connected to a network, popular UPnP control point apps can be used for control. The N100-H50 is also Roon Ready following a recent firmware upgrade.
Despite the generous new 5 TB internal drive, storage is easily expandable, either with a standard USB HDD or to maintain sound quality, the Melco E100 2 TB expansion drive. CD importing is also easy, with either the Melco D100 external CD loader or an IT-grade optical drive. (Melco does not put IT-grade loaders inside the N100 as it both compromises sound quality and also reduces reliability). The N100-H50 will be available at the beginning of July priced at £2,499. The existing N100-H20 is available now priced at £1,999. Both are available in black or silver.