I currently have a Bluesound Node used as a streamer And a Denafrips Ares II DAC. I stream music from from Amazon.
My system is Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution and a Vitus MI100 integrated amp.
I was thinking upgrading the front end of my system since I listen only to streaming music.
I was considering a PS Audio PerfectWave Direct Stream Jr DAC with a Bridge II streamer. Do you think it is a worthy upgrade? I’m open to suggestions. The simpler the setup the better. I’m also thinking in getting something used, if it’s worth it.
My room is about 13x17 ft.
I went from a Marantz 5015 network avr to a Innuos pulse mini. Cannot comment on what a bluesound, sounds like guessing somewhat similar to HEOS and the Innuos completely blows the Marantz out of the water.
I agree. You are feeding a very good integrated amp / speakers with very inferior signal. This is very much limiting the output you are hearing.
You sound like you ran out of interest in the pursuit and feel somewhat let down. Am I reading too much into your words?
If you want to optimize your system, then an appropriate investment would be about $7K for a streamer and $7K for a DAC. I would recommend a used Aurrender N10 for a streamer. I’d have to do a bit of research on a DAC you could get… maybe a used Berkeley Alpha? Audio Research Reference DAC 9. These components would significantly boost the performance of your system to what it is capable of.
I think you’re right Jl35. I bought the speakers about 2 months ago. I was using them with a NAD M33. But I couldn’t get the full potential out of those speakers. So I just purchased the Vitus.
so now the weakest link or the next upgrade should be the DAC and the streamer.
should I do the DAC first?
I use a Bluesound 2i and not its DAC as I thought that thing sounded pretty bad immediately. A Schit Bifrost 2/64 does the job and sounds great. I'll try a better streamer someday maybe but this combo works so well I feel no pressing need to change it.
The Eversolo DMP A6 is kind of everywhere in the reviews now. All kind of new ones out there now comparing against it as well. But it still stands as a clear upgrade from the Node by a very large margin. Included Amazon a music I think. Plenty of options and natively operated services/apps. Excellent topology and signal isolation, great/much better sound from what everyone claims. Around $899 I think:
Eversolo DMP-A6 Streamers, Network Player, Music Service and Streaming MQA Full Decode, DAC, DSD512 PCM768kHz/32Bit Bluetooth 5.0 aptX HD, 6’’HD Touchscreen, Exclusive App https://a.co/d/cF5VPXX
Theres even a masters edition version of it that boasts even better sound via extra digital clocks and filters.
It was in my list of 10 candidates. I was wandering if someone went from something else to the Eversolo DMP-A6 and could compared it and give their opinion. I value the opinions of regular guys than the paid reviewers on YouTube.
I bought a Bluesound Node X and it sounded fantastic to me. I moved my basic Node to another room. With both units I had replaced the power supply. In the older Node I had put in a PD Creative PS and in this newest Node X I opted for the Teddy Pardo unit. Both times it improved the sound by lowering noise floor. I like the Bluesound products because the GUI is an app on your phone. It is very intuitive. And the customer service is top notch with many, many troubleshooting guides if the user has a problem and a live support team to solve problems.
Unless I'm miss understanding your thoughts on using the PS Audio set up, you only need the Direct stream Junior with the bridge - it both streams and is the DAC. It's Roon ready so you can use it as an endpoint too. I have one in my system and it works great. Sounds good too, better than the BlueSound (I have one of those too).
Also haven’t heard it, but the Volumio Rivo is supposed to noticeably improve upon Eversolo in sound presentation. It uses a Khadas type cpu. The only thing is that you’ll need to get into using Volumio OS, which is actually really good. Lots of helpful plug-ins and sound options, mist very effective and useful. You’d also get a free subscription to their top tier version of their software if you purchase one of their in house streaming devices.
I’ve currently got a Pi2 design Mercury streamer using Volumio and think it still sounds very good - but am also considering an upgrade. I was looking looking at the Eversolo masters edition, until the Rivo showed up. Only possible dealbreaker, I don’t think Volumio supports Amazon music? But I do know Qobuz sounds exceptional through this software (as does Tidal). Band amp is also available through the plug-in section, also sounds great.
The PS Audio is literally one of the worst DACs I’ve ever heard. I admit, I’m spoiled by DCS Vivaldi, Rossini, Barton, but even the modest Ayre Codex is far better in every way (except no streaming). I literally can’t imagine a taste preference which would make the PS Audio a reasonable choice. I can only imagine purchasers have never heard an even moderately good DAC (out in rural areas?).
I think @fuzztonenailed it when he statedAmazonMusic is compatible with very few streamers, Bluesound being one. Otherwise you will need Bluetooth, Chromecast, or AirPlay. If you are going to upgrade the streamer I would also change the service to one that can play directly into the streamer
Is there a SQ difference in the 2 PS upgrades you did? There looks to be a big price difference between the PD Creative inboard upgrade and the Pardo external supply. Does one sound better and how big of a difference do you notice between the two? I have 2 Node 2i's in different systems and would love an upgrade on main system.
You didn’t state which Bluesound Node you have. Apparently, there have been significant improvements with the model upgrades, and even the original was rated Class B by Stereophile. I have the Node 130 and the Ares II, and I think they sound great. I’ve compared a hi-res Qobuz stream to an original vinyl pressing of the same well-recorded rock album, and heard no differences. (If you look at my system, you’ll see I run vintage Classé Audio electronics into updated Apogee Duetta II speakers--a very transparent, revealing system; and although I’m in my sixties, I am a highly trained listener and have been able to discriminate differences between some cables, especially interconnects, AC cables and speaker cables.)
I would suggest that the DAC upgrade might be worth considering, but certainly you should be sure that other issues like your room acoustics aren’t more significant weak links in your system. Also, the BlueOS app let’s you check how strong your wi-fi signal to the Node is--mine is excellent, and that may make a difference, especially if you’re streaming hi-res. If you’re just streaming CD-quality files or worse, that’s a weak link right there. Basic Amazon sound files may be more the problem than your gear.
Yeah there is a difference between the two power supplies with Teddy Pardo having a lower noise floor. The external box (Teddy Pardo) is the linear power supply which is not located in the Node X. The PD Creative is also very good but the power supply circuit board REPLACES the board directly in the space where the original PS board was. It is a very subtle difference and only in loud listening sessions when there was a break in music did I hear a difference. To be honest there were bigger differences in sound between the original Node (internal DAC) and the Node X (new internal DAC).
But I was very surprised that the newest Bluesound Node X is very, very good out of the box with its internal DAC and power supply. It far surpassed the original Node in performance. I did a head to head match informally and it was no contest.
Having said all that, I am fully aware there are better streamers in the audio world and at increasingly higher prices. What my point is with Bluesound is that in their price bracket they are great, offering ALSO longevity of customer service. Adding a better external DAC and power supply increases the performance.
Look into the new Denafrips Arce streamer and a used Denafrips Terminator 2. This will allow you to use the clock outputs from the Terminator 2 into the Denafrips Arce streamer. The lower model Denafrips Dacs like the Venus don't have the clock out puts. You will want Roon and Qobuz with this setup and I suspect it will sound very very good. It's the upgrade path I'm looking to take.
Correct about Amazon, I have it through a bluetooth antenna on my Gustard dac and Qobuz on my Innuos streamer. BTW the new Amazon HD at 10 bucks a month is surprisingly close to Qobuz in sound and I have found certain records I could not find on Qobuz. Really enjoying the added BT option. This digital stuff keeps on winning me over.
WiiM Pro Plus. Don’t laugh until you try it. And plenty cheap to try at that! Easy resell (or regift for Xmas) if you don’t. Nice app and supports Amazon Connect (Alexaconnect?), Tidal Connect, Airplay2, etc. Fugly but easily hidden - keeps attention on amp and speakers. Like I say cost next to nothing to try. At worst, it’s a bit perfect transport with a good app. I “upgraded” from a Node on a whim. And kept it.
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