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I posted the below in a thread on "streamer without DAC" where it may have been a little buried. Thought it might deserve a thread of its own, given the level of interest in streamers in general and the happy ownership of Bluesound Nodes by a number of wammers. Shout out to @Kubs as he started the streamer thread. _____________ Last night I installed the pimped Node 2i (Fidelity Audio interface board + Custom HiFi Cables DC2 linear PSU) alongside my existing stock Node 2. Digital cables from both into Arcam D33 DAC were both Mark Grant so nothing fancy. The only other installation difference is that I tried unplugging my CAT 5 LAN cable to run both on wifi source but the new one refused to play and I didn't want to factory reset so the Node 2i had the advantage of a hard connection to the router. For the purposes of listening comparisons, Dac feeds an Arcam A49 amp and speakers were my recently acquired Thiel CS 2 2 which are from the early 90's. Music is lossless CD rips sitting on my NAS also plugged into router and control is via the BluOS app on my iPad (to repeat, the music does not strema from the device like with Airplay, the iPad merely acts as a remote control and is not in the playback chain. I was impressed by the difference. The Thiels have been loosening up after what I guess has been a few years of low or no use and are getting tighter all the time; their strong bass sounds a bit bloated with the stock Node 2. It's fine until you compare it with the pimped Node 2i of course... and then you realise how tight everything can and should be. Not only in the bass, where there is more shape to the notes but also in the mids and highs where it is easier to discern say the brushed strokes of a cymbal. The whole system sounds stronger, tighter and all is good in TheFlash Towers. How much of this is the LAN vs wifi? Your guess is as good as mine. How much is the difference between the stock Node 2 and stock Node 2i? DItto. Would I recommend that someone considering spending up to £1000 on a streamer listened to the pimped version available from Fidelity Audio? Absolutely, and I think you'd be very pleasantly surprised. The Node 2/2i is a great device in its own right but the tweaks take it up a level. I invited Nick @Fourlegs over this morning to tell me whether I was hearing things. I turned his expectation bias up to full of course by telling him which was which and tapping my foot vigorously when the Node 2i was playing. Worked a treat. Nick thought the improvement might in part be down to the reduction in RFI from the, presumably but not evidenced, quieter linear PSU; so we plugged in one of his own brand (and expensive - sorry, Nick!) he-man cables - he'd sneaked it in in his pocket and for a moment I thought he was just excited to see me. There was a noticeable improvement in clarity with the stock Node 2. Nick looked rather triumphant (mind you, he does have a tendency to think RFI is to blame for everything, probably including climate change). I suggested we plug the Wave cable into the pimped Node 2i to prove/disprove the theory, expecting to hear it made no or a modest difference but blow me (that's just an expression, not an invitation) it made the same incremental difference. Now we're cooking! It was exciting and extraordinary. Now some naughty wammer (no names, no pack drill) is going to accuse me of "shilling", of subtly promoting the products of a friend to his commercial advantage; it's a family show so I'll keep it clean: that's utter gatteaux). With respect, no-one is going to spend as much on a cable as on their pimped 2i streamer, wrong market. I'm simply reporting this for completeness of the experiment. I spent a couple of months helping Nick set up Wave and then left him to it; apparently he promised me a cable if I ever wanted one. I hadn't been interested at the time as it was of no use - I only got a separate DAC this year - but Nick dusted off the offer and the one we tried is staying. I'm a happy bunny. Next step has to be to compare my beloved dCS RingDAC-based Arcam CD23T with this tweaked setup. Now that's going to be very interesting indeed. (stock Node 2 now in Classifieds).
I have a Bluesound NODE 2 in like new condition with all documents (manual & guarantee) and cables, box etc. I've got it in White. It's the best multi-room wireless streaming devices. A notch above Sonos. Bluesound won the 2015 WHAT! HI-FI Product of the Year Award. Under warranty. Price xxx (non-negotiable) + delivery. Collection from PE38 free!