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External dac for bluesound node 2i


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Ladies and Gents. I’m looking to compliment my bluesound node 2i with an external dac. I am quite pleased with its offerings thus far but am looking at taking the next step. This will be my first dac to accompany my first streamer that is feeding a vintage jvc ja-s71 and a pair of living audio speakers.  I’m happy with my components thus far but am seeking to upgrade my digital source. I have heard the gieseler dacs are very capable and have been waiting patiently for one to pop-up in the classifieds but they don’t last long do they !
Am I on the right track with these offerings or can similar results be had with other products ? I’m looking to spend around the $500-$700 mark. Would I need to increase my budget to beat what the bluesound offers ?

Would I need an MQA compatible since I am streaming Tidal ?

Your thoughts would be appreciated 

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It would be helpful if you could share with us what is the improvement you are looking for by adding an external dac? DACs have diff colours so. Also there are not many dacs under 1k that can improve the Node2i. 

 

A few that I can think of which can do MQA

 

1) Topping D90 ( Neutral Sounding)

2) SMSL 400 ( Warmer) 

 

Non MQA

1) Denafrips Ares II 

 

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32 minutes ago, BrownMagic said:

It would be helpful if you could share with us what is the improvement you are looking for by adding an external dac?

Thats a great question ! Maybe I initially should have asked if any major improvements can be had with an external dac before just assuming. Maybe I’m just too curious but it has been suggested to me by other experienced members of this forum that an external dac will take the bluesound to the next level. I’m curious to see if that next level exists. Maybe my system is not transparent enough to hear a difference and I’m happy for someone to suggest that I should get a real amp or change my speakers. If it’s a different flavour then I’m not interested because I only like vanilla. So ......it’s the freshly harvested vanilla bean that I am chasing.

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What I meant by DACs come in diff colours is that each of them have their traits. Some are analytical which help when introduced in a system which could help with some more details. Some are laid back which can help in toning things down. So it would be good to first understand what you are lacking in your current setup and then you could find a solution. 

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There I s no need to spend a lot. My DAC was $180 and sounds beautiful. Check my signature. 

Edited by dr_carl
Accuracy of intent
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8 hours ago, $piro said:

I would have to say more analytical in that case. 

The 2i has a nice warm sound rather than being over the top analytical so if you want that but with more detail , larger sound stage etc, etc then look at dacs based one one of the AK44 series dac chips. If you want a more analytical sound then dacs based pn the SABRE ES38 series will offer that.

Audio-gd make some very high value for money Sabre dacs ,eg http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/N11P/NFB1138PEN.htm.

A second hand or new Klein dac with it's AK44 series dacs should also be under serious consideration.

Not familiar with your amp or speakers so can't tell you if they will be transparent enough to resolve the differences unfortunately.

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When I had my node2i I started with a musical fidelity M1 DAC there was only a slight difference till my friend upgraded all the capacitors ect changed the opamps for burson vivid then the difference was very noticeable, bigger SS better clarity tighter bass. I have been trying to better the M1 , tried the Klein 3 which was not as good, now running a RME adi 2, there is an improvement but not as much as I thought. I would say the RME would have good gains Haven’t tried the qutest(yet)

 

sean 

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Thanks once again guys. I guess I feel more confident in trying an external dac of the gieseler type. Given how quickly they sell in the classifieds I must be on my toes if I wish to acquire swiftly. 

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