Need DAC/Streaming Advice

I currently own a Bryston BDP-2 digital player that I run through a Bryston DAC.  As far as playing high resolution files via a thumb drive or other external drive, the BDP-2 sounds great.  The streaming part leaves a lot to be desired.  I can stream Tidal but it is extremely slow and the IPad controller is pretty lousy.  I can listen to Sonos through the DAC into my main system but obviously there is no hi-Rez via Sonos. I would like to find a better solution and am willing to start over (I can move the Bryston components to my secondary system).  What I would like to find is a higher end streamer for my main system that would allow me to stream Tidal, Spotify and Deezer if possible while also playing digital files via thumb drive etc. I have no idea if that can be done in a one box solution or if I would need a separate streamer and DAC.  I would very much appreciate any and all thoughts.  Thanks in advance.
Ag insider logo xs@2xpuppyt
It’s an audio streaming box with multi-room capabilities, if that’s what you mean. You can stream with the app, AirPlay, and Bluetooth aptX HD, and it can use USB drives.
The Bluesound Node 2 or 2ci are entry level products and not to the level of your Bryston gear at all. What sort of budget are you looking at for either a new streamer or an all in on solution?
I highly recommend Aurender N100C, worth every penny. You can stream high resolution files through Tidal or Qobuz. The proprietary conductor iPad app is pretty awesome too. 
Have you considered upgrading the Bryston BDP-2 to a BDP-3?  It is supposed to be much faster.  I think it runs about $1500 for the upgrade.
  Your question about Bluesound being a Sonos that can stream High Rez is spot on.  I currently find it difficult to recommend Bluesound due to technical difficulties that I and other forumites have had with it, although when it is working, it sounds great and the app makes finding music relatively easy.
  Simaudio MiND2 is an interesting product that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention on this side of the border.
It’s digital, it doesn’t matter, especially with the jitter reduction the Bryston DAC can do.

You seem like one track pony. Haven’t you done enough trolling here about jitter?

The OP expresses his desire to explore streamer that offers faster and better app interface along with high resolution files accessibility (which your ears can’t tell the difference). 

As good as Bluesound Node is, it remains an entry level gear. 

Please explain how it’s entry level in regards to performance. OP has an iPad, so no even need to use the app if you don’t wish to, use AirPlay.
I am probably looking for something better than entry level but given my experiences with the Bryston digital player I am a little gun shy about spending too much money. 

Unless you try, you won’t know. Most Aurender and Bluesound online retailers offers 30 days return policy. 
You can find a used BlueSound Node 2 for around $300, or a "re-certified" one from BlueSound for $400, or spend $500 on a new Node 2i.  It will do everything you want it to and more.

If you buy a used one and decide you don't like it, you're not going to be out too much money (if any) if you decide you don't like it and flip it.  If you buy a new one, BlueSound has a 30 day return policy.

Try it and decide for yourself.  

I'm running one through my Auralic Vega DAC in my main system and it sounds great.  The best bang for the buck component I think I've ever bought.  I have one in my bedroom and am using the internal DAC on that one. 

The Node 2 sounds quite good on its own, but will sound better when connected to a high quality DAC.

Before I actually listened to one, I was skeptical and also considered it an "entry level" piece because of the low price. 
Thanks for these suggestions. It sounds like Bluesound is best if run through a separate DAC rather than using the built in DAC. The Aurender sounds like another option to try as well. Appreciate the ideas.
There is talk of entry level products with regard to DAC components. My experience has been that since the DAC chip itself and implementation of the design and layout is changing so fast in the audio world, what had been a top level component 6 years ago, or mid level component 3 years ago might not sound as good as an entry level component today. Best to take that kind of reasoning about entry level DACs with a grain of salt if you are not changing out DACs every 6 to 12 months. The Node 2 really sounds as good as my Benchmark DAC 1 and also as good as my Schiit Bifrost Uber especially if you consider the sound of many MQA tracks. The dynamics on much of the material is very, very good. I think I could get much better if I spent twice the money on just a new DAC alone.
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The only music streaming apps I have used on a Samsung Smartv was Pandora and Spotify. I have never passed that digital signal via an optical out on my TV to a DAC. Someone else may have to add this info to the discussion although I don’t think anything hirez would work well via a Smartv.
I would try the Auralic Aires G1. Used it and the G2 at dealers last weekend and decided one of them will be my next purchase. 

regarding your Bryston, which did you use to control it??  Manic Moose, or something else?
I'm using a Mac Mini plus a USB DAC. I found the last Mini version with a DVD drive in it for $200. HiRes Downloads from tidal take 3 seconds.
I loved the sound of the Bluesound system but I found the app and the controls to be so clunky, they kept freezing up and locking with the music on so you would have to reboot the ipad.  It was so bad I returned it.  That was in June, I've heard there are updates that could have made this better but give it a try.   
You’re very good with an investment in Bluesound. Reliable and nice app. Bought a cheap iEast streamer recently. Don’t know how it works yet. Auralic mini another example. You can input a harddrive with your own files. Don’t know their app. Oppo Sonica, Simaudio Moon, naim... Lot’s of competition today. Not necessary to pay big money for just the streaming. Maybe for other special functionality you like to have. Most often the apps are the problem. Especially careful with "non-entry level" brands.
Just installed Bluesound node2i and have not been impressed when comparing the sound to CD.
Have only had in system for 2weeks but from my iPad with Tidal so far no issues of locking or freezing.

Should my Yamaha 8801 integrated internalDAC improve  the sound quality?
The Bluenode 2i with a good dac plays way above its price. It is not entry level at all paired with a good dac. I use mine with a Benchmark Dac 2 into Ayre preamp and Mark Levinson amp and it sounds great.  My Levinson dealer sells quite a few high end lines and raves about the Bluesound. Benchmarks are great for making even CD or Redbook quality sound excellent,  though you wont get full MQA with this setup , only 24/96 when streaming Tidal MQA. 
Look at the Zen Mini MK3  High quality server with built in DAC (or can connect to any DAC)  Can import all your music, built in CD burner.  A very easy interface with iPang on your iPhone/iPad.  An optional linear power source available.   Spotify, TIDAL, and Qobuz, and Internet radio ready. $1250 ($1900 with PSU) with 1 TB storage.  Up to 8 TB available.
I am not a dealer or have financial interest, just a happy owner.  
Check out Antipodes Audio from New Zealand. Their streamer/servers are world class. The onboard DACs are more than OK or you can use an outboard DAC if you like. If you're in the US, your dollar conversion rate will make them even more attractive
Auralic Aries. The in house developed app, lightening DS, is way ahead of the competition and only bettered by Roon. 

+1 @mzkmxcv4+1 @big-greg

Aurender N100C (@lalitk) is a very good product with many attractive features but when I auditioned that vs a Bluesound Vault 2 I could not hear a difference. System was Parasound Halo JC2BP--> A21 --> Vandersteen Treos. (I am able to hear differences with power cable and fuse switches.)
At home, I very happy with sound the Vault 2 produces in my system: JC2BP--> A21 --> Vandersteen Quatros.
You have to consider that since Bluesound manufactures in bulk they can purchase components  at prices and access engineering talent that small companies that sell much smaller number of products cannot match.
Vault 2 has very similar guts to Node 2. In addition to streaming, you can rip CDs conveniently to an internal hard drive and play them back.


Thats a little discouraging, as I have ordered a BDP 3 to pair with my DAC3.  I have had Bluesound for the past 3 years but I am finally throwing in the towel after not being able to use it for a quarter of that time.  When it works, it’s a nice product 
I have had the Node 2i for a couple months now and haven’t had any problems with any of the glitches mentioned here. My problem is reading all these posts and thinking about a stand alone DAC upgrade and if it’s worth it. 
Depends on the rest of your system.  If it is reasonably resolving, I would say yes, it’s worth an external DAC

I’m beginning to wonder if any of these streaming options are really that good. I would assume so much depends on your WiFi network. As I understand it, The BDP3 digital player is a big improvement over the BDP2 so hopefully your experience will be much better. After reading all of these posts I decided to purchase the Node 2i. For only $499 I figured I wasn’t making a huge investment and I can always use it in my secondary system if it doesn’t perform as I hope. I my also spring for the upgrade to my BDP2 which essentially turns it into a 3.

Does anyone know how long it takes to rip a CD into the Vault? I have about 6000 CD’s and won’t live long enough to get them all ripped but I would like to get the best part of my collection into a hard drive.
I’ve owned and liked the Bryston BDP2 and BDA2. I used MPoD and Mpad to control it. Much better than Manic Moose. I shifted to a Roon based system and now use an Innuos Zenith Mark III to stream into my Lyngdorf which has a fine internal DAC. I’ve found a network connection to work better than wireless. You can google powerline network connectors if you don’t have a connection nearby. The Innuos acts as a Roon Core so I don’t need a separate computer. It integrates superbly with Tidal. 
 "I have about 6000 CD’s and won’t live long enough to get them all ripped"

Depending on what you have in your CD collection, you may find most of them already available in the Tidal catalog and can readily stream. 

For my sake, I am hoping that your Bryston experience is an outlier.  I use Ethernet so hopefully that will help.
So Puppy, you say you purchased a Node 2i, but then you ask how long it will take to rip a CD to the Vault.  I am confused as to what your Bluesound setup is, please clarify.
i had ripped about 900CDs to my Vault in FLAC, and used 0.7 TB in the process.  Realizing that my several thousand CD collection wasn’t going to be contained on the Vault, I then had a NAS put in and transferred the Vault files to the NAS.  The storage limit on the Vault is 2TB and the NAS I chose is 10 TB.  The other advantage of having the collection on the NAS is that I can control it from Bluesound, from my Oppo, from my new Bryston, from my aren’t limited to the foibles of one manufacturer..
  Ripped CDs will show up in the Vault almost immediately.  A rip takes from 2 to 10 minutes.
Puppy, my recommendation would be that if you have purchased just a Node 2i and are thinking about purchasing a Vault or Vault2i is don’t purchase the Vault but save that money for a NAS.  You can plug the NAS directly into the Bryston (I’m wondering if it’s the WiFi dongle on the BDP2 that might be your issue) and the Node2i can access the NAS via WiFi).  I would then hire a high school or college student to burn your CDs into the NAS
Really not sure how or why certain members are having or have had issues with Bluesound?
I was happy owner of a vault 2 for 2 years with not one minute of downtime due to any issues.
For the price I still consider it to be one of the best bangs for the buck out there when you stop and consider all it can do.

Steam, Tidal, Deezer, Quboz in hirez format.
Rip your entire CD collection and catalog it all.
Read an external USB drive to play back music.
Read and access music stored on your nas on same network.
Stream from a Bluetooth device to it.
Control it all from your Android phone ( imho the Apple control is inferior to droid)

All for $1000?
Just buy it!
I don’t have CD’s to deal with and was looking to get a DAC into my system and stumbled on to this NAD C 658 BluOS Streaming DAC. Pretty much does it all except ripping and has this Dirac live room correction that will help with a space that hasn’t been treated properly. The Node2i is for sale, it will be here Friday if the delivery guy doesn’t freeze to death!
Uber, I don’t think a Vault is going to be big enough to hold his 6000 CD collection, unless he does MP3.  I think a NAS with a Node 2i will work better, especially since he can use the NAS with his Bryston.
  Today I couldn’t get a peep out of Bluesound.  The app showed all the players, but all Igot was silence.  After a few minutes I unplugged them all and then replugged them and all was well.
i wonder if people who have multiple Bluesound units are more prone to issues than single unit owners.  Any, the fun has definitely gone for me with this product.  I was supposed to have picked up the Bryston BDP3 today but it wasn’t worth trudging through a foot of snow in 50 below wind chill...

I bought the Node and am awaiting delivery.  I was asking about the 
Vault out of curiosity and thinking ahead. I have a couple of systems so if the Node worked great then I might buy a Vault as well.  I appreciate the advice on going the NAS route. I’ve got a bunch of thing running around my mind; just thinking through all of the options.

Good luck on the BDP. I have a feeling your experience will be much better. Please come back to the forum and let us know how it goes.  I very likely am missing some things I should be doing. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I would still consider upgrading my BDP2 especially if your experience and others is positive. 

Congrats on the BDP3. Sorry about the cold!

Well, I can tell you that I had the same problem and probably worse because I own a BDP-1 which it significantly slower than the BDP-2. I was so frustrated when trying to stream from Tidal, when it worked the sound was fantastic but after a while it would freeze and would take forever to load the next song. All this changed for the better when I added ROON to the Bryston. Everything works great now and it is really quick. Yes, I do understand that this is another subscription on top of Tidal but it is a great option that would allow you to keep the Bryston which in my opinion is a fantastic player.

Hope this helps.


  I’ll be interested in your take on comparing the Manic Moose app versus the BlueOS.  I know that Bipolar Bison (sorry) is supposed to be a weak spot with the Bryston Players and I might be asking Austinbob above for suggestions when I get the BDP3.
  It’s also interesting that there are complaints about speed and reliability of the BDP 1 and 2 and speed and reliability.  A lot of people wondered why Bryston went so fast from BDP 1 to 3, and the reviews tend to mention how fast and stable the BDP3 is but seem to avoid mentioning problems with the earlier players.
  I wasn’t aware that Roon could be added to the BDP2, as the ads for the BDP3 make a big deal of how It will do Roon, which to me implied the BDP2 couldn’t be a Roon endpoint.  Perhaps asosa can elaborate 
Entry level or not, my Bluesound Vault 2i sounds damn fine using the built-in DAC. As far as the cumbersome software, I can agree to a point, Which is why I run mine using Roon on an Intel NUC running the ROCK OS. Works flawlessly and the Roon architecture kicks SQ up considerably.
Like mahler123 above, I I also encountered significant problems with Bluesound and ended up returning. I initially purchased the older Node 2 and Puse 2 about a year ago. Used them for 3 months and then sold as I could not deal with the bugs I encountered. More recently I purchased a Pulse mini 2i and a Node 2i. Different bugs and not a good experience with customer service (similar to mahler). Ended up returning as I was in the window. I think that a lot of problems occur when multiple units are installed and used as a multiroom system.