Melco’s new N5-H50 offers next-gen tech for less

New Melco N5-H50 draws from the flagship N1-S38 with simplified features for a lower price.

Following the March introduction of Melco’s all-new flagship digital music library, the SSD-based N1-S38, the Japanese digital music specialist has announced the new N5-H50, which draws heavily from the N1 and introduces a HDD and simplified features for greater affordability (£7,499/EUR 8,999); the N5-H50 made its world debut at High End, Munich.

The new N5-H50 shares many of the standout features seen in the new N1-S38 flagship, including its ground-up design, new platform, chassis and casework. The newcomer also benefits from the all-new mainboard developed for the top model.

Retaining the audiophile credentials of the flagship, the N5-H50 gains an extreme grade of low-jitter system clock from NDK, industrial-quality RJ45 connectors for Melco’s trademark LAN port and dedicated PLAYER port, plus SFP Fibre (Small Form Factor Pluggable) connectivity, allowing the use of noise-isolating optical connectivity with suitably SFP-ready devices, or Melco’s entry-level S100/2 and flagship S10 data switches.

USB connectivity is via industrial-quality Amphenol connectors at the rear, and an additional front panel USB socket is included for user convenience. USB formatting is both USB 2.0 for audiophile-grade DACs and USB 3.0 for higher-speed data transfers, such as CD importing with Melco’s dedicated D100 drive/ripper, or expansion storage etc.

A high-performance power connection is also specified, using an EMC-filtered IEC connector giving true system ground reference. The N5-H50’s power supply uses multistage linear regulation following a high-specification audio-grade toroidal transformer on a special vibration-cushion mount device.

All-new chassis and casework

Hand-made in Japan, in line with all of Melco’s uncompromising digital libraries, the N5-H50’s precision-machined two-tone metalwork draws from the industrial design of the N1-S38 and benefits from highly stable chassis construction centred around a robust 3mm stainless steel base plate to minimise unwanted vibration.

The new fascia design features the Melco logo, Melco’s familiar high-quality positive-click fascia control buttons (now illuminated), a crystal-clear easy-read OLED display panel, plus lots of clever features, including concealed shadow lighting which changes colour in response to machine status.

The new product is available in black or silver.

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