Is anyone doing this with a Bluesound Node 2 or other streaming component?

I have a Bluesound Node 2 that I have been using as a streaming device for Tidal music files, Spotify music files and my own digital music files on a WD MyCloud device. The Bluesound Node 2 has been fed into a Benchmark USB/DAC1 as an external DAC running to a Parasound preamp and Amp. I wanted to know how good the Node 2 (internal DAC) I ran the Node directly into my Parasound A21. Essentially I am using the Node 2 as both preamp and DAC. It sounds really fantastic. I did this with the Benchmark with good results long ago. Does anyone else do this with a Bluesound device or other streamer? What is the downside, despite the obvious lack of preamp functions (switching sources, volume pot, etc).....
2psyop - there is no down side - and if you use a great power cables and IC’s it will sound even better

I think it’s one of the best bargains of the year

I tried running the Node 2 through my Bifrost, but the SQ was not as good, so I ditched the Bifrost

I also have the Powernode 2 driving a pair ofTannoy Mercury F4 towers on my A/V system and it sounds amazing.

And just a couple of weeks ago I purchased the Pulse Mini for outdoors music - it also sounds amazing with a great power cable.

I’ve found the Bluesound products to be extremely good value andeach unit provides excellent SQ.

As for...
despite the obvious lack of preamp functions (switching sources, volume pot, etc).....
Well - I can switch form one input to another via the app and I can control the volume and track skipping from the unit.

Perhaps if we ask nicely they would include input selection on the next version

BTW - my Bluesound is connected to my NAIM 5i which has a passive Input stage, so apart from the volume knob and input selectors it's basically the same as what you are doing - going straight into an amp

Welcome to the Bluesound club :-)
For practical reasons I’ve been using my Node 2 sans external DACs (Chord Qute EX and Schiit Bifrost Multibit) for a couple of months now and I must say, I don’t miss either of them. The on-board DAC in the gen 2 Bluesound gear is surprisingly good ... shouldn’t be according to some, but it is. I think we all need to keep in mind it’s not just about the DAC chip in a product like this (i.e., the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts). Like @williewonka I also think the Node 2 is quite a bargain.
You simply discovered that with equal signals, most DACs sound quite similar. The huge differences people claim to hear can be attributed to the expectation/ placebo effect, similar to cable/IC swapping. No DAC should require a huge transformer or a whole rack width of circuitry. It’s all marketing.
Has anyone on this thread or otherwise had an opportunity to compare the overall sound quality (DAC and analog stage) of the Node 2 to the Oppo UDP-205? If so, what are your impressions?
In addition to the fine sound (I have yet to hear a true difference between DAC's of good quality - the same naturally for streamers) the bluesound node also have, I think, a nice working subwoofer output, where you can decide if you want the signal to the monitors be high-passed or not.

Any thoughts on the bluesound vault 2 cd ripper? I need to get rid of my cd's soon.

I also use the Oppo streamer/dac and a Nuprime 10 dac/pre. All of them fine and don't hear any differense to tal about. There might be some minor difference but then you also have to decide for better or worse....
They must have improved the dac in the node 2 compared to the vault 2 which I own.
The dac in my vault 2 is considerably inferior in SQ compared to running it via spdif to my Mytek Brooklyn DAC.

Apart from that the vault 2 is STILL the best bang for the buck piece of equipment in my entire systems.


Owned the vault 2 for near 2 years and still have no desire to upgrade . have approx 2500 CD ripped in it as wav files although I mostly use it to stream tidal.
One point with the vault 2 is that it accepts wired Ethernet connection only.
Depending on the rest of the system, you’ll need to try a fairly high end external DAC to hear a jump in SQ. I borrowed a friend’s Mytek Manhattan over a weekend and the improvement was significant. I also tried Border Patrol SE DAC and Ayre Codex on other occasions and they also sounded much better than the Node2 analog connection. It really depends on the resolution of the rest of your system and what type of sound you enjoy.
I have run my beloved Node 2 directly through my integrated amp using rca connectors and it sounds quite good on Tidal. But when I run it through my AR DAC the sound quality is much much better.  Way more detail, resolution, and an expansive soundstage.

I have also compared SQ on Tidal through my Oppo 105.  The Oppo is far superior to the Node2.  Not as good as the Node running through the AR DAC, but close, and again much better than the node going directly to the amp.......
I too, have the Node 2 running thru a Ayre Codex Dac in balanced mode, and feel it is much superior to the Node's internal Dac. I still think the Node's internal dac is good though.
Interesting. My hearing stops at 14 khz and unfortunately I seem not being able to register a difference in SQ above cd-quality level (or actually less). But I will try again to A/B-test the analog signal from a bluesound directly to the amp with the digital signal from the same bluesound passing a HQ dac, at exatly the same level (not easy) and with not more than one second changing time.
Maybe the problem is that I only use the standard free ethernet cable from the router to the bluesound? And the router receives the signal through 4G.