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Arcam rplay vs Bluesound Node 2 vs CA CXN

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jonathanRD

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2011
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It clearly depends on what other kit you have, the features/options you need, and whether you want a streamer to do one particulat job, or as much as possible just in case you need that in the future.

I had a DAC module in my Exposure pre-amp which I had tested side by side with the DAC in my Rega Apollo CDP - there was no discernable difference. So I simply wanted something to stream Spotify into my DAC module. Chromecast was a little flaky at times and I couldn't find the right cable connectors, so I purchased a Sonos Connect. It is a breeze to use (via my tablet) and very stable (wired network connection). From what I could see, it was the next best option in terms of performance & price.

If a Sonos Connect had the basic features you require, consider combining it with a separate DAC, as I and a few others have done and can recoomend.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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daveyjay said:
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 

 
Fair enough. If you're not too far come and have a listen to Yamaha. I'm in Sheffield.

Otherwise it really would come down to features. I'm not saying that a Yamaha is a perfect product but it's fantastic value for money and it meets my needs. It offers more in terms of connectivity and is a fully functional preamp where BSN2 isn't.

The easiest way would be to order Yamaha from somewhere with good returns and see if you like it. If it sounds good enough than I can almost guarantee BSN2 will not sound twice as well (as it's nearly twice the price). I haven't heard it though. But I seriously doubt it would.

If you're not happy about anything send it back and get a BSN2.

By the way on Peter Tyson website I've noticed Yamaha was named 'Best Multiroom Network Player' at the 2017-18 EISA Awards.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
I don't think you'll hear much of discernible difference in your system with the sonos connect to the bluesound node, as the difference of the sonos to the bluesound I tried in my system is not huge in source and comparative terms. But a good one nonetheless. You have to look at your system, it's price and value and system matching. So in your system I'd expect much less of a revealed difference, if any.

sevenoaks were selling the node2 at £400 (£100 off) if you had an old CD player to trade in. With a nearly new dealer ex demo one or young used one you could get a node2 cheaper than a £350 sonos connect I reckon. That's what I'd try and do. Hope helps.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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QuestForThe13thNote said:
I don't think you'll hear much of discernible difference in your system with the sonos connect to the bluesound node, as the difference of the sonos to the bluesound I tried in my system is not huge in source and comparative terms. But a good one nonetheless. You have to look at your system, it's price and value and system matching. So in your system I'd expect much less of a revealed difference, if any. 

sevenoaks were selling the node2 at £400 (£100 off) if you had an old CD player to trade in. With a nearly new dealer ex demo one or young used one you could get a node2 cheaper than a £350 sonos connect I reckon. That's what I'd try and do. Hope helps. 
In which case Yamaha is definitely the way to go. I could hear a difference for the better from Sonos to Yamaha.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Choose it on the outputs, price, steaming services etc, i would. What do you need in this respect?

im the sort of person that doesn't pay the new price quite a lot, but even if you can't get a sq difference between the two, I'd still buy the best sounding one per see, which is usually related to price. You never know how your kit may change too to get future benefits from current choices, that's why go for the best you can at the price. So on eBay a node2 for £400 from the us (with post), and with import taxes I'd check out how much I'd pay. If it's say £420 all in, a full warranty, I'd do that over a £350 connect from richer sounds. But of the r play, connect, the node2 has easily the best dacs and processing power. That's why I'd be hunting it down as a streaming source between this shortlist. But i wouldn't buy before listening. Never.
 

Pedro

New member
May 31, 2016
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I can understand people buying blind when they simply don't have the possibility to have demos. If you live in the UK surely you can demo any of those streamers...
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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daveyjay said:
I'm very close to just ordering the Yamaha. Has anyone ever used Audio Affair online?
Not dealt with them but wouldn't have a problem.

Good price, great reviews and 30 day money back guarantee. What's not to like :)

If you're not happy for whatever reason just send it back.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
A massive consideration alluded to in earlier posts, is the bluesound has optical digital in. This means, as said, you can use the node2 as a dac with other sources if you have an optical out. Because the node2 has the best dacs, and Also for future proofing if you were to buy any digital transports like a cd transport, I think the node2 is easily the best. Best possible performance for your money.

now the dacs in the connect are not as good, a very old design now (the node 2 is much newer) and sonos has a reputation for dacs which are a bit jittery. So I'd say it's pretty much a no brainer on buying the node2 for these reasons. What was your cd ? Does it have optical digital out. What if buying the node2 improves the sq of your CD player too by bypassing the CD players dac?
 

daveyjay

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2008
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My sentiments exactly, insider.

I do understand what everyone is saying about demos, I really do, but where better to demo something than in your own home, in your own time.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Can I ask what your budget is and what the actual requirements are (as a list). Are you aware you can get the cxn new for £100 off. If you tried really hard you could get a cxn for around £600 new I reckon. I'd do that probably.
 

Pedro

New member
May 31, 2016
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daveyjay said:
My sentiments exactly, insider.

I do understand what everyone is saying about demos, I really do, but where better to demo something than in your own home, in your own time.
Very true. If you have the option to return the unit it's indeed the best way to do it.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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Pedro said:
daveyjay said:
My sentiments exactly, insider.

I do understand what everyone is saying about demos, I really do, but where better to demo something than in your own home, in your own time.

 
Very true. If you have the option to return the unit it's indeed the best way to do it.
+1
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Ok thanks, what's your budget and full requirements so I can help you and look into it.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
I'd stay away from combined options at budget prices. The ability to get the best dac, transport and streamer are limited at a budget price, such it's always a bit too much of a compromise on sound quality. Whereas something like the node2 or cxn will utilise much better dacs which you can exploit by adding on a cheap as chips cd transport or CD player with digital out. That's what I'd do. I'd also go used on a really good transport maybe. Maybe a Cambridge audio one. You also need to spend the least amount of money on the transport in your system, for best sq, such transports will all be very decent at budget prices, and go full freight for the streamer and Dacs. For instance the dacs in the cxn are dual mono designs (one dac per channel) and you'll just get a stereo dac in a cheap combined unit probably, maybe not of an upsamplimg type. That's why in a good system the cxn would easily be better on sound quality. Also best types of dacs, upsampling and latest woolfson designs. Balanced circuits too, probably seperated left and right channels. That's even before we get onto power supplies in combined budget units versus those in something like the cxn.

A matching cxn with a ca transport cxc (maybe used) would be very good.
 

grimharry

New member
Aug 2, 2015
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Just as an aside note on a previous thread placing instruments on Borothers in Arms I was using Spotify on a £240 streamer/ cd combined unit. It isn't as good a CD player as my creek but a lot of that I put to Yamaha 's burr brown dac.
 

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