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New member
Apr 21, 2016
I'm looking at upgrading my Arcam mini-blink. There are a few avenues of questioning to pursue before making a decision. Will I really notice the difference between Bluetooth, Airplay, Spotify Connect or a wired pc connection? Is there any difference between a Burr Brown, Wolfson, Sabre etc chip? Is MQA a format worth pursuing or just some foo to relieve me, you and a couple of other audiophools of some hard earned shillings? To be honest, Spotify via bluetooth is not at all bad. I've put on a CD and Spotify at the same time, flicking between outputs in real time and the difference was not huge. There was a difference but not night and day.

I feel dirty saying that on a hi-fi forum but so be it.

Of what I have seen the Cambridge CXN ticks all my boxes. It even has a co-axial input, which may or may not give my CD player (a Rotel RCD-02 of a certain age) a boost. Or maybe it wont. Unfortunately it's about 3 times my budget!

Next in line is the Bluesound Node 2. This one claims 32 bits/192 khz for certain functions. It has MQA (which I'm not convinced about though I like the idea). Again a little over budget but I could stretch.

Now for the world of Yamaha. The WXC -50 is about bang on budget and seems to have all that I would need into the immediate future. It comes with a Sabre chip of some type. The NP-S303 has most of what I would need but comes with a Burr-Brown chip, which is what I already have on the Arcam. Then there is the CD-N301 which I can get at a good price and seems to have all I need; even going as far as to replace the creaky Rotel for disc spinning. It too has a Burr Brown Dac. The only reason this becomes a question is because Yamaha's more expensive stuff seems to use the Sabre. I have no loyalty here one way or another.

After that there are a couple of things by Pioneer, Marantz, Denon and Onkyo that have caught my eye. Of all of them the Pioneer looks the classiest if not exactly value compared to Yamaha. Project seem to have a few interesting products too which I can order online but I prefer to use my local dealers.

Thus far, the WXC-50 is leading my thoughts both on capability and budget. Is there anything I've missed out?