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Bluesound Node 2i -- Am I missing something?

Pugs1

Member
I watched an audiophile channel on YouTube the other day, where he pulled out his old CD player which he hadn't used for years, conclusion was reinvigorated with CDs and that the old discs offered more of a soundstage. I think there is a generation that has forgot what this media could offer. I think 'hi-res' streaming is not the be all, end all and people went that way cause its a damn sight easier to browse through your library or online.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
Cast your minds back 40 years if you’re old enough to. To the days of turntables and vinyl. I spent what seemed like a fortune on one particular record simply because the magazines at the time were praising its sound quality.

What was it? A direct cut disk. What’s one of those I hear you ask? Simply a studio session where there is no master tape recording at 15 inches per second. The group has to perform around 5 or 6 tracks one after the other without a break or pause until one side of the disk is completed. Around 22 minutes.

A master record was cut directly with no intermediate recording equipment. The dynamics were clearly superior to standard records. High Res of its day. But you could hear the increased dynamics and it was well worth the extra.

I wish I could remember the group but it’s lost in the mists of time.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
Me...post 62.

Best upgrade I made for the Node.
Looking at Chord their power cables vary from the budget at £60 to the top-end at £5000.:eek:
Out of curiosity I'm assuming you've bought decent quality analogue cables. Which ones?

And what made the biggest difference in sound quality? The analogues or the power cable?

I checked Richer Sounds and no-one has left a review for any of the Chords. Are they telling me something? Mains Power Accessories | Richer Sounds
 

boristhespider

Active Member
Looking at Chord their power cables vary from the budget at £60 to the top-end at £5000.:eek:
Out of curiosity I'm assuming you've bought decent quality analogue cables. Which ones?

And what made the biggest difference in sound quality? The analogues or the power cable?

I checked Richer Sounds and no-one has left a review for any of the Chords. Are they telling me something? Mains Power Accessories | Richer Sounds
Ray, probably the mains cable as it eliminated some hum I had and just lifted the sq. I use tellurium q rca cables. The blueos app also impresses me , so I'm sticking with the Node for the foreseeable.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
Ray, probably the mains cable as it eliminated some hum I had and just lifted the sq. I use tellurium q rca cables. The blueos app also impresses me , so I'm sticking with the Node for the foreseeable.
£285 a pair. Ouch! I had to think long and hard at £99 for my Chord Clearways. Knowing the rest of your system would be helpful.
 

gdickin2

Active Member
Up to £5000 for a 0.5 to 1 meter mains cable, really! Come on guys, I could have my whole house rewired in new twin and earth for that, which let's face it will be 99% of the mains feed to your hifi investment. Odd that the only people that can tell the dramatic improvement in the sound quality are those that feel they need to justify their investment!
 

RayP

Well-known Member
@gdickin2 , despite the claims by those who have invested in 3rd party power leads I remain sceptical. I've had an interest in hi-fi for nearly 50 years and this is one area where I have never read independent reviews that confirm these cables make a substantial difference to sound quality.

I mean no offence to @boristhespider because if he can hear the difference then that's fine for him. But when he spent so much on his RCA interconnects I'm surprised a £70 lead made such a difference. Maybe when we see the amp and speakers he has it may help.
 

gdickin2

Active Member
@RayP totally agree. I have been an electrical and electronics engineer since 1985 so my scepticism is borne from experience. I have however invested more than I would have expected in interconnects and speaker cable which I do admit have affected the sound quality greatly.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Probably too embarrassed to admit they had been fleeced. It's electricity not magic.
I am not too embarrassed to admit I did invest in some expensive mains cables once. Complete waste of money, they made absolutely no difference. Realised I had been had and sold them on, with a slight sense of guilt but hey you pays your money and makes your choice. I am now better informed as to the real world physics relating to cables. I now save my money by not buying stuff made from Unobtanuim and kissed by Celestial Virgins that according to the marketing adheres to a different Universe's Laws of Physics and spend it on stuff that does make a real difference that I can actually hear like room correction.
 

Jules Tohpipi

Active Member
Oh great, another thread ruined by fudging cable rants.

Knew it wouldn't take long for the usual suspects to chime in with their highly derogatory slanging matches.

You know, they say you can measure the dignity in someone by the dignity they see in others.
 
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mickbirch2000

Active Member
Just been searching on amazon music HD via Bluos app for albums by David Elias as I've been listening to Crossing in CD quality for a while & like it.. I found there is a remastered version but there was no hint until I started playing it that this stream is hi-res MQA . Why is it so difficult to find hi-res versions of albums? Any way as we know the Node 2i does a superb job of unpacking MQA encoded music & its noticeably superb to the CD stream. I didnt know Amazon used MQA encoding so its a pleasant surprise.
 

boristhespider

Active Member
Blimey, some very hostile comments.... I thought one was at liberty to buy and enjoy whatever they want to, sorry my choices have caused you all such consternation.

Just for clarity, my mains cable for my Node is a £70 audioquest job. Excellent quality shielding that helped eliminate the hum I had. Hardly exotic.
My rca interconnects are the blue range, the lowest they do, half metre picked up for £80 at a trade show two years ago. So £150 So far, of my money that I earn.
My amps are Naim and speakers are Monitor Audio, cos I'm an Essex boy.

I will naturally post here any future considered purchases before parting with my money, for your collective approval.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
@boristhespider , I trust you’re not including me in the hostile comment tag. I said I was sceptical a power lead could make an audible improvement to the sound which I’m entitled to do.

But if all it did was to remove the hum is that a sonic improvement? I’m using the supplied lead and I hear no hum. Did it improve the actual sound quality?

You have a decent amp and speakers so have a well balanced system. The reason I’m suspicious of sound improvement with a power cable is because it’s only changing the short section from the socket to the player. What about the section from the mains board to the socket? It could be 30 years old for some of us which is why I can’t see how replacing just part of the link could bring about a sonic improvement. If all of it was replaced then yes, that would be easier to accept.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Oh great, another thread ruined by fudging cable rants.

Knew it wouldn't take long for the usual suspects to chime in with their highly derogatory slanging matches.

You know, they say you can measure the dignity in someone by the dignity they see in others.
Not a rant at all but real world observation based on actual experience, nothing wrong with sharing that with people if it helps avoid them being tricked into wasting money. Obviously you have been tricked into buying expensive but ultimately pointless cables and are feeling sore that you wasted your money.
 

Jules Tohpipi

Active Member
Not a rant at all but real world observation based on actual experience, nothing wrong with sharing that with people if it helps avoid them being tricked into wasting money. Obviously you have been tricked into buying expensive but ultimately pointless cables and are feeling sore that you wasted your money.
I really would just put the shovel down if I were you.

I expressed no opinion on the subject either way but rather the stinking and condescending choice of language some choose when discussing the topic.

Cable discussion 'contributions' like these really are the cancer of these otherwise dignified forums.
 
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larkone

Distinguished Member
I really would just put the shovel down if I were you.

I expressed no opinion on the subject either way but rather the stinking and condescending choice of language some choose when discussing the topic.

Cable discussion 'contributions' like these really are the cancer of these otherwise dignified forums.
Why are you growling at me? Several others else expressed an opinion about cables, I answered based on real world experience so what is your issue. You really did get out of bed on the wrong side and royally spat out your dummy. If you don't want to get involved then guess what the best thing to do is - DONT GET INVOLVED :smashin:. Who appointed you as the arbiter of what people can say on a public forum?
 

mikeysthoughts

Well-known Member
stinking and condescending choice of language some choose when discussing the topic.
I can't find any examples of that in this thread. Some genuine questions and a healthy dose of scepticism, yes, but nothing to get worked into a lather about.

As I persistently bang on, there is no substitute for my own ears. There's a LOT of confirmation bias in these forums across a number of topics, so wherever I can I do blind tests with my wife driving the controls.

Once lockdown is over (if it isn't already, eh Dominic?) I'll be finding a retailer who will allow me to do a home trial of a Bluesound Node 2 power cable. My wife will do all the plugging and unplugging and I will try to discern a difference and form my own judgment.

If there aren't any retailers that will allow home trials of power cables then that tells its own story!
 
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Ascotbilly

Active Member
@Milco
I still think my Cambridge 651C CD player has a more three-dimensional soundstage than the Node 2i, but tonally I now tend to prefer the slightly smoother, more 'analogue' Bluesound.
Hi Mate - Five months from your initial post, I'm curious to how you're finding the Node 2i now ? For example, hows the sound compare to CD, with the various providers can you hear the difference in the stream qualities etc ?
 

Milco

Active Member
@Milco

Hi Mate - Five months from your initial post, I'm curious to how you're finding the Node 2i now ? For example, hows the sound compare to CD, with the various providers can you hear the difference in the stream qualities etc ?
That's a difficult question to answer because the sound quality varies so much on Amazon HD. I would say the best of what's on Amazon HD is at least as good as the sound from my CD spinner, i.e. weightier bass, smoother top end, due to the Bluesound's tonal qualities. I think tonally the Bluesound is more natural than my Cambridge 651C. Soundstage-wise the Cambridge wins.

I'm not sure how much of the CA's extra soundstage is 'artificial' or 'manufactured' and how much is because the CA is superior in some way due to a better DAC or circuitry, but the whole sound widens out and becomes more transparent when I play CDs on my Cambridge. The Bluesound is denser, more solid and possibly more coherent. I think which presentation you prefer is largely a question of a) your natural preferences and b) what you happen to be used to.

When I first started this thread someone very kindly sent me a flac file for 'Long distance runaround' by Yes which I put on a memory stick. Later this evening I will re-play it through my Bluesound (via the USB port) back-to-back with the CD version via my Cambridge (both are the 2003 Rhino remaster) so theoretically we should be comparing 'like with like'.

Will report back...
 

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