Dcs Network Bridge with Melco music server

Hi,

I am contemplating getting one of the Melco music servers for use with my DCS Network bridge. The NBR just replaced my Aurender n10 so need to figure out the local storage part.

Looks like the Melco can have a direct Ethernet connection to the NBR that does not mandate a LAN connection to the outside world (switch/router etc) so Ethernet input from local storage is as pure as it gets. It also seems like Melco will generate an IP that will allow it to be viewed as UpNp in NBR in this direct mode. Is this correct? If so, how do we control (as the DCS Mosaic app will not be in the picture)? Can we use the DCS IR Remote control?

You still need to connect the Melco to the LAN. it has two ethernet ports. One connects directly to the NB. The other port connects to your LAN . So the NB is connected to the LAN via the Melco. So this allows for the device with the Mosaic control app to connect and for e.g. streaming services, internet radio, updates etc.

So if you are playing files from the Melco music library ( i.e. using it as a NAS) there is only a single connection in use between the Melco and the NB and no router or switch are involved. The commands from Mosaic app do however involve the connection to the LAN as does content pulled from the internet.

You will find it pretty foolproof in practice.

For playing local files from MMM, would it be possible to use the front panel on the Melco n1z to play complete albums or playlists? This way, there wouldn’t be a need to connect using the LAN to router for Mosaic app for accepting commands. May not be a very convenient way to play individual tracks but the sound quality would be optimum if the intention is just to play huge playlists.

I believe Melco has a “low-noise” switch, the s100, to address this but “no noise” would be preferable to “low noise” for certain use-cases.

Not if you are using the Melco for NAS with a dCS network player streaming the files. That Melco panel is then only of use for configuring the Melco in an NAS role. It is only used for repertoire navigation when the Melco is used as a USB streamer. In which case the dCS network streamer is no longer required. Then the USB output of the Melco goes straight to the DAC ( in your case therefore you would no longer need a Network Bridge).

In any case were you to use the Melco as a USB streamer, whilst it will be amongst the very best of such devices, in a dCS world network connection of the player and dual AES connection of the DAC produces the optimum sound quality not USB connection . However if you do not own a dCS DAC this may not be relevant to you.

BTW I would not imagine too many people using the Melco display to navigate files these days. One would use the dedicated Melco Music HD app.

There are no electronic devices in existence that are “no noise”. The fact that everything has a signal to noise ratio/dynamic range means that there is always noise. “Low noise” is at least being honest. The important thing is whether or not the noise is perceptible.

In regard to noise and the Melco’s network connection please understand that the music is not handled by the Mosaic app. Mosaic is a control device and has no connection with the music files, only with the metadata. So there is not and there cannot be any impact upon what you are listening to. It only sends commands just like when you use the remote on your TV. The TV’s IR remote does not affect the reception of the TV programme because the TV programme itself does not flow to the TV via the remote control.

Is Melco’s app more user friendly than the Mosaic app? The Mosaic app is not as good the Conductor app in the Aurender. Also, is there a good synergy between Melco and Dcs?

To be honest, even though I have the Melco app, as I have never used the Melco in its USB streamer role I have never even opened the app. Of course you can only use the Melco app if you are not using a dCS network player. There is no choice between the two. Melco as USB streamer; Melco app, dCS Network Bridge; Mosaic.

In any case I am of the opinion that most people do not like given apps simply because they do not resemble what they have become used to. Use a new app for a week or two until it becomes second nature and then where is the problem? If you have only tinkered with Mosaic for a brief time e.g. at a dealer’s then I doubt whether you will have had the chance to fully explore it . I also need to mention that the UPnP server software and its configuration that was in use when you tried Mosaic will affect certain aspects of the way Mosaic displays things. The old default UPnP server for Melco until midway through this year (Twonky) did not produce a truly acceptable result with Mosaic. All new Melcos are loaded with MinimServer which is the appropriate server to use with dCS.

After a year and a half of using Mosaic I only have one major reservation which is so common that I expect it to be changed in a future version. The linear volume control is too fiddly to use and a + or - option would be better especially where small screen sizes e.g. phone, are used.

The combination of Melco and dCS is pretty special which may be why recently a number of correspondents here seem to be changing to Melco from an IT type of NAS.

Its a bit of a letdown that the Melco app and the Melco front panel only work when Melco functions as a USB streamer. Not sure why they designed it this way. I have the DCS NBR and plan to get the Melco to function only as a music server UPnP, which as you mention gives a better audio experience.

Do we need to install the complete version of MinimServer for the better UPnP experience? I believe the newer Melco units are shipped with just the basic version.

The version of MinimServer does not change the sound quality but provides additional facilities to organise and search your music library and provides the updates as they are released. To change to the full version you need to open an account with MinimServer ( it is an annual fee of 28 gbp or equivalent). You do not need to install anything, just enter the key via the Melco’s front panel that they send you .

Coming back to the Melco s100 switch, is it more effective for streaming services like Qobuz/Tidal or local storage streaming? Even when using the dedicated network port to a streamer, Melco states that there is still some noise that this switch is designed to address.

In a Melco NAS set up to a dCS network player the Melco connects directly to the player for local streaming. So the S100 switch only comes into the picture when you are listening to material from the internet including Qobuz or Tidal. In this configuration it is not relevant for local streaming.

Please forget about the noise issue. It is probably a red herring. Basically Melco have not revealed what the switch actually does. It is their trade secret. We know, however, that what they have said is that it is not to do with clock accuracy or similar issues ( as are most other audiophile data switches) but it is to do with “improved data handling” (whatever that means but it isn’t necessarily all to do with noise).

I can tell you that subjectively the sound of Qobuz is significantly improved using the S100 compared with directly from the router. I do not know why but I would not wish to be without it.

Measurements of the S100 that I have seen do show a small reduction in jitter and noise but these seem too small to correlate with the obvious sonic improvement experienced.

There have been testimonies of reviewers who have noticed improvements with the s100. Not sure if these improvements are good enough to have the streamer connect to the s100 instead of the melco server for local file playback (in effect not using the dedicated player-streamer connection at all).

To me logically no matter how good the switch is, no switch at all trumps it.

I did say months ago that I would try the Melco and player connected via the S100 in comparison to the direct connection. However I am too old for all of the scrambling around in a confined space behind my equipment rack to re-route the cabling. All I can think of is the pain it is going to cause me :frowning_face:

If I find myself in a very good mood and am feeling more physically flexible than usual I will give it a try and report back. But that is not promise.

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I’d be surprised if the s100 improves over the dedicated. Would be like Melco markets the N1Z with its dedicated connection as its major selling point and then says “never mind” when the s100 comes along.

Precisely. As I said no switch trumps good switch.

Still, people have asked me to try the alternative for their interest.