DomT

USB drive VS SSD drive VS Bluesound/Innuos

Recommended Posts

Super Wammer
22 minutes ago, Lurch said:

The Node will happily run via Wi-Fi or ethernet, so no probs with extenders being required. 

Sorry, my fault for not being clearer, I was referring to the Bluesound Vault and that unit does not run off WiFi. It seems that the ‘servers’ all seem to require a cable. The only internal hard disk system that will work on WiFi seems to be the Altair. The Naim will work on an attached drive via usb. And this is why I have this question. In the studio I avoid audio over usb. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
44 minutes ago, ChemMan said:

He uses the NAIM all the time and I think it's the same unit since it came out.

From my original post:

The NAD is more of the Node2.  Similar "house sound" with more of everything.  More air, more detail, nice weight. The Naim is crisper, more articulate and offered a slightly brighter profile.  On the Naim instruments are easier to pick out, but it lacks the rich tonal quality and weight of the NAD and Node on solo piano, Brad Mehldau's Day is Done, "Martha My Dear." On Steely Dan's Gaucho I preferred the Naim -- everything is organized and the individual instruments are separate and together.  It was easy to listen to the "whole" and pick out instruments if you wanted to listen to the nuances.  Rapid and light  percussion work on a cymbal was also preferable on the Naim, it has nice timing I suppose. The Qutest through the Node2 was almost a pleasant mix of the two.

The Naim was punchier, but I also remember it being distinctly lighter/less full in the bass.  I listen to quite a bit of Jazz piano based trios.  The bass can be understated on some recordings and I need to hear it. The same goes for the weight of the piano. I also realize the limits of reproduced music.  I've yet to hear an acoustic guitar sound like my Martin D28 when I'm playing.

The Qutest by itself did nothing for me.  It needed the LPS, otherwise, for the price, it offered no real advantage over the Node 2 itself.  The Linn Akurate DS with Kat has been the best of the bunch (i had a one day home demo) but finding one in the proper price range is proving difficult. Finally, I have no stored digital files and would also prefer a one box solution.  My ONLY source for music is Tidal.

So I guess it's a flavour thing which I think is more speaker and room dependent than anything else.  I subscribe to the belief that speakers and the influence of the room are more important than anything else in regard to finding "your sound."  I had your speakers in here for a week last year right along side the Spendors. While I found them to be unrivaled in reproducing acoustic instruments, I felt they were bass light and are far better for near field listening. And don't get me wrong, I think source is important in relation to garbage in garbage out, but I reckon almost any decent source will work well enough in the long run. (Speakers 40%, room 35%, amp15%, source 6%, the rest 4%) Full disclosure: I think I read this on Archimago's blog so he gets the credit; I'm just an acolyte. :)

This is so interesting. I remember your initial post and thinking that this is weird that one of us thinks that Naim is brighter and the other Naim. But we didn’t listen to exactly the same items in the same signal chain.

I have never heard Bluesound. If you could not hear the difference between this and the Qutest that is praise indeed. I should have the opportunity to compare to Naim at a Naim dealer in the new year.

I don’t agree with the percentages above but do agree that I would start with choosing speakers first and then finding everything else that works well with their voicing. I did the Spendor vs Harbeth demo at home for a few days but found small differences. The reason why I went Harbeth was the £1000 trade-in price difference and could not justify the Spendors.

I hear big differences in cartridge swaps so I would place equal % to front end as to the speakers and much less on the amp on mid level revealing systems like my own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, DomT said:

I hear big differences in cartridge swaps so I would place equal % to front end as to the speakers and much less on the amp on mid level revealing systems like my own.

That may be the case.  Like everyone I grew up with records and a turntable, but I would have no clue as I left that realm behind when CDs came out.  I'm coming at this from a pure, "I want to optimize my digital music from Tidal."   

Interestingly, I was looking back to my notes from last August, and then I was under the impression that Qutest made a big difference when hearing it in demos. Once I brought it home not much at all.   Some of the guys are here were saying once you get to a level where the digital sources sound very similar, you need to live with it for a while before you really begin to notice what they bring to the table.

The Bluesound Node 2i is the current model and it does whatever one wants, plays all the online services and radios, and retrieves digital files from NAS or computer.  If you want storage they make the Vault2i.  @TheFlash also found a company that does a modification where they swap out the switching power supply and replace it with a linear power supply.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ChemMan said:

He uses the NAIM all the time and I think it's the same unit since it came out.

From my original post:

The NAD is more of the Node2.  Similar "house sound" with more of everything.  More air, more detail, nice weight. The Naim is crisper, more articulate and offered a slightly brighter profile.  On the Naim instruments are easier to pick out, but it lacks the rich tonal quality and weight of the NAD and Node on solo piano, Brad Mehldau's Day is Done, "Martha My Dear." On Steely Dan's Gaucho I preferred the Naim -- everything is organized and the individual instruments are separate and together.  It was easy to listen to the "whole" and pick out instruments if you wanted to listen to the nuances.  Rapid and light  percussion work on a cymbal was also preferable on the Naim, it has nice timing I suppose. The Qutest through the Node2 was almost a pleasant mix of the two.

The Naim was punchier, but I also remember it being distinctly lighter/less full in the bass.  I listen to quite a bit of Jazz piano based trios.  The bass can be understated on some recordings and I need to hear it. The same goes for the weight of the piano. I also realize the limits of reproduced music.  I've yet to hear an acoustic guitar sound like my Martin D28 when I'm playing.

The Qutest by itself did nothing for me.  It needed the LPS, otherwise, for the price, it offered no real advantage over the Node 2 itself.  The Linn Akurate DS with Kat has been the best of the bunch (i had a one day home demo) but finding one in the proper price range is proving difficult. Finally, I have no stored digital files and would also prefer a one box solution.  My ONLY source for music is Tidal.

So I guess it's a flavour thing which I think is more speaker and room dependent than anything else.  I subscribe to the belief that speakers and the influence of the room are more important than anything else in regard to finding "your sound."  I had your speakers in here for a week last year right along side the Spendors. While I found them to be unrivaled in reproducing acoustic instruments, I felt they were bass light and are far better for near field listening. And don't get me wrong, I think source is important in relation to garbage in garbage out, but I reckon almost any decent source will work well enough in the long run. (Speakers 40%, room 35%, amp15%, source 6%, the rest 4%) Full disclosure: I think I read this on Archimago's blog so he gets the credit; I'm just an acolyte. :)

The only items I can comment on, are the Naim and the Linn - and your description of how you found the Naim, very much matches my own....it has foot-tapping drive, but to my ears, didn't get the timbre of Piano right and didn't sound as refined and natural as the Linn.

At first, I found the drive of the Naim exciting - but within half an hour, I found it too forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DomT said:

My question was not about streamer vs NAS. It was NAS vs server vs USB thumb drive. Do you have an opinion on this please?

I had first version of your Naim streamer and sound from USB drive was better. In my experience Music played from USB SSD disk on all system I have owned was better than music played from NAS. Streaming services over internet sound even worse and it doesn’t matter if they are CD/HD quality or not 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, CnoEvil said:

The only items I can comment on, are the Naim and the Linn - and your description of how you found the Naim, very much matches my own....it has foot-tapping drive, but to my ears, didn't get the timbre of Piano right and didn't sound as refined and natural as the Linn.

At first, I found the drive of the Naim exciting - but within half an hour, I found it too forward.

Same with their amp and streamer combo.  It's fun for about 45 minutes I think I wrote when I heard it.  It's not really my cup of tea. 

The odd part here is why, for Dom and myself, what we heard are polar opposites of each other. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, DomT said:

I don’t have these devices so cannot ‘just play some tunes’. The reason for the question is that Innuos have a £3k hard drive and yet USB thumb drives are available for two digit prices. You are saying that there is no sound quality difference between this and a USB thumb drive? Really, wow. 

I never said you had the equipment. Just spin some tunes and forget about harddrives. Well just do a back up that's all anyone else will say.

Edited to add. If your post hasn't answered your question. Don't spend thousands spend pounds instead.

Edited by Lee M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
5 hours ago, ChemMan said:

Same with their amp and streamer combo.  It's fun for about 45 minutes I think I wrote when I heard it.  It's not really my cup of tea. 

The odd part here is why, for Dom and myself, what we heard are polar opposites of each other. 

I know; really weird! But the big assumption is that Nad M10 has the same sound as Nad C368; could be that the M10 has a more forward sound than C368. 

Just to check more weirdness the Naim ND5XS2 for me was less fatiguing than the Auralic because the Auralic had a leaner and more detailed sound. The Naim via Marantz amp and Harbeth speakers was not forward at all. I hate forward sounding systems but find that many many speakers are too aggressive sounding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
9 hours ago, MartinC said:

Which Innuos model are you looking at?

Hi Martin 

man not necessarily looking at an Innuos (but if I was it would be the Zen Mini). This was a broad question about ripped/downloaded playback from differing types of drive. I personally heard that a ripped CD is better than streaming.

Between drive types some people are saying no sonic difference and some are saying that there is one. I need a WiFi based system with some ripped CDs and downloads and therefore if there is no, or very little difference, then that means I do not need a dedicated server (Bluesound or Innuos - that are Ethernet only) and I can contemplate the Naim with attached external drive vs Altair G1 with internal drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, DomT said:

My question was not about streamer vs NAS. It was NAS vs server vs USB thumb drive. Do you have an opinion on this please?

I do.  If the same file is on all 3 options they should sound the same.  If they don’t it’s because your dac is crap or you’re not an unbiased listener.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
2 minutes ago, jumpmonkey said:

I do.  If the same file is on all 3 options they should sound the same.  If they don’t it’s because your dac is crap or you’re not an unbiased listener.

And yet people spend thousands of pounds on servers over a £50 hard drive.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
2 minutes ago, jumpmonkey said:

I do.  If the same file is on all 3 options they should sound the same.  If they don’t it’s because your dac is crap or you’re not an unbiased listener.

Another view is that if they all sound the same then it might be that the  system is not sufficiently transparent. I have heard clear differences. The days of just assuming that all digital streams are the same are long gone. Listen for instance to an Innuos Statement compared to one of their other servers playing the same file and  it will be an eye opener. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, DomT said:

And yet people spend thousands of pounds on servers over a £50 hard drive.....

What people pay for is not necessarily a good guide of what is worth paying for. 

Personally I think you need to find a way to demo some kit, with an open mind to what you might find.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Dealer
1 hour ago, Fourlegs said:

Another view is that if they all sound the same then it might be that the  system is not sufficiently transparent. I have heard clear differences. The days of just assuming that all digital streams are the same are long gone. Listen for instance to an Innuos Statement compared to one of their other servers playing the same file and  it will be an eye opener. 

If the data is bit perfect then the only difference ( if there is one) will be because of the dac.

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.