New to music servers - Melco N1zs vs the rest…

3125simon

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Apr 26, 2020
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Dears, I’m in need of some guidance.
I have purchased a new DAC - Vitus Masterpiece which I hope to take delivery this summer.
But I’m unsure how to feed it - I was thinking of buying a transport - DCS/Esoteric level and to just listen to CDs of which I have some 000’s and am generally happy - like the physical media etc and I have already a sound at a high level, although not at the level of my TT - more natural, etc…..

But of course I realize that this is a technology of the past, so am wondering about servers/streamers etc….

I have very little experience of this, and although I have dabbled in the past - mini Mac and various software (not anywhere near as good as my then Wadia S7i), and I have heard various systems and streaming (Tidal) which again was not better than optical drive (DCS etc..) I have no IT skills nor interest and have not yet heard better streaming than optical disc (streaming means tidal et.al, not ripped CD on a hard drive which I have heard at least equal if not slightly better optical drive - but on very high end systems)

So my thinking is not to stream now, buy a server, digitize my library, and get on the path as I’m sure streaming will only improve…..

When I see the Uber servers on here and the high level of Maintenance and network improvements seeming necessary i a bit daunted..
So I’m looking for the best plug and play (as close to zero computer required) with sound quality that will suit my DAC and system and compete with my analogue..
So, I have identified the following more or less in order:
- Melco N1ZS with SSD - more a server with some streaming
- Innuos Statement
- Aurender n20 or W20SE - best sounding

I can find lots of discussions on the latter two, but very little love or otherwise for Melco at this level?

really appreciate your thoughts on Melco, Transport etc etc.

one last topic is I have no wired Ethernet in my music room so I was hoping to use WiFi to connect to the network for software updates, ripped metadata and casual steaming to explore new music…

thanks for your help
 
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nonesup

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Feb 16, 2017
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With Melco you don't need to add anything else between it and your DAC (just like with Innuos and Aurender). Etherner Cable In and USB Cable Out to the DAC.
 

3125simon

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Apr 26, 2020
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Thanks for that…

no love for Melco on this site?

really appreciate feedback on these three servers?
 

J007B

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Jul 25, 2020
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I can’t comment on the Melco, but yesterday I received my Lumin U1 (not the mini). Listening to it right now and the SQ is amazing.
 
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RikkiPoo

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Nov 5, 2020
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I can't say enough how much better my Statement sounds with the new Innuos Sense app over Roon. There is no wifi so that would be an issue for updates and metadata.
 

AKC2000

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Aug 22, 2021
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I use a Melco N1ZS/2A. I started off with an iMac with Audirvana, upgraded to an open box Melco N100 and then switched up again to a used N1ZS/2A. Each upgrade produced a smoother and more detailed sound. I considered buying a used Innuos Statement and Aurender W20 but both that was a step-up in cost. The W20 SE was an even bigger jump in price used because it was newer. I run Minim Server on my N1SZ/2A and use Minim Stream to convert FLAC to WAV before it gets to my DAC. I read that some DACs benefit from lightening their processing load and my Yggy did. The best advice I got from a hifi shop was "invest in the source" which make sense considering it's running through every component you use. From what I've heard, people switching from the Melco skip the Innuos and Aurender and go to the Taiko Extreme Server but that's USD 25,000 new which is way beyond what I'd spend on my headphones set-up.
 

RikkiPoo

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Nov 5, 2020
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From what I've heard, people switching from the Melco skip the Innuos and Aurender and go to the Taiko Extreme Server but that's USD 25,000 new which is way beyond what I'd spend on my headphones set-up.
Sure I wish I was one of the people skipping Innuos and Aurender and jumping to the Extreme and maybe one day it will happen but in the mean time I purchased a used Statement a year ago and was pretty happy until the Innuos Sense app came out. Now I am a bit beyond belief at how much better it is. Innuos Sense brings more than an upgrade change, its just a different level of experience. It's just so quiet.
I had a list of upgrades and equipment I wanted to try before Sense came out. Now I absolutely have no motivation to change anything....well maybe I do think about the Extreme from time to time, and maybe a pre amp change to an Allnic L8000 DHT- we gotta dream.
 

3125simon

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After trying a number of options (innuos/aurender/Melco) and not being fully convinced that a server was better then the transport in my Vitus scd-2 (Philips pro), I finally pulled the trigger on a new version Melco N1Z-ES-S40, 6 months old…

what I’d found listening to the various products, both at home in my system and in shop, was that I got more resolution from a server, perhaps more neutrality, but a sound that lacked warmth (often spot lit on the high fréquences) and little bloom if that’s the right word, that makes sound into music…..

I also discovered that the USB cable makes a huge difference- more than interconnects or power cords for example and I don’t just mean between normal price and the crazy audiophile cable prices……

as an example, the Innuos statement I had at home for a week came with two usb, both c1200$. the statement was easy to use, ran Roon, ripped my test CDs flawlessly, was silent and had an astonishing increase in resolution, detail and ambiance. But, I found the presentation un-involving, lacking emotion and fatiguing so I rarely listened to a whole album….

Coming back Vitus transport, the same disc had involvement, emotion and i had zero fatigue…., but I could tell that there was less resolution, but I didn’t miss it once I listened to the music…..

i had this with all the servers I listened too…..

then listening at a friends house, he had borrowed a few higher end usb cables - shunyata, tara, ansuz etc…. The difference was amazing - detail, resolution, top to bottom coherence, no fatigue - music……

of course crazy prices for a computer cable, but huge impact……

so I found my melco, 40% off new for a 6 month old current model, that came with 2TB of hi res downloads - c 75% of which fits my taste well, and I’m demoing usb cables - shunyata omega, Tara evolution….. preferring the omega so far….

the transport in my SCD still has a warmer, more forgiving sound that I enjoy, but the gap is smaller and the extra resolution makes the music more enjoyable overall….

So far happy, but as we all know, in this crazy hobby, everything matters - even computer cables!!
 
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RikkiPoo

Member
Nov 5, 2020
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I've never heard the Melco but reviews are very positive. I ran Roon with my Statement both as a server/endpoint and as an endpoint with an Antipodes Core running Roon core with a crazy 3 switch network with 2 of the switches clocked to a Mutec Ref 10. I dumped Roon as soon I heard the then newly released Innuos Sense App and server software upgrade to 2.0. I though my system was sounding pretty good with Roon until I upgraded to Sense. I have more detail and warmth, essentially the noise floor was dropped and I hear the music much clearer/ cleaner now. Roon is great for organizing music files, Sense is great for playing music files.

I replaced Curious Cable USB with Network Acoustics USB cable. I also use their ENO network filter as the last cable into the Statement. The offer a trial so it just costs shipping if you are not satisfied.
 

ICOREM

Well-Known Member
Sep 10, 2016
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With your permission I will chime in with a question on the new Melco N50. Anyone heard it and can share some info ? How is it against the N1Z models ?
 

Diasoft5

Member
Feb 19, 2020
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After trying a number of options (innuos/aurender/Melco) and not being fully convinced that a server was better then the transport in my Vitus scd-2 (Philips pro), I finally pulled the trigger on a new version Melco N1Z-ES-S40, 6 months old…

what I’d found listening to the various products, both at home in my system and in shop, was that I got more resolution from a server, perhaps more neutrality, but a sound that lacked warmth (often spot lit on the high fréquences) and little bloom if that’s the right word, that makes sound into music…..

I also discovered that the USB cable makes a huge difference- more than interconnects or power cords for example and I don’t just mean between normal price and the crazy audiophile cable prices……

as an example, the Innuos statement I had at home for a week came with two usb, both c1200$. the statement was easy to use, ran Roon, ripped my test CDs flawlessly, was silent and had an astonishing increase in resolution, detail and ambiance. But, I found the presentation un-involving, lacking emotion and fatiguing so I rarely listened to a whole album….

Coming back Vitus transport, the same disc had involvement, emotion and i had zero fatigue…., but I could tell that there was less resolution, but I didn’t miss it once I listened to the music…..

i had this with all the servers I listened too…..

then listening at a friends house, he had borrowed a few higher end usb cables - shunyata, tara, ansuz etc…. The difference was amazing - detail, resolution, top to bottom coherence, no fatigue - music……

of course crazy prices for a computer cable, but huge impact……

so I found my melco, 40% off new for a 6 month old current model, that came with 2TB of hi res downloads - c 75% of which fits my taste well, and I’m demoing usb cables - shunyata omega, Tara evolution….. preferring the omega so far….

the transport in my SCD still has a warmer, more forgiving sound that I enjoy, but the gap is smaller and the extra resolution makes the music more enjoyable overall….

So far happy, but as we all know, in this crazy hobby, everything matters - even computer cables!!
I am using a Vitus SCD 025 Mk2 with a Melco N1Z/2 EX H60. I have tried Audioquest Diamond USB, Habst Ultra 3 USB and Goebel Lacorde Statment USB. For me, the Habst is a bit too warm and not open enough. The AQ Diamond is too hard and thin in sound. The Goebel is just perfect. Of course, it's also in a different price range. I think the Melco USB output is very good. I couldn't improve it any further with USB reclockers. So you should put all your money into one top USB cable. But the sound of the CD drive inside the Vitus Player is still slightly better.
 

nonesup

Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2017
675
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I am using a Vitus SCD 025 Mk2 with a Melco N1Z/2 EX H60. I have tried Audioquest Diamond USB, Habst Ultra 3 USB and Goebel Lacorde Statment USB. For me, the Habst is a bit too warm and not open enough. The AQ Diamond is too hard and thin in sound. The Goebel is just perfect. Of course, it's also in a different price range. I think the Melco USB output is very good. I couldn't improve it any further with USB reclockers. So you should put all your money into one top USB cable. But the sound of the CD drive inside the Vitus Player is still slightly better.
Hello, I also have (until in two or three days) Melco N1Z2-H60 (not EX) and USB Göbel. I agree with you, the Göbel is fantastic. A month and a half ago I bought an Innuos Phoenix USB Reclocker, after 15 days I sold it, the sound was different, but not better.
 

Blackmorec

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Feb 1, 2019
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Hello, I also have (until in two or three days) Melco N1Z2-H60 (not EX) and USB Göbel. I agree with you, the Göbel is fantastic. A month and a half ago I bought an Innuos Phoenix USB Reclocker, after 15 days I sold it, the sound was different, but not better.
With respect nonesup, that’s because it was nowhere near run-in. The clock itself (I assume its the clock) takes about 5 to 7 days of constant power-up to sound its best but the Mundorf capacitors used in the power supply need a lot longer and the difference between 15 days and fully burned-in is not subtle. IME, the better and more revealing your system becomes, the greater the impact the running-in phase has. The difference running-in made in my system was mainly heard in its ability to engage and enrapture the listener. At 15 days I’d find myself easily distracted from the music and needing to consciously concentrate. Fully run-in the system instantly grabs my full attention and immerses me fully in the music, with no thoughts interrupting the music’s flow. If you read some of my feedback on these power supplies, you’ll notice that they eventually begin to transcend the usual hi-fi type improvements and the differences in performance are better described in terms of the listeners‘ response to the music.
 
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