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The new S10 audiophile reference network switch becomes Melco’s flagship switch and comprises a ‘head’ unit and a power unit, separating the sensitive data-carrying areas of the design from the power supply. The two-box approach echoes that of the recently announced flagship digital music library, the N10/2, and offers the least compromise when it comes to ultimate sound quality.
The S10’s head unit is based on a heavily upgraded S100 network switch, and benefits from a greatly improved power management section. The head unit’s casework has also been significantly improved with better aluminium used for the casework to improve rigidity and increase isolation for the signal-carrying electronics. A rigid-steel screened chassis offers further mechanical stability.
The rear panel connections include different speed RJ45 Ethernet ports: 4x 100 MB and 4x 1 GB, the latter of which are useful for the Roon Core processor which generates high traffic flow. In addition, 2x 1 GB SFP (Small Form Factor) ports are also included for direct fibre connections and compatibility with supported devices.
A large toroidal transformer forms the bulk of the S10’s power unit and is mounted on a solid base with specialist insulators from Japan’s TAOC. Further features include high-quality Neutrik connectors on the output, plus a high-precision ‘102 SSC’ conductor from Tokyo’s Oyaide for the connecting DC cable.
⦁ Two additional SFP ports allow for the connection of optical fibre for components such as Lumin that support it.
⦁ The key to creating a stable and resilient data stream for extreme Hi-Res streaming is the Packet Buffer and S10 has 1.5MB of buffer capability to deal with erratic external connectivity.
⦁ Audiophile techniques are used in the power supply implementation with a bank of audio-grade capacitors to ensure the lowest noise environment. Power supplies are external to the S10 in the from of a dedicated toroidal transformer power supply in matching casework, giving exceptional isolation.
⦁ Mechanical stability contributes to system performance and the S10 is built on a rigid steel chassis with full aluminium casework with total screening provided by the totally metal enclosure which matches Melco Audiophile NAS components