Upgrading my blusound streamer

Need some advice from the experts. First, my system consist of:
2 McIntosh 601 monoblocks
2 Martin Logan Renaissance 15a speakers
1 McIntosh C47 Pre Amplifier
Some relatively expensive cables everywhere
1 blusound node 2 streamer
Tidal music source

My system approaches retail close to $50K

My system sounds very good and powerful. But, I’m always looking for ways to make it sound better

My streamer is only about $500, which is cheap compared to my system and I consider it the weak link. Are there other  streamers you can recommend that would be better suited with my system, cost wise, and would ultimately make it sound even better


Need more information.
First some questions, what are you using for a DAC?
The Bluesound Node's internal DAC or the preamp's DAC?
How is the Node connected to your preamp?
- via analog connection
- via digital connection
- have you compared the 2
- which do you prefer

Judging by the equip listing above Pres is using the Node2 as streamer and DAC.  Assuming this to be the case then the DAC is clearly the weak link more so than the streamer.  Lots of good DAC options out there from $1.5K - $6K.  
I am using optical digital out from the blusound to the c47 pre amp, which means I’m using the DAC in the McIntosh C47
Have not tried analog out from Blusound, In other words, have not tried the DAC in the Blusound.  My thinking is how can it be better than the McIntosh.....

Have not tried coaxial 
My guess is that the DAC in the preamp will be the superior DAC too, but I'd still go ahead and do the comparison anyway.   And different cables can make a difference.   All Toslinks are not the same.   All Coax cables are not the same.   And what is the best combo for one DAC and player may not be the best for another.  The question to answer is how much do you like the DAC you have.   You may want to go about auditioning other DACs both at your dealer and in your system.  

The next question is how do you utilize your streamer.
Just for Tidal (and maybe Qobuz or the like); or is their any intent to stream music from ripped CD's or downloads?


Curious why you went Toslink over Coax and what Toslink are you using? I know with my Vault 2, aftermarket Coax and PC made a significant difference over the cables that came with along with a Supra Ethernet cable. I’m sure the DAC in your C47 is better than the one in your Bluesound as the one in my Cambridge 851C is better as well. I haven’t crack the case on my Vault yet, but I’m tempted to find out if there’s fuses in there to swap out. I’m sure there’s better streamers but agree a DAC is going to be a more noticeable. If you really want a significant improvement I’d explore a standalone DAC and try the Coax on your C47 first.
I just went with a optical that I had previously. I will try coax and will try Blusound DAC. But still would like a better streamer than the blusound. Can someone recommend a good one. I just think a $500 dollar DAC does my system any justice
99.9% of the time I use Tidal only. Is there a better source I should try?
If you can run ethernet cable to it, you’ll get a monumental improvement for $2k by going with the Teac NT-505 streamer dac.

Dual monaural design, fully balanced, AK4497 dacs in dual monaural, full MQA, DSD512, etc., etc...  Teac is the parent company of Esoteric, considered by some to be the ultimate in digital streaming/dacs, at upwards of $20k in price, but there is a lot of technology trickle down into the $2k Teac NT-505.  Just try and find anyone who has owned one who doesn't love it.

I own it and a Bluesound Powernode 2, and it is Major League versus Little League in quality. Lumin’s operating system can be used with the Teac and while it isn't quite as full featured as BluOS, it rivals BluOS imo and I get fewer drops with my Teac than I do with my BluSound, far fewer (none versus a few over an 8 hr period).

Perhaps you’d find a used one near $1.5k. At $1k or under, I’d look for a used Cambridge 851n or a new CXN model (I forget the exact model number) - either of these should be better than node2.
Another idea.  If you are really into streaming from Tidal (and/or maybe Qobuz in the future), you may wish to consider a Roon Nucleus (Roon subscription $119/year and now $699 lifetime).   
Your C47 Preamp has a USB digital input.  A Roon Nucleus could be hooked up directly to the C47 via USB. In this arrangement the Roon Nucleus would replace your Node as your streaming source.
This would give you an enhanced experience streaming from either Tidal or Qobuz.  And it could be a very nice roadmap item should you still wish to purchase an external DAC down the road.  
I've recently acquired a Roon Nucleus and love it, and have it feeding my Chord Qutest DAC via Curious USB Cable.  This replaced a Bluesound Node 2i in my main rig.  
PS to my previous post.
- With Roon Nucleus in your main rig, you could still use your Bluesound Node 2 elsewhere as a Roon endpoint.  For example,  just add a pair of powered speakers for use in an office or bedroom.
- Also, the Roon Nucleus has a bay where you can install an HDD or SSD into its case (I'd go the SSD route) should you ever decide to rip CDs or purchase downloads.

I listened to the Bluesound and then the Aurender using an Ayre Codex.
The Aurender was much, much better- more open and cleaner sounding.
Get a schiit gungnir multibit. Get a blackcat digital bnc cable. The blackcat comes with a BNC to rca adaptor for the bluesound end. Then go xlr out of the Gungnir to your preamp. You’ll be blown away. If you want to spend more money get the schiit yggy DAC, it’s better but man the gungnir is rad and you’ll be happy.  FYI I just did this and my system is pretty much the same as yours 


I found the Simaudio Moon 280D to be an amazing network streamer and DAC. It's Roon compatible which I recommend for streaming and is MQA capable if that's your thing. It's the one consistent item in my system. I had a Node, PS Audio DS Jr and an Arcam Dac II among others. My A/B testing confirms the Simaudio sonically appeals to me. I can say from my trial and error that specs don't do justice in the selection process besides narrow down options. I also think there's a reasonable price point and insanity price point and the number of zeros depends on your budget. Also, a Node is fine for some systems, but as the surrounding components improve, the DAC needs to upgrade. ListenUp as a generous home trial. I'm using Tidal as well. I won't part with this DAC for the moment. Best of luck in your search. 
Take a look at the Innous Zen mk3. They have several models at various price points. I’m sure you can find one that meets your needs. 
Yes the Innous will be in line with the quality of the rest of your system. Check the reviews. One of the best!
On the streamer side, SOtM sMS-200 Neo or 200 Ultra seem to be some of the best out there.

I have the sMS-200 Neo, and it's a great unit. I have it hooked up to a Pro-Ject Box S2 Digital DAC, and it works really well. You could use your C47 as a DAC for now and upgrade to another DAC later.

I just got my PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge II. The Bridge II adds the streaming part to that DAC. I've only used a a little bit so can't quite compare yet, but if the difference is minimal, I'm returning it and will keep my current setup.

And Roon of course, highly suggest using Roon if you want to use Tidal, Qobuz and some of your own music files through one system!
Preslisa64 one thing to do is switch to a good SPDIF Coaxial digital cable and don’t use the optical as its limited to 24/96 resolution. To get hires and 24/192 files you need coaxial. 
Naim NDX2 is said to be a really good streamer although expensive. See if you can listen to it somewhere.

Then you have Lumin and Aurender.
For of all, thanks everyone for your input. 

After listening to everyone, plus some additional data I’ve found, I’m down to 2
choices. The Lumin D2 and T2.
 Now, there is a $2k gap between the 2.
The question is, that a real value added $2k gap between the two. What/which do you guys think?
I did, however, switch from optical to coax. Don’t kill me, but I just used amazon basic cables to do the test. I noticed no difference I could tell. Any input on this?
If you have USB DAC input- Melco N10  or  N100+aftermarket LPS.  And Curious USB cable.  SOTA. 
@preslisa64 I’ve not used the Amazon basic cable so I can’t comment on it. I use a Nordost Silver Shadow and find it gets the job done quite well. Is your Toslink the Amazon as well? Hopefully you have a local shop that has a nice S/Pdif you can take home as a loaner.
If you like the BluOS software maybe consider the NAD C658 preamp/streamer ($1,650). Same software but an improved DAC plus Dirac Live room correction as an added bonus.

I have a Node 2 and I love it. When I do upgrade I'm pretty sure the c658 will be my choice.

This thread made me ask myself the question "just how good is my Node 2?". 

I've been very happy with it (I have 2 of them).  One of the first things I did when I got it was connect it to my Auralic Vega DAC and bypass the Node 2's DAC.  Next came experimenting with some coax cables.  I'm currently using a Shunyata Python Zitron coax cable.  I recently changed my ethernet cables to CAT6 and added a Pangea C7 power cable.  It's connected to the internet by a wireless access point (I've tried running a cable directly from my router and couldn't detect any noticeable difference).

I listened to Wild Mountain Honey by Steve Miller from my MFSL vinyl using my two turntables, a Technics SL1200 MK2 with Nagaoka MP-500 and Musical Surroundings Nova Phonomena phono stage and my JVC QL-Y66F with a Kiseki Blue NS and Manley Chinook phono stage.  I also listened using my 30th anniversary Fly Like an Eagle CD in my Marantz KI-Pearl SACD player.  Out of those four sources, (in my opinion) the Node 2 came in last, with the best being the JVC turntable and the KI-Pearl a very close second.  

I'm sure that's not exactly a fair comparison, due to different versions of the mastering, but it was enlightening.  I still love the Node 2 and unless I really try, I don't notice any shortcomings in it's sound quality, but when I do listen critically there's a certain "hardness" to it that isn't present in the other sources. 

Now I may have to audition higher end streamers.  I really like the BluOS interface and finding something as flexible in terms of streaming options and ease of use will be as important (if not more) than sound quality.