Home Country: Japan
The Melco story is an interesting one that spans more than four decades. Founded in 1975 by Makoto Maki, Melco set out to manufacture turntables (and preamplifiers) of their own design using outboard motors with silk thread to drive the record platter – a somewhat radical concept at the time.
In 1981 the company took a left turn and started to produce computer peripherals. The PC market was then a rapidly growing business, in fact much more so than their narrow range of Hi-Fi products.
During the technology boom of the 1990s, business was good and Melco began acquiring companies and opening branch offices around the world. In 2000, an American subsidiary by the name Buffalo Technology was formed. Buffalo became well known for their computer NAS drives and other PC add-ons, and still operates to this day. Interestingly, the name “Buffalo” was derived from one of their early computer products – the PB-32 printer buffer which was released in 1982. Having no native word in Japanese language for ‘buffer’, the proper Japanese term was used (バッファー or “Buhh Fahh”) — hence the name Buffalo.
From Analog to Digital
Fast forward to present day. Although Melco had not produced a HiFi component since its early years, the founders of the company still shared a passion for music. With vast technical resources at their disposal and an audiophile at the helm, it was decided in 2015 to resurrect the Melco name and begin manufacturing products for the digital music age.
As of June 2016, Melco is now offering two distinctly different music servers for high resolution digital audio systems.
The N1A represents a great entry point for anyone migrating their existing CD collection to digital storage. It has quickly garnered favorable feedback from those in the industry (such as ourselves) who are already well schooled in the field of network audio.
Whilst it is first and foremost a storage device, it can also be connected to a USB DAC – allowing the user to decide which type of player (USB or Network) makes the most sense for their particular application. With 4TB of on-board storage, the N1A can accommodate collections approaching 4000 CDs.
Based on the Japanese-only model N1ZS, this upgraded model is built for the music enthusiast who does not want to compromise on performance.
Twin internal power supplies provide an extremely low-noise operating environment. The outer casework is milled from solid aluminum, further reducing noise & unwanted mechanical vibration. Storage capacity is also upgraded to 6TB, satisfying the needs of most any music collector.
It takes creative minds and a clear understanding of music fundamentals to excel in the HiFi business. Melco wanted this product to stand out from all others on the market regardless of price, so they employed specialists in this field to assist with product design.
Engineered for Music
Electrically speaking, most computer NAS drives are known to be quite noisy environments, so every measure was taken to minimize these effects. For starters, the unit is convection cooled so no internal fans are required. To keep signal paths as short as possible, a dedicated network socket connects directly to any network audio player. This isolates the player from noise and unwanted traffic on the network, revealing detail in the music that was previously masked.
The two internal hard drives independently rest on separate sets of isolation bushings, which effectively prevent micro-vibrations from transferring to the chassis or other nearby components. Some might say this is a small detail, but it’s these and other enhancements that push performance boundaries even higher.
In summary, we are pleased to represent these fine products. These machines are unique and specific to the needs of any music lover, and we challenge you to find an alternative that delivers so much at such a reasonable cost.