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Anything better than a pimped Node 2i ?


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1 hour ago, andrew s said:

And the same applies to all consumer audio. It's called expectation bias.   Regards Andrew 

So if it sounds worse then expectation is too much?

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6 hours ago, TheFlash said:

If the Pi-maker, so to speak, is doing it as their day job rather than as a weekend hobby, they need to earn a living. I don't begrudge them an hourly rate at all! Value comes primarily from the perception of the buyer, not from the cost of the components.

You're not a politician by any chance Flash, you've managed to answer my question without giving me the answer to my question, which by the way was how much does a pimped Pi cost nowadays :)

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24 minutes ago, antonio66 said:

You're not a politician by any chance Flash, you've managed to answer my question without giving me the answer to my question, which by the way was how much does a pimped Pi cost nowadays :)

No, I’m not.

 I thought your question was a rhetorical one, ie a statement in the form of a question, but not requiring an answer. Your cunning omission of a question mark led me astray.

 I have no idea about Pi’s. What I do know is that there is often far more to a value proposition than cost.

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I thought that asking how much a Pi costs is a bit like asking how much a ‘stereo’ is?  
 

Which reminds me, nobody has posted a link to the Hifi shop sketch from Not the Nine O’clock News for at least a week!!  ;)

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Everyone keeps going on about how cheap and how good the Pi is, then I read someone has purchased another add on bit at £260, how many add on bits do you need?  I linked to a couple of streamers, Magna  and Stack, comments were 'glorified Pi's' yet really for what they can do, it would appear the individual has to spend quite a bit of time and money to achieve anything near their performance.  The Stack at £600 and the Magna at 1k euros don't seem bad value after all.  I've been looking for a cheaper priced streamer, sound quality of course was important, but so was ease of use and cost, it is only for a holiday system. and that is how I came across both models, and even when I had discounted them on price, I still looked on the net for details and even messaged one dealer, he had more than one streamer that interested me, but he did say the Magna had been used in a multi thousand pound system at a demonstration or show, even though he stocked more expensive ones, he felt it that good.  Stack appear to have decided to sell direct, reducing the price to customers and again got good reviews on the net, I thought it was therefore good value, hence my recommendation. As for bettering a pimped Node 2, I read reviews of other streamers that bettered a basic Node 2, and the Stack and Magna were seen as superior to these other products.

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4 minutes ago, antonio66 said:

Everyone keeps going on about how cheap and how good the Pi is, then I read someone has purchased another add on bit at £260, how many add on bits do you need?  I linked to a couple of streamers, Magna  and Stack, comments were 'glorified Pi's' yet really for what they can do, it would appear the individual has to spend quite a bit of time and money to achieve anything near their performance.  The Stack at £600 and the Magna at 1k euros don't seem bad value after all.  I've been looking for a cheaper priced streamer, sound quality of course was important, but so was ease of use and cost, it is only for a holiday system. and that is how I came across both models, and even when I had discounted them on price, I still looked on the net for details and even messaged one dealer, he had more than one streamer that interested me, but he did say the Magna had been used in a multi thousand pound system at a demonstration or show, even though he stocked more expensive ones, he felt it that good.  Stack appear to have decided to sell direct, reducing the price to customers and again got good reviews on the net, I thought it was therefore good value, hence my recommendation. As for bettering a pimped Node 2, I read reviews of other streamers that bettered a basic Node 2, and the Stack and Magna were seen as superior to these other products.

I run Pis using MoOde audio and I think it is a great piece of software. I run it on a cheap 10 pound Pi Zero-W all the way up to the 700 pound Stack Link with its Pi CM3 module. Other people like BlueOS on the Node 2i and other devices with BlueOS. It comes down to which software you prefer - it is no good having a streamer box that sounds slightly better if the software on it is annoying to use or doesn’t work properly.

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5 hours ago, antonio66 said:

Everyone keeps going on about how cheap and how good the Pi is, then I read someone has purchased another add on bit at £260, how many add on bits do you need?  I linked to a couple of streamers, Magna  and Stack, comments were 'glorified Pi's' yet really for what they can do, it would appear the individual has to spend quite a bit of time and money to achieve anything near their performance.  The Stack at £600 and the Magna at 1k euros don't seem bad value after all.  I've been looking for a cheaper priced streamer, sound quality of course was important, but so was ease of use and cost, it is only for a holiday system. and that is how I came across both models, and even when I had discounted them on price, I still looked on the net for details and even messaged one dealer, he had more than one streamer that interested me, but he did say the Magna had been used in a multi thousand pound system at a demonstration or show, even though he stocked more expensive ones, he felt it that good.  Stack appear to have decided to sell direct, reducing the price to customers and again got good reviews on the net, I thought it was therefore good value, hence my recommendation. As for bettering a pimped Node 2, I read reviews of other streamers that bettered a basic Node 2, and the Stack and Magna were seen as superior to these other products.

Links please, or it didn't happen. :)

I don't have a problem with glorified Pi's myself. The Pi is a proven engine, so I'm happy that the manufacturers choose to include it and focus on what goes on around it. In fact, if they can disguise its Pi-ness for the innocent, just-want-to-listen-to-music punter, they get brownie points from me. I don't hear many people calling a WIndows laptop a "glorified Intel".

We need to be very careful in speaking of reviews of the Node as many of those are using its internal DAC, not of using it purely as a streamer. And of course no magazine would have reviewed a pimped Node, which is the exam question.

The Magna story is just a story. I use a Node in a £10,000+ system. Well, two actually. So ultimately it doesn't say a lot.

Selling direct is not always driven by an ardent desire to reduce costs to the consumer; it also increases profitability for the manufacturer. How the manufacturer decides to apportion the financial gains from bypassing dealers is down to individual manufacturers, and I don't think anyone should be equating direct selling with better value for money. Manufacturers of furniture, strange heaters, bright reading lights... and other stuff for sale in newspaper supplements have been saying "save by buying direct" for decades. It's just a sales ploy.

:flowers:

Edited by TheFlash
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You seriously don't expect me to go searching the net again, I was days going through streamers previously, if I come across anything I'll post a link.  One thing, I do not have to post here, the only reason is that I believe my post would help the op, it is then up to them to do their own research, and if they feel it is worth going to a dem, and again  if it is worth paying out for.  I do try to do my own research on anything I need nowadays since I'm retired, and don't want to pay more than I have to, that philosophy is carried over to any advice given, no matter what their budget is, I have no problem with folk spending £100k+

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7 hours ago, rdale said:

I run Pis using MoOde audio and I think it is a great piece of software. I run it on a cheap 10 pound Pi Zero-W all the way up to the 700 pound Stack Link with its Pi CM3 module. Other people like BlueOS on the Node 2i and other devices with BlueOS. It comes down to which software you prefer - it is no good having a streamer box that sounds slightly better if the software on it is annoying to use or doesn’t work properly.

I use MusicBee on a mini pc, preferring it to Foobar2000 which is the only other piece of software I have used, although my brother uses Roon so have some experience with that.  I was looking for a streamer that was capable of playing my external hd, directly so there would be no need for anything else in the system.  I was so close to pulling the trigger on a well priced Nova Fidelity N15D, when an Auralic Aries came up for sale on ebay and I was luckily the only bidder. I had been put off the mini simply because of the need to use an i-pad to control the app, but I've had to bite the bullet and treat myself to an i-pad mini 2, to use with the Aries.  From what I've read the Lightning app is very good and easy to use, although I won't be able to try it out until I return to the uk,  my brother tells me it works ok though.

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21 hours ago, rdale said:

I run Pis using MoOde audio and I think it is a great piece of software. I run it on a cheap 10 pound Pi Zero-W all the way up to the 700 pound Stack Link with its Pi CM3 module. Other people like BlueOS on the Node 2i and other devices with BlueOS. It comes down to which software you prefer - it is no good having a streamer box that sounds slightly better if the software on it is annoying to use or doesn’t work properly.

Yes quite true, I went with the BluOs because most users like it and it it seemed reliable, their support was there in case you had problems but there did seem very few unlike some others. Stack did have problems with their software (Volumio) which I believe they replaced last year. Stack with MoOde software and now at £600 may be a good alternative but I have no experience of MoOde.

Anyway I have had my used Node 2 for about 18 months now, it has worked without any issues.

It it was me I would buy a used one and see how it works, if not happy then you can sell it on for little loss. 

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17 hours ago, antonio66 said:

You seriously don't expect me to go searching the net again

I thought you might recall the article(s). As it stands, we have no idea whether the reviews you mentioned were for the Node purely as a streamer or as a DAC/streamer. I guess if anyone is sufficiently interested in the Stack, they'll do the searching themselves.

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17 hours ago, antonio66 said:

I use MusicBee on a mini pc, preferring it to Foobar2000 which is the only other piece of software I have used, although my brother uses Roon so have some experience with that.  I was looking for a streamer that was capable of playing my external hd, directly so there would be no need for anything else in the system.  I was so close to pulling the trigger on a well priced Nova Fidelity N15D, when an Auralic Aries came up for sale on ebay and I was luckily the only bidder. I had been put off the mini simply because of the need to use an i-pad to control the app, but I've had to bite the bullet and treat myself to an i-pad mini 2, to use with the Aries.  From what I've read the Lightning app is very good and easy to use, although I won't be able to try it out until I return to the uk,  my brother tells me it works ok though.

I explored the Auralic Aries vs Node extensively on this very forum before I took the plunge on the latter. I believe there is little in it, though the Lightning app is considered by some to be a little idiosyncratic = just different.

Let us know how you get on.

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You must know how it is Flash when you are researching a product/s, one review leads you onto another, again and again, until you've done a complete circle, picking up snippits of info here and there, I'm sure there was a demo of the Node vs a Primare streamer on YT and then it went on from there.  I had about 5 shortlisted in my price range and all at good prices.

It will be some time yet until I get to ;listen to the Aries, I have to return to the uk first, but it is for use where I am  now.  I could well have come across your thread while researching, although I'm guessing it was before I started looking for a streamer and I may well have given it a miss (wish a few others on here could do the same on threads they are not really interested in :D )  I will say I could have recommended the dCS Rossini, but how many people are contemplating buying that or the Node, one would assume the dCS to be better simply on what it gets reviewed alongside and any comparisons made to other equipment, similar to my recommendations and from what I already know.  It would seem to me that once you get to the £5-600 range, there after you are quickly into diminishing returns.

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Edited by antonio66
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14 hours ago, antonio66 said:

You must know how it is Flash when you are researching a product/s, one review leads you onto another, again and again, until you've done a complete circle, picking up snippits of info here and there, I'm sure there was a demo of the Node vs a Primare streamer on YT and then it went on from there.  I had about 5 shortlisted in my price range and all at good prices.

It will be some time yet until I get to ;listen to the Aries, I have to return to the uk first, but it is for use where I am  now.  I could well have come across your thread while researching, although I'm guessing it was before I started looking for a streamer and I may well have given it a miss (wish a few others on here could do the same on threads they are not really interested in :D )  I will say I could have recommended the dCS Rossini, but how many people are contemplating buying that or the Node, one would assume the dCS to be better simply on what it gets reviewed alongside and any comparisons made to other equipment, similar to my recommendations and from what I already know.  It would seem to me that once you get to the £5-600 range, there after you are quickly into diminishing returns.

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FYI, my pimped Node feeds my dCS stack. Until Thu this was Elgar/Verdi/Purcell/Verona, since Friday it's Puccini.

FYI2, I shall shortly be moving on a mint Node 2i (unpimped) and separately an Allo Shanti which has itself been pimped to replace the captive wires with GX16-2 sockets permitting better quality cables to be used. (Obviously the combo would need an interface card to be bought).

Edited by TheFlash
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