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MaxPlumage

Node 2i DAC vs Marantz PrePro

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Hi folks

 

I recently got a Marantz AV Pre Pro 7705. I also have a node 2i, should I be using the analog or coax to the pre-pro? I.e., which DAC would you think is a better one? I know I should conduct more listening tests, but is there a clear answer as to which one would use (given the 7705 is the flagship 11.2 ch prepro)?

 

Thanks for your input in advance.

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1 hour ago, MaxPlumage said:

 

Hi folks

 

I recently got a Marantz AV Pre Pro 7705. I also have a node 2i, should I be using the analog or coax to the pre-pro? I.e., which DAC would you think is a better one? I know I should conduct more listening tests, but is there a clear answer as to which one would use (given the 7705 is the flagship 11.2 ch prepro)?

 

Thanks for your input in advance.

 

It’s a 50/50 really, some pe/pros sound better accepting a digital signal and others sound better accepting an analogue one.

 

Your idea of listening comparisons is the best.

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Most AV Pre Pros and Receivers, even high end ones, will digitise all analogue inputs in any case, the few that do not will still only present a straight analogue path when set to "Pure" or "Straight" and thus all processing and equalisation is off.  

 

What this implies is that it is very likely that what ever way you hook up you will actually be listening to the Marantz DAC, and if you use the analogue input the Marantz ADC as well.

 

 

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This is an impossible question that will only be solved by you A/B listening. I could write either one and you might think the opposite. 

The Node 2i DAC is no slouch as is often reported but I prefer it running into my Klein DAC. 

Play them both to help you decide 

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I agree on above advices about you need do the a/b/c test and see which sound you like. Also, your interconnects cable might affect the sound. 

 

A.  Node 2i digital to 7705, the dac is the 7705 but you still get the sound characteristics of the node2i. 

 

B. Node 2i rca to 7705, the dac is the node2. Sound characteristics mainly for the node2i with a touch of 7705 as the pre. 

 

C.  7705 HEOS, this will use the 7705 dac and sound characteristics of the 7705. 

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Thank you for all your opinions. Glad to know there isn't a blanket answer (I expected something along the lines of 'Marantz 7705 is an accomplished prepro and at the price point it will outperform the Node 2i DAC').

I am currently running Node 2i via analog and the detail and clarity is pretty amazing.

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I agree on above advices about you need do the a/b/c test and see which sound you like. Also, your interconnects cable might affect the sound. 
 
A.  Node 2i digital to 7705, the dac is the 7705 but you still get the sound characteristics of the node2i. 
 
B. Node 2i rca to 7705, the dac is the node2. Sound characteristics mainly for the node2i with a touch of 7705 as the pre. 
 
C.  7705 HEOS, this will use the 7705 dac and sound characteristics of the 7705. 


 
 
A.  Node 2i digital to 7705, the dac is the 7705 but you still get the sound characteristics of the node2i. 

There are no sound characteristics in digital. We can't hear digital audio, only analogue. The way the data is being handled during transmission can have a very minor impact down the chain.


B. Node 2i rca to 7705, the dac is the node2. Sound characteristics mainly for the node2i with a touch of 7705 as the pre. 

You like to put to much emphasis on the DA converter, while the analogue path usually has much more influence, and is more difficult to deal with
 
C.  7705 HEOS, this will use the 7705 dac and sound characteristics of the 7705. 

They are not seperated, they work together as a whole unit being the 7705.


Not trying to rock your boat, but often people put to much value on a single component in a larger and complex chain.

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Thank you for all your opinions. Glad to know there isn't a blanket answer (I expected something along the lines of 'Marantz 7705 is an accomplished prepro and at the price point it will outperform the Node 2i DAC').

 

I am currently running Node 2i via analog and the detail and clarity is pretty amazing.

 

 

As people say, a comparison is the best way to find out.

 

Pre Pro's are biggest purpose is being a digital hub. There is a fair chance that the digital input works better with the 7705, as that is what it is designed for.

 

If the BlueSound has a digital volume control, you could also try and bypass the 7705 as this could also yield better results. AVR's and Pre Pro's aren't great with analogue or as a pre amplifier, as they have to deal with multiple channels in a very cramped space with a limited budget along side digital audio and video components. There is a trade of for such complexity.

 

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Thanks Primare Knob appreciate the input. I'll update this thread with my listening experience once I've listened to coax via Node 2i.

The *only* downside of coax is that I would lose full MQA unfolding on Tidal but tbh I prefer CD quality on Tidal anyway.

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Should there be any reason not to have two connections active at the same time and just switch between the two?

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Should be any reason not to have two connections active at the same tie and just switch between the two?

This might sound silly but I felt that connecting two at the same time could introduce noise and interference. Besides why have extra connections if you don't need them...was the thought. Might be incorrect, but let me know

 

Yes basically I can hook up analog and coax from the Node 2i to the PrePro, if that's what you're saying...

 

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Can’t see any reason not too.

Allows for quick A/B switching .

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Can’t see any reason not too.
Allows for quick A/B switching .
Will do ... thanks!

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1 hour ago, Primare Knob said:

There are no sound characteristics in digital. We can't hear digital audio, only analogue. The way the data is being handled during transmission can have a very minor impact down the chain.

Hi @Primare Knob, I once thought the same, it only passing a digital signal and all the processing done by the DAC. However, in my system and my experience the transport/streamer affect the overall sound of the DAC.  Tests: Node 2 -Coxial-> Chord Qutest - RCA> Elektra Pre - XLR  -> Power amp -> Speaker = Tight sound, little close and muffled.  Removed the Qutest and the sound is similar but even less open and detail.  Same test replace the Node 2 with Marantz ND8006, results open, warm and detail sounds, remove the Qutest and the sound is similar to the ND8006 but not as clean. Test repeated with different DAC:  Qustard x20Pro, PS Audio DirectStream Jnr; Different Streamers Auralic Aries mini, Marantz SR7012. Overall, my impression is that there is some sort of sound processing with the streamer then the digital signal is pass on to the DAC, it add or remove and pass it on to the pre  and so on. With each switch of components, I can hear the sound signature of the streamer, adding in a good DAC improves it little and sounds more detail and open. Maybe it is the limitation of my system and ears. 

 

1 hour ago, Primare Knob said:

You like to put to much emphasis on the DA converter, while the analogue path usually has much more influence, and is more difficult to deal with

I am not experience enough to say either the DA converter or the analogue has the influence on the overall sound. I believe they are both important and agree that the analogue path can have more room for twerking, eg cables as mentioned above.

 

1 hour ago, Primare Knob said:

They are not seperated, they work together as a whole unit being the 7705.

 

Yes, that is what I meant to say, the Heos is part of the 7705 and will give OP a better impression of the 7705's sound for music.  

 

1 hour ago, Primare Knob said:

Not trying to rock your boat, but often people put to much value on a single component in a larger and complex chain.

 

Agree with you 100%, it is the overall synergy of the each components to make the system match. Just because someone wears the best brand of each piece of clothes, doesn't mean it looks good overall.

 

 

The Node 2, has a digital volume control, I say the Node2i would have the same system. 

 

Cheers. 

Edited by Soundfever

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Just in case anyone's interested. I prefer the coax to the analog - there is a very, very subtle increase in detail (most discernable on the highs) when using the coax of the Node 2i to the pre-pro, compared to the analog. The Node sounds 'softer' - maybe some will see it as less sibilant, neutral - maybe rolled off on the highs a tad more.

You really have to listen for it :) either way both options sound superb but if I had to pick one it would be the coax.

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Glad it worked out. 

At least you have found what works best for you. In another situation with different partnering gear the outcomes would have been different.

ive done similar things when comparing dacs.

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