Author Topic: Bluesound Node  (Read 16376 times)

Offline tmazz

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 8131
  • Just basking in the glow of my tubes.....
Re: Bluesound Node
« Reply #75 on: June 01, 2017, 07:37:33 AM »
Get a Pi and have it do just what you want it to. Best $100 you'll spend on your system. The future and all that stuff

Don't you need to have some good computer skills to put together and set up a Pi?
Nick

You will need some computer skills, but with all that is available out on the net I don't think it is anything that can't be self taught, but the biggest thing is time vs money; It is going to a certain amount of time to build and configure the hardware as well as research,select, load and optimize the required software. (and of course the amount of time it takes you will vary with the amount of knowledge you bring to the table to star with in terms of both computers in general and the specific hardware and software you will be working with.) As far as I know Rich was the last one of us here to build a pi music server, perhaps he can comment on how much time and effort he put into the project.

And of course, like any DIY project, if you build a PI you can configure it to get exact what you want feature wise.

However, on the other side the Bluesound Node arrived fully assembled, the setup took me about twenty minutes and did not involve anything more than loading the IDs and passwords for my home network and Tidal account. Loading the Bluesound App on my tablet and I was off to the races.

Downsides, It will not play DXD files, but I don't have any right now, nor do I feel a burning desire to start collecting them, so this is not an issue to me. The software interface is a bit clunky, but I have found way to make do with it. And should I decide that I want a better software interface, Bluesound is now Roon compatible, so I have the option to go that way at anytime should I choose to. And my the Node only offer a Toslink digital output, but my EE DAC has an optical input so that is not a problem for me, (although it is worth noting that the current model, the Node 2, offers both Optical Toslink and electrical RCA digital outputs.)

I can understand why someone would spend more time and/or time to build a Pi or buy a more advanced streamer, but the Node can play all of the files I currently have as well as stream Tidal (including software MQA decoding the Tidal Masters) so it meets my needs right now and at $300 for a plug and play solution it really a no brainer for me, but YMMV.

Will I feel the need to upgrade to something better in the future, I think we all know the answer to that question, but for right now the Node, and Tidal, re giving me a lot of enjoyment for not a lot of coin so I am very happy with it (for now........  :roll:)

Tom
Remember, it's all about the music........

Nola Boxers
Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
Quicksilver Mid Monos
ARC SP-9
VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Sumiko Blue Pt. Special
EE Minmax DAC/Bluesound Node/Denon 2910
TWL Power Cords/MIT Cables

Offline richidoo

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 11055
Re: Bluesound Node
« Reply #76 on: June 01, 2017, 10:19:31 AM »
Get a Pi and have it do just what you want it to. Best $100 you'll spend on your system. The future and all that stuff

Don't you need to have some good computer skills to put together and set up a Pi?
Nick

No, it's very, very easy. Literally anyone can do it if they want to. There is plenty of friendly linux help on the web. Moode Audio has active support thread on diyaudio. 10 new pages/day!

I bought Pi, SD card and adapter, Pi case, PS for $75 delivered same day from Amazon. I downloaded Moode and burned to SD, had it playing music 18 hours after I pulled the trigger.

While I am impressed by the low cost and the good sound quality of the Pi, I do get frustrated by the minor bugs common to any free software. I am pretty intolerant of bugs when it comes to music playback. But so far the latest Moode 3.7 has been bug free for a few days. They work hard to kill the bugs quickly. I like that Moode now charges $10, so the guy can work full time at fixing bugs and adding features.

As for Aurender, Sooloos, Roon, there is always something better, easier, more luxurious, fancier in this extreme hobby - and I believe you get what you pay for.

Offline mfsoa

  • Obsessively Audiophilic
  • ****
  • Posts: 705
Re: Bluesound Node
« Reply #77 on: June 01, 2017, 06:19:48 PM »
Yes, it will take some time, but this a hobby right?  :thumb:

I have three Pis running three completely separate programs connected to my dac, and I did not have to do one bit of Linux programming. It did take some familiarity with basic Windows tasks like unzipping a file, transferring files to a memory card etc.

I guess I just dig the price per performance ratio and maybe I really didn't have much better to do.

I like the flexibility to change the digital filtering, upsampling, dsd conversion etc. You get so ability to tailor the sound, just by pushing a few buttons on your computer.


I don't want to go back to relying on the single choice my DAC  designer happened to make.

 

Offline tmazz

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 8131
  • Just basking in the glow of my tubes.....
Re: Bluesound Node
« Reply #78 on: June 01, 2017, 08:13:38 PM »
Yes, it will take some time, but this a hobby right?  :thumb:

I have three Pis running three completely separate programs connected to my dac, and I did not have to do one bit of Linux programming. It did take some familiarity with basic Windows tasks like unzipping a file, transferring files to a memory card etc.

I guess I just dig the price per performance ratio and maybe I really didn't have much better to do.

I like the flexibility to change the digital filtering, upsampling, dsd conversion etc. You get so ability to tailor the sound, just by pushing a few buttons on your computer.


I don't want to go back to relying on the single choice my DAC  designer happened to make.

 

And you know what, if you enjoy playing with the pi and the results you get then goof fot you. Your right its a hobby and I guess my point was not to say that it was a bad idea to use a Pi, but rather there were other options if somebody didn't feel comfortable or just didn't want to devote the time it would take to get a Pi system up and running. There are a lot of different aspects to this hobby and we all have our own preferences on which ones float our boats more than others. And there's nothing wrong with that.

An that is also one of the great things about hanging out here. It is usually pretty easy to find another AN member who has spent time playing with damn near any aspects of this hobby who is willing to share his experiences.

And tha
Remember, it's all about the music........

Nola Boxers
Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
Quicksilver Mid Monos
ARC SP-9
VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Sumiko Blue Pt. Special
EE Minmax DAC/Bluesound Node/Denon 2910
TWL Power Cords/MIT Cables

Offline Nick B

  • Administrator
  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1399
Re: Bluesound Node
« Reply #79 on: June 01, 2017, 10:08:21 PM »
I was actually tempted to try PI and probably could have handled it. But I certainly recall the days some years ago when I was so frustrated dealing with my Squeezebox 2 and I was fortunate enough that Logitech offered phone support back then. Otherwise, I would have been completely stuck. I'm very empathetic to those who don't have the basic knowledge or confidence to proceed. I've been hardened by the many "blue screens of death" that I've encountered. To this day, my wife is still annoyed that I'm streaming wirelessly and she can't simply grasp a disc and put it in a player. For me, the compromise solution was to buy an Auralic Aries Mini and connect it to my dac. It was $500 and basically it's plug and play
Nick
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline tmazz

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 8131
  • Just basking in the glow of my tubes.....
Re: Bluesound Node
« Reply #80 on: June 02, 2017, 06:02:07 AM »
The Mini is a nice unit. It does pretty much everything the Node does and in addition it will handle DSD and can be equipped with an internal HHD/SSD and function as a full  music server. There is always some kind of give and take and in this case the take is that the Mini does not support MQA, so I will not decode Tidal Masters (although this could be accomplished in the future via a firmware upgrade should Auralic decide to do so.) but the bigger limitation to me was that according to the Audio Advisor web site "AURALiC Lightning DS is the official control software for all Lightning series hardware. The app is currently available for iPad iOS 8.0 and above systems only. " This severely limits the available control devices in my house since if the iPad left the building, the Auralic would be a brick. I am not a Apple guy, but it sounds to me that since the software is only for Ipad, you would not even be able to use an iPhone to control it. On the other hand, the Bluesound control software is available in versions to run on any apple, Android or Windows device. If you have an iPad that could be dedicated to the server this would not be an issue for you, but is was definitely a large driver in my decision.

Like everything else in this hobby, each component has it's own sets of features and limitation, and you just have to find the one that works best in your particular situation.
Remember, it's all about the music........

Nola Boxers
Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
Quicksilver Mid Monos
ARC SP-9
VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Sumiko Blue Pt. Special
EE Minmax DAC/Bluesound Node/Denon 2910
TWL Power Cords/MIT Cables

Offline Nick B

  • Administrator
  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1399
Re: Bluesound Node
« Reply #81 on: June 02, 2017, 10:42:06 AM »
I've had the Mini for a year. Auralic has said they would never ever be Roon ready for the Mini. But they've had a change of heart. I am currently running Auralic beta 5.5 I believe. It will be Roon ready and be cross platform. Auralic got a lot of heat for just being Apple friendly.
Auralic apparently had discussions re MQA, but a deal was not reached. So Auralic developed their own software which will unfold?? the MQA files.
I like Auralic Lightning DS, but being able to run Roon is what I'm looking forward to. I've heard nothing but praise about Roon and I'm looking forward to their interface. I'll be doing a trial though, not a purchase. I didn't get Bluesound as it required a hard wired connection. My wireless streaming with the Mini has been virtually flawless
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline richidoo

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 11055
Re: Bluesound Node
« Reply #82 on: June 02, 2017, 11:24:02 AM »
I was actually tempted to try PI and probably could have handled it. But I certainly recall the days some years ago when I was so frustrated dealing with my Squeezebox 2 and I was fortunate enough that Logitech offered phone support back then. Otherwise, I would have been completely stuck. I'm very empathetic to those who don't have the basic knowledge or confidence to proceed. I've been hardened by the many "blue screens of death" that I've encountered. To this day, my wife is still annoyed that I'm streaming wirelessly and she can't simply grasp a disc and put it in a player. For me, the compromise solution was to buy an Auralic Aries Mini and connect it to my dac. It was $500 and basically it's plug and play
Nick

I was Squeezebox man too, loved SB3, didn't like the server part. I tried Duet, but it failed miserably so I ditched SB and moved to Sonos which I still love, apart from poor digital out. I only use the analog outs now which are tolerable, but not great. I have to think that the Sonos digital out can be improve with mods. That would be ideal for me.

You mentioned your wife wishing the stereo was easier to use, Nick. My family was likewise intimidated by my stereo, "too many buttons and they're always changing," not to mention amps laid out on a wooden board with exposed mains voltage so they didn't use it. Then I learned that Pi and Sonos can play streaming audio coming from their cellphones, via Airplay or Spotify Connect. Now they can just flip on the amp and control it from their own phone, play their own playlists and fav artist, etc. They love it, and I like that they are finally using the stereo. Works better on iPhone than Android, ime.

But Sonos will never be Roon ready! It is consumer mid fi product all the way.

Offline tmazz

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 8131
  • Just basking in the glow of my tubes.....
Re: Bluesound Node
« Reply #83 on: June 02, 2017, 11:39:04 AM »
The Sonos may be a mid fi product, but it obviously fills a need for you. Not everything we buy has to be uber hi-fi, just the right tool for the right job.

Remember, it's all about the music........

Nola Boxers
Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
Quicksilver Mid Monos
ARC SP-9
VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Sumiko Blue Pt. Special
EE Minmax DAC/Bluesound Node/Denon 2910
TWL Power Cords/MIT Cables

Offline Nick B

  • Administrator
  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1399
Re: Bluesound Node
« Reply #84 on: June 02, 2017, 05:39:21 PM »
Rich & Tom,
If Roon works out,I will give my wife the following instructions
1) get iPad
2) open cover
3) press on Roon icon
4) scroll for music you like
5) hit play
6) adjust volume on Antelope dac remote
I would think that should do it. I gave Sonos some thought a few years ago, but playing only 16/44 was the deal breaker. Funny though as to date I don't have any 24/96 on my hard drive.
Wyred4sound has a $550 board upgrade for the Sonos, so it doesn't have to be a midfi product
Nick
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline richidoo

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 11055
Re: Bluesound Node
« Reply #85 on: June 02, 2017, 06:34:21 PM »
Funny though as to date I don't have any 24/96 on my hard drive.

Me neither, but after watching 4k video for a week I am thinking about trying some high rez music too...
Can't hurt, right?  Or could it?  :shock: Down the rabbit hole headfirst?

I would love to try Roon. A couple of my local friends use and love it.