Bluesound Node 2 as a preamp?

Source: Bluesound Node 2
Amp: Belles Aria Integrated
Speakers: Vandersteen 2ce Sig II’s

Prior to last night I had been taking the analog outputs of the Node 2 and plugging them into 1 of the 3 stereo inputs on the Belles. I had read a thread here about bypassing the preamp and plugging the Node 2 directly into your amp. I did that last night by using the Bypass input on the Belles, using the volume control on the Bluesound OS app to conrol volume.

I don’t know if it’s expectation bias or some other phenomenon, but I swear my system has never sounded sweeter. More bass extension, more defined sound stage, better detail.

Has anyone else tried this experiment? What were your findings? Am I losing it?


I  use an Ayre Codex as DAC. Much better than the BSound. And, it can perform as a DAC.
The dac in the Node 2 is very good. I really enjoyed listening through it; but I do find I enjoy the dac in my integrated amp a bit more.


I just replaced the Bluesound Node2 in my main system with a Lumin T1 and yes the T1 is better (as it should be for the price) but the Bluesound Node2 has to be one of the best bargains in Hi Fi.  I love it.  I have moved it to a second system in a bedroom and I am running it directly into an Audio Research 100.2 power amp.  I just set it up yesterday so I haven't had time to do much listening but my initial reaction is that it is ok but I think it would probably sound better running through a preamp.  Down the road I might try it with a preamp in this second system.  I always ran it through a preamp when it was in my main system.  
audionoobie/Joe:  Can you explain what you mean?  Did you change from using the RCA analog outputs of the Node 2, to using the digital out?  If yes, then I think this is changing your DAC from the Node 2 to your Aria Integrated.  Do I understand this correctly?

No, he is plugging in the BSound directly into the amp using the amp/pre bypass.