Melco n1a2/ direct mode vs all to switch

I have my melco n1a2 since yesterday. Still running, perhaps 7,8 hours run in.
From the beginning i was using the direct mode, my nds connected by ethernet to the player switch port of the melco.
The majority of melco owners prefer this mode with their nds or nd555.

I tried this evening the all switch connecting, to my cisco 2960 recent model.
The music times better, the prat returned, all is more straight, quicker, with a bit sharper bass.
The direct mode, in my case, with my audioquest diamond ethernet cables, tend to slow a bit the music. Something is like restrained.
I will try some set ups on the screen tomorrow and will share again.
But for now i prefer what the cisco 2960 does on the sound, vs the player switch of the melco.
If you have a high quality switch as the cisco 2960 white model, i invite you to try the all switch mode.

Thanks for the feedback frenchrooster! Would you still keep the Melco if it turns out that you do not use it in direct mode? Are there obvious advantages of the Melco as compared to a off-the-shelf NUC or RPi? Enjoy the journey! Best, nbpf

Interesting and against the grain. Has it given any lift at all over your old unitiserve?

@CrystalGipsy I am not sure it is against the grain. As far as I am aware the Melco doesn’t profess anything specific in the Ethernet bridge mode… other than I believe some reference to common mode noise filtering… and of course that is irrelevant to the benefits we are talking about with all things being equal to using specific Catalyst switches.

Interesting findings FR. I was able to do similar experiments as you a while back, albeit with non Naim network players. I was able to try various configurations and found that i got very similar results between the player port output of the Melco and using a network port directly on the 2960 - much different to comparing the player port and a Netgear GS105. I did find the sound ‘brighter’ with the 2960 connected via 2m of cable and from advice on the forum, tried a longer length of cable between 2960 and player which to my ears brought a more natural presentation and allowed me to remove a bit of component duplication when i moved over to Roon. As you’ve found, it’s always worth experimenting to see which works best and it may be worth trying out some off the shelf Cat 5e / Cat 6 patch cables in place of the Audioquest between Melco and NDS.

i think i will keep it because the serve was not easy to use, was noisy too. For the sound quality, the melco is still running, so it will probably open and improve.
I continue to listen and will try some set ups.
For now i tried the unitserve alone, unitserve with high quality linear ps, the uniticore ( a bit under serve/ uptone js2), and memory stick.
I am not computer man, so the nucs and nas are not for me.

Congratulations on your new Melco. I have the same model and like yourself, found that adding a switch was slightly better sounding but direct mode was also very good.

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Strange thing this Hi-Fi game; rather frustratingly, my experience is the other way round… and quite convincingly too.

I say rather frustrating because I cannot control the NDS with my iPad in direct mode as it obviously disconnects it from the network! Just have to use the remote and front display.

I wonder if your cables play a part in these differences, I only have a basic QED Ethernet cable on mine. The other difference may be where you have placed your Melco. Mine is on the top of my fraim stack; I found quite a noticeable difference if I removed the fraim glass or changed where the Melco was positioned. It seems it is sensitive to positioning?

do you use a specific router ? a dedicated switch ? i lost the network twice in 10 hours, not so problematic. But the sound via all to cisco connected is nearly the same. So if i lose to often the network, i will use all cisco connected.

I have a router/modem which is the first point the internet enters the house, then that feeds to a Cisco 2960 switch, which then feeds the `Melco. My router is the standard one provided by my broadband provider, nothing fancy.

I suspect the Melco (and particularly direct mode) may be more beneficial where a noisy/busy network exists. If perhaps you live in the countryside and you have only a few items on your network to create noise, then the Melco may not be as effective because you may already be feeding a nice clean signal to your streamer? Just a thought.

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Frenchrooster… this is how I set my Melco…is it correct?

try. just a thought. A lot reported on it here. But perhaps we are a lot to have dirty mains?

yes, at least for me and also DB.

Thanks for reporting, you have made very interesting comparisons!

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I’m waiting for my n10 to get around middle of the next month, but now in the meantime I really enjoy the n1,for those who doesn’t want to spend to much for a server,n1 is a good server worth every penny even with my cheap ethernet cable…recommend.

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mine is still improving. So i agree, it worth every penny !

have you found how to change cover albums ? i have to find yet.

Not yet, prievisley on my raspberry with Asset I have covers on all of them…4000 albums, with Melco around 5-10% are missing cover pic, don’t know yet how to manage those uncovered.

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If we could install Asset media on our Melco ,that was great for covers and also for transcoding your files to wav.

i wait that a melco user and geek come to my dealer place. He will transcode all my unitserve files in flac, send them on a hdd external drive, and then i will transfer them on my melco.