Melco Audio has launched a new range-topping digital music library, the N10/2. The N10/2 is available in two distinct storage type variants: an HDD version (N10/2-H50, £6,999) plus an SSD version (N10/2-S38, £8,999). The HDD version is a direct replacement for the original N10 and the SSD version replaces the previous SSD flagship, the N1Z/2EX.
The new libraries centre around newly selected HDD and SSD drives: 5 TB in the N10/2-H50 and 3.84 TB in the N10/2-S38; the dedicated drives are hand-picked by the factory to provide exceptional audio performance. It also benefits from a new high-performance PCB, first seen in the limited-edition N10 45th Anniversary Limited Edition.
The N10/2 is a two-box design, with a half-width (215 mm) chassis, enabling separation of the delicate signal-processing electronics from the power supply. The ‘head’ unit contains the processing electronics and data connectivity, and the power unit contains a high-performance, low-noise linear power supply with toroidal transformer.
The head unit uses the same extreme-low-noise, high-precision digital music dataflow as the existing Melco series and crucially, is designed from the ground-up as an audio-specific device; Melco famously eschews standard IT components or PC parts.
The N10/2 benefits from several familiar Melco USPs. The head unit’s rear panel has twin ethernet ports, LAN and PLAYER, the latter being a dedicated port designed to connect directly to network streamers without the need for an intervening data switch, ensuring timing accuracy is maintained.
Twin USB 2.0 ports are also available, (plus a further front-panel USB port) including a dedicated USB DAC output, ready for connection to USB DACs, USB DAC-equipped amplifiers or active speakers. The second USB port enables USB devices to connect and operate, including: importing or playing music from memory devices, HDD/SSD drives and CD drives (CD ‘rippers’); capacity expansion with Melco’s E100 (or other) storage drive; and dbackup to HDD/SSD drives.
In addition to Melco’s software architecture, the N10/2 benefits from Melco’s Intelligent Music Library suite comprising MinimServer and SongKong software. The device is also Roon Ready, DSD compatible and offers app control via DLNA/UPnP (in USB DAC mode) with support for TIDAL, Qobuz and vTuner streaming with the Melco Music HD app. Qobuz Downloader and HighResAudio also enable direct, error-free high-res downloads without the need for a computer.
The N10/2 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 and for network playback, UPnP control point apps.