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Digital Music relies on perfectly timed data in a low noise environment to achieve maximum performance. The limitation to the ultimate sound quality of digital music on an Ethernet network is the network itself and the components used. IT components are low cost commodity items and are effective for PC data and gaming etc. But they are simply inadequate for high quality digital music. One critical component is all digital music systems is the dataswitch which handles both the music data and control. The Melco S100 is designed and configured as an audiophile component without any IT compromises..
The Melco S100 is quite an unusual architecture compared to an IT dataswitch. There are four 100Mb RJ45 ports – these provide the best audio quality. There are four 1Gb ports – these are ideal for PC connectivity, and are ideal for the Roon Core processor which generates high traffic flow. Two additional SFP ports allow for connection of optical fibre for components such as Lumin that support it.
Key to creating a stable and resilient data stream for extreme Hi-Res streaming is the Packet Buffer and S100 has 1.5MB of buffer capability to deal with erratic external connectivity. Audiophile techniques are used in the power supply implementation with a bank of audio-grade capacitors to ensure the lowest noise environment. Mechanical stability contributes to system performance and the S100 is built on a rigid steel chassis with total screening provided by the totally metal enclosure which matches Melco Audiophile NAS components.
Power supplies are external to the S100 giving good isolation and allowing for future upgrade to external linear power supplies. Network Digital Music Players – Streamers. The Ethernet network is the signal connectivity to every network Player or Streamer from the data-store or NAS. Similarly Streaming Services such as TIDAL and Qobuz originate in remote server and connect to the network Player through the dataswitch.
Any damage to packet data, timing, packet order, noise, or intrusive data, damages the overall musical performance. IT switches are optimised for speed and throughput – not data integrity. Melco S100, using the 100Mb ports achieves the best possible performance from every brand of network Player or Streamer regardless of the source.
Melco S100 Specifications
Ports 4 x 100Mb/E RJ45
4 x 1000Mb/E RJ45
2 x Fibre SFP/LC
Power 12V 1 amp 5.7mm coax
Size 215 x 61 x 269mm (W H L)
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