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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:48 pm 
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Hey Neil, were you using the Bluesound Node 2 when I was at the Everest open house a few months ago? I really liked the interface, and of course the sound.

I use a Pi w/ Boss Allo DAC and highly recommend it. A friend also bought one on my recommendation, but then compared it to a Node 2... he put the Pi up for sale immediately, said it wasn't even close, the Node 2 was way better. The Pi is indeed great value and offers great sound for under $200, but does require a degree of technical IT skill, and it can clearly be bested by other more premium, purpose built products.

I may have to borrow a Node 2 and see what kind of difference it makes in my system.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:49 pm 
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markaberrant wrote:
Hey Neil, were you using the Bluesound Node 2 when I was at the Everest open house a few months ago? I really liked the interface, and of course the sound.

I use a Pi w/ Boss Allo DAC and highly recommend it. A friend also bought one on my recommendation, but then compared it to a Node 2... he put the Pi up for sale immediately, said it wasn't even close, the Node 2 was way better. The Pi is indeed great value and offers great sound for under $200, but does require a degree of technical IT skill, and it can clearly be bested by other more premium, purpose built products.

I may have to borrow a Node 2 and see what kind of difference it makes in my system.

Yes, we were using a Bluesound Node 2 in one system at our last open house. You're correct too that it has a fantastic interface. Their apps for Android and iOS are some of the best I've seen. I'm not surprised about your friend's comparison with the Pi. You typically get what you pay for. However, there are certainly high value products out there. From what I know, Pi is one of them. But, I also feel the Node 2 is very high value. I would expect that the Node 2 would be a step up from the Pi, but there is a price difference, so it should be expected as well.

If you want to try the Node2, markaberrant, just let me know. No problem.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:09 am 
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Everest Audio wrote:
markaberrant wrote:
Hey Neil, were you using the Bluesound Node 2 when I was at the Everest open house a few months ago? I really liked the interface, and of course the sound.

I use a Pi w/ Boss Allo DAC and highly recommend it. A friend also bought one on my recommendation, but then compared it to a Node 2... he put the Pi up for sale immediately, said it wasn't even close, the Node 2 was way better. The Pi is indeed great value and offers great sound for under $200, but does require a degree of technical IT skill, and it can clearly be bested by other more premium, purpose built products.

I may have to borrow a Node 2 and see what kind of difference it makes in my system.


Yes, we were using a Bluesound Node 2 in one system at our last open house. You're correct too that it has a fantastic interface. Their apps for Android and iOS are some of the best I've seen. I'm not surprised about your friend's comparison with the Pi. You typically get what you pay for. However, there are certainly high value products out there. From what I know, Pi is one of them. But, I also feel the Node 2 is very high value. I would expect that the Node 2 would be a step up from the Pi, but there is a price difference, so it should be expected as well.

If you want to try the Node2, markaberrant, just let me know. No problem.



I consistently read this - x digital transport BLOWS AWAY y digital transport, yet I've been unable to hear this myself, despite having decent ears and a resolving system.

How about we set up a little test - run a pi and a Node 2 into the same DAC - one with two USB inputs - and have a blind listen. Play the same track from both sources at the same time: synchronize them, so to speak. Then, with a remote controlled DAC, we can switch back and forth. And without knowing which is which, we can try to pick which one sounds best.

Sounds easy and worthwhile, neh?

Jason


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:23 am 
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Linux plus VLC - open source and free. Built for you and me.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:31 am 
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doctor_big wrote:

...

I consistently read this - x digital transport BLOWS AWAY y digital transport, yet I've been unable to hear this myself, despite having decent ears and a resolving system.

How about we set up a little test - run a pi and a Node 2 into the same DAC - one with two USB inputs - and have a blind listen. Play the same track from both sources at the same time: synchronize them, so to speak. Then, with a remote controlled DAC, we can switch back and forth. And without knowing which is which, we can try to pick which one sounds best.

Sounds easy and worthwhile, neh?

Jason


My own DAC unfortunately only has one USB input but it sounds like an interesting experiment, one I'd like to witness. At the same time, another interesting test could be done, comparing USB cables ;)
B

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:02 am 
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mantisory wrote:
doctor_big wrote:

...

I consistently read this - x digital transport BLOWS AWAY y digital transport, yet I've been unable to hear this myself, despite having decent ears and a resolving system.

How about we set up a little test - run a pi and a Node 2 into the same DAC - one with two USB inputs - and have a blind listen. Play the same track from both sources at the same time: synchronize them, so to speak. Then, with a remote controlled DAC, we can switch back and forth. And without knowing which is which, we can try to pick which one sounds best.

Sounds easy and worthwhile, neh?

Jason


My own DAC unfortunately only has one USB input but it sounds like an interesting experiment, one I'd like to witness. At the same time, another interesting test could be done, comparing USB cables ;)
B


I'd like to see a dealer step up to the plate and host this test.

As a systems programmer, I am extremely skeptical about transports which provide the same data sounding different, especially with a DAC that buffers the input. The data HAS to be identical, otherwise 256bit encryption wouldn't work, and you wouldn't be able to open an Excel spreadsheet.

But if we listen to two transports through one DAC, and hear one BLOW THE OTHER AWAY, well then I'll be a convert, although I'd really like to know what's causing the difference.

Again, this wouldn't be some sort of ABX trickery, it'd be a simple A/B test, and there's no way this type of test should mask the differences, especially since the differences are reportedly so huge.

Who's up for this?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:04 am 
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You’ll be hard pressed at finding a DAC with multiple USB inputs. USB Audio input is a “master/slave” interface – multiple connections would cause obvious issues.

Solution of course is to use 2 of the same DAC’s!!

Also to add, the Bluesound does not employ USB out (if this is what is to be compared). Different digital interfaces (SPDIF vs USB) can have an effect on the outcome when processed through the same DAC. Case in point see attached measurements. 2 different sources with one using 2 different interfaces being fed through the same DAC.


Attachments:
file.jpg
file.jpg [ 204.54 KiB | Viewed 293 times ]


Last edited by sthomas1049 on Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:13 am 
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sthomas1049 wrote:
You’ll be hard pressed at finding a DAC with multiple USB inputs. USB Audio input is a “master/slave” interface – multiple connections would cause obvious issues.

Solution of course is to use 2 of the same DAC’s!!


Check out the big brain on sthomas! Yeah, I guess that would work too. I'd also be interested in doing this with SPDIF vs USB. All in all, I think it'd be very instructive.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:14 am 
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doctor_big wrote:
Everest Audio wrote:
markaberrant wrote:
Hey Neil, were you using the Bluesound Node 2 when I was at the Everest open house a few months ago? I really liked the interface, and of course the sound.

I use a Pi w/ Boss Allo DAC and highly recommend it. A friend also bought one on my recommendation, but then compared it to a Node 2... he put the Pi up for sale immediately, said it wasn't even close, the Node 2 was way better. The Pi is indeed great value and offers great sound for under $200, but does require a degree of technical IT skill, and it can clearly be bested by other more premium, purpose built products.

I may have to borrow a Node 2 and see what kind of difference it makes in my system.


Yes, we were using a Bluesound Node 2 in one system at our last open house. You're correct too that it has a fantastic interface. Their apps for Android and iOS are some of the best I've seen. I'm not surprised about your friend's comparison with the Pi. You typically get what you pay for. However, there are certainly high value products out there. From what I know, Pi is one of them. But, I also feel the Node 2 is very high value. I would expect that the Node 2 would be a step up from the Pi, but there is a price difference, so it should be expected as well.

If you want to try the Node2, markaberrant, just let me know. No problem.



I consistently read this - x digital transport BLOWS AWAY y digital transport, yet I've been unable to hear this myself, despite having decent ears and a resolving system.

How about we set up a little test - run a pi and a Node 2 into the same DAC - one with two USB inputs - and have a blind listen. Play the same track from both sources at the same time: synchronize them, so to speak. Then, with a remote controlled DAC, we can switch back and forth. And without knowing which is which, we can try to pick which one sounds best.

Sounds easy and worthwhile, neh?

Jason


Sure, but we weren't talking about transport vs transport.

We were talking about Pi with onboard DAC ($175) compared to Node2 with onboard DAC ($600).


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:14 am 
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The test, as suggested, wouldn't work as the Node 2 doesn't have a usb digital output. So, you'd be testing two different devices and different digital cables at the same time.

Sent from my SM-G925W8 using Tapatalk

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:01 am 
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markaberrant wrote:

Sure, but we weren't talking about transport vs transport.

We were talking about Pi with onboard DAC ($175) compared to Node2 with onboard DAC ($600).


Ah - ok. Sorry for the obfuscation.

-- 06 Sep 2017 16:04 --

sthomas1049 wrote:
You’ll be hard pressed at finding a DAC with multiple USB inputs. USB Audio input is a “master/slave” interface – multiple connections would cause obvious issues.

Solution of course is to use 2 of the same DAC’s!!

Also to add, the Bluesound does not employ USB out (if this is what is to be compared). Different digital interfaces (SPDIF vs USB) can have an effect on the outcome when processed through the same DAC. Case in point see attached measurements. 2 different sources with one using 2 different interfaces being fed through the same DAC.



Very interesting. Two comments:

1) The noise is about 110db down - I wonder if that would be audible?
2) I'd like to see the same measurements of two wildly different USB transports. Apples to apples, like.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:18 am 
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doctor_big wrote:
mantisory wrote:
doctor_big wrote:

...

I consistently read this - x digital transport BLOWS AWAY y digital transport, yet I've been unable to hear this myself, despite having decent ears and a resolving system.

How about we set up a little test - run a pi and a Node 2 into the same DAC - one with two USB inputs - and have a blind listen. Play the same track from both sources at the same time: synchronize them, so to speak. Then, with a remote controlled DAC, we can switch back and forth. And without knowing which is which, we can try to pick which one sounds best.

Sounds easy and worthwhile, neh?

Jason


My own DAC unfortunately only has one USB input but it sounds like an interesting experiment, one I'd like to witness. At the same time, another interesting test could be done, comparing USB cables ;)
B


I'd like to see a dealer step up to the plate and host this test.

As a systems programmer, I am extremely skeptical about transports which provide the same data sounding different, especially with a DAC that buffers the input. The data HAS to be identical, otherwise 256bit encryption wouldn't work, and you wouldn't be able to open an Excel spreadsheet.

But if we listen to two transports through one DAC, and hear one BLOW THE OTHER AWAY, well then I'll be a convert, although I'd really like to know what's causing the difference.

Again, this wouldn't be some sort of ABX trickery, it'd be a simple A/B test, and there's no way this type of test should mask the differences, especially since the differences are reportedly so huge.

Who's up for this?


Thanks for your post.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:54 am 
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More than a decade ago, I discovered that a very expensive transport/DAC pair could make music that was in a similar league to my turntable's.

( FWIW, the turntable was an LP12 Lingo with a modified Rega arm and a Koetsu Rosewood Signature. The transport/DAC pair was by Ensemble, which used TEAC VRDS, and Cello. )

So I began to look for more affordable digital gear that could do the same thing. I found an Apogee DAC that was streets ahead of anything else at the price. Then I had to find a transport, since nobody knew about computer servers yet.

I used CD players ( Shanling, Cambridge ) and dedicated transports ( Cambridge, TEAC ). Of course I tried different S/PDIF cables. And then, of course, the computers arrived.

I am getting to the point.

Not a single one of the source/converter cable combinations sounded the same. I had to do a good deal of research to find out why this might be. The most technically obvious answer came from Steve Nugent of Empirical Audio : clock jitter. Transports produced different amounts of it, DACs handled it differently. The potential sources of jitter were numerous.

One source is the conversion happening in the transport. Of course we are talking about spinning discs here, and the CD is an analog medium. An initial reflection off a land or a pit has to be read clearly to be converted into a number, which if read properly is not yet the digital number that will be sent to the DAC. Also, power supply issues affect error correction. All of these things, and more, generate jitter. Mr. Nugent felt, in fact, that there was really only one source of distortion in a digital audio chain, and jitter was it.

So there you have the cause : jitter. It's not for nothing that one of the best DACs available today, the Calyx Femto, is named after its jitter level.

doctor_big wrote:
As a systems programmer, I am extremely skeptical about transports which provide the same data sounding different, especially with a DAC that buffers the input. The data HAS to be identical, otherwise 256bit encryption wouldn't work, and you wouldn't be able to open an Excel spreadsheet.

But if we listen to two transports through one DAC, and hear one BLOW THE OTHER AWAY, well then I'll be a convert, although I'd really like to know what's causing the difference.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:04 am 
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I still have a Touch, and I also use a hacked Popoplug (Linux installed, and a version of LMS that makes the Pogo think it is a Touch). I use only 1 at a time, and always into an outboard DAC, so I am really only using them as digital transports for streaming.

I hear a lot of folks suggesting that a Pi or other alternate streamer will sound dramatically different. I have not found that dramatic a difference.

I like both, and I use both.

I won't abandon LMS as server s/w until something else shows up that is free, sounds as good, and operates on lightweight h/w. I have not found it yet!

But I don't stream outside world music much. I leverage my ~4TB of music and love it.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:41 am 
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SPACEMANRICK wrote:
I have been using my Squeezebox touch for the past 4 years to stream my FLAC files from my computer to my 2 channel audio system. In the past 2 years I have migrated to using my Squeezbox touch more and more with Spotify to play music on my 2 channel system. As of 3 weeks ago the Squeezbox touch is no longer supported by Spotify and I can no longer access Spotify.

Spotify no longer works via the cloud server (ie mysqueezebox.com). However, it can still work by installing Logitech Media Server (LMS) locally, onto your hard drive (and some NASes), coupled with running the Spotty plugin.

See this thread for more information.

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthrea ... tty-v1-1-0

***** Keep your Touch for it's still a fantastic piece of kit ******

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