Network streamer for qbuz and Spotify

jamieu

Well-known Member
A new and improved Wi-Fi receiver is one of the many upgrades incorporated into the new Node.
not wanting to open a can of worms re cables, but I recently acquired an Audioquest Cinnamon Ethernet cable and was astounded that the Node sounded even better. In disbelief switched back to the old Amazon cat 6 and my ears had not deceived me. It was bought for a new TEAC arriving shortly. Now I’m going to have to buy another Audioquest. Mysterious business, this digital world.

Well that makes absolutely no sense, ethernet ports are galvanically isolated, there's a whole 50+ year old network stack, the same stack used to reliably transmit banking data and every other bit of data you send across the internet, that deals with retransmitting data should it fail to be transmitted correctly.

Network cables (as long as they are built to spec) transmit digital networking data, they either work or they don't. There is no analog audio component to it. If a network cable is broken/faulty it will cause dropouts which you'll experience in the form of dropouts and pops, not better or worse audio quality. It's like saying your printer prints prettier pictures when connected up via a different network cable.

The only explanation is that your older ethernet cable was causing some kind of ground loop, but given the ethernet ports at both end would normally be galvanically isolated that would indicate some very faulty equipment design at both ends. Standard Cat 5 cables should also use plastic connectors not metal ones, if your older cables had metal connector that might explain why you noticed a difference when moving to a cable built to the proper spec.

If your streaming music think of all the miles of network cables and switches that digital audio data is sent down before it even reaches your house. How is that final ethernet cable going to make one iota of difference, other than looking prettier going into your HiFi rack (admittedly that is a reason why you might want a nicer looking cable).

But this problay isn't the thread to discuss this, nor is it something I really want to debate further. Not wanting to be rude but I have spent a large part of my career working with TCP/IP networks, I know fairly intricately how they work and what can and can't affect them.

If you're happy with your new ethernet cable then that's all good, as mentioned above having a nicer looking ethernet cable running into the back of your HiFi rack may well be worth paying a little extra for, but it can't make your audio 'sound better'. That's not an opinion, it's a simply fact of how TCP/IP networking works.
 
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jamieu

Well-known Member
thanks for the help - I haven't been 100% transparent - I have a background in network going back to Novell 3.11 admin, token ring management, and I now work with Cisco engineers in data centre moves and LAN/WAN migrations. I know a little about this area

Ah my apologies, yep I expect you have checked everything I have suggested!!

(hence you problay also know that many post like this are from users who haven't and why I suggested what I did)

My issues relating to Roon date back to running the Node over wifi and unpacking - somewhere there is a Roon support ticket around this.

Yeah, Roon is network heavy (it converts everything to PCM before sending that data to endpoints) and very network particular (broadcast packets/discovery, which is a pain if you use separate VLANs).

I also find a lot of the comments on the Roon forum re. 'you need a wired network' a bit galling. Sure it will fix the issue almost instantly — so great for support folk to suggest it, as it closes their support tickets. But personally I'm with you, I don't think you should need to jump though hoops to stream across a modern WiFi network. Then again Roon is what it is and if you want to run Roon then a ridiculous solid network (which often means wired) is kind of a prerequisite, at least for the Core.

So - change house, new router, same problems with the Node 2i and working over wifi. It's fibre to the house. Deleted the Node entries from the router, toggled 5ghz on/off, changed 5ghz channels, tried an extender blah blah blah. My point is that other, simpler devices work where the Node 2i doesn't. I don't believe the unit is faulty - it accepts updates fine and it all points to the wifi support being weak. Do your own research but there is sufficient other evidence to suggest that the product itself is the issue for other people as well as me.

Yeah, I don't own one but given your background and that you've already tried the obvious things and your WiFi is otherwise solid, it sounds like the WiFi receiver in the device isn't the best. Annoying..

I used to have a Sonos Connect, it's actually a great little unit, maybe not the absolute last word in ultimate sound quality, but it's built like a tank and the Sonos app isn't bad. Problay fine for now until you find something else that works better.

btw. you are probably already aware, but if you're running a Roon Core elsewhere on your network (that machine does tend to need a wired connection but can live nearer to your router), you can output to Sonos devices like the Connect from it.
 
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eatapeach

Active Member
A new and improved Wi-Fi receiver is one of the many upgrades incorporated into the new Node.
not wanting to open a can of worms re cables, but I recently acquired an Audioquest Cinnamon Ethernet cable and was astounded that the Node sounded even better. In disbelief switched back to the old Amazon cat 6 and my ears had not deceived me. It was bought for a new TEAC arriving shortly. Now I’m going to have to buy another Audioquest. Mysterious business, this digital world.
well I'm not buying one! A 'new and improved wifi receiver' suggests there was something wrong with the old one n'est-ce pas?
 

eatapeach

Active Member
Ah my apologies, yep I expect you have checked everything I have suggested!!

(hence you problay also know that many post like this are from users who haven't and why I suggested what I did)



Yeah, Roon is network heavy (it converts everything to PCM before sending that data to endpoints) and very network particular (broadcast packets/discovery, which is a pain if you use separate VLANs).

I also find a lot of the comments on the Roon forum re. 'you need a wired network' a bit galling. Sure it will fix the issue almost instantly — so great for support folk to suggest it, as it closes their support tickets. But personally I'm with you, I don't think you should need to jump though hoops to stream across a modern WiFi network. Then again Roon is what it is and if you want to run Roon then a ridiculous solid network (which often means wired) is kind of a prerequisite, at least for the Core.



Yeah, I don't own one but given your background and that you've already tried the obvious things and your WiFi is otherwise solid, it sounds like the WiFi receiver in the device isn't the best. Annoying..

I used to have a Sonos Connect, it's actually a great little unit, maybe not the absolute last word in ultimate sound quality, but it's built like a tank and the Sonos app isn't bad. Problay fine for now until you find something else that works better.

btw. you are probably already aware, but if you're running a Roon Core elsewhere on your network (that machine does tend to need a wired connection but can live nearer to your router), you can output to Sonos devices like the Connect from it.
yes - thanks for the post. My day job is boring enough without digging into why a product doesn't do what it is advertised as doing!

Getting rid of Roon (when I understood the problem) was the first step. I did't get rid of it I just stopped using it and didn't renew the yearly subscription. Nice software, I liked the recommendations and the added value but it didn't do what I wanted.

I'm now looking at the Arcam ST60 and CA 851N - but next time I'll test them thoroughly before paying across any money!

I like the Sonos interface and yes - the Connect is a nice little unit.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Most likely the device (Node) is faulty. How old is it? You can’t complain to the store.
 

eatapeach

Active Member
it's not faulty:)

1641824319011.png
 

nomorelandings

Active Member
Well that makes absolutely no sense, ethernet ports are galvanically isolated, there's a whole 50+ year old network stack, the same stack used to reliably transmit banking data and every other bit of data you send across the internet, that deals with retransmitting data should it fail to be transmitted correctly.

Network cables (as long as they are built to spec) transmit digital networking data, they either work or they don't. There is no analog audio component to it. If a network cable is broken/faulty it will cause dropouts which you'll experience in the form of dropouts and pops, not better or worse audio quality. It's like saying your printer prints prettier pictures when connected up via a different network cable.

The only explanation is that your older ethernet cable was causing some kind of ground loop, but given the ethernet ports at both end would normally be galvanically isolated that would indicate some very faulty equipment design at both ends. Standard Cat 5 cables should also use plastic connectors not metal ones, if your older cables had metal connector that might explain why you noticed a difference when moving to a cable built to the proper spec.

If your streaming music think of all the miles of network cables and switches that digital audio data is sent down before it even reaches your house. How is that final ethernet cable going to make one iota of difference, other than looking prettier going into your HiFi rack (admittedly that is a reason why you might want a nicer looking cable).

But this problay isn't the thread to discuss this, nor is it something I really want to debate further. Not wanting to be rude but I have spent a large part of my career working with TCP/IP networks, I know fairly intricately how they work and what can and can't affect them.

If you're happy with your new ethernet cable then that's all good, as mentioned above having a nicer looking ethernet cable running into the back of your HiFi rack may well be worth paying a little extra for, but it can't make your audio 'sound better'. That's not an opinion, it's a simply fact of how TCP/IP networking works.
Hi,
Agree with all you have said technically. I don’t use Wi-Fi for hifi/tvs/iMac Bought a Squeezebox Touch many moons ago and quickly switched to to wired. It sounded better in the days of much lower internet bandwidth. as said, this new cable was bought for a new streamer which is yet to arrive and tried it in the Node. I had zero expectation of change. the Node has a very wide soundstage when playing RP MQA or HiRez. now better focused. Can’t explain it either.
 

eatapeach

Active Member
I think the older Sonos Connect only works on the 2.4GHz WiFi band. Nothing wrong with that if it works, it’s what we were using successfully till 5Ghz WiFi came along.

But while the older 2.4Ghz WiFi channels allow less bandwidth/throughout (still enough for streaming audio) it does tends to work at longer distances and penetrates walls better than 5Ghz.

Just a thought, but if you’re seeing a good 2.4Ghz signal in that room vs a poor 5Ghz signal that could explain why the 2.4Ghz only Sonos Connect works better. Also check that your neighbours aren’t using the same 5GHz WiFi channel as you, as that would also explain why older 2.4Gz only devices work better.

Various WiFi monitoring / heat mapping apps out there for testing this sort of thing. Worth eliminating that as an issue for free, before buying anything new.

It could just be that you need to change the change the 5Ghz channel in your router to a less congested one. Or if that doesn't work and your router allows it, get your streamer to use a dedicated 2.4Ghz SSI rather than using the default dual-band SSI.
just following up now the node 2i is up for sale. I'm still looking for reports on
  • Audiolab 6000n
  • Arcam ST60
  • Cambridge Azur 851n
There is an Auralic Aries G1 for sale elsewhere but that's too much streamer for me.

As an aside, I checked the signal strength in the house. Next to the router I saw -29dBm and the repeater was at -54dBm
Where the Bluesound was sited I see -52 dBm on the router and -40 dBm for the repeater.

Pretty poor outcome for the Bluesound :thumbsdow
 

ahender

Member
just following up now the node 2i is up for sale. I'm still looking for reports on
  • Audiolab 6000n
  • Arcam ST60
  • Cambridge Azur 851n
There is an Auralic Aries G1 for sale elsewhere but that's too much streamer for me.

As an aside, I checked the signal strength in the house. Next to the router I saw -29dBm and the repeater was at -54dBm
Where the Bluesound was sited I see -52 dBm on the router and -40 dBm for the repeater.

Pretty poor outcome for the Bluesound :thumbsdow
The Cambridge is Bluetooth only. I would also consider the new Node. 30-day money back guarantee. If you return without a warranty issue, it would cost $40 for shipping to warehouse. As for the Audiolab and Arcam, make sure they have decent apps. WhatHiFi has reviews for all three.
 

eatapeach

Active Member
The Cambridge is Bluetooth only. I would also consider the new Node. 30-day money back guarantee. If you return without a warranty issue, it would cost $40 for shipping to warehouse. As for the Audiolab and Arcam, make sure they have decent apps. WhatHiFi has reviews for all three.
I believe that's incorrect.

And I won't touch another Bluesound product until the day I die.....
 

martin 39

Well-known Member
Its brilliant ive spent £830 and transferred my system back to somewhere i want to be. Musical fidelity m2si b&w cm7. Bluesound node 2 and a pair of chord clearway interconnects
 

ahender

Member
After praising my Node, came home and it was not working. I think my ethernet hub died. My computer also lost internet access. I have added a new hub and all the connections are working. The Node front light is blue but I cannot get it to connect. iPad shows it is connected via bluesound. Even though bluetooth is connected, I can't access the Node settings. The Node is hardwired. Did a factory reset. Any ideas?
 

eatapeach

Active Member
strip out all leases from the router - erase any entry for the Node.
reinstall the app on your phone and start again.

The last time I tried to connect mine it kept stalling at the factory reset - it never blinked red.
  1. Disconnect the player from the electrical power outlet and wait for 30 seconds.
    (Disconnect the battery pack (BP100) as well for the PULSE FLEX)
  2. Reconnect the player to the electrical power outlet.
  3. Once the status indicator LED turns Red, pressa) and hold the PLAY/PAUSE button. The LED immediately turns Green and then Red. Continue holding* the PLAY/PAUSE button for 30 seconds.
  4. After 30 seconds, the LED blinks Red – then release the button.
 

ahender

Member
strip out all leases from the router - erase any entry for the Node.
reinstall the app on your phone and start again.

The last time I tried to connect mine it kept stalling at the factory reset - it never blinked red.
  1. Disconnect the player from the electrical power outlet and wait for 30 seconds.
    (Disconnect the battery pack (BP100) as well for the PULSE FLEX)
  2. Reconnect the player to the electrical power outlet.
  3. Once the status indicator LED turns Red, pressa) and hold the PLAY/PAUSE button. The LED immediately turns Green and then Red. Continue holding* the PLAY/PAUSE button for 30 seconds.
  4. After 30 seconds, the LED blinks Red – then release the button.
Thank you. I did everything but strip out the leases. Not sure this means.
 

eatapeach

Active Member
In the router you will see IP addresses given to devices - DHCP will assign devices an IP for a period of time - unless you have given it a reserved IP

Basically strip out (if you can) any reference to the Node 2i - I believe the Node doesn't handle expired IPs elegantly - see the attached note from Bluesound support. That whole thread is about other Node 2i users with the same problem

https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/e...anent-WiFi-drop-outs-Node-2i-not-discoverable

1642090562347.png



1642090277954.png


1642089908046.png

https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/e...anent-WiFi-drop-outs-Node-2i-not-discoverable
 

ahender

Member
In the router you will see IP addresses given to devices - DHCP will assign devices an IP for a period of time - unless you have given it a reserved IP

Basically strip out (if you can) any reference to the Node 2i - I believe the Node doesn't handle expired IPs elegantly - see the attached note from Bluesound support. That whole thread is about other Node 2i users with the same problem

https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/e...anent-WiFi-drop-outs-Node-2i-not-discoverable

View attachment 1635828


View attachment 1635820

View attachment 1635811
https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/e...anent-WiFi-drop-outs-Node-2i-not-discoverable
Thank you very much. I logged into my TP-Link router but did not see anything as detailed as what you posted and did not see any Node listed. I did remove the Node from my iPad bluesound settings. Still no luck getting it to connect. I'll look at the link you posted.
 

eatapeach

Active Member
Thank you very much. I logged into my TP-Link router but did not see anything as detailed as what you posted and did not see any Node listed. I did remove the Node from my iPad bluesound settings. Still no luck getting it to connect. I'll look at the link you posted.
Might be under DHCP client list - depends on your router software. I'm not sure if TP link gives you the ability to see active/expired entries or not - but as you see from the posted support ticket, Bluesound themselves state that expired entries and conflicts can cause problems.
However this isn't plug and play, and it's not easy for the average user to resolve issues like this.

1642144724892.png
 

ahender

Member
Thank you very much for assisting with this. Attached is the only relevant item I see regarding leases. There is no option regarding expired leases. In this image, the Node is connected via ethernet. I tried with and without. Neither way does the Node show up in leases. The Node I bought included everything it originally had. I do not see anything in the documentation regarding the Node's default IP address. Again, Bluesound via my iPad indicates it is connected but will not allow me to access settings. I'm just about ready to declare it a lost cause. Bluesound indicates I can ship it in, they diagnose it and if it is hardware related, send me a new one prorated. At this point, I had rather just take the $350 hit and use Spotify Connect with my iPad/iPhone. It's dependable and does not involve casting. In my office where the Node is located, I run the ethernet through my APC backup/surge protector. Maybe there was some sort of spike when I was out since the ethernet hub I was using no longer works. My computer was also connected but works fine. Right now, I'm using an older Netgear router as my hub.
 

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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
A long shot. Have you tried changing the router. Or reset it?
 

ahender

Member
A long shot. Have you tried changing the router. Or reset it?
Thank you. After I got my rant out of the way, did two more factory resets of the Node. Re-deleted the Bluesound app. Re-installed. First attempt at connecting to the Node showed as connected but I still could not finish the setup. Tried two more times and finally got the setup finished. It worked. Played a couple of songs. I had the Node in a temp setup while I was messing with it. Unplugged it, move it to the permanent location, plugged everything back in, and it is back to there I started -- it is not connected and and will not connect.

Again, I would like to thank everyone for their assistance but I am done with the Node.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I bet Bluesound is not helpful either. Frankly mind bobbling of Bluesound not listing to the customer base.

Yamaha has few streamers. You haven’t considered buying their devices?
 

ahender

Member
I bet Bluesound is not helpful either. Frankly mind bobbling of Bluesound not listing to the customer base.

Yamaha has few streamers. You haven’t considered buying their devices?
Thanks. I'll just go with Spotify Connect on my Marantz. With Spotify Connect, the iPad acts as a remote so no casting of the music file.
 

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