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Bluesound power upgrades worth it if using optical to external DAC?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Fretbuzz, Nov 10, 2021.

  1. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    Starting a separate thread on this instead of tailing off another one.

    Are the apparent benefits of the upgraded power interface/supply of Bluesound streamers still worth if, specifically, going in to an external DAC via optical?

    ie as opposed to using the internal DAC or out via coax where I'd guess there are more benefits from a cleaner supply?

  2. steveinspain

    steveinspain pfm Member

    YES. I have the interface and an sBooster power supply and play via an RME ADI 2 dac.
    Money well spent in my opinion. I use a coax rather than the optical now, but did use an optical and still thought it worthwhile.
    I use the coax as I needed the optical for the tv.
    Fretbuzz likes this.
  3. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    I don't have any personal experience of the Bluesound Node, but according to what I've read(a lot), the consensus seems to be that the benefit of an upgraded power supply is only noticeable if you're using its internal DAC. As always, not everyone agrees.
  4. Jezzer

    Jezzer eats shoots and leaves

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2021
    Fretbuzz likes this.
  5. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    A variety of posts from users contradict that as have read up extensively on the subject.

    I will know next week as the base Fidelity Audio upgrade arrived today. Running a Weiss DAC which is supposed to have class leading jitter suppression. It certainly sounds amazing as is with my Node2i.
    AshM750 likes this.
  6. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    Being honest, what do you want the answer to be?
    narabdela and JezmondTutu like this.
  7. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    Personal experiences, ideally with a majority of either a) marginal difference, not worth the money; or b) big positive difference, definitely worth it.

    Anything other than b) and I probably wouldn't bother.
  8. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    I think that’s going to partly depend on what the ancillary equipment is surely?
  9. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Wouldn't it be easier just to buy a server that isn't affected by its psu?

    The designer of rme dacs is on note saying they offer nothing to their dacs.
    Curtis likes this.
  10. peter_964rs

    peter_964rs That's no moon!

    This is a fascinating discussion for me as I have a Node now. It actually sounds excellent. But I'd like to have an external DAC attached and improving the PS is bound to help that. In my experience with previous digital systems used as a pure source into a separate DAC, the improvement can either be subtle (eg going from a good switched mode PS like one from iFi on my Rpi to a linear PS from CHC) or obvious (eg replacing the SPDIF cable with one from SLIC). In both cases, the source improvement results in a more relaxed sound with less harshness, less of the digital 'glare'. There is an excellent video from golden sound on Youtube that examines various digital to digital converters and explains (more or less) what mechanisms there are in poorer sources that can be improved by a DDC resulting in better sound; so I'm interested in doing the same with the Node, which is an excellent streamer.
  11. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    Which servers aren't affected by PSU? Genuine question! The upgrade cost being better spent upgrading the streamer is definitely an option, eg Zen mini, but then people upgrade PSU on those too. I do really like the Node software and usability, all else being equal.

    Rob Watts says the same about the Chord DACs I think, but some prefer upgraded PSUs... it's confusing.

    Thanks I'll check that out.
  12. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    Oh yes: brain, central nervous system, sofa, drink of choice, lighting as well as conceivably (although very unlikely) the hifi.
    AndyCC72, JezmondTutu and narabdela like this.
  13. Adam D

    Adam D Where's the bear?

    I have a Node 2 and I have it running into an external DAC via a coaxial interconnect.

    I added the Polish power interface and an Allo Shanti power supply 18 months ago and there was a significant improvement in sound.

    I was very pleased with the results.
    myles and Fretbuzz like this.
  14. mega lord

    mega lord Centre tapped

    What kind of psu does a node require ? Single positive rail, split rail, what voltage and current capability?
  15. Moonbuggy

    Moonbuggy pfm Member

    Wondering if the 5V ifi ipower X will work with new Node psu interface? It has just enough juice (3A). Has anyone used this combination? I am looking at a non toroidal transformer solution as I have a lot of DC on my mains, not helped by the neighbours fish tanks.
  16. CrazyindianZA

    CrazyindianZA pfm Member

    Another Node owner here. I found the standard node a bit underwhelming but the addition of the Nord Acoustics Easy-Dac makes a fairly noticeable difference to my ears. It is not the prettiest of boxes but for £165, I am very pleased with it. I looked into a PSU upgrade but everything I read suggested that it was not money well spent.
    Fretbuzz and narabdela like this.
  17. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    You've been reading the same sources that I have. (Post #3) ;)
    Fretbuzz likes this.
  18. steveinspain

    steveinspain pfm Member

    I tried that and sent it back. Did nothing according to my ears.
    I was sent a sBooster to home demo by Fanthorpes and bought it. Very well spent money in my opinion.
    Seems to me that with so many of these sort of 'upgrades' a home trial is the only way to know if it works for you in your system, and a dealer who can and will offer you that is worthy of loyalty and your money !
  19. TheMarlin

    TheMarlin Active Member

    I use my Node 2i with a Tipping D90SE.

    Never used the internal DAC.
  20. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    So have given my Fidelity Audio (the base board and linear psu) a decent listen to over the last couple of nights.

    Bass is definitely better in terms of both clarity and power, timing too. I’d actually say there are improvements across the frequency range. Sweeter treble and the midrange is even more transparent than it was before.

    System for reference is Node2i > Weiss DAC202 > Avondale Grad One/TPX2/ZAP250 > Epos ES14’s.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2021
    Fretbuzz, Bronzeage and steveinspain like this.

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