New Melco S100 "Audiophile-Grade" Network Switch Announced

Another interesting piece of kit on the horizon: StereoNET Blurb on the new Melco switch

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I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. £1999 for a switch. Audiophile or not, price makes little sense to me.

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Man. More than my integrated amp.

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I am glad they didn’t name it “Matrix”.

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It is an astounding amount of money for a switch.

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I’m not a Network Engineer (but my role as a “Wireless Engineer” is very convincing). What’s coming from your service provider is all that matters. A $7 Shielded CAT-6a cable from Fry’s Electronics or Amazon is no different in performance that a $300 Unobtainium Cable. All I have a cheap $40 NetGear Switch/Router that’s wired to all my audio networking crap. If I could find a nice used Cisco 8 or 16 port switch setup with DHCP, that would be cool one day. That’s as audiophile as anyone needs.

The inside build of these Cisco switches are like Brick Shxthouse ! I very rarely have latency issues with Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon HD Music/Prime. Average incoming data rate measured with Ookla is around 300mb/s. COX is my provider. Twisted pair copper into an apartment complex. Fiber would be better but then, the cable/phone companies decides the data cap depending on what you are willing to pay and what your local Telecom infrastructure looks like.

You know what would be cool and put an end to unnecessary spending on CAT, COAX, and USB cables ? A legitimate BER test on each and every digital link. But something like that would be impractical…or would it (we are “Audiophiles” after all).

When it comes to my Analog Chain. No argument, analog cables matter and I have only one pair of RCA’s in my entire setup (the DAC outputs of my Sony UBP-X1000ES). I run AudioQuest Rocket 33 for the L & R Speakers, Red River RCA’s & XLR’s along with a pair of AudioQuest Mackenzie’s that feed my M700’s.

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Yikes! 2k (US?) for a switch is worth a lot of CSO tickets for this Chicagoan. Think I’ll take a pass. :slight_smile:

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Just think of the number of Vienna Beef hot dogs and “eyetalian” beef sandwiches you could scrounge for that amount of scratch…?

:slight_smile:

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Just depends on how much money you have to spend and what the source of noise is.

But yes, the Stellar Gain Cell DAC was as much money I ever spent on a single Audio kit except on real instruments to make music.

So an “Audiophile” network device is not on my priority list.

And if I’d Have those funds to replace my switches in the house, I’d wait a couple of years and go fiber optics. Best galvanic separation mankind ever invented. And it would be an investment into progress.

US$ 2k for a 4 ports of 100 Mbit, and 4 ports of 1 Gbit switching. I believe light transducers are less complicated, faster and more reliable than electricity to magnet to electricity transducers for galvanic separation.

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And we used to throw that Fibre stuff away at a previous Employer’s Lab. Never thinking all that “crap” would actually be INSIDE the home instead of just up to the Demarkation Point and and cable/phone box (if you’re that lucky).

That was because that technology seemed to be an overkill for consumer use at that time. Now fiber optic is applied to interconnect 10 Gb switches since 10 Gb/s seems to become a standard for even home PC’s.

Wherever I have a choice between Ethernet an WiFi I prefer Ethernet and went through a great length to finish replacing the cable TV 75 Ohm coax with CAT 5e / CAT 6 in 2015. Such that everything In the home (except of mobile devices) is now standardized on Ethernet.

WIFI is a great solution for mobile devices to stream lossy stuff and control purpose. But not so much for high bit rate Audio (24 or 32 bit 348 or even 796 kHz, DSD 512) and Video (4k, HDR) uncompressed data transfer. Not even for the online gaming needs of the children.

Where we can replace copper data cables with fiber optics we should: Advantages:

  • it saves copper, it’s increasingly more difficult to satisfy the demand for copper
  • it is much thinner (easier to pull through my conduits, but more important to hook up more households)
  • it is faster (allows higher bit rates)
  • it provides true galvanic isolation (Not talking about the overhyped HDMI and USB optic cables that still utilize copper wires for 5 V power to enable handshakes between devices)

So why spend US$ 2000 anno 2019 on a 4 port 100 Mbit/s + 4 port 1Gbit/s device is beyond me. That money would be much better spent on a fiber optic data net structure.

The premium price for the “Audiophile” label may make a tiny difference, if at all. Maybe for those who have spent US$ 100.000 on your primary Audio gear and are looking for US$ 2000 per piece power cables, because it opens up a new sound stage that seems to be missing with the factory supplied power cables and standard Ethernet switches.

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You’re right about diminishing returns and nonsense. Most audiophile network feeds are happy at 100mb . This is a company providing a solution for a problem for the most part that doesn’t exist.

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Clearly no one has not heard or know anything how this Melco switch actually sounds or compares to other switches. All I see is people whining the cost. Boring.

For the fun of it,I uninstalled my Aqvox switch yesterday and connected Innuos streamer directly to my router. That lasted for 7 seconds…what a crap,literally. And back goes Aqvox.
While these switches are not so effective if you don´t stream,they do make a huge difference in SQ otherwise.

When compared to EtherRegen,SOtM,Aqvox,Paul Pang or any other audiophile grade switch,that is when we know if the 2000$ is justified or not for it :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

If I had to listen my music without Aqvox switch (400€) I would even pay that 2000€ for it. The difference makes it worth it.

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Nobody here complained about quality.

You might find the opinion of those boring, who have have to contemplate alternatives or even considering the quality increase worthwhile because US$ 2000 is a lot of money to them.
Good for you.

Your objective comparison for those who need to question or contemplate buying such a switch is worthwhile reading. Not so much your judgement about comments being boring.

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I have tried the Silent Angel N8 “audiophile” switch to replace the plastic Linksys switch in the cabinet on which the NAD C 658 is positioned. Admittedly I have a lot of switches / hubs between my server and the NAD. A single Silent Angel made no difference that I or my wife could hear.

We did hear a clear difference between CD, optical input, and streaming though.

For me:

  • I do not want to replace the Ethernet backbone between the switches or replace the high quality programmable switches, which would screw up the entire topology,
  • I decided to live with the already good enough quality streaming for convenience
  • I need to put on a record or CD if I want to enjoy best quality

If you stream only, these switches might be worthwhile.

But the Silent Angel N8 I tried did not even improve SQ a bit, so I have a very hard time investing thousands of Euros into the claims of fame of Silent Angel, eRegen, Innuos, Melco and others.

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Thanks for sharing your experience. I am going to test the Melco S100 with two different configurations in May and report back. People had mixed results with it. A guy with dCS Rossini said it negatively affected his music playback. Another guy with dCS Bartok said it boosted clarity, sound stage and instrumental delineation. There were positive results with Naim streamers as well. I’ll get back to you when done testing it.

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I have received the Melco S100 network switch today.
Configuration 1:

  1. I connected it as per the manual, i.e. server, Roon Core, router all to the Gigabit side. Music player, being Bridge II gos to the 100MbE.
  2. Roon no longer sees Bridge, instead it sees. PSAudio point that is not certified by Roon. If you are a Bridge II user, Melco S100 is not for you. Edit: issue was resolved fairly easily
    Configuration 2:
  3. Connected the server, Roon Nucleus+, and router to the Gigabit side.
  4. Connected Roon Nucleus+ > USB to Matrix X-PDIF 2 > DS DAC I2S.
    Genuinely, the upgrade is equal to a full component rather than a tweak. The improvement is like upgrading the speakers, preamp, or power amp. Happy to keep it.
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This does not seem right to me.

Hopefully, you can get it sorted.

Does anyone else here use the Melco S100 with the PS Audio Network Bridge card?

Cheers.

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