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Bluesound Node 2


Melvin
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2 minutes ago, mansr said:

That's the opposite, using the Bluesound decoder with an external renderer. My question was whether it's possible to use the Bluesound as a renderer with an upstream "core" decoder.

 

Sorry .. I just edited my post to include another link. A few posts down the page mentions MQA core. 

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27 minutes ago, Melvin said:

Sorry .. I just edited my post to include another link. A few posts down the page mentions MQA core. 

That thread touches on the subject, but I don't see a clear indication one way or the other. I was hoping someone might have tried it and could answer the question definitively.

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On 6/23/2017 at 0:37 AM, mansr said:

I was hoping someone might have tried it and could answer the question definitively.

I'll try and ask another forum also.

 

If anyone here has a Macbook with Optical output (or a PC) could you try plugging into the Node 2's optical input. Then play Tidal MQA from the Mac/PC to the Node 2's optical input.

 

And see if the Node 2 outputs 24/192 or 24/176? 

 

I think Joni Mitchell's Blue on Tidal should be 24/192, for the MQA version.

 

Sadly I parted with my Node 2 last year (for no good reason really, it's a great unit) so I can't test this myself.

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On 6/19/2017 at 6:59 AM, Melvin said:

 

This should prove interesting @arcman. BTW, because the Node 2 is also a preamp/DAC I would think a more accurate test would be to use it as such, taking the Nova out of the analog-out path altogether. Please let us know how you make out. 

I have my new Node 2 all hooked up and loving it. I have analog inputs and Coax inputs going into the nova pre. The BS software is set up for fixed output, no tone controls (which is nice if needed). Switching back and forth with same content does show some differences. Both the Peachtree dac and the internal BS dac sounds great. However, switching to the analog (BS Dac), voices seem to float a bit more in the soundstage and just a tad more "depth" floabt. The Nova Pre sounded fine, but compared to the BS, it seemed a little less spacious. Volume between the two inputs seem pretty identical. 

 

I tried this on several types of music and redbook and hi rez (24/96). 

 

One think I think is fantastic sounding are Qobuz 24/192 streams. The new Diana Krall sounds like she is sitting at the piano in front of you.

The Peachree Dac is about 7 years old...so not surprised the newer dac sounds a little better. 

 

I hope this helps

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5 hours ago, arcman said:

I have my new Node 2 all hooked up and loving it. I have analog inputs and Coax inputs going into the nova pre. The BS software is set up for fixed output, no tone controls (which is nice if needed). Switching back and forth with same content does show some differences. Both the Peachtree dac and the internal BS dac sounds great. However, switching to the analog (BS Dac), voices seem to float a bit more in the soundstage and just a tad more "depth" floabt. The Nova Pre sounded fine, but compared to the BS, it seemed a little less spacious. Volume between the two inputs seem pretty identical. 

 

I tried this on several types of music and redbook and hi rez (24/96). 

 

One think I think is fantastic sounding are Qobuz 24/192 streams. The new Diana Krall sounds like she is sitting at the piano in front of you.

The Peachree Dac is about 7 years old...so not surprised the newer dac sounds a little better. 

 

I hope this helps

 

For real?! Node's DAC is not even a real DAC. Just a lowly generic, bare minimum, Texas Instruments DAC 

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It's a real dac. I'm just explaining what I hear when critically listening. No earth shattering differences between the two. Just the Node has a little more space and depth than the Nova. If I walked into a room, I could not tell you which was playing. My Zu Omen Defs are quite revealing. On other systems the sound difference may be even less. I would guess that most consumer grade systems have a similar sounding dac.  I did read on Audiogon that the mytek Brooklyn was a pretty significant difference compared to the Node. 

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5 hours ago, arcman said:

It's a real dac. I'm just explaining what I hear when critically listening. No earth shattering differences between the two. Just the Node has a little more space and depth than the Nova. If I walked into a room, I could not tell you which was playing. My Zu Omen Defs are quite revealing. On other systems the sound difference may be even less. I would guess that most consumer grade systems have a similar sounding dac.  I did read on Audiogon that the mytek Brooklyn was a pretty significant difference compared to the Node. 

It costs four times more so I'm sure it does sound better. ?

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6 hours ago, thyname said:

 

For real?! Node's DAC is not even a real DAC. Just a lowly generic, bare minimum, Texas Instruments DAC 

 

6 hours ago, thyname said:

 

For real?! Node's DAC is not even a real DAC. Just a lowly generic, bare minimum, Texas Instruments DAC 

You are playing silly semantic games. 

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I did a listen again between the two. Same thing. I favor the BS. A couple years back I compared my oppo 103 to the peachtree streaming 24/96 off a hard drive. I coul not tell any difference at all between both analog and digital. Again, this was with the entry level oppo. Playing sacds there was a significant difference since content is converted to lower resolution for digital output. Still sounded good, but not as good. 

 

Next at I will compare a Tidal full unfold thru the BS vs partial thru digital out into the Peachtree. 

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To be honest, I am more and more impressed with the Node 2. MQA album versions (tidal) sound more full and spacious. Nothing to knock one's socks off (possibly if comparing to lower than redbook streams). To be honest, Qobuzs hi rez streams sound a tad better. The difference is present..but not earth shattering. Again, this is with the NODE 2 acting as a dac (which like I said sounds a little better than the older Nova Pre Dac). 

 

I'll be curious to see some Mytek vs Node2 internal DAC comparisons. I've read one where there was a clear difference (which it should be for $1500 more). 

 

I spend a lot of money on streaming (Roon, Apple Music, Tidal and Qobuz). Plus, I'm looking forward to the HD Tracks service. Spotify suppose to go HI rez as well. However, I listen to a lot of music and really not interested in adding to my 50,000 + tracks that I already own (cd rips mostly and HD tracks downloads). I guess my streaming subscription habits compare to movie buffs subscribing to multiple streaming sites (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc)

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I like the GUI of the Node software and more MQA albums are being released on Tidal. I listen to MQA tracks through the node and CD tracks I stream from the Node to my Parasound ZDac. Even used as a streamer it sounds much better than my PC. I have 0 desire to upgrade to another streamer. We should see more hirez streaming services between now and CES, all good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can anyone tell me if there is any difference in the DAC's in the Node 2 and Powernode 2?

 

I really enjoy my Node 2 but would like to move to either active speakers or the Powernode but I don't want to lose the sound I enjoy from the Node 2 (my CA 752BD universal player also has the same DAC as the Node 2).

 

I've looked around the Web but all I can find is from Bluesound's own description " Bluesound’s 32-bit architecture combined with 8x oversampling, paired with our own innovative HybridDigital™ Amp and DAC platforms..."

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Agree, I have a Vault 2. Researching before buying, I came to the conclusion that Valut 2 had exactly the same dac as in Node 2. But I guess that was some kind of assumption :) It's the logical answer. But who knows. It wolud be nice know it for a fact.

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13 minutes ago, fredduc said:

I happen to have both, and, it's an interesting question... I suppose the same, but what DAC exactly?

According to sources on the internet, it's a TI/BB PCM5122. If you have the device, you could of course open it up and check.

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13 minutes ago, mansr said:

What's the question then? The Node 2 is a Node 2. It doesn't have a separate little DAC box inside it.

The question, I think: Is the DAC design exaclty the same in the Node 2, Powernode 2 and Vault 2, ie is the Powernode a Node 2 with amplification and Vault 2 a Node 2 with storing?

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14 minutes ago, ecmfidelity said:

The question, I think: Is the DAC design exaclty the same in the Node 2, Powernode 2 and Vault 2, ie is the Powernode a Node 2 with amplification and Vault 2 a Node 2 with storing?

I'd expect pre-amp outputs on all models to have the same circuit behind them. For feeding the built-in amplifier, a different driver could conceivably be used since the load is known and the wires are short. Looking inside one is probably the only way to find out for sure.

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22 minutes ago, mansr said:

I'd expect pre-amp outputs on all models to have the same circuit behind them. For feeding the built-in amplifier, a different driver could conceivably be used since the load is known and the wires are short. Looking inside one is probably the only way to find out for sure.

I guess you're right :)

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