Bluesound vs SOtM


I am a vinyl guy but after living with the Chromecast audio for a few years I finally bought a DAC. The DAC is an Ayre Codex currently fed by a MacBook Air 2011, directly connected via USB. It sounds a bit harsh and flat, although with plenty of detail and great body in the lower frequencies.

I have therefore decided to feed the fact with a streamer instead. My question is this: Has anyone substantial experience comparing Bluesound Node 2 with a SOtM SMS 200 (with the SPS 500 power supply) in a revealing system?

Again, my system is very revealing so even subtle differences between the two will be clear.

I currently use only TIDAL and YouTube but I am interested in differences in hardware of the streaming that affect all uses.

Thanks in advance for sharing your experience,
Fred
fabsound
Sorry about the typos. It's the auto correction on my phone. One correction: "I have decided to feed the DAC..."
i'm also learning about streaming hi rez audio and run a usb cable from my laptop that defaults to 24/48k output to the dac in my h360, I have no idea if this is the best sound I can get but it does give me a decent menu to navigate.
The streamer will not contribute meaningfully to the sound, and certainly not compared to a laptop with usb. If it sounds hard you either have to blame the DAC, or reality (music can sound hard), or look into the gain (mis)match between DAC and pre amplifier. The default output level for a DAC would be 2.0 Volt, like a cd player, but many give more output to impress in the demo room (the Codex is one of them). This can be too much for some/many pre amplifiers, causing clipping of the input. Are you using the variable output of the Codex (which would not normally have such high voltage unless you fully turn up the wick) or the fixed output into a pre amplifier (which would mean trouble)? The cure would be simple, fortunately: just insert some inline attenuators.
Thanks for your response! I am using the Codex in USB mode. That means a fixed output volume.

What are attenuators? Please explain

PS. I just read somewhere in another audiogon thread that it helps unplug the power supply for the MacBook while playing. This seems to be true.
Besides, I tried to feed the DAC with a MacBook Air 2011 and a MacBook Pro 2016. The difference is huge, enough to convince me that the USB source is a key variable