Bluesound Node 2 Digital Music Server Review



  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,905
    Basically the dealer doesn't understand his product well enough. They're stuck on format and not looking at performance in a hifi rig. I highly doubt the $300k rig was using it for anything more than a streamer.
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 11,903
    edited May 1
    I think you may be correct Skip. The Vandersteen rig had a 24K DAC on it but I have no idea whether it was hooked up to this unit or not. The gentlemen at the audio shop here in Charlotte say "probably not" but after hearing this unit in my rig? I think the Charlotte boys are incorrect in their assumption. To go up against a 60K vinyl rig and still sound impressive? I think they had to have used the DAC based upon my experience with the Node 2 in my rig.

    I did listen to a rig at the Charlotte audio shop using the analog out with Tidal and listened to that Yosi Horikawa - Vapor album that I am really digging as of late. I could detect a mid-bass suck out on their B&W system in their version of a big boy room.

    Thing is, I did not detect this at the shop down in Atlanta. I'll have to ask Alan what setup he's running on the 3 main rigs I auditioned this thing in....Is he using DAC's, optical, coaxial, RCA....? I have a plethora of questions to ask him. All I want here is what I heard down there. I know this thing has the potential.....I have heard it......just need to find out how to extract it.

  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,905
    Digital is all about the conversion and analog build quality. If that's crap all is crap. There is no way he was using the node as a dac in that rig and getting the sound you described. Even the Aries Mini I push people to use a dac with because the purpose isn't the dac - it's the streaming. The dac is a bonus, not a selling point.

    Let's talk at LSAF. Lots of good dudes there with plenty of digital experience.
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 11,903
    Looking forward to it. 4 more days and I'll get a severe crash course on all of this stuff with plenty of examples to boot. Talk about perfect timing....

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,215
    Yeah, I can pretty much guarantee you, they used that 24k dac and the Node as just a streamer. Using just the Node on a 300k system, you'd hear the shortcomings of that built in dac pretty easily.

    Like Skip said though, they were right about the MQA. It's a 2 step unfolding process so everything in the chain needs to be MQA certified. They do make some dacs with MQA certs.....but again, little stuff to get you to spend more money in my view. The quality of the dac will outweigh the benefits of the MQA in my book.

    When it comes to streaming, for the most part you want to use an external dac, which means any device with a built in dac isn't going to make a huge difference. The gold is in the software with these things, not so much the hardware.

    Devices like Sonos, Bluesound, Heos....are meant to replace stereo gear and be used as whole house solutions, not necessarily used in conjunction with your stereo gear even though they can. That's why some sales people seem out of touch with the options. They want you buying the brands associated speakers and gear, not incorporating a single unit into your already expensive stereo.

    Don't give up on it though, there are work arounds that can make these little digital devices sound pretty effin' good. Like I said though, it starts with a good external dac.
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