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cambam007

Streamer difference

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11 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

Please have a read of my SMS-200 primer.  While it is written for the SMS-200, you can substitute with any streamer and the concepts will generally apply.  Some streamers have a DAC built in. The software players may also vary depending on the streamer.  Tidal is a music service that the streamer can access.

 

What is not shown is the control app on iOS, Android and this varies widely depending on the software player selected.

 

If you need a better diagram, please tell me what streamer you are considering, what music services you are looking at and where your music is stored.  Also, aside from the iPhone, what other control devices are you planning to use?

thanks @Snoopy8, i'll read this through the day.

what ive done now is move all my music files from my desktop ext hard drive to a portable usb powered ext hard drive and run this directly into the back of my Oppo into a usb port.  I'll read up on your article and then also over the weekend have a good look at the apps suggested and see if i can use the apps and oppo some how

 

not really in position this week to buy the node 2i, but if once i've read through your article i get familiar with streaming and how it all connects through the house i'll get moving to secure one.  As @betty boop also said, i like the idea of being able to plug my portable ext hdd into the back of the blue sound also - or at the least a thumb drive, so there is some very favourable functions i will use.

 

 

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1 hour ago, 08Boss302 said:

thanks @Snoopy8, i'll read this through the day.

what ive done now is move all my music files from my desktop ext hard drive to a portable usb powered ext hard drive and run this directly into the back of my Oppo into a usb port.  I'll read up on your article and then also over the weekend have a good look at the apps suggested and see if i can use the apps and oppo some how

 

not really in position this week to buy the node 2i, but if once i've read through your article i get familiar with streaming and how it all connects through the house i'll get moving to secure one.  As @betty boop also said, i like the idea of being able to plug my portable ext hdd into the back of the blue sound also - or at the least a thumb drive, so there is some very favourable functions i will use.

 

 

I might get shot down in flames here but I have always believed that a direct connection from portable HDD to the streamer via USB is the best way to go. In this case, your main consideration may be the file caching ability of the streamer if working with a large music library.

 

I have about 1.2 TB of mainly FLAC files connected via USB to a Cambridge CXN which does a great job of caching all of those folders and FLAC files. I seem to remember someone on here criticising the Bluesound Node 2 (not the 2i) for its lack of ability in this regard. In any case, I would suggest testing your portable HDD with the Bluesound Node 2i to make sure they are compatible.

 

Edited by PeteD

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15 minutes ago, PeteD said:

I might get shot down in flames here but I have always believed that a direct connection from portable HDD to the streamer via USB is the best way to go. In this case, your main consideration may be the file caching ability of the streamer if working with a large music library.

 

I have about 1.2 TB of mainly FLAC files connected via USB to a Cambridge CXN which does a great job of caching all of those folders and FLAC files. I seem to remember someone on here criticising the Bluesound Node 2 (not the 2i) for its lack of ability in this regard. In any case, I would suggest testing your portable HDD with the Bluesound Node 2i to make sure they are compatible.

 

I recently read that usb direct to the streamer can introduce noise (mechanical from hdd operation) and you are best to attach it to a router. 

I have been using 1tb mainly flac with the node 2 and have had no issues with caching at all, maybe a fw release fixed a previous issue 

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18 minutes ago, cambam007 said:

I recently read that usb direct to the streamer can introduce noise (mechanical from hdd operation) and you are best to attach it to a router. 

I have been using 1tb mainly flac with the node 2 and have had no issues with caching at all, maybe a fw release fixed a previous issue 

Have you got a link to the article? I'm struggling with how the router would make a difference because it's just a different way of connecting to the HDD. The HDD is still in the loop making noise. Does the wi-fi router somehow filter out the noise and if so is that all that is being filtered?

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There is a debate over whether a powered usb direct connected is better or worse than a network router connected music source e.g. see SMS-200 thread where Bilbo preferred the powered USB while I used an ethernet connected source with a twist.  I directly connected my SMS-200 Ultra to the 2nd ethernet port of my NAS, bypassing the router which could introduce noise.

 

There are many rabbit holes that you can chase with a streamer e.g. cheaper vs better streamer, usb vs optical vs ethernet, cables for usb/optical/ethernet, powered usb regen/reclock, linear power supplies for streamer/router/usb regen, external clocks etc...  It can get stupidly complex and expensive!  Best to draw a line on budget. As long as it sounds good, suggest avoiding the esoteric expensive solutions.

 

So, there is merit with an all-in-one of source, streamer, DAC...

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There's quite a few articles if you do a bit of digging. 

If it's physically connected to the streamer it will pass it on but going viia router decouples it. Mechanical noise won't be transferred over the network. 

 

Similar point is wifi vs Ethernet. 

Ethernet couples it and can introduce line noise but Most streamers don't have a decent enough wifi path so Ethernet is preferable 

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48 minutes ago, cambam007 said:

I recently read that usb direct to the streamer can introduce noise (mechanical from hdd operation) and you are best to attach it to a router. 

I have been using 1tb mainly flac with the node 2 and have had no issues with caching at all, maybe a fw release fixed a previous issue 

At the new Naim streamer night the presenter talked a little on this. 

A USB thumb drive might be better again. They are getting bigger and bigger too. 

 

A router etc can add noise/jitter

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1 hour ago, Bunno77 said:

At the new Naim streamer night the presenter talked a little on this. 

A USB thumb drive might be better again. They are getting bigger and bigger too. 

 

A router etc can add noise/jitter

Yes a thumbstick or ssd would eliminate the noise but also of note they are powered by the usb which also introduces noise. Beggs the question of how far to take it though 

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10 minutes ago, cambam007 said:

Yes a thumbstick or ssd would eliminate the noise but also of note they are powered by the usb which also introduces noise. Beggs the question of how far to take it though 

Yes - SSD is the obvious answer for my setup but a 2TB unit is expensive, so I'll be testing a few favourite FLAC files on a USB stick to determine if I can hear any difference between HDD and solid-state storage.

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4 minutes ago, PeteD said:

Yes - SSD is the obvious answer for my setup but a 2TB unit is expensive, so I'll be testing a few favourite FLAC files on a USB stick to determine if I can hear any difference between HDD and solid-state storage.

Tbh I doubt there would be a huge difference 

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1 hour ago, cambam007 said:

Beggs the question of how far to take it though 

Good question!  You can take streamer/source tweaks to the extreme.  Let the ears be the judge, limited of course by the hip pocket.  All too often, people forget that and starting chasing the last few percent, going ever deeper down the rabbit hole...

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3 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

Good question!  You can take streamer/source tweaks to the extreme.  Let the ears be the judge, limited of course by the hip pocket.  All too often, people forget that and starting chasing the last few percent, going ever deeper down the rabbit hole...

This is really where its at for me.  Streaming is about conveniance for me and also allows me to hear and try other artists without making an outright purchase prior to a bit of a listen.

I do like the concept of having an account like Tidal with good files at my call also.  This is where the bluesound node 2i for me is of such interest.  Its by all reviews easy to use, allows a simpleton like me to set it up, have album covers and things available to me and also going forward with a 7yr old daughter I can grab a family account for her to utilise (as well as my wife).

 

FWIW, eBay have genuine Sandisk thumb drives (literally the size of your finger nail) and 128gb is like $60.  64gb is roughly $20.  If you hear some change in sound between the usb powered ext drive and a SSD thumb drive, you could always grab a 64gb/128g usb stick and store a bunch of "favourites" on it for when you sitting for a good listening session as opposed to something on in the background.  I guess that also comes down how critical you are or how revealing the system is. 

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@08Boss302 I would buy a Node 2 from the classifieds if that’s the path you choose. About $550 these days. Same DAC as the Node 2i. The other differences may not be worth the extra cash. 

 

Also convenient is an Apple TV, Apple wi-fi extender or Chomecast. Much cheaper than the Node 2.

 

What’s the rest of your set up? No point spending $1k on the new bluesound if the rest doesn’t stack up (or if you will upgrade over time).

 

The amount of time learning about this stuff can be all consuming. It’s probably not worth the time spent. 

Edited by Mike13

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2 hours ago, cambam007 said:

Yes a thumbstick or ssd would eliminate the noise but also of note they are powered by the usb which also introduces noise. Beggs the question of how far to take it though 

Depends if the port has been optimised. I believe the Naim units are

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15 minutes ago, Mike13 said:

@08Boss302 I would buy a Node 2 from the classifieds if that’s the path you choose. About $550 these days. Same DAC as the Node 2i. The other differences may not be worth the extra cash. 

 

Also so convenient is an Apple TV, Apple wi-fi extender or Chomecast. Much cheaper than the Node 2.

 

What’s the rest of your set up? No point spending $1k on the new bluesound if the rest doesn’t stack up (or if you will upgrade over time).

 

The amount of time learning about this stuff can be all consuming. It’s probably not worth the time spent. 

Not sure of the differences between the node 2 or 2i in honesty but will look into it.  Thanks for the heads up on the Apple TV/Wi-Fi Extender.  A mate has chromecast, not sure I like that set up too much but yeah I get your point, for $50 its pretty simple trial option.  I like to learn so the time spent learning for me is also part of the hobby and journey to enjoy the music ultimately.

 

Rest of the set up I think is pretty good, some may say otherwise, its an individual thing I guess -  Vincent SV237mk, Kef Q950's, Oppo 205 - well that would be digital path with the Oppo in or out depending on the DAC I prefer. 

No intention of upgrading anytime soon (famous last words haha)

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2 hours ago, 08Boss302 said:

Not sure of the differences between the node 2 or 2i in honesty but will look into it.  Thanks for the heads up on the Apple TV/Wi-Fi Extender.  A mate has chromecast, not sure I like that set up too much but yeah I get your point, for $50 its pretty simple trial option.  I like to learn so the time spent learning for me is also part of the hobby and journey to enjoy the music ultimately.

 

Rest of the set up I think is pretty good, some may say otherwise, its an individual thing I guess -  Vincent SV237mk, Kef Q950's, Oppo 205 - well that would be digital path with the Oppo in or out depending on the DAC I prefer. 

No intention of upgrading anytime soon (famous last words haha)

Your Oppo has one of the best measuring DACs on the market http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/06/measurements-oppo-udp-205-part-1-output.html

My advice would be to try streaming to the Oppo from your PC/Mac or just playing from a USB attached SSD. The interface may not be fancy but the sound quality should be pretty damn good. Certainly as good as any of the cheaper streamers on the market.

Oppo has a fairly easy to follow instruction page https://www.oppodigital.com.au/blogs/reviews-resources/15408361-network-streaming-media-control-app

 

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OP here,

so i swapped out my Bluesound node2 for a auralic aires and the difference is huge.

I will definitely miss the ease of the BS app but the sonic upgrade is noticeable using the same gear with a different streamer bypassing internal dac

 

To answer my own question ; streamers make a big difference in the digital only relm 

 

CASE CLOSED

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20 minutes ago, cambam007 said:

OP here,

so i swapped out my Bluesound node2 for a auralic aires and the difference is huge.

I will definitely miss the ease of the BS app but the sonic upgrade is noticeable using the same gear with a different streamer bypassing internal dac

 

To answer my own question ; streamers make a big difference in the digital only relm 

 

CASE CLOSED

Good to get feedback. 👍  

 

And agree BluOS is easy to use and good looking, shame other apps cannot match it...

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On 28/05/2019 at 10:31 AM, cambam007 said:

OP here,

so i swapped out my Bluesound node2 for a auralic aires and the difference is huge.

I will definitely miss the ease of the BS app but the sonic upgrade is noticeable using the same gear with a different streamer bypassing internal dac

 

To answer my own question ; streamers make a big difference in the digital only relm 

 

CASE CLOSED

 

Good to hear this feedback

 

BTW, which output do you use to feed your external DAC? Have you found any differences between different outputs (USB/Coax/Optical)? Am opening up another can of worms for you!! but since you did manage to find differences between streamers, let's push the envelope further.....

Edited by anandpkumar

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13 hours ago, anandpkumar said:

 

Good to hear this feedback

 

BTW, which output do you use to feed your external DAC? Have you found any differences between different outputs (USB/Coax/Optical)? Am opening up another can of worms for you!! but since you did manage to find differences between streamers, let's push the envelope further.....

ha ha there's always one!!!

 

i have a meridian system, all digital so the dacs are inside the active speakers.

 

fantastic system but it is limited to digital coax as an input.

 

i am sure usb at a higher data rate would be better than coax but i am totally in love with my system and the story ends here........for now

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I notice Klapp have the node 2i on sale at 20% off till tomorrow, makes a good deal for someone wanting one or that has decided its the product for them.

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24 minutes ago, 08Boss302 said:

I notice Klapp have the node 2i on sale at 20% off till tomorrow, makes a good deal for someone wanting one or that has decided its the product for them.

i did think whether to update from my non "i" node 2 when 2i came out, but i think i will wait till the next version which might be a more significant update :)  then reconsider whether worth doing at all ...

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3 hours ago, cambam007 said:

ha ha there's always one!!!

 

i have a meridian system, all digital so the dacs are inside the active speakers.

 

fantastic system but it is limited to digital coax as an input.

 

i am sure usb at a higher data rate would be better than coax but i am totally in love with my system and the story ends here........for now

talk about coincidence mate! I too run Meridian DSP speakers - active ones with built in DAC. I have a pair of older legacy Meridians - so I too am restricted to using the digital coax input. Which Meridian speakers do you have? I run the D5Ks

 

I was quite surprised to know that you found a significant difference between the bluesound and auralic using these as transport. Do you have the auralic model that has the femto clocks? Those are supposed to be optimised to reduce jitter for both the USB and digital outputs. Of course the femto model from auralic is considerably more expensive than the bluesound.

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32 minutes ago, betty boop said:

i did think whether to update from my non "i" node 2 when 2i came out, but i think i will wait till the next version which might be a more significant update :)  then reconsider whether worth doing at all ...

 

This is where i am at tbh, i like the idea of streaming but don't really understand how to integrate my home with it via home network or NAS etc (for the family to enjoy also) but for now I am coping without it.  The node 2 is going for like $720 new with the Klapp offer and the 2i comes to $800.  I have not read about quantum leaps between the 2 maybe the next gen will provide some other handy upgrades and if not the 2i will be price advantaged in anycase.

 

If i was to stretch right out I'd grab the Cambridge Audio CXNv2 or better yet if i was more financial i'd grab the Cocktail Audio X50D which from my understanding does everything including having x2 storage decks for 2.5/3.5 discs or SSD upto 12gb to store your entire library and other files.  No optical drive like the vault either

Both these units are more the size of a regular CD player etc which is a bit of turn off me though, i like the more compact sizing of the Bluesound and with that i'd probably stand it vertically to take up even less space

 

 

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8 minutes ago, anandpkumar said:

talk about coincidence mate! I too run Meridian DSP speakers - active ones with built in DAC. I have a pair of older legacy Meridians - so I too am restricted to using the digital coax input. Which Meridian speakers do you have? I run the D5Ks

 

I was quite surprised to know that you found a significant difference between the bluesound and auralic using these as transport. Do you have the auralic model that has the femto clocks? Those are supposed to be optimised to reduce jitter for both the USB and digital outputs. Of course the femto model from auralic is considerably more expensive than the bluesound.

I have the 5500, same as yours but big brothers. 

I got the femto but I think the femto is just usb? Not sure, haven't looked into it yet. 

And yes huge difference, bass extension and upper register seem expanded and there's more depth and detail. 

Bluesound is a great product and punches way above its price point but it definitely has its limitations. 

 

 

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