This is a range of, currently, three high end music data storage devices designed purely for music replay and their brilliance has got us quite fired-up.
These can work as UPnP music servers, running various music server software options, or as combined storage / renderers, outputting the audio via USB into a suitably equipped DAC. If you connect a USB3 CD drive, you can import CDs in WAV or FLAC format straight to the drive. Or even play a CD without importing in real-time!
Providing the Melco is sitting on an Ethernet network, control can be via Apple or Android devices running a plethora of alternative control ‘apps’.
As a UPnP server, it offers some intriguing benefits over even the most accomplished servers that we’ve tried.
Feeding, say, a Naim streamer, the Melco connects to the Ethernet network exactly like any other device. Unusually, though, it also has a dedicated ‘PLAYER’ Ethernet port. Connect the streamer to this and it has access to the internal contents of the Melco along with any other storage devices located on the network. Access to online services, Tidal, Internet Radio, etc connect just as normal.
Surprisingly, these existing devices, be they Naim Uniti Serve or Asset running on, say a QNAP device, sound noticeably better, cleaner less ‘hashy’, more musical, when accessed via the Melco’s ‘quiet’ network.
Move the same data onto the Melco’s internal storage and a broadly similar step happens all over again. We’ve done the comparative dem countless times and it is really easy to hear. This sonic benefit is also brought to Internet Radio or Tidal on-line streaming, by the way.