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Arcam rplay vs Bluesound Node 2 vs CA CXN

daveyjay

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Dec 2, 2008
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So, three streamers, ascending in price. What would I be getting if I spent, say, £300 more on the CA compared to the Arcam? Or an extra £100 for the Node over the rplay? I've looked at reviews of all three, but would like to know if anyone has any experience of or advice regarding any of these units.

Cheers.
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
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daveyjay said:
So, three streamers, ascending in price. What would I be getting if I spent, say, £300 more on the CA compared to the Arcam? Or an extra £100 for the Node over the rplay? I've looked at reviews of all three, but would like to know if anyone has any experience of or advice regarding any of these units.

Cheers.
I've only heard about some issues with the Bluesound, don't know about the others though.

I can vouch for the Sonos Connect., it's excellent.

I'm sure others will be along with first hand experience of the units on your list.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Starting with Arcam. It's the least appealing streamer out of the three in my opinion. Very poorly speced. No form of digital input nor USB playback. These two would disqualify this product for me. It really shouldn't cost that much considered limited functionality. It doesn't do that much more than a Chromecast Audio or an Airport Express if your an Apple man.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Looks like a complete package. Much more in terms of specs. Lack of support for DSD128 is strange but only if you need it. It is however the most expensive of the three. You need an additional receiver for Bluetooth which would further increase the cost.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Great features and the only one of the three with headphone out. Also the only streamer at around this price to offer MQA support but no DSD. No Airplay either which is strange.

Out of the three I'd only consider Bluesound Node 2 and Cambridge Audio CXN.

Although considering Yamaha WXC-50 is about half the cost and does just about everything except MQA and headphone out would be and have been my choice.

Not sure about sonic differences, nor app difference.
 

Pedro

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May 31, 2016
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The CXN spec and soundwise is very good. It can act as a DAC (coax/optical in) and it has XLR balanced outputs, which are handy if go the active speakers route. It only supports Spotify Connect (not Tidal). You can plug in large external HDDs with no independent power supplies, but it takes a lot of time to load the file structure, if it's big (e.g. 2TB). Booting is also slow (1m, maybe more; my computer running linux boots faster) and the Cambridge app was sluggish, at least shortly after the unit was released.

I had a CXN as a part of a 2nd system, which I sold when I moved to another flat and replaced with a desktop system. All in all it's good, but if you don't need the XLR outputs and if you won't use the streamer as a DAC for an external source maybe the Node 2 or the Yamaha are more interesting propositions. Never heard those though.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Pedro said:
The CXN spec and soundwise is very good. It can act as a DAC (coax/optical in) and it has XLR balanced outputs, which are handy if go the active speakers route. It only supports Spotify Connect (not Tidal). You can plug in large external HDDs with no independent power supplies, but it takes a lot of time to load the file structure, if it's big (e.g. 2TB). Booting is also slow (1m, maybe more; my computer running linux boots faster) and the Cambridge app was sluggish, at least shortly after the unit was released.

I had a CXN as a part of a 2nd system, which I sold when I moved to another flat and replaced with a desktop system. All in all it's good, but if you don't need the XLR outputs and if you won't use the streamer as a DAC for an external source maybe the Node 2 or the Yamaha are more interesting propositions. Never heard those though.
No Tidal? I missed that. Are they planning to include Tidal at some point?
 

Pedro

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May 31, 2016
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@insider:

I don't think so, at least they never announced any kind of plans. My unit even came with a Spotify sticker. I don't know if it's usual of if it suggests some kind of strategic partnership...
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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daveyjay said:
All interesting stuff, chaps, thanks.
It really comes down to features you need. I'd go as broad as possible as long as it's financially acceptable in case you make changes in the future.

When I bought Yamaha WXC-50 it didn't support Tidal. I was looking to upgrade it to Bluesound Node 2 after a few months because of this. Even though BSN2 lacked some features I was willing to do it for native Tidal support. I managed to navigate around the issue streaming Tidal to Yamaha via Upnp. Now Yamaha supports Tidal it is no longer an issue.
 

daveyjay

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2008
107
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That is interseting, Insider9, because I was thinking of discounting the Yamaha for the same reason: no Tidal. I don't have a Tidal subscription at the moment, but I'm thinking that I may have in the future and so I'd need a streamer that supports it. I've been with Spotify almost since it's launch - still waiting for a Hi-Res service from them... (??)
 

daveyjay

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2008
107
3
18,595
Perhaps I should start another topic, but anyway...

Anyone had any experience with the NAD516BEE CD player? I know one or two of you have suggested in a previous post I go for a second hand player, but, with CD players, I'm pretty reluctant to go down this route - ageing moving parts, lasers and so on...
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
580
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Only heard the CXN, and imo it sounds great. It can also work as a preamp, and on a "budget", it would be my main option, with a pair of active studio monitors: low box count, and can be used with a cheap transport for cd duty, if that's your thing.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
580
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19,270
daveyjay said:
When you say 'cheap' transport, rainsoothe - how cheap?  
Blu-ray player with digital output (that matches the digital input on your respective streamer) - I think CXN has both optical and coaxial, I would prefer optical. This is if you want new and wanna save for better speakers or vacation or whatever :)

Or sh cd player with digital output, but these can be hit and a miss.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
I'd say the node 2 is the best value of the three and it would probably be splitting hairs with the cxn, on sound quality. So I'd buy either the cxn or node 2 depending on the functions you want, if you have these as choices. Don't be put off by the node 2 being a small box and not a full width seperates unit as is the cxn.

i borrowed a node 2 to test its mqa functionality in my system and I was surprised at how decent it sounded for the price. I'd have a guess it's got the best processing power of the three. Against my £1300 cyrus stream x signature streamer with tidal hi fi (cd quality streaming), the node 2 was competing well with it. It had an airy sound in my system with mqa and using the node 2 dacs. My cyrus was better with a more fuller bassier sound with a bigger soundstage, so it just sounded right in my system against the node 2. So in the end I decided not to buy the node 2 and keep with what I have. Mqa is unlimited in its catalogue and through such a device it's not better than cd streamed tidal stuff through my cyrus streamer.
 

knaithrover

Moderator
Nov 24, 2013
193
75
18,670
Macspur said:
daveyjay said:
So, three streamers, ascending in price. What would I be getting if I spent, say, £300 more on the CA compared to the Arcam? Or an extra £100 for the Node over the rplay? I've looked at reviews of all three, but would like to know if anyone has any experience of or advice regarding any of these units.

Cheers.
I've only heard about some issues with the Bluesound, don't know about the others though.

I can vouch for the Sonos Connect., it's excellent.

I'm sure others will be along with first hand experience of the units on your list.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
Hello Mac, ive just got a Connect and agree it is excellent - do you use a Dac with yours? I was thinking Arcam Sonlink for mine but have read confirming good/bad reviews...
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
823
375
5,270
knaithrover said:
Macspur said:
daveyjay said:
So, three streamers, ascending in price. What would I be getting if I spent, say, £300 more on the CA compared to the Arcam? Or an extra £100 for the Node over the rplay? I've looked at reviews of all three, but would like to know if anyone has any experience of or advice regarding any of these units.

 

Cheers.
I've only heard about some issues with the Bluesound, don't know about the others though.

I can vouch for the Sonos Connect., it's excellent.

I'm sure others will be along with first hand experience of the units on your list.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
Hello Mac, ive just got a Connect and agree it is excellent - do you use a Dac with yours? I was thinking Arcam Sonlink for mine but have read confirming good/bad reviews...
I've used my Sonos Connect via Yamaha WXC-50 DAC. It sounded better. More separation and air, larger soundstage. Similar tonally.

However Sonos software is up there with Roon. And that's a massive part of what makes a great streamer.
 

knaithrover

Moderator
Nov 24, 2013
193
75
18,670
daveyjay said:
Perhaps I should start another topic, but anyway...

Anyone had any experience with the NAD516BEE CD player? I know one or two of you have suggested in a previous post I go for a second hand player, but, with CD players, I'm pretty reluctant to go down this route - ageing moving parts, lasers and so on...
I had one 2nd hand it sounded great but died within 6months and I was quoted double what I'd paid for it to repair so it got skipped.
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
knaithrover said:
Macspur said:
daveyjay said:
So, three streamers, ascending in price. What would I be getting if I spent, say, £300 more on the CA compared to the Arcam? Or an extra £100 for the Node over the rplay? I've looked at reviews of all three, but would like to know if anyone has any experience of or advice regarding any of these units.

Cheers.
I've only heard about some issues with the Bluesound, don't know about the others though.

I can vouch for the Sonos Connect., it's excellent.

I'm sure others will be along with first hand experience of the units on your list.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
Hello Mac, ive just got a Connect and agree it is excellent - do you use a Dac with yours? I was thinking Arcam Sonlink for mine but have read confirming good/bad reviews...
Hi,

Yes, I use mine with the Audiolab M DAC Plus and it sounds truly excellent

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
I've owned the sonos connect and it would, I reckon, be just as good as a node 2 in the ops system. In fact I'd be as bold to reckon that all 3 would probably perform pretty similar. I'd go for the cheapest that do the job with the right functionality and connections.
 

daveyjay

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2008
107
3
18,595
I had convinced myself that Bluesound was for me (purely from reading reviews/advice and so on), but now you've gone and thrown this Sonos Connect thing into the mix...
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
823
375
5,270
daveyjay said:
I had convinced myself that Bluesound was for me (purely from reading reviews/advice and so on), but now you've gone and thrown this Sonos Connect thing into the mix...  
I'd say go with Bluesound Node 2. I used Sonos Connect and as a pieces of software is great but sound wise it's easily bettered. Far fewer features as well.

Have I not had a Yamaha I'd be getting a BSN2.
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
I might have agreed with you before running my Connect through the M DAC+, but now it sounds almost as good as my EMC1UP.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
 

daveyjay

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2008
107
3
18,595
So, big(ish) bucks on the Bluesound or save a bit and go for the Yamaha - come on Insider9, convince me! You did a pretty good job getting me to go for the Arcam amp
 

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