Question BluSound 2i vs NAD c658

Tharksha

Active Member
Hi
My current stereo system contains BluSound 2i, Arcam Cd37, Arcam A49 and Spender A6R speakers. I am using Qobuz hi res for streaming and happy with the sound. However, my CD player give slightly better sound than Qobuz CD quality music. Qobuz high resolution music i feel is equal to the CD player sound quality. I am sure the BluSound 2i has a reasonably decent DAC. I am thinking of upgrading to NAD C 658 streamer but not sure additional £1000 investment will bring significant improvements in sound quality. Anyone experienced in this path of upgrade? Any opinion welcome.
Many thanks.
 
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muljao

Well-known Member
I'd be careful here before I spent massive money for very little or no improvement

Chances are you like the very smooth sound from the cd player which is probably down to the dac processing in the unit. The better sound quality opinion is probably very personal here. The nad c568 may very well be a better sounding unit to some, but if it doesn't sound more like your cd player you could very well be disappointed
 
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Tharksha

Active Member
I'd be careful here before I spent massive money for very little or no improvement

Chances are you like the very smooth sound from the cd player which is probably down to the dac processing in the unit. The better sound quality opinion is probably very personal here. The nad c568 may very well be a better sounding unit to some, but if it doesn't sound more like your cd player you could very well be disappointed
Many thanks for your reply. I am generally happy with the sound quality from BluOS. You are right and I got to be carefully about this line of up grade and I may not get any improvement after spending this amount of money.
 
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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Have you tried playing the cd via optical out into the blue sound node 2i, that will tell you if it is the day in the cd that you are liking. You will need a toslink to 3.5mm optical cable, no more than £5 from Amazon or if you have an optical cable one of these adaptors.

Amazon product

for info the CD37 has a Wolfson WM8741 chip and the Node 2i uses a burr brown PCM5122 chip as far as I can tell. Given that the actual chip only contributes a small amount to the overall sound, much coming from the surrounding analogue circuitry, this may be the difference. I have a day with dual WM8741’s and that does sound more analogue (with a bit of bass boost) compare to my newer 9038q2m day which is more neutral and has more detail.
 
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Tharksha

Active Member
Have you tried playing the cd via optical out into the blue sound node 2i, that will tell you if it is the day in the cd that you are liking. You will need a toslink to 3.5mm optical cable, no more than £5 from Amazon or if you have an optical cable one of these adaptors.

Amazon product

for info the CD37 has a Wolfson WM8741 chip and the Node 2i uses a burr brown PCM5122 chip as far as I can tell. Given that the actual chip only contributes a small amount to the overall sound, much coming from the surrounding analogue circuitry, this may be the difference. I have a day with dual WM8741’s and that does sound more analogue (with a bit of bass boost) compare to my newer 9038q2m day which is more neutral and has more detail.

Thank you. I tried the CD player through optical. However the CD through the analogue cable sounds much better. I will leave things as it is until we come out of the lock down and hopefully we will get more and more high res music through Qobuz or Tidal.
 
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AmericanAudio

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I would maybe consider trying a separate, dedicated dac as an alternative.

Or

There is a upgrade option that might be worth considering which changes out the onboard psu to an external option and seems to be gettibg quite a bit of interest.

Bluesound Node 2 & 2i
This is a link to a 3rd party mod for Bluesound
 
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Tharksha

Active Member
I would maybe consider trying a separate, dedicated dac as an alternative.

Or

There is a upgrade option that might be worth considering which changes out the onboard psu to an external option and seems to be gettibg quite a bit of interest.

Bluesound Node 2 & 2i
Dedicated DAC may be an option. I already connected through the Blusound node 2i and I like the way the Blusound Node 2i handle the the streaming.
 
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[email protected]

Active Member
If Qobuz high resolution with the Node 2i gives you the same quality as your CD player, and you like the CD player, that pretty much tells you that the DAC in the Node 2i is good enough for you. The main advantage to the C658 would seem to be extra features, e.g. Dirac room correction and phono input.

Dirac might matter, depending upon the room. I had been skeptical about room correction, but I just found that it matters. I've never been happy with choral music in my living room. It always sounded muddy. I had thought the issue was speakers, but none really seemed to fix it. I just got an iPad app that does a frequency response. I found that lows were way too high, and highs slightly low. I could make a great improvement just using tone controls.That fixed the problem. I was lucky that simple bass and treble controls could make a major improvement. Sometime like Dirac would be a safer bet.

On the other hand, my main listening is done at the computer. That room is acceptable without correction, though certainly not perfect.
 
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AmericanAudio

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Dedicated DAC may be an option. I already connected through the Blusound node 2i and I like the way the Blusound Node 2i handle the the streaming.

Yes, but you could use the digital (opti or coax) out of the Node into a better quality DAC, we did an install with Sonos, Chord DAC, Naim Amp and GoldenEar Reference and it sounding stunning over just the Sonos and Naim.
 
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Save your money. The difference in sound we’ll only be marginal vs what you got.
 
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Tharksha

Active Member
Many thanks. I am great full for your advice. After going through the advice I feel the improvement may me minimal for the money I am planning to spend. I have decided to leave the set up as it is and consider listening to high end DAC when Covid situation improves.
 
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BigPappaF

Member
Hi there - I'd agree with much that has been said. The Schiit Modi 3 could be a way to try a new DAC without destroying the bank (the 2nd hand value is v.good too) but they are hard to get at the minute in the UK... or a Topping. I know John Darko on YT covers loads of this kind of stuff worth a binge watch. Good luck!
 
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