Melco C1-D20 SFP over wire

Melco C1-D20 SFP+ Direct Attach Cable

Melco C1-D20 SFP+ direct attach cable

As part of its ongoing pursuit to deliver the highest possible level of performance in the field of storage and network audio, Melco Audio has launched the C1-D20 SFP+ Direct Attach Cable. Designed to bypass some of the more commonly encountered limitations of network data transmission, the C1-D20 enables Melco to take ownership of the connectors, cable, and interface electronics, therefore treating the whole interface as a critical component in the audio chain, resulting in outstanding performance not possible by any other connectivity.

The Melco C1-D20 SFP+ Direct Attach Cable is available now in a 2m length, and is priced at £749 / €889


Much of the hardware commonly encountered with network audio is imported wholesale from the wider world of IT. This has some positive aspects as the economies of scale involved means that the hardware generally works very reliably, but there are limitations to the achievable performance from this equipment.

A standard RJ45 cable comprises twisted pairs of cables that are accessed by a Bus interface called the PHY (Physical Layer). This is robust and reliable but not optimal for audio use. Twisted pairs are subject to impedance mismatch, speed restriction, pulse infidelity, crosstalk and external interference, all of which can be minimised by good engineering but not entirely negated.

Melco is committed to its equipment being as user friendly as possible and has worked to ensure everything can be used via RJ45 type cable, going to great lengths to ensure that the highest performance possible is achieved from this connection type. It has not ignored the scope for still higher performance however, and to remove these issues altogether, Melco has elected to fit SFP (small form pluggable) connections to its range topping N1 and N5 audio servers and S10 and S100-II data switches, alongside the RJ45 socket to give owners options beyond RJ45 and PHY.

C1-D20 design and build

SFP completely bypasses the need for the PHY interface and allows for data stored on the N1 and N5 to be accessed directly, with a commensurate decrease in data errors and loss, improving the quality of the overall signal. The cable comprises of two twisted pairs of silver-plated OFC conductors rather than four in an RJ45 cable. Each pair is individually screened, and the entire cable is constructed with exacting precision to ensure that the technical benefits of the design are achieved in reality. The benefits of improving the data integrity (often referred to as the ‘eye pattern’) is that the demands placed on the decoding hardware are reduced as less reinterpretation and reconstruction work is required, yielding further benefits in overall audio quality.

Melco C1-D20 SFP+ Direct Attach Cable
Comparison between ethernet, optical SFP and direct attach SFP

The C1-D20 SFP+ is two metres long and designed to reflect the requirements of transmitting digital audio where stability and minimising errors are more important than out and out transmission rates. The cable is used between Melco Music Libraries fitted with SFP sockets and the matching connections on the S10 and S100/2 network switches, creating an ultra-high-quality link between the two devices that is almost wholly immune to outside interference.

The C1-D20 SFP+ enables Melco to supply the finest connectivity and interface between its components that far outweighs off the shelf alternative connectivity options, delivering a performance that simply isn’t possible with less sophisticated network hardware. A plug-and-play solution, the Melco C1-D20 SFP+ can be used with most audio hardware equipped with SFP ports such as Aurender, HiFi Rose, Linn Klimax DSM, Taiko Audio SGM Extreme / Extreme switch, SFORZATO DSP-Columba, DSP-Corvus, DST-Lepus – please check operation with your dealer.

The C1-D20 SFP+ is constructed to Melco’s exacting standards with high quality SFP terminations and finished with a flex mesh jacket that covers a PVC braid, ensuring that the cable is flexible and easy to route in a system while still being resistant to outside interference. Each cable comes elegantly packaged in a box featuring a label made of Japanese ‘Washi’ paper decorated with a “Yagasuri” arrow pattern.

Key features

Bypasses the most common limitations of network data transmission.
Treats the whole interface as a critical component in the audio chain.
Outstanding performance not possible by any other connectivity.


Cable structure – Silver plated AWG24 OFC Twin-axial
Electrical Impedance characteristic – 100 ohms
Cable length – 2m
Weight – 140g approx

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