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Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
2017-10-27, 13:56
Post: #21
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-27 13:34)Martin H Wrote:  I just find these debates weird.
I agree.

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2017-10-27, 14:18
Post: #22
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
There's an epic thread on computeraudiophile on how to build an "audiophile" NAS.

I trust what people report about the differences they hear with Melcos. I am just not convinced these differences exist for the reasons Melco claims: Audiophile drives...?!? Drive firmwares are proprietary, arcane stuff that not even companies of the size of Google and Facebook get their hands on - and they have real incentives to adopt firmwares for their uses cases.

A tiny company selling maybe a 5k drives annually getting access instead - lol!

A NAS basically delivers tiny 64 byte packets over a network to an ~8mb buffer in which all timing differences will simply drown. In your typical home-network there will be no packet-loss whatsoever, even if you stress the system with simultaneous videos etc. I tried and ethernet turns out to work as advertised.

The only explanation for sound-differences would be less noise introduced over the ethernet-cables via better isolation and a different power-supply. Given that ethernet is galvanically isolated this should not be the case - but, but.

A standard NAS with a good medical-grade third party power supply and perhaps a network isolator will get you there for much less money than a Melco. Put it in different room if you are wary about interference and be good.

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2017-10-27, 14:30
Post: #23
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-27 14:18)mcgillroy Wrote:  A tiny company selling maybe a 5k drives annually getting access instead - lol!
Melco is actually Buffalo, they do make drives. But they don't make 'audiophile' ones, and having spinning disks this close to the electronics can't help the cause.

Quote:A standard NAS with a good medical-grade third party power supply and perhaps a network isolator will get you there for much less money than a Melco. Put it in different room if you are wary about interference and be good.
True. I guess that Melco uses a better-than-default power supply.

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2017-10-27, 14:46 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-27 14:46 by Music at Home.)
Post: #24
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-27 14:18)mcgillroy Wrote:  The only explanation for sound-differences would be less noise introduced over the ethernet-cables via better isolation and a different power-supply. Given that ethernet is galvanically isolated this should not be the case - but, but.

Galvanic isolation is there to prevent ground loops and mains hum when connecting different pieces of equipment together. Higher frequencies, like the pulse waveform of the Ethernet signal itself, pass right through.

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2017-10-27, 17:29
Post: #25
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-27 12:23)Tin Wrote:  
(2017-10-27 11:57)spannko Wrote:  
(2017-10-27 11:41)Tin Wrote:  
(2017-10-27 11:20)spannko Wrote:  
(2017-10-27 10:37)Donald Wrote:  " ... working closely with Linn ..."

Until we here something official from Linn I think it's safe to assume that this is marketing hyperbole!

Last t time I looked, Linn were using a Mac Mini as a NAS at the Factory along with standard Cat 6 cabling - to quote Ian Wilkinson "Just saying"!

I could equally say that it’s safe to assume that the reviewer wouldn’t lie because his integrity and professionalism is at stake. We know that Linn works behind the scenes with other manufacturers products, with and without the other manufacturers involvement. It makes a lot of sense for Linn to help steer Melco in the right direction.
If the Melco supports the OpenHome protocol that could be all there is to it. Looking at the hardware I doubt that Melco was paying that much attention.

They could easily have replaced the spinning disks with an array of SSDs and the folded SATA cable on top of the mainboard isn't exactly nice either. And no matter how you look at it, there are plenty of 'off-the-shelf' parts recognisable in the picture.
Compared to the previous iteration that MikeSpragg bought opened up this Melco already looks 'a bit nicer' but that shouldn't be the goal for such an expensive NAS.

The last time I looked in a KDS it was packed full with “off the shelf parts”. I really don’t understand your point.
In the review Melco claims that they do not use 'off the shelf parts'. They have a habbit of claiming things that aren't true, remember 'audiophile grade drives'?

Linn at least cut wires to the correct length instead of folding them together just because they found a 60cm cable on a shelf where only a 40cm one was required.

That may not be relevant for you, but to me it feels that Melco makes a lot of claims and when you pop the hood, it suddenly is just a pack of bull.
I never appreciated that.

Your bias against the Melco’s is affecting your judgement. From an audiophiles perspective, to suggest that you would choose a component with tidy wiring over a better sounding one is totally irrational.

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2017-10-27, 17:35
Post: #26
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
I have heard some really positive reviews from a number of Linn owners that own Melco.

Most of them have one of the top models.

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2017-10-27, 18:20
Post: #27
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-27 17:29)spannko Wrote:  Your bias against the Melco’s is affecting your judgement. From an audiophiles perspective, to suggest that you would choose a component with tidy wiring over a better sounding one is totally irrational.
I really have no idea how to respond to this.

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2017-10-28, 09:49
Post: #28
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
Oh, great, an interesting thread about Linn and Melco.

But is it, heck?

Again it has turned into "Melco is a load of rubbish, and I can prove it" versus "I can hear the difference with a Melco in my system"

IMHO both views are valid but it is so tedious seeing these arguments. Of course Melco will have its distractors, just like those who can prove that mains cables, direction of speaker cables, stands, plugs, record clamps, &c &c don't make any difference.

Surely it is ridiculous to believe that the rack you place transistorised equipment can affect the sound.

The whole point of our hobby is that we are playing with a number of phenomena which are curious and unpredictable. That is the fun.

Who really enjoys reading this sort of thread? Yes, I know I can bugger off, but it is a shame to see a good medium stagnate.

There is a lot going on in Melco firmware at the moment which would make a more interesting discussion. But then we know the Melco is just rubbish so it could not make any difference.

Perhaps those who just want to flex their muscles could go out to the squash court instead.

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2017-10-28, 11:00 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-28 11:01 by dubselect.)
Post: #29
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
And... here we are, "audiophile" NAS again! Rolleyes

And as always there are believers (who hear or think that they hear an ipmrovement) and non-believers (who think that there can not be any improvement because it is not possible).

I personally always try to keep an open mind when I test any new audiophile device. Sometime ago I did not believe absorbers can change the sound. Yet I heard what they are capable of. And now I believe, just because I know.

My opinion about Melco - it makes no difference in comparison with a "standart" NAS. I heard many many audiophile things throughout my life - power cables, interconnect cables, power regenerators, power conditioners, absorbers etc. They always DO make a significant difference to the sound of my system (or any other systems where I was able to test them) - positive or negative. Melco is the only one thing that didn't.

Here is the talk about noise. Some people claim that Melco decreases the noise level and thus improves the soundquality. Well, anytime I hear a reduction of noise, I hear an improvement in dynamics - the lower the noise level, the wider is the real dynamic range a human can hear. Thereby the sound becomes cleaner, more coherent, less harsh, less grainy etc.

Everytime I add any audiophile thing to my system, I can easily hear a distinct decrease of a noise level. For example, when I replaced Isotek Optimum power cord with Bertram Cuprio power cord I could clearly hear an increase of a dynamic level - sound became more open and better controlled. Same thing happened when I replaced Symposium Rollerblock HDSE under my speakers with Rollerblock Series 2+. It was a clear and big improvement.

But when a "plain" Qnap NAS was repalced with Melco N1Z, the level of audible noise remained the same. But I confess, I did this comparison in a demo Linn Exakt system, not in my own. Still I see no reason why the Melco didn't make an improvement, if it could.
The only explanation I can make is that this device can not improve or even change anything. Seriously, I heard so many audiophile devices and they always changed the sound of any system to a significant degree, no matter how cheap or expensive they were. It makes me think that Melco is useless. At least for Linn streamers, since I tested it with Akurate Exakt DSM.

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2017-10-28, 12:56
Post: #30
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-28 11:00)dubselect Wrote:  ... as always there are believers (who hear or think that they hear an improvement) and non-believers (who think that there can not be any improvement because it is not possible) ... I personally always try to keep an open mind when I test any new audiophile device.

Me too. It is also important to remember that most of us only have the opportunity to try one or two systems in each case, and there is always the possibility that any results we get may be context-dependent. It is probably unwise to form absolute views of a piece of equipment based on such small samples; the best one can do is to relate one's opinion to the circumstances of the demo.

(2017-10-28 11:00)dubselect Wrote:  My opinion about Melco - it makes no difference in comparison with a "standard" NAS.

The one short test I was able to hear on my system did indicate there was a difference of some sort, but it was so small that it was hard to tell what the difference was, or indeed to decide whether it represented an improvement. My conclusion was that the Melco N1A/2 (the model I heard) would be unlikely to justify its cost in my system. That opinion does not relate to the use of the Melco in other contexts, and particularly about its use as a renderer, of which I have no experience.

(2017-10-28 11:00)dubselect Wrote:  Here is the talk about noise. Some people claim that Melco decreases the noise level and thus improves the soundquality. Well, anytime I hear a reduction of noise, I hear an improvement in dynamics - the lower the noise level, the wider is the real dynamic range a human can hear. Thereby the sound becomes cleaner, more coherent, less harsh, less grainy etc.

That is the kind of effect I have come to expect when it is likely that the noise floor of the system has been lowered. It is the kind of difference I can hear (again, on my system) between playing a FLAC stream directly and playing it transcoded to 24 bit WAV. That difference is small; the difference between the N1A/2 and the basic model QNAP NAS in my system was even less. So my results were similar to, but not quite the same as, those of dubselect.

All of that said, I'd be very wary of writing off the Melco completely. If the description of the Japanese market in the review is anything like correct, the Melco clearly fills a niche in its home country. And for some people, the combination of music store and renderer with a 'consumer' rather than 'computer' UI will be attractive. I just don't need one in my Linn system.

On a separate point, I hope we can now put to bed any thought that we are going to see some kind of new product jointly developed by Melco/Buffalo and Linn. Nothing is impossible, of course, but you have to stretch what little evidence there is very thin indeed to come to that conclusion.

David

Main system: [Basik/Basik+/K5/Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks
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