Best upgrade path from a Bluesound Powernode 2i

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Sliced Bread

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Jul 28, 2010
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I’ve read of a few people pairing the Hegel with 805’s before though normally it is the h190 or higher, but the h120 might be worth a demo.

I was also looking at an Atom for my cm8’s and someone on here said it worked well for them, though I suspect that it just wouldn’t be sufficient for the 805’s.

I think what is key here is that you said you wanted to tame the top end. This I suspect would be more in line with Hegel than the Atom. Def demo first.
 

Sliced Bread

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Jul 28, 2010
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No £800 streaming amp is going to sound any good with a high quality, revealing pair of £5k loudspeakers. I’ve had the PowerNode singing with a pair of floorstanding Ophidian Mambos at £2k, and quite the opposite of flat. Amplifiers and speakers, as I’ve said in other threads, should be auditioned as a pair, even if they’re not being purchased at the same time - if you’re set on a particular pair of speakers, audition some amps with them to make sure you can afford an amp that’s needed to do them justice.

A natural progression from the PowerNode would probably be a NAD M10, or maybe even the Atom, but the Bowers & Wilkins do demand high quality amplification, and because of that, I’d say the Hegel H120 would really stand out over the other two with 805s. I’m currently using a H120 with a £6,000 pair of standmount speakers - something the other two options will fall quite short if paired with. There aren’t many £2K amps that will compare to the Hegel in what it is capable of, and it’s digital board is the same quality as the H190.
What this guy said ☝
 

Sliced Bread

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Jul 28, 2010
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Sorry for the spam, but if you really don’t want the Hegel for some reason then then b&w and moon are often used together in demos. Ideally you’d want the 340ix or above but maybe a Moon Neo Ace *might* just do it.

I still think Hegel though. It is 75 watts into 8 ohms, to 120 to 4 ohms and 175 to 2 ohms.

that’s pretty good for the price point
 

manicm

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May 1, 2008
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Hey guys, I could need some help.

Last year, I did buy B&W 805 D3's after listening to them for almost two full afternoons at a great Hi-Fi-Dealer in Glasgow. I also wanted an integrated amp, but the only one they had in stock was an Auralic Polaris. While it did sound fine, I just couldn't stand the design or the app, so I decided to just order an amp somewhere else. Since budget was a little tight right after purchasing the speakers with stands, I just snagged a Powernode 2i – it's reasonably cheap and does (almost) everything I want.

However, the sound is "just" alright – the higher end is a little harsh on some songs, and overall it sounds just a tiny little bit flat. So I want to upgrade. But space is limited, so I want to keep it down to as little boxes as possible – if at all possible, I don't want to use an external streamer, an external power supply or even a phono pre amp (I'm using a Cambridge Audio CP1 to connect my Rega P3 right now). Oh, and I also use a B&W PV1D sub. So these are the options I'd be okay with from a feature / price / size point of view:

  • NAD M10
  • Hegel H120
  • Naim Uniti Atom (though 40W seems on the low side)
So my question is: Did anyone hear any of those amps, maybe even compared to one another or to the Powernode 2i, and would be so kind to share the impressions with me? Please also feel free to recommend other products which I might have missed, as long as I don't need more than two relatively compact boxes (including the phono stage).
Too late, but I wouldn't have underestimated the Atom's 40w.
 
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valkyrieorion

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Sep 8, 2020
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Too late, but I wouldn't have underestimated the Atom's 40w.
Interesting thread, I am in a simmilar position as the OP although I have a Yamaha WXA-50 instead of the powernode 2i (I had been thinking of it as I need 2 amps). I am on the fence between the Nad M10, Atom, Peachtree 150 (with a node 2i) and a Quad Vena II. Powering Martin Logan 35xti speakers.
 

rainsoothe

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Apr 30, 2012
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Interesting thread, I am in a simmilar position as the OP although I have a Yamaha WXA-50 instead of the powernode 2i (I had been thinking of it as I need 2 amps). I am on the fence between the Nad M10, Atom, Peachtree 150 (with a node 2i) and a Quad Vena II. Powering Martin Logan 35xti speakers.
Hi. Those are all fine, so you should audition and let your ears decide. What I'd pair with them would be an Arcam SA30, since they could do with some smoothness. Or a Copland CSA100 if you want and can spend a crazier sum.
 

valkyrieorion

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Sep 8, 2020
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Hi. Those are all fine, so you should audition and let your ears decide. What I'd pair with them would be an Arcam SA30, since they could do with some smoothness. Or a Copland CSA100 if you want and can spend a crazier sum.
I wish I could audition, not really close to anything without 6-7 hour driving sadly. I think I looked at the Arcam and it was about as big as I would ever go for the area I can put an amp in.
 

rainsoothe

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Apr 30, 2012
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I wish I could audition, not really close to anything without 6-7 hour driving sadly. I think I looked at the Arcam and it was about as big as I would ever go for the area I can put an amp in.
If you'd prefer a shoe-box design and if you have access to them, Heed Obelisi si mk3 should be a very serious consideration, and could arguably be superior to the Arcam SA30. Pair it with a Lindemann Limetree Network streamer, or a node 2i + external dac (i'm not crazy about the dac in the Bluesound).
 

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