Melco S100 Network Switch Lab Report

Lab Report

Melco's custom dataswitch solution employs additional PSU smoothing, 1.5MB of FIFO buffering and a proprietary clocking system in its bid to deliver a low-noise, low-jitter Ethernet packet stream. Nevertheless, as the music data remains in the digital domain across the network (hubs, routers or switches notwithstanding) any uplift in subjective performance over a conventional NAS or other music library can only be inferred via a third-party DAC. Secondary re-clocking or jitter suppression within the network-attached DAC is also a factor here, so a DAC with excellent performance may not express a significant difference. Similarly, a DAC that incurs jitter at the chip level will not improve regardless of the S100's data signal conditioning.

Three very fine network-attached converters were tested with and without the S100 switch, using a 0.5m length of Melco's own CA1E cable – the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge [HFN Dec '19], Arcam CDS50 [HFN Jun '20] and Lumin D2 [HFN Jul '20]. The Mytek and Arcam DACs exhibit superb jitter rejection by default and the impact of the S100 was at the limits of measurement (~1psec). The Lumin D2 did resolve a repeatable difference, however, with correlated jitter reduced from 15psec to 10psec and uncorrelated noise squeezed by 0.4dB over a 146dB range [see Graph, below]. PM


48kHz/24-bit jitter spectra from a network-attached Lumin D2 DAC (without Melco S100 switch, red; via the S100’s 100Mb ports, black)

Ethernet Ports (RJ45) 4x100Mb / 4x1Gb
Ethernet Ports (SFP/optical) 2x100Mb
Digital jitter (Arcam CDS50) 5psec (6psec without S100)
Digital jitter (Mytek Brooklyn Br.) 5psec (5psec without S100)
Digital jitter (Lumin D2) 10psec (15psec without S100)
Power consumption 6W
Dimensions (WHD) / Weight 215x61x269mm / 2.5kg
Price £2000

Buffalo Technology
Supplied by: Audiophile Digital Music Masters Ltd, UK
01252 784525