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Are you using an external DAC with your Node2i streamer? For those who are.... Why? Which one? Was something "missing"? How'd you decide on which one to use with the Node?

I've got a Node2i and have grown curious about people's results.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Are you using an external DAC with your Node2i streamer? For those who are.... Why? Which one? Was something "missing"? How'd you decide on which one to use with the Node?

I've got a Node2i and have grown curious about people's results.

Thanks in advance!
I'm using a Mytek Brooklyn+ with my Node 2i. I had the Brooklyn first which was fed by a Windows laptop before I got the node. I've never done a blind comparison but The Mytek sounds incredible. Stereophile class A rated

https://www.stereophile.com/content/mytek-hifi-brooklyn-da-processor–headphone-amplifier-mytek-brooklyn-plus
 

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I have an older node2 so your 2i should have a better analogue output than mine. I have it connected with coax to a PS Audio stellar gaincell dac and optical to a marantz av8805. Both are better than analogue from the older node2. I have tried a little analogue from the node2 mainly to try out mqa but i prefer using digital out and ignoring mqa.


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I have it paired with the Schiit Bifrost and I'm happy with the sound. However, it is my theory that Schiit products do a really good job of extracting detail from recordings, but sound stage may be compromised some. I also have the Schiit Mani phono stage, so my theory is based on the use of just these two products. I have a Simaudio Moon 380D DAC that I'm going to swap with the Schiit soon to see what differences there are. I've been quite happy with the Bluenode streamer.
 

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Using a POWERNODE 2i (with HDMI ARC)


Can someone please explain to me what is ( HDMI)used for on POWERNODE 2i ? Can it be used with A/V receiver via HDMI or TV vis HMI. Some brochures refer that it is HDMI ARC or some say HDMI eARC on POWERNODE 2i ?


An explanation would be appreciated.


Thanks,

N
 

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I have it connected to an RME ADI-2 DAC. You get lots of tuning options and it doubles as a headphone amp.:)

Same. Just got the RME ADI-2 FS v2 for my Node2.

Significant improvement. Getting it from SFB Electronics for under a grand, BNIB, means there’s little competition at the price point. It measures excellently and sounds great.


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Currently bypassing the Node 2i DAC via coax to my Anthem DAC until I replace the Node 2i with the Naim Uniti Nova or NAD M33.
 

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I have the older NODE2 using the analog outputs and it sounds great to me :)
 

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***Timely post. I should receive my Bluesound Node 2i today. I'll hook it up to my AVR using the RCA output jacks and hard wire the internet connection. I have Qobuz as my streaming music provider.

Question: why would you use an external DAC? Can you tell that much difference between an external DAC and the internal DAC on the Bluesound Node 2i using the setup I have?
 

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***Timely post. I should receive my Bluesound Node 2i today. I'll hook it up to my AVR using the RCA output jacks and hard wire the internet connection. I have Qobuz as my streaming music provider.

Question: why would you use an external DAC? Can you tell that much difference between an external DAC and the internal DAC on the Bluesound Node 2i using the setup I have?
Since all the outputs are "live" and you do not need MQA, I would connect all 3 (RCA, Optical, Coax) to your AVR and switch back and forth to see which one you like the best. With RCA, you'll be using the Node DAC (be sure to turn your AVR processing off) and with the other two (Optical, Coax) you'll be using your AVRs DAC. I use Qobuz also and prefer coax to my AVR since I cancelled my Tidal subscription.
 
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Since all the outputs are "live" and you do not need MQA, I would connect all 3 (RCA, Optical, Coax) to your AVR and switch back and forth to see which one you like the best. With RCA, you'll be using the Node DAC (be sure to turn your AVR processing off) and with the other two (Optical, Coax) you'll be using your AVRs DAC. I use Qobuz also and prefer coax to my AVR since I cancelled my Tidal subscription.
***Much thanks. From the connection options you listed - - I have a couple questions and I appreciate your help very much. I have an older Denon x5200 AVR. I have an OPPO 103. DAC wise - - would there be any difference or advantage in using the (1) internal Bluesound Node 2i, (2) Denon AVR x5200 or (3) OPPO 103 DAC?
 

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***Much thanks. From the connection options you listed - - I have a couple questions and I appreciate your help very much. I have an older Denon x5200 AVR. I have an OPPO 103. DAC wise - - would there be any difference or advantage in using the (1) internal Bluesound Node 2i, (2) Denon AVR x5200 or (3) OPPO 103 DAC?
I would probably use either the Node 2i or the Denon AVR. I have an Oppo 203 but prefer my AVRs DAC. I haven't had a Denon in years so I do not know what their DACs sound like but be sure to use the "Pure Direct" mode when using you Node's DAC.
 

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If you have subwoofers and want to use them for music you should run normal 2 channel mode instead of "Pure Direct." The dreaded additional A > D > A conversion is probably entirely inaudible.
 

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I have the Node 2i feeding an Airist R-2R DAC via coaxial. I have not tried the analog RCA outs on the Node 2i because I already had the RDAC in my HT setup and was really curious if the Node 2i would be a better digital source than the Oppo 203. As it turns out, it is a better digital source. Also love that I can decode 192kHz HD FLACs over coaxial.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the audio quality over wifi. The RDAC has never sounded better, and I'm looking to make some minor fit & finish upgrades to my HT setup now.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
--A friend had his Node 2i going through his external DAC (PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell) and I was super impressed. I tried the DAC in my BluRay vs. the Node with Redbook CD on Tidal and a physical CD in the disc player. I liked the sound from the BluRay/CD player a little better than the sound of the analogue outputs on the Node.

--KEY TAKEAWAY..... IT WAS SUBTLE. Not huge. Certainly not night & day. I definitely preferred the differences but could easily have lived with the Node as is. But because there was an undeniable difference I got terribly curious about outboard DACs, and started this thread. and then.... with quarantine time on my hands....

--I've since upgraded my DAC to a Marantz HD-DAC1 and it was another small but real improvement over both the Node and my disc player. More holographic while very neutral (but not lean and analytical) and very full sounding. It reproduces all frequencies cleanly with great overall sound.

--I'm satisfied and certain that the DAC has been improved, while it has also been a lesson in diminishing returns. Hearing 3 different DACs in the same system, each with different chips within 3 different devices, and I'm convinced that many other things can be upgraded in a system and make bigger sonic changes. Yes there are differences, no they're not huge. If I repurpose the Marantz DAC to my desktop system, I will be guaranteed to buy another DAC for the stereo, but it will likely be an R2R/ladder DAC for some variety after hearing 3 different chip-based DACs.

I still think the Node 2i sounds great using its internal DAC and analogue outputs. With the outboard DAC it's just a bit more "optimized".
 

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I just acquired a Bluenote Node 2i and am running it through a McIntosh D150. I'm floored... have been listening to music in my free time for a week now and the wife has begun to join me.
 

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I just acquired a Bluenote Node 2i and am running it through a McIntosh D150. I'm floored... have been listening to music in my free time for a week now and the wife has begun to join me.
There's just not another complete solution (with ecosystem) that offers this level of sound quality at this price.

My trusty Node2's power supply bit the dust a few weeks back. Had Gig Harbor Audio look at it to see if it could be repaired. Great outfit and the owner, Eric, is absurdly cool. But my little buddy was dead.

Put in an order for a Node2i immediately. Especially with my RME ADI-2 FS v2 DAC (with iFi X power supply), it made zero sense to spend $3k on a Matrix Element X (amazing though they are) when I could just grab a Node2i for a fraction of the cost.

Honestly not certain that my setup would lose to the Element X, either. It's that good.

So, I wait for my new unit. Glad you folks are enjoying yours.


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