Melco S100 switch

I responded to Dave you was referring to a Melco server. You asked me after.

I take it you mean the Melco S100 switch and not the Database-Server box?

If so then I understand that perspective. I’ve briefly auditioned the S100 switch but it was brand new when I did and it was changing a lot as it run-in and I had it for a week. It was on the ‘polite’ side then - very clean and neutral compared to the dual-Cisco 2940-2960 I had as Reference which was rougher but more open and easy.
At that time I also had a new Ethernet Regen (ER) switch that was running-in and character changed a lot and it was hard to keep track of all the different comparisons as things changed with cable-combinations used with each - they all seem to prefer different cables too; in the end I decided to re-evaluate the S100 again in future as it had many features I liked with regard SQ and neutrality, but it needed to run-in more IMO; my Dealer may have now done that so it may have lost the slightly restrained/polite effect I had also noticed.

As to the Melco Database-Server box - the one I chose was least polite of all - delightfully raucous-tending and needing some careful set-up to contain and marshal that quality in my system.

I tend to not like anything that sounds ‘held-back’ in terms of not revealing either easy low-level associated detail in attack and decay of notes and background acoustic. I like to have that and the all-important, to me, timing as in manifests itself over different scales of presence of Artists to their combined performance tightness and swing and their play with that effect as the music unfolds.

So for me the S100 could be something I end up having - or not, but I heard a good product with capability and promise when I home auditioned it.


Yes, DB,

'Twas the S100 switch, which I was comparing with my Cisco 2960 daisy chain setup.

It had been in use for some weeks, so I can only assume that it’s run-in was fairly complete.

To me, though it’s presentation was very clean, it seemed to be taking the edge off things, and since I’m a fan of the sound of “real” instruments, it seemed too "polite"for me.

Amplified acoustic guitar on a Buddy Guy blues album, though very clean sounding, was missing the background harmonics on some of the chords being played, and to me, took away from the “live” feel which I like.

Last year, I ran a home trial of ATC active speakers, which were very agile and accurate, but the music seemed to have no heart, and I rejected them in favour of a 500DR power amp.

Horses for courses, but I do like my music ever so slightly on the raucous side.


That is me too. I like no ‘HiFi system added’ harshness especially at HF-end but want all of what was there in the music as an Art form originally done; why I’m not generally a great fan of ‘tidy-up’ re-releases where a lot or remasters unfortunately also remove a lot of the life contained in the raw low-level info.

A lot of systems can’t handle that low-level raw acoustic and turn it to horrible smeared mush, but a good well set-up Naim system does a great job of it all IMO.


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Just for interest, out of topic, but taking the fact that you have a very resolving system and with a lot of energy : do you use a lot of acoustic treatment or little or even no acoustic treatment ? Just in a few words DB, for curiosity… Or perhaps you could respond in the topic » don’t buy speakers, treat your room first ».

As little room treatment as possible - just ‘natural’ treatments.
I don’t like a dead sound-field for my music presentation, but do like the secondary reflections tailored-down.
So I deliberately put a very reflecting hard wall behind the speakers - even specifically removed wallpaper and painted to get the effect I wanted (worthwhile); that gives the first reinforcing image with as little non-linearity as possible.
For the same reasons I placed non-carpeted solid Oak floor between and under the speakers.

Out of interest I did try large absorbent curtains behind the speakers - it totally ruined performance in terms of timing, deadness and added a boom I’d not had before - so that experiment failed and reinforced what I’d been doing until then and now.

Then a nice full carpet in front - gradually adding furniture into the room at sides then a lot of refracting and reflecting bookcases behind the listener position and well-above seated ear heights to break-up in a fairly linear scattering way late reflection.

Then placed with great care - important and usually overlooked - the listening seat - in my case a large heavy soft-surface but sturdy and absorbent sofa. Position back and forth by cm increments until I got the sound field I wanted and was enjoying the music.

Then I open a rear-door of the room into another similar size large room to make the low bass time right and extend pleasingly without abruptness. Listening room is 6m x 5m L-shape with 1.5m corner cut-out to rear side, 3m ceiling (just under) and wooden floor (heavy reinforced) and very solid just under 0.3m walls - it is an old house. :slightly_smiling_face:

So ‘treatment’ - yes. But I’m not a big fan of clobbering a room to tame it unless it really needs it - some do and some don’t I find.

…I listen to what I’m doing as I go and tweak it to get what I want.



A lot of members use bass traps in the corners, specially behind the speakers. I have not tried yet but tried some absorbing panels behind the speakers ( in center stage) which killed some life.
Have you tried bass traps on the corners ?

No - for the reasons you say. I’ve heard if well-implemented in difficult rooms they can rescue the performance and have an overall good effect, but if not done with care they can spoil things - for me, as it is probably somewhat a personal choice of preference.

A bit like some people prefer near-field listening and some far-field - I’m somewhere between in that I like a wide field for my speakers apart and find that can work well if you can get the side-walls away enough, a meter of more helps.

I’m not bothered too much about overall response - it is a room and will impart a character - but when the music is playing you should be drawn to the music and forget the room - if you can’t then the room needs attending to.

In effect I have ‘traps’ in my room in the form of voids behind side-curtains in evening when I draw them I prefer the effect - and the rear room and how much the door is opened into it makes a big effect on the bass performance - but that is if you are producing a lot of deep bass that is interacting with the room which the S800 do.

I’ve no hard-line on all this but feel in general that there is an Art or ‘Enough’ that many do not conceptualize as needed to get to where you need to be. More than enough is not always better if it takes something else away - when you do enough to get balance then you have your solution. A bit like filters - you have over-damped, under-damped and critical damped and generally you want somewhere close to critical and a bit toward under-damped to get good results.


Thanks for all these informations. It’s generally what I think too. However some tend to think that a general acoustic treatment of a room is the first thing to do before buying speakers.
I tend to think that the most important is to choose carefully the right speakers for a specific room, and adapt some treatment after.
Not to choose big speakers you want to have and treat a lot the room after.
I prefer sacrificing some bass to have a natural and lifelike sound.

The room is important - I in part chose my house because it had several good rooms for HiFi use! :bear:

Large odd-shaped rooms with high ceilings and good structural walls also helps. I’d have also preferred a good solid floor but in the end I found treating the floor with substantial reinforcing under the speaker area (three times thicker there now) and also under-floor cross-brace with steel girder running diagonally across the room worked well (I have a cellar under my room) - and allows me to hide all speaker cables and also not have them in large contact with the floor, which also sounds better to my criteria of a lively sound.

But with smaller more modern room I’d opt for somewhat smaller speakers.
But I love the textures and immersive qualities of seamless deep bass that getting a good room is more important than diverting money into HiFi IMO.



It’s worth you having another listen to the S100 if you get a chance, they get better with age. The experiments with optical links have also been intresting, I do not like polite sound, I’m a heavy rock fan. The N10 S100 combo is working well for me.

That is my aim and my thinking when I first heard them (both S100 and ER). Normally I try to listen to things at my Dealer first with a bit of run-in on it, then borrow for home demo later - but this time it worked out my Dealer was closing for XMas just as the new item arrived from Melco and I was offered the chance to play with it but obviously from new - and there was the unknown ‘it’s just a switch’ factor and that it may not need run-in.

Well I heard it beginning to run-in the week I had it and the ER switch also run-in a great deal and was only for me ‘there’ after 2 or 3 weeks and is still improving.

So the main thing I want to hear is how it sounds run-in and also what difference PS upgrades make on it - and compare against the same on the ER switch I already have.

It is in contention and if it ticks all the boxes I look for in terms of performance I’ll probably get one.
It already had the ‘stability’ factor possibly a bit better than the ER switch when I compared - but that was when both only had days of run-in on them. The ER also presented as more fun and feisty immediate which was endearing - but it also did not have the stability of the Melco - ideally I’d like the best of all worlds.

I’d also like to hear opinions about the difference people think PS upgrades make in terms of how they herd the change. So far I just hear that someone upgrades because it is the thing to do but no description of their own A-B demo impressions.
It seems Melco are pushing the PS upgrade big-time with the associated literature with the switch - and some reports that the ER switch is amazing with another supply, but no properly written description of what musically changes.


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My S100 is on a Sbooster and the OpticalModule is on my HDPLEX, my dealer has the Plixir range in but they are all very new and not run in they look very well made is the only comment I can make on them. I’m not sure I could tell you what the sbooster is doing (I already had it and I have an ‘allergy’ to wall warts) the HDPLEX to OM appears to pull the mid range out in the sound (and it another less wall wart), but equally I already had that my Roon nuc runs off that as well. The biggest change was to put all the Melco and Roon kit on the old MusicWorks ultra and all the Naim onto the new G3 a week ago (both are separate dedicated spurs). I need to digest what I have now for a while to see IF I truely like it but even still day to day it sounds a little different!

I’m finding that the Ethernet cable matters a lot with ER switch and I found it also mattered with the S100 the short time I had it.
…anyway - something I’ve been discovering over the weeks as things run-in is that the Ethernet cable types that sound best at start vary as it runs-in and just having put back onto my ER switch that has run-in for about 6 weeks now an AQ Cinnamon I’d previously found poor with it - now it is amazing - like removing a HF dullness filter and so much more detail and spatial insight.
Just that I think run-in interacts with the cables and they either hide/mask unwanted effects or reveal them - sometimes you want the former but later the latter seems to be what I’m finding.

Really belongs on the ‘Madness’ thread I suppose - but you should find similar with the S100 in re-investigation of best cables after a sustained run-in.


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Just as an afterthought, since my mate is trialling the Melco S100 switch, and seems quite taken with it, I did put it to him today that, before parting with the best part of £2000, he should note that he will have moved his Melco server from “direct” to “switched” mode, and that the improved sound might well be the result of that, rather than the introduction of the S100.

I’ll have completed the trial of my daisy chained Cisco switches soon, and will lend him one of them, so it will be interesting to see, with his server in “switched” mode, whether a cheap, second hand Cisco can stand up against Melco’s finest. :astonished: :astonished:

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Dave, the mode is « bridge « , not « switch « . Perhaps I had written switch by error before…
I think that the direct mode is more when the Melco is connected to a Dac in usb.
However in Ethernet, the direct mode works also, but not optimally.

Wanted also to point that a brand new Cisco 2960 costs 600 or 700 dollars. So not cheap as a 30 dollars tp link.
We can find 2013 unused models for 70 dollars, but it’s not the original cost of the item. 2020 models cost around 700.

Fair comment, FR, but if my mate is convinced by a second hand 2960, easily found for £30 here in UK, then the saving over a cost of a new Melco S100 means that I’ll be expecting a free beer … or two! :wink:


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