Bluesound Node 2i with AVM CS 5.2 (Bluesound DAC vs AVM DAC)

wayden

Active Member
I have had the AVM CS5.2 CD/streamer Amplifier for over 2 years now and while I am pretty happy with the performance of this amplifier with my Dynaudio Evoke 30, I have been a bit underwhelmed with the App. Considering the price of the AVM, the app has been the biggest let down. I guess classical Audio companies are not necessarily the best at providing good apps.
After some research, I finally bought this week the Bluesound Node 2i.
Much has been said about the Bluesound Node 2i, so will not go into all the specifications about the device.
Rather, I want to give some feedback with specifically the sound with my AVM which is what it is all about anyway.

I connected the Bluesound to the AVM using the Coaxial Digital port ( if it matters using a Mogami cable) and also the RCA ports using a Cordial cable.
For Clarification :- with Digital cable, the Bluesound is only a streamer, using the DACs in the AVM
with the RCA cable, the Bluesound is using its internal DACs, the AVM only providing amplification

I had my wife also confirm her observations as she has good hearing and has no apparent bias towards any device.
Using Digital - The sound was clear, Bass was good very enjoyable. What started out listening to 2 or 3 songs ended up being a 2 hour music chill out session with the Mrs. Really nice evening, I must admit.
Using the RCA - The sound coming from the speakers was not as clear, it sounded like someone placed a curtain before the speakers. That is the best description I can give.
Is this the end? NO, not really. I read several reviews where they raging about how wonderful the Node 2i Dacs were, so I decided to the following :-
1. The Mogami Coax Digital cable (37 Euros) is more expensive than the Cordial RCA (10 Euros) cable. Is there a quality difference? I dont know?
Would it make a difference if I used another professional class cable?
That is what I will find out next. I have ordered today some Gotham GAC 4/1 RCA Cable (35 Euros). I will get these cables next week and will post my findings.

And NO, I do not believe in paying thousand of Euros on exotic cables, If someone can afford and want to do it, then their choice, their money, please go ahead.
I do believe that cables do make a difference, but that comes down to the quality of the inductors , shielding and the connectors. Better does not mean more expensive. That is all I care to say about that.

With regards, to the BlueOS App, coming from my AVM app, this was a night and day experience. Very good navigation, felt very modern. Features such as looking up artist and album information. Looking for additional albums by the artist is also very nice.
I am using my Synology 718 NAS as my library source and Amazon Music (basic).
AVM supports DLNA, Bluesound DOES NOT. Bluesound accesses the NAS via SMB (Windows Share protocol). It then does its own index and ordering of the music.

More to come with impressions and if the more expensive cable makes a difference using the Bluesound DAC.

Wayden
 

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Kapkirk

Active Member
I just plugged my portable Hard disk with all my music into the USB socket of the Node2i, took about 10 minutes to index it all and works a treat, cheaper than buying a NAS box.
I was also not impressed with the output from its internal DAC so use it into my Denon's DAC, warmer and sweeter sound. Just using a cheapo digital coax from Kabel Direkt
 

Tactman

Member
I just plugged my portable Hard disk with all my music into the USB socket of the Node2i, took about 10 minutes to index it all and works a treat, cheaper than buying a NAS box.
with all due respect, it's a good way to ruin portable hard really fast...portable hard disk is to put something on it and put it back in the drawer...it is not designed to work that way and can't be comparable to NAS. NAS is using special hard disk designed to work 24/7, has active cooling system and have some other advantages...

i learned this the hard way after 3 external hard drive died on me...i should stop after first one went bust but you know... :)
 

wayden

Active Member
with all due respect, it's a good way to ruin portable hard really fast...portable hard disk is to put something on it and put it back in the drawer...it is not designed to work that way and can't be comparable to NAS. NAS is using special hard disk designed to work 24/7, has active cooling system and have some other advantages...

i learned this the hard way after 3 external hard drive died on me...i should stop after first one went bust but you know... :)
I have been using a NAS as a general backup device in my home network. In addition, I simply rip the music and copy to my NAS, with an external disk, I would have to be constantly moving the disk between my computer and the Node 2i. NAS is much more convenient, in addition I am using NAS specified Hard Disks in my NAS which are meant for 24/7 operation.

P.S. I really like how the BlueOS organises the music library.
 

wayden

Active Member
So, I have employed the new RCA cable in my system between the Node 2i and my AVM.Conclusion, the DAC in the AVM seems to be better both my wife and I agreed that it sounded better when using the digital output from the Node 2i to the AVM. For my wife , it was a blind test as she had no idea what connection I was using. Blue node 2i, excellent app, very good integration of Amazon Music, only one I have tested so far. Very good management of my Music library from my NAS, depending on your amplifier, the internal DAC may be a weak point, best to test.
 

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