New Melco N1 S38 Flagship
The new ground-up design is based around a new platform, with a new chassis and casework, plus new power supplies. It offers a previously unreached performance level. A full-width design, the all-new N1-S38 distils Melco’s decades-long digital music storage, transfer and playback knowledge into an advanced new flagship with great new features.
The N1-S38 benefits from a totally new set of system electronics, a new mainboard, plus a new mains transformer, supply and local regulators.
An audio-specific custom 3.84 TB SSD drive, which benefits from Melco’s proprietary layered, rigid SSD mounter, is directly connected to the data path without any intervening RAID controller; on-board memory is increased, too.
Hand-made in Japan, in line with all of Melco’s uncompromising digital libraries, the N1-S38 is the first all-new Melco design since the half-width N10 and N100 series launched in 2018.
The all-new N1-S38 builds on Melco’s proven, unique architecture which carefully transports delicate signal data while avoiding noisy high-speed elements and fast processors.
All-new chassis and casework
Key to the N1-S38’s sophisticated new look is Melco’s all-new casework which benefits from highly stable chassis construction centred around a robust 3 mm stainless steel base plate to minimise unwanted vibration.
Externally, the N1-S38 is complemented by precision-machined two-tone aluminium casework on the remaining five faces, ranging in thickness from 2 mm up to a generous 5 mm, representing a significant upgrade over the half-width N10/2 and N100 models.
The new fascia design features a unique engraved Melco logo using a special technique, with the bold new aesthetics continuing with the substantial contrasting casework corners which are also machined from solid aluminium billet.
The front panel features Melco’s familiar high-quality positive-click fascia control buttons (now illuminated), a crystal-clear easy-read OLED display panel, plus a USB port. New complementary teal LED lighting provides additional aesthetic appeal.
The N1-S38’s low-slung steel base plate design and subsequent low-centre-of-gravity chassis construction, prevents unwanted resonance from interfering with the delicate music signal.
At the audiophile-performance level of the N1-S38, conventional USB connections can compromise ultimate performance, so robust die-cast Amphenol USB ports are provided for the rear-mounted DAC, Expansion, Import and Backup ports, for improved performance and durability with heavier-grade premium cables and connectors.
The Melco concept of a dedicated Player port for direct connection to network players is now enhanced by precision Neutrik RJ45 connectors; the LAN port is similarly upgraded.
Following the pioneering application of SFP Fibre (Small Form Factor Pluggable) connectivity in the Melco S10 and recent S100/2 data switch, the new N1-S38 benefits from an SFP port for direct fibre connection to a suitably equipped player or network infrastructure.
In a nod to its audiophile credentials, the new N1-S38 also supports a switchable 10 MHz external clock input – a first for a Melco music library.
Further features include a large, newly developed high-capacity power transformer, which is mounted on its own sub-chassis and exceeds that of the existing flagship, the N10/2. This is complemented by a new bespoke device for the capacitor bank.