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The search for perfection......am I expecting too much.....

Pete Shields

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2008
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I' m currently running a Cambridge Audio CXN through an Audiolab M-DAC (original version)
This replaced an old Sonos ZP90 (Sonos Connect) and a raspberry Pi 2

The sound improvement between the two was great.

I have now started to listen a lot to tidal HIFI version and through this Tidal Masters.
This is in addition to a large number of hires files currently stored on my NAS drive

Given that I am using Tidal HIFI a lot, should I be considering yet another streamer that is MQA master compatible and feed that straight to my amp without the M-DAC.
Something like the Bluesound Node 2i.

Has anybody else compared these for sound options and am i just wasting my time expecting better sound quality.
 

Hawkmoon

Well-known member
Feb 19, 2020
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Well it's going to sound a bit different, but whether it is 'better' is a subjective thing. Do you have an Amazon Prime sub? If so you can add Amazon Music HD for a decent price and trial that - in my experience their 'ultra HD' offerings sound at least as good as Tidal MQA recordings, and I have an MQA compliant streamer (Node 2i). Listening, for example, to the high def versions of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, or Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark, the Amazon Ultra HD versions sound, to my ears, as good as or better than the Tidal Masters MQA versions, all through the same equipment. If you are determined to use Tidal then yes you could consider the Node 2i - it's internal Burr Brown DAC is pretty good tbh - detailed, quite transparent, good soundstage with just a little hint of warmth there. I'm enjoying mine but I do sometimes push the output through coax digital out to my Arcam rDAC2 (this loses full MQA compatibility though). Any Qs about the 2i fire away.
 

Pete Shields

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2008
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Thanks Hawkmoon. I never even thought of Amazon music ultra HD and do have an amazon prime account, and will give it a go before I consider the Node 2i.
I have it in my head that Tidal MQA is the holy grail, but my M-dac decoding standard HD tidal and high res files on my NAS do sound great. I probably don't really need a third streamer in reality so will give the amazon HD option a go and repost when I've tried it. Thanks for the help
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
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Hi Pete, you have a great system and cd and records would bring enjoyment should you choose those formats. Streaming right now is an over populated over formatted cluster f**k of choices and prices , stay cool don't worry about it and just wait. MQA is a dead duck , Amazon is flakey and subject to variable sound quality as is tidal. Spotify is the best experience as a tool but normal formats are better. The dust will settle.
 
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