Best Way To Connect A Bluesound Node

Just upgraded to a Bluesound Node streamer and would appreciate your thoughts on how best to use it. Set it up yesterday; iPad Air running Bluesound software (running Qobuz and Tidal) via WiFi to the Bluesound Node, analog out into a McIntosh C52 preamp, MC312 power amp and Magico A5 speakers. SQ was excellent IMHO. I know I have to try this for myself, but, will SQ improve if I connect via bluetooth instead of WiFi? Similarly if I connect the Bluesound Node via an optical cable into the C52 and have the McIntosh act as the DAC? Any other suggestions you have to optimize SQ would be appreciated.

Finally, those of you that have upgraded to a C53 from a C52, is this a worthwhile upgrade?


Bluetooth will sound worse than wifi don't go that route, and yes do try the Dac in your Mac it may indeed be an improvement.

I used to have a Node2 and C2600 preamp.

I found my best experience was ethernet cable to Node and I tried both optical and coaxial to the preamp and didn't notice a difference - I used optical.  I preferred the DAC in the preamp over the DAC in the node.

Overall I used Tidal primarily with connectivity to a server for my local files.  

Good luck and enjoy!

Wired Ethernet for fuller sound and you need to try which of the following connectors sounds best to your ears

Optical, Coax or USB. 

The quality of digital cables matters too so choose wisely. Check out DH Labs, their digital cables are pretty darn good for the money.


We are a bluesound dealer after reading your post Ehernet hookup the ess dac in the macintosh wil sound better  neveruse optical coax or usb willl be best  With such a nice system you may want to explore even better streamers later The nnode is excellent but is bettered by more expensive streamers Hope this helps  Dave and Troy Audio intellectNJ streaming specialists
Post removed 

All good comments here.  Ethernet and using the Mac DAC the way to go.  I would get use to Bluesound for at least a few months before considering an upgrade 

@audiotroy What does this mean?
"neveruse optical coax or usb willl be best"

Do you ever proofread your posts?
There is a preview option you can use, review
the post and make corrections as necessary.


Thanks for everyone response to my post. Experimented at the weekend with an optical/toslink connection to the preamp (C52 does the D/A) and analog from the Bluesound Node to the C51 (Bluesound Node does the D/A). Not really a great deal of difference IMHO. The optical/toslink connection was probably slightly better (clearer/crisp?)?

I found in my system coaxial was best. The main determinant of the sound quality was connecting it to ethernet (hardwired) which made a big improvement.


I didn't find the USB was noticeably different than coaxial, which the Node was feeding into an external DAC.

I know you said initially not much difference but do some critical listening with high resolution stream from Qobuz and switch between the analog connection (BS NODE DAC) and the digital connection (C52 DAC). Let us know the results.  If I am correct the C52 has a full implementation of an ESS DAC and should produce better SQ than the NODE.