Melco Help Required!

Thanks. I’m a bit confused here but do you mean that it’s possible to run the Melco in isolated mode, ie. diconnected from the router, and still be able to select and play music from an iPad by using Mconnect? Not sure how this would work because the Melco is then not connected to the network at all.

You can still use the app with the SMB switched off, but you would need a more direct control method if you put the Melco in isolated mode. Operating from the Melco front panel isn’t a sensible option. What does your Melco feed into?

I have my Melco (N100) connected via USB to my Moon amp (with integrated DAC obviously).

I agree that control via the Melco front panel isn’t a sensible option but is there some alternative then that can be used in isolated mode?

I don’t know much about the Moon amps but unless it has a network connection that you could link directly to the Melco then I don’t think you could take advantage of the Isolated mode :frowning_face:

No network connection on my Moon amp unfortunately but I see where you’re coming from. If there were a connection then it may be possible to control the Melco via the amp.

A quick look at the back plate of some of the moon kit does show a network connection so may be possible? In Isolated mode the Melco would create a private network and give the moon it’s own ip address, you would then control the melco from the moon. The issue would then be how practical that is.

Melco do make some streaming DACS which obviously do have a network connection but none on my amp so it’s a no-go. I see how it could work though and its intriguing. Whether the sound quality gains would be worth the hassle I don’t know. Anyway I can’t do it. I’ll definitely try switching off SMB though so thanks for the heads-up on that.

Better gains would be had from using the network rather than usb to start with.
The melco already separates when using network as its the preferred method off connection.
I have had a n100 and to be honest i dont think you will really notice a difference, as i tried lots of options when i had mine and nothing worked really apart from plugging it in on a separate mains to my radial i use for my hifi, as i found it was quite noisy and injected nasty stuff back into the mains, which then went into all my other gear.
So either plug it into somewhere else or get a better power supply for it, that would be my advise over all the rest

I’m puzzled by your statement that network is the prefered method of connection. My understanding is that Melco recommend USB as the preferred connection and that’s the way most people use it. Direct connection to a DAC rather than streaming files over a network is surely superior - that’s the whole point of the USB option. If streaming over a network then presumably the Melco is then simply acting like a NAS drive as the files are rendered by a separate player. Bit of a waste of money in that configuration I would have thought…

I already have a Plixir linear power supply for it which is a massive improvement over the supplied PSU. Also a Powerline on the Plixir and upgraded premium DC power lead from Plixir to Melco. It all sits on a Quadraspire SVT rack with upgraded bronze floor spikes and additional Quadraspire feet under the Melco and Plixir. So I think I’ve just about optimised it all I can!

Usb is normally not the best way, most manufacturers state using network over it.
Melco also has the dedicated player port and that is i believe the better way as it has some isolation built into it by melco, thats why most naim users like them, as the naim network benefits from it

I know that some people and manufacturers say that USB is an inferior connection. Some others though say the opposite. I think it really depends on the specific implementation and one cannot sensibly generalise.

The Melco is geared up for USB playback and that is the simplest and most obvious way to use it, ie. as a dedicated stand-alone library/player. Not everybody has a DAC with a USB input option so presumably that’s why Melco provide an alternative. If using as part of a Naim system then one has no option to use USB (unless you puchase a separate non-Naim DAC such as a Chord Hugo). I still say that used in a Network configuration it is in my opinion rather a waste. One may as well just buy a NAS drive.

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Pete, I agree with Dunc. The preferred Melco connection is by Ethernet, it’s the strong characteristic of their Servers. They have 2 Ethernet ports, one to a switch and the other directly to the player ( streamer).
You can read reviews on Melco, the Ethernet connection is its strength.
But of course, if you use an outboard dac with no streaming capabilities, then usb is your only choice.

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From the Melco site:

If playing the music through a USB DAC then the Melco software renders (plays) the data files and presents the recovered digital data as LPCM or DSD to a DAC connected by a dedicated USB2.0 port. That data flow is very direct.

The rendering is under Melco control and benefits from all the clever, quiet digital engineering within the Melco. So, the data presented to the DAC has taken the most direct path to it, and has been rendered in the purest environment.

When streaming to a UPnP client (network streamer) then the data flow is rather more complex.

So in short, even allowing for the Melco Player port, the signal path, and signal processing operations are more complex when using a network streamer rather than a USB DAC.

You can read the whole piece on the Melco site.

Yes but if you had carried on reading on the melco site it says more.
Basically it depends as well how good the usb on your dac is, its at this point just about all the top dacs preferred not to use usb for maximum quality.
I guess not all can do this and usb might be the only option? But all the reviews i have read on this agreed the usb was second best.

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Yes it goes on to say that ultimate sound quality of USB DAC vs a network streamer will be partly determined by the relative abilities of those devices. But very clearly what Melco are saying is that the USB connection has the best potential for sound quality as it is the purest and most direct connection that least manipulates the digital data flow.

I do not accept that ‘all the top DACs preferred not to use USB for maximum quality’. Two of the best quality DACs available are the Chord Hugo TT and Chord Dave and both have USB connections. I know that many people use their Melco’s with these DACs and the pairing is known to work extremely well.

But this is really besides the point. The question is not ‘is USB better or worse than a coaxial or optical connection’ but rather ‘in the context of the Melco is the direct USB connection to a DAC better or worse than streaming via ethernet to a separate player?’ Melco very clearly favour the USB connection as being the one that least manipulates the digital data and presents it as cleanly as possible.

I’ve also read reviews of the Melco’s that recommend the USB connection.

At the end of the day it’s up to you if you prefer to believe something different. Personally I just can’t see any reason not to believe what the people who design and make these things say. Why would they claim USB is better if it isn’t? Presumably they have come to this conclusion by listening to the different configurations, so even if USB is an inferior connection as you claim it to be, it obviously still sounds better than streaming over ethernet according to Melco.

Just because the Chord Dacs have a USB connection does not mean it is the best one.
I owned a TT2 a while back, I used the BNC input from my ND5XS2. There are a lot of posts on other forums about Chord’s USB input (Amanero) not being good. Most users of Dave do everything they can to avoid the USB input. Many
Use an SRC.DX USB to Coax bridge to avoid the input.

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dCS spent a lot of time developing the usb connection on there dacs, but they still say the ethernet connection is the preferred method off connection, they like others aren’t going to say, don’t use the usb as its crap.
You only have to do a search on Google or whatever to find lots on it

The real issue here though is not how USB compares to other inputs on a DAC but rather how the USB output of the Melco compares to the ethernet output.

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Pete you are obviously fine with the usb, so just carry on.

I’ll take your word for this. But the fact is that Melco clearly believe that using the USB output on their players provides the highest quality output available and that using the ethernet output is subjecting the data stream to undesirable manipulations.

Even if we accept (and I don’t - I think it depends on the specific implementation, but anyway…) that USB is inferior to coaxial it doesn’t matter. Melco have obviously determined that using the USB output on their devices is preferable to the ethernet connection. Maybe if the Melco had a coaxial output that would be better still - who knows? But it doesn’t.

Personally I would rather follow the manufacturer’s guidance than the guidance or opinions of other third parties. I can’t see any reason why Melco would claim superior results using the USB connection if in fact the ethernet connection was best. I assume they want their products to perform optimally.

In my system I could use the ethernet connection if I bought a separate streamer. But what’s the point? It’s another box, more expense, streaming over ethernet is more problematic than direct connection to a USB DAC. Now if Melco warned to avoid the USB output whenever possible then no doubt I would buy a streamer. But as I’ve already said the opposite is true. Also in my set-up it sounds superb using USB.

If I bought say a Moon streaming DAC then that would match very nicely with my other Moon electronics. But then the Melco would simply be functioning as a NAS drive in effect, although possibly superior as it has a dedicated player port. But as I say, apart from the extra expense and complexity it’s going against what Melco recommend…