Has Anyone Compared the DAC On a Bluesound NODE 3rd Gen to a Separate DAC?

The Gen 3 NODE has an upgraded DAC.  Just wondering what differences there might be in a separate DAC.


I got the 3rd gen Bluesound Node about 2 months ago and am returning it to my dealer.  The sound, to my ear, is thin with a smaller soundstage.  Both my Schiit Bifrost 2 and Topping D90 OG streaming from my iMac Pro sound better. I’m going into the Hegel H190 integrated. 

Do you have to purchase the Pontus II online or any available domestically? Thanks


Denafrips products in the US are only sold by Vinshine Audio, and their amazing owner Alvin Chee. He and Vinshine are based in Singapore, and their US repair center is Tech Specialists in Buda, Texas. All Denafrips products sold by Vinshine include a fully transferrable 3 year warranty

Alvin is quick to answer a question (except night in Singapore), offers what I have found to be honest advice. A good part of why have four Denafrips products (Pontus II DAC, Hades Pre-Amp, Thallo Amp, and Iris DDC. All of  the products that I own punch way above their price, and I am extremely happy.


@tcotruvo I have a Bluesound Node (gen 3) and the internal dac is pretty good.  It was not quite as good as my old Arcam irDAC, but reasonably close. It is nowhere near as good as my current Chord QuteHD dac, but that is not really surprising.  That said, I really enjoy using the Node as a dedicated server and streamer for the Chord.  Functionality and sound quality of the Node used only as a source are both excellent.

Adding an upgraded power cable improved the sound quality of both streaming/server functions and the Node’s internal dac, and its seems others have had success adding and external power supply/kit.

I have been experimenting with different digital coax cables from the Node to the Chord, and through blind tests I have (unfortunately for my pocketbook) yet to find a ceiling on the improvements each step up the quality ladder provides up to several multiples of the Node cost.  My recommendation is to find a good dac to pair with the Node, and then experiment with different cables and power supply as your budget allows.  You will be amazed.

@knownothing Thx for your comments! Since my original post I have added the PD Creative power adopter, an LHY linear power supply, an SMSL M400 DAC and a fiber optic link in my Ethernet connection. The sound is very good, but I’m not sure I can accomplish much more improvement in my room with all the windows and bare concrete floor. Maybe some type of room EQ might work, or it might not. I would try that before I invest in cables.