TheFlash

Bluesound Node 2 vs "pimped" Node 2i with linear PSU

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32 minutes ago, robbyrtp said:

Hi K4 why not list your equipment that you have and your name. It might be nicer than just being known as the Polish guy. I’m not being sinister by the way😂

Done, profile updated :)

My name is Pawel, in english "Paul"

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3 hours ago, DomT said:

How would that work if you take a digital out from the BSound? Would it not bypass the eq?

This is the bit I am not sure about.

The volume control implementation is before the dac, given 32bit processing I am fine with that. The Mode also offers simple tone control style eq. Giving Mssrs fletcher and Munsen a hand at low, late night listening, levels seems to help.

I am guessing that the eq is in the same 'section' as the level control, so I expect it to work. I should have a dac somewhere in the house that I can try but God knows where.

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, MGTOW said:

The Node is not pitched as an audiophile product, that it finds some measure of approval in this community is remarkable for a product aiming to be a Sonos competitor for the more discerning.

The Node has 32 bit processing, even with the crudest of digital volume methods, you can probably lose 12 bits, an attenuation of 72dB, without coming close to affecting resolution. It may be worth noting that the attenuation, when used, is effective on both analogue and spdif outputs.

As an integrated product I consider the Node to be outstanding and would not want to do to much to impact on its usability, hence my interest in the power supply upgrades which I hoped would give a lift in performance without affecting functionality.

Which device are you wanting to control the volume of? Many devices can have their volume controlled via USB commands, and that doesn’t affect the digital stream going over USB in any way. For instance, I have a pair of B&W MM-1 speakers that I drive with a Raspberry Pi running MoOde. With an MPD client I can then change the volume of the speakers. I don’t know if the BlueOS control apps allow you to control the volume of USB devices via USB commands in the same way.

Edited by rdale

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5 minutes ago, rdale said:

Which device are you wanting to control the volume of? Many devices can have their volume controlled via USB commands, and that doesn’t affect the digital stream going over USB in any way. For instance, I have a pair of B&W MM-1 speakers that I drive with a Raspberry Pi running MoOde. With an MPD client I can then change the volume of the speakers. I don’t know if the BlueOS control apps allow you to control the volume of USB devices via USB commands in the same way.

Sorry rdale, but I need that in english

One of the main reasons for buying the node was that it did not really involve computer guff. I am not entirely illiterate but right now I can control level and eq from within the Bluesound App, analogue outputs into analogue active speakers. It just works (and sounds great).

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5 hours ago, beermaniac said:

My experience with the Node 2 upgrade (Polish version).

My equipment:

Yamaha A S3000 integrated amp

Denafrips Aries II DAC

Bluesound Node 2

Klipsch Forte III speakers

DIY copper foil speaker cable

Duelund 16 AWG interconnects

Duelund DIY power cables & some Russ Andrews

I replaced the Node 2 power supply with the new interface and powered with my Audiophonics LPSU.

After a couple of days listening my thoughts are:

The interface cleans up the sound and you can hear slightly further into the recording. The downside to this is that I found the tone of instruments and vocals were not as natural as with the Node powered by my Duelund power cable.

I have changed the Node back to standard and to my ears I prefer the overall balance of this. There is no doubt however there is a cleaner sound from the interface but my thoughts are the Duelund power cable also cleans up the overall sound while adding a presence that really brings music to life.

So it is clear to me the Node benefits from an improved power source but in my case the Duelund tinned copper cable wins.

I may go back and do another comparison at the weekend with a Duelund cable supplying the LPSU (hoping to make a couple of new ones up) however I am inclined to keep my system as simple as possible these days. emoji6.png

To

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@beermaniac When you say you don't find the tone natural was this used standalone pimp node 2 or with the Aries DAC? I'm surprised to hear that as my experience is that it enhanced the qualities of the stock node and didn't actually change the sound characteristics. Also have you done a A/B test with and without the DAC? Apologies if you've already mentioned but this thread has ballooned to so many pages it is hard to keep up now...

-Alex

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Hi Pawel,

Yes this is the LPS below - I bought it last year to power my Allo Boss.

I assumed it was a good quality item at that price but have never compared power supplies !

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/hifi-power-supply/audiophonics-lpsu25-linear-regulated-low-noise-power-supply-usb-220v-to-5v-2a-25va-p-11364.html


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Super Wammer
1 minute ago, beermaniac said:


Hi Pawel,

Yes this is the LPS below - I bought it last year to power my Allo Boss.

I assumed it was a good quality item at that price but have never compared power supplies !

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/hifi-power-supply/audiophonics-lpsu25-linear-regulated-low-noise-power-supply-usb-220v-to-5v-2a-25va-p-11364.html


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Just one point, that power supply is rated at 220v on one part of its specs and 230v on another part but the transformer is marked at 2 x 110v ie 220v and so it would be worthwhile establishing that it is happy at UK voltages which can often be 250v for most of the day (I know because that is my mains voltage). I personally would not want to run a 220v item without knowing more.

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Super Wammer
11 minutes ago, MGTOW said:

Sorry rdale, but I need that in english

One of the main reasons for buying the node was that it did not really involve computer guff. I am not entirely illiterate but right now I can control level and eq from within the Bluesound App, analogue outputs into analogue active speakers. It just works (and sounds great).

You were talking about changing the volume level by changing the digital signal and you said that if the DAC had 32 bits max depth you wouldn’t lose anything if 12 bits are dropped. Which is actually quite technical.

What I am saying is that the internal DAC in the Bluesound is quite possibly on the same USB bus as an external DAC or other USB device such as speakers would be. If that is the case then the internal DAC’s output volume level would be set by USB volume control commands which are not part of the stream of USB packets that transmit the music signal. And the digital scaling you described wouldn’t be needed.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Fourlegs said:

Just one point, that power supply is rated at 220v on one part of its specs and 230v on another part but the transformer is marked at 2 x 110v ie 220v and so it would be worthwhile establishing that it is happy at UK voltages which can often be 250v for most of the day (I know because that is my mains voltage). I personally would not want to run a 220v item without knowing more.

It has ratio 220V/13V, so when AC mains will be 250V it will have about 15V on rectifier input. Power transistor in regulator has maximum 60V input, so if caps are 25V rated it will be ok also in UK.

Anyway, thats first LPS that i have buy, and now im working on own project. At the moment I have tested some of the power supply components. Output section with a filter with an additional PSRR from 15 to 24dB depending on the output voltage, input section from rectifier bridge to the regulator with a capacity multiplier to suppress large ripple from the rectifier. For now, everything built on wires end tested up to 1Amp, on a prototype breadboard, but I just ordered a printed circuit prototype with a large GND plate, so it should be even better. Still i didnt choose right regulator, but i want to make one PCB for 5 to 18V output range. In general,  i think that including the regulator i should calmly achieve a PSSR of at least 100dB :) 

Edited by K4mil3k

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Super Wammer
6 hours ago, Lord J said:

That is not my experience.

I’ve loaned a Limetree audio (good sound terrible OS) a Novafidelity X50( great very flexible machine, clunky OS and ultimately I didn’t require all that it offered). A Teac U-10 dac(modded) and a Audiolab MDac. These last two dacs didn’t offer anything really worthwhile.

The Topping D70 was recommended by my dealer(he doesn’t sell them). He said “ they’re one of the best dacs under a few grand”. He wasn’t wrong.

i had one delivered for £400 which is not silly money. I’ve never heard such sophisticated digital sound in my home. I do use a rather fancy mains cable which also elevates the performance.

My other front end is a Michell Gyro, tecno arm, dynavector 20x so not serious High end but no slouch either.
 

To get back to topic that is why I’m intrigued to know people’s findings on the Node upgrade. 
 

Cheers

Thanks. You have a decent vinyl front end there too!

This is an interesting post but the DAC thing might get the attention it deserves over here; definitely worth putting a link to this post over there:

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1 hour ago, TheFlash said:

Thanks. You have a decent vinyl front end there too!

This is an interesting post but the DAC thing might get the attention it deserves over here; definitely worth putting a link to this post over there:

I do agree with you.
My point is though that this Node 2i thing is a great little device and can be developed and used in a fine digital front end.  So...

...what about the results please fourlegs?

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7 hours ago, rdale said:

You were talking about changing the volume level by changing the digital signal and you said that if the DAC had 32 bits max depth you wouldn’t lose anything if 12 bits are dropped. Which is actually quite technical.

What I am saying is that the internal DAC in the Bluesound is quite possibly on the same USB bus as an external DAC or other USB device such as speakers would be. If that is the case then the internal DAC’s output volume level would be set by USB volume control commands which are not part of the stream of USB packets that transmit the music signal. And the digital scaling you described wouldn’t be needed.

I was being a bit flippant earlier, apologies, but your post is interesting and informative. I have some technical knowledge, sufficient to know that most digital processes are well beyond my understanding, but some stuff is not that difficult for the layman.

As far as I understand it, in the Node controls level and EQ at a stage prior to the dac and may well use a technique that does not lose bits. The crude device I referred to was perhaps a worse case scenario.

I was under the impression that digital data was moved around within a unit using the I2S protocols, perhaps I am well out of date given the amount of computer technology that seems to be involved these days.

Anyway, it appears that both volume level and eq are implemented in the Node in such a way that they should work with an outboard dac, hence my investigations.

In this scenario, the functionality of the BluoS app and the Node remains 'as is' and a simple spdif in analogue out dac is all that is required.

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@beermaniac When you say you don't find the tone natural was this used standalone pimp node 2 or with the Aries DAC? I'm surprised to hear that as my experience is that it enhanced the qualities of the stock node and didn't actually change the sound characteristics. Also have you done a A/B test with and without the DAC? Apologies if you've already mentioned but this thread has ballooned to so many pages it is hard to keep up now...
-Alex

Hi Alex

I only compared via the Aries as that’s my listening set up - I didn’t really enjoy the sound of the Node internal DAC when compared to external DACs I have tried but find it to be an excellent streamer.

My comparison was chiefly about seeing what the change of power supply would do to what I think is a well balanced system and notably it cleaned up the sound but lost some of the natural fuller tone it had before compared to using the excellent Duelund cables.

I’m not done experimenting though!


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7 hours ago, MGTOW said:

Anyway, it appears that both volume level and eq are implemented in the Node in such a way that they should work with an outboard dac, hence my investigations.

In this scenario, the functionality of the BluoS app and the Node remains 'as is' and a simple spdif in analogue out dac is all that is required.

Do you know what the bit-depth of the digital output is? Just thinking this might be lower than used internally within the Node and so complicate the situation a little with regards to volume changes and EQ being applied?

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1 hour ago, MartinC said:

Do you know what the bit-depth of the digital output is? Just thinking this might be lower than used internally within the Node and so complicate the situation a little with regards to volume changes and EQ being applied?

No idea and I have no way of finding out.

The processing within the Node is quite complex, a can't really see that it could be 'bit perfect' in any way yet it is known to output MQA material and is said to be capable of outputting hi-res.

For example, if the EQ section is activated the analogue output level is reduced by 6dB to preserve headroom, if, as seems to be the case, this occurs on digital out too...

Request to anyone for help. If you are using the Node with an external dac, play some music.

Go to settings on the app and deselect 'Output Level Fixed' and reset the volume to your normal level using the fader.

Then, simply switch eq on and off. Does the listening level change? It should change by 6dB, which should be easy enough to hear.

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