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Bluesound Node 2


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Welcome to CA Melvin! I have a Bluesound Node 2 in each of my two systems. They work exceptionally well and with a TIDAL HiFi account they become truly addictive. While their internal DAC is good on its own, I feed external DACs through the Node's digital outputs for even better sound. Enjoy your new toy!

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Welcome to CA Melvin! I have a Bluesound Node 2 in each of my two systems. They work exceptionally well and with a TIDAL HiFi account they become truly addictive. While their internal DAC is good on its own, I feed external DACs through the Node's digital outputs for even better sound. Enjoy your new toy!

 

Thanks audio.bill.

 

After a bit of frustration trying to point the Node to my music .. success! At first blush I'm impressed. To start with, I've decided to put it through it's paces using my Chord Qute EX. As I become familiar with the sound quality I intend to try other configurations (BiMBy, W4S bLINK, internal DAC). Fun.

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If you run into problems with any particular setup issues, their support is excellent. I had some difficulty accessing my music files on my PC which turned out to be due to my Bitdefender firewall. I opened a support request and they promptly emailed me back to arrange a phone call, and were then able to resolve the issue in a few minutes.

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Good to know. I was getting a bit frustrated because their info (manual & online) was somewhat vague IMO but I got the gist of it finally and was able to connect. I'm using a USB drive attached to my Airport Extreme .. simple really. I'm honestly hoping this takes the place of my Mac mini from here on. I've grown tired of the endless updates and tweaks as of late. Less hassle. More music. The iOS app is a nice touch (pun?) also.

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Last night curiosity forced me to wire up the BSN2 via its analogue out connection. Bluesound uses the Burr Brown PCM5122 for DAC duty and I must say .. it doesn't suck. In fact it's quite good. (BTW, I seem to be fond of Burr Brown DACs.) Digital out to my Qute EX seems more nuanced and revealing, however, when switching between the 2 inputs there is a definite level mismatch in favor of the Qute EX, so it's not as easy to detect the subtle differences. Bottom line is the BSN2 is not shamed at all. Could I live with it sans outboard DAC? Yes, but as I already have a couple of fine DACs, no doubt one of them will be in the mix (Bifrost Multibit is up next). So far I'm happy to say I like what I'm hearing from this contraption.

 

I'm using the BSN2 via WiFi exclusively and I've yet to experience a single glitch playing back from either my own library of uncompressed FLACs, Spotify, or Tune-in Radio. The BluOS operating system and iOS app are very responsive and well done. I'm a bit surprised Bluesound is not discussed here much. Perhaps the specs aren't good enough for many? (The BSN2 will play up to and including 24/192 and no DSD yet.) MQA is scheduled to be implemented (via software update) this year for those that care. I believe there is talk of DSD as well. Time will tell.

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Good to hear some positive feedback on the bluesound. I was scheming for a while to get an nad m50 so I could add some bluesound devices and zone them. Before I got that far I decided to try Roon and am now committed to its interface. If they would add roon ready support that would be huge.

Roon ->allo Sparky-USBridge w/ SBooster 5V LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

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What output to your DAC are you using? It doesn't use USB correct?

 

Correct .. I've tried both toslink and coax and they both sound great. The Qute EX, unlike the Bifrost, can handle 24/192 through its toslink input BTW.

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Correct .. I've tried both toslink and coax and they both sound great. The Qute EX, unlike the Bifrost, can handle 24/192 through its toslink input BTW.

 

I've been considering significant changes here myself and the BS node 2 looks the likely contender.

 

I've a passive pc (hdplex) with sotm usb, multiple LPSU and a regen and the fiddling around over several years has worn thin. And with my lack of golden ears, I doubt I'll be able to discern any difference in SQ.

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Good to hear some positive feedback on the bluesound. I was scheming for a while to get an nad m50 so I could add some bluesound devices and zone them. Before I got that far I decided to try Roon and am now committed to its interface. If they would add roon ready support that would be huge.

 

I've wondered if Roon integration will happen in time. Apparently the folks at Bluesound are listening to their customer base and no doubt people are asking for it. I'm not personally interested in Roon at this time (yes, I did take it for a spin) but perhaps at some point I'll revisit.

 

I've been considering significant changes here myself and the BS node 2 looks the likely contender.

 

I've a passive pc (hdplex) with sotm usb, multiple LPSU and a regen and the fiddling around over several years has worn thin. And with my lack of golden ears, I doubt I'll be able to discern any difference in SQ.

 

Even if you can discern differences you might be surprised how good the Node 2 sounds. Yeah, I'm getting tired of dealing with my Mac mini and the endless tweaking. This ticked all the boxes for me, including price. I spent 4 times the cost of the Node 2 for my last Mac (not including all the audiophile software!). So far this is a nice change. I'll give it more time but again, I like what I'm hearing.

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I'm a bit surprised Bluesound is not discussed here much. Perhaps the specs aren't good enough for many?

 

Bluesound started with wanting to be a replacement for Sonos. At least that was their market/marketing and that association seemingly did not help with audiophiles.

 

Also most folks aren't sure what a streamer does. And then wireless and WiFi have a bad rep so that doesn't help either.

 

I actually liked the Node 1. It was better than my Sonos Connect.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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Bluesound started with wanting to be a replacement for Sonos. At least that was their market/marketing and that association seemingly did not help with audiophiles.

 

Also most folks aren't sure what a streamer does. And then wireless and WiFi have a bad rep so that doesn't help either.

 

I suppose you're right master but I thought audiophiles would be interested in a high-res replacement for Sonos. Admittedly, I also needed some time to wrap my head around the whole dedicated streamer thing. Funny you mention wireless because one reason I've balked in the past is the overwhelming volume of reports stating wired Ethernet is a must. One reason I took a chance on the Node 2 was because of the reported WiFi improvements .. I want convenience and good sound. Wireless is a must for me.

 

Unrelated afterthought and correction from a previous post .. the Bifrost can do 24/192 via Toslink.

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I suppose you're right master but I thought audiophiles would be interested in a high-res replacement for Sonos. Admittedly, I also needed some time to wrap my head around the whole dedicated streamer thing. Funny you mention wireless because one reason I've balked in the past is the overwhelming volume of reports stating wired Ethernet is a must. One reason I took a chance on the Node 2 was because of the reported WiFi improvements .. I want convenience and good sound. Wireless is a must for me.

 

The only thing (that I can see) that Auralic (Mini) does over Bluesound and Sonos is DSD. In fact I liked the DAC inside the Node 2, much better than anything Sonos and also the Auralic (Mini). Of course the DAC should not really be a consideration as most will only use the devices as a transport and use the optical outputs to an external DAC.

 

From my understanding DSD should not be a big deal, but apparently it is considering I know more folks with Auralic than with Bluesound. Sonos sells more, but they have the advantage of being first to market and in that segment probably only the likes of Bose (with a competing product that costs more) can really dethrone them.

 

The only other thing I can think of is how they are presented... Sonos as an add-on to users with multiple Sonos speakers, Bluesound as a streamer, and the Auralic as a media player (something that replaces your PC or tablet), not true because internal HDD is an addon and not a regular feature... but in marketing perception is everything I guess.

 

I agree with you, the Node 2 deserves more attention, especially for what it does.

 

Edit: The only other thing I can think of is maybe Bluesound shoots themselves in the foot... with way too many competing products in their stable. Node, PowerNode, Vault, Pulse, etc. even I'm not sure what each of the products does. Sonos and Auralic are so much easier to pick and choose from, just one product that does not compete with others in their product range.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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Regarding the variety of Bluesound products, each is designed to meet different application needs. The Node connects to an existing audio system either by digital or analog outputs; the PowerNode adds an amplifier so it can directly drive speakers; the Vault adds a CD drive and hard drive storage to allow direct CD ripping; and the Pulse products incorporate built in speakers.

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Regarding the variety of Bluesound products, each is designed to meet different application needs. The Node connects to an existing audio system either by digital or analog outputs; the PowerNode adds an amplifier so it can directly drive speakers; the Vault adds a CD drive and hard drive storage to allow direct CD ripping; and the Pulse products incorporate built in speakers.

 

Thanks. Now why can't their Ecosystem (tab on their website) explain this?

 

Considering so many people research online, and even shop online, their website should do a better job.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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Interestingly, this unit has fixed a long term issue I've had with missing bass.

 

A year or so ago I swapped out my wadia 121 with a w4s dac2 dsd and shortly afterwards, my bass dissappeared.

 

I spent a significant amount of time rebuilding the server, testing different configs and outputs. Swapping out different LPSU's. Multiple OS reinstalls then upgrades to win10 and all with no resolution to this issue.

 

I recently decided to change the DAC out and bought the TEAC NT-503 and again, no discernible difference.

 

Added the node 2 last night and everything is fine again. No drivers required. All quite simple. I'm happy but can't help thinking about the significant loss of time and money on this issue. Never again. I'm over DIY solutions.

 

Now the question is what DAC to sell. Plus I've a Regen spare along with SoTM components, HD-Plex and teradak lpsu's and finally, a HD-Plex passive H1S case with thin itx/4670T PC.

 

And do I look at a upgraded coax reclocking solution because you know, there's always something else that can possibly improve the SQ...

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Interestingly, this unit has fixed a long term issue I've had with missing bass.

 

A year or so ago I swapped out my wadia 121 with a w4s dac2 dsd and shortly afterwards, my bass dissappeared.

 

I spent a significant amount of time rebuilding the server, testing different configs and outputs. Swapping out different LPSU's. Multiple OS reinstalls then upgrades to win10 and all with no resolution to this issue.

 

I recently decided to change the DAC out and bought the TEAC NT-503 and again, no discernible difference.

 

Added the node 2 last night and everything is fine again. No drivers required. All quite simple. I'm happy but can't help thinking about the significant loss of time and money on this issue. Never again. I'm over DIY solutions.

 

Now the question is what DAC to sell. Plus I've a Regen spare along with SoTM components, HD-Plex and teradak lpsu's and finally, a HD-Plex passive H1S case with thin itx/4670T PC.

 

And do I look at a upgraded coax reclocking solution because you know, there's always something else that can possibly improve the SQ...

 

Hey man, congrats on your new acquisition! Nice that it fixed your missing bass issue.

 

As to the reclocking question, I have a Wyred 4 Sound reclocker which provided a very nice improvement with my Mac. I would use it with either of my USB-SPDIF converters (Bel Canto mLink & SOtM dX-USB HD) paired with one of my DACs (Qute EX or Bifrost MB). I'm not detecting any improvement with the BSN2/DAC pairing. YMMV.

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As to the reclocking question, I have a Wyred 4 Sound reclocker which provided a very nice improvement with my Mac. I would use it with either of my USB-SPDIF converters (Bel Canto mLink & SOtM dX-USB HD) paired with one of my DACs (Qute EX or Bifrost MB). I'm not detecting any improvement with the BSN2/DAC pairing. YMMV.

 

I think I'll leave it for the time being then.

 

I had received my new TEAC NT-503 only a week ago as part of this long term plan to fix the bass issue. But after some A/B'ing with the W4S DAC2 DSD, we think it has the edge on SQ so the TEAC is up for sale shortly.

 

I had even ordered some Focal SM9's to replace my Focal SM6 Solo's. Now I'm not sure I need to carry through with this either. Although the SM9's are awesome sounding units.

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Good to hear some positive feedback on the bluesound. I was scheming for a while to get an nad m50 so I could add some bluesound devices and zone them. Before I got that far I decided to try Roon and am now committed to its interface. If they would add roon ready support that would be huge.

 

I was checking BS out yest. at Axpona and overhear BS saying they had no plans on Roon as they spent time and money working on their own software. I walked on...

Ryzen 7 2700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 4G Apacer RAM as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/.2 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1.2 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

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I was checking BS out yest. at Axpona and overhear BS saying they had no plans on Roon as they spent time and money working on their own software. I walked on...

 

 

That's too bad because I have used both (my dad has an NAD M12 with the BluOS module) and Roon is far, far superior for my use. I have discovered a lot of new music in the last 6 months by sitting with my roon app and tapping on hyperlinks within the liner notes. I can understand why they would feel that way to some extent, but they make money selling hardware, the software app costs nothing to download. That means I will not be purchasing anything from them. They should know that including additional services on their hardware platform can only help them broaden their appeal.

Roon ->allo Sparky-USBridge w/ SBooster 5V LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

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I was checking BS out yest. at Axpona and overhear BS saying they had no plans on Roon as they spent time and money working on their own software. I walked on...

 

On one hand, they will lose some audiophile business over this but on the other, I doubt their market is the Roon-centric audiophile. They believe in their brand and I'm sure they will continue to develop their software/hardware platform accordingly. Many people (even audiophiles) simply won't pay for Roon and there is plenty of room for everyone.

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I'm contemplating the Node 2 as well, and have been for a while because my PC takes up so much space and needs so many power supplies. What would really be useful is a comparison between the Node 2 and a blinged out audio server to see how much they differ. Does anyone have both?

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I'm contemplating the Node 2 as well, and have been for a while because my PC takes up so much space and needs so many power supplies. What would really be useful is a comparison between the Node 2 and a blinged out audio server to see how much they differ. Does anyone have both?

 

My audio server cost me close to twice this once sotm components, multiple lpsu's, passive case, updating jrmc licenses, trialing other software etc. were taken into account. The hours poured into it don't count. Whatever change there is in SQ, I don't hear it. And ease of installation and use, there is no comparison. Better to trial it if you can though.

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