Dragging this back up and hoping you or Hawkmoon could offer advice.So following advice from Hawkmoon (thank you !) I checked out the Bluesound Node2i and finally bought one today.
Hi, thanks for the info, your setup sounds nice. I will do some more investigating to see what I can come up with.Hi - so in my case, I have connected the Node 2i directly to my amp - the Node can output in either pure digital through a coax output or in analogue, having converted the digital signal using its own built in DAC. So I am doing the latter. You could absolutely connect the Node to the CDS50 using a coax connection from the Node and do the conversion there - the only reason why you might do that I guess is because the digital display on the CDS will show you the bit rate of the input. However you are adding another element to the signal path and inasmuch as the DAC in the Node is extra good, you might as well let the Node do the converting. In addition, I don’t know if the DAC in the Arcam will do BOTH unfolds of the MQA signals from Tidal - the Node definitely does so you are assured the best quality output that way.
Thanks for the info, much appreciated. As for the MusicLife app, I may have been a little harsh on it! It's not bad it is just limited or should I say Arcam has choose to make it limited.I have the Arcam CD S 50 . Via its coaxial output i connect an Arcam r-Doc to the CD S 50 coaxial input.
The Arcam r -Doc accepts i phone thus plays any app on the i phone . I dont have Tidal but i play Spotify with this method so no reason Tidal wouldn't work.
Dissappointing to hear the music Life app is not satisfactory with Tidal but this method avoids its use as you would stream direct from the Tidal app from the i phone. Only downside is your phone must be connected to the r-Doc and not in your hand. Of course your phone can run off your home wifi or your chosen network provider.
The Arcam CDS50 can not unfold the MQA signal so my thought on going through the CDS50 is useless for achieving what I am trying to accomplish. I am either stuck with Tidal at FLAC (which is not bad) or purchase the Node 2i like you and some others and run it directly to my Simply Italy amp through RCA to get MQA.However, the other point I am not totally sure about (maybe someone else knows the answer to this) is whether the CDS50 can do the FULL unfold of the MQA signals from Tidal. There are 3 unfolds if you want the full experience - the CDS50 deffo does the first one which outputs at 96Khz .... However, the final unfolds of Tidal files I believe are usually at 192Khz but can be as high as 384Khz (Amazon maxes out at 192KHz) - I am not sure if the DAC in the CDS50 can do those ? The Node deffo can.
Thanks for the insight on the app and the player and you have a very nice system for sure.Hello gfong -I am reasonably certain that the CDS50 can do the first unfold of MQA files - The Musiclife app itself doesnt need to be compatible with MQA as it doesnt do anything - it just controls the CDS50 which is where the action happens. I am not confident however that the CDS50 can do the rest of the unfolds. That said, even the first unfold delivers above CD quality sound so its not a bad place to be. However if you really want to go for gold then yes, you'd need something like a Node to do the job. Is it that much better ? Well thats a very subjective question. Many will tell you that they can't distinguish between an MP3 and a CD !! As is so often the case, its down to the quality of what you are listening through. If you have a nice amp and speakers, then playing the best quality music through them will enhance the experience. My own kit is relatively modest by HiFi buff standards (Arcam SA20, CDS50 and KEF Q750's - and now a Node 2i) but I find the MQA tracks can just about make you feel as though the artist was in the room playing live just to you - you can hear every twang of the strings and every intake of breath. I love it
That said, you can judge yourself - just try a trial subscription with Tidal and give it a go - you can always stop after the trial if you dont feel you are getting your money's worth
Again thanks for your insight. Your reasons for switching and your logic is 95% of why I am thinking of buying the Node2i. It's $649 CAD here which is approx £377, as you mentioned not that expensive!Hello Greg,
So yes, I did indeed use the Music Life app for about a year. My experience was that when I was listening to FLAC files through the CDS50 , they sounded much better than say using Airplay to stream through the Tidal app. However the user experience on the Tidal app was much better.
Does the Node sound that much better ? I would say that for ordinary FLAC files, there isnt much difference. However for the MQA files, I think it does sound better - but this is purely subjective. Just as important for me however is that the user experience on the Bluesound App is way better and the Node gives me options that I don't recall having before (like Tune In radio which I quite like to listen to every now and then). The Node is also compatible with a whole host of other services but as I dont use them, I dont really care about them. The Node is also "always on" so its just very convenient to use - switch the amp on and stream away
Given that the Node isnt that expensive (in HiFi terms at any rate) and works so very well, I felt justified in spending the £499 it cost and ten days in, am content that it was a very good investment