Bryston BDP-1 vs Bluesound Node 2i


The Bryston can be had for close to the same price as the Bluesound Node 2i (within a couple hundred $).  Not using the internal DAC.  Do you think the Bryston would be better than the Bluesound?
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  • Used and abused?
  • The BDP-i is almost triple the MSRP of a 2i.
  • I don’t know how good a DAC you need to hear the difference. If you use anything besides Room or Tidal the Bryston looks to leave you high and dry like a WY Great Basin dust storm.
  • Even if you use Tidal, BlueSound has Tidal Connect already.
I would use Roon so it will play Tidal and Quobuz through that. 

I know the Bryston was triple the price, but it's also considerably older.  I just wondered if it was still a great piece compared to the new low-dollar standard Bluesound. 

Bluesound for $400 or Bryston for $500
I have a BDP-2 with upgraded IAD board. Also have a few BS Node 2is. Connected to my Schiit Yggdrasil A2 and Denafrips Terminator, the difference is definitely noticeable, particularly comparing AES connection from the Bryston compared to SPDIF from the Node 2i.

I'm not sure how much better the BDP-2 with IAD upgrade is compared to the BDP-1. You could ask on the AudioCircle Bryston forum. If your DAC doesn't have AES support, the difference is probably not quite as significant. 

As fuzztone pointed out, the Bryston does not have the same functionality as the Node 2i. In my opinion, the Bluesound UI is a big step up from the Bryston Manic Moose software, but it all depends on what you are looking for. I used my Bryston just for Roon and for that it works great. But if you want to use Spotify or internet radio stations, the Node2i is the better choice. 

I am planning to sell my BDP-2 (if you are interested, send me a PM). I just got a Denafrips Gaia and I am connecting my Roon ROCK server directly to the Gaia which is now connected to my Terminator DAC through i2s, so I don't need a streamer in this system any longer. I still have a bunch of Node 2i's connected to systems elsewhere in the house so that I can play to multiple zones through Roon, but I'm using the built in DAC on the Node2i for these systems.
I have the Bluesound Node2i, then went to the Bryston BDP3.  In truth, I never have heard the BDP1.  The BDP3 is a significant sonic advance over Bluesound.  Beware, however, of Manic Moose, which pretty much everyone hates.  The BlueOS makes for a much more pleasant user experience.  I now use 3rd party apps with the Bryston, the best being Regelian 
Thanks mahler123.  That's what I'm wanting to hear.  I agree that BluOS is unbeatable but I'll be using Roon so I don't really care about Manic Moose.  I'm just wondering if an old Ferrari is better than a new Corvette :)
See if you can find a deal on a Aries Femto w/LPS.  I had a BDP -1 and reminded me of a 1985 CD player.  Hard and cold sounding. Can’t think you would be happy with it. 
If you’re doing Roon just get a Metrum.
As new as fresh snow.
Get as much as you wanna spend from $400 up. They come with internal power.
With Roon, do not orry about control apps.
The Baby sounds almost as good as a tricked out Allo for more money.

@benzman  Thanks. However, you seem to be pretty alone in your opinion that the BDP-1 sounds hard and cold.  Most people have 98% positive things to say about it, even compared to other well-known expensive streamers.
I've always stayed away from Auralic in favor of Lumin but perhaps the Femto is worth taking a look at for the money.
I looked at some of the “older” “higher end” units myself. For casual listening, I’m not sure you can do a lot better when considering ease of use, functionality, and overall sound quality than the Node 2i. The Bryson might be a little better sound quality (might) but you loose a ton of functionality IMO.
I started with a Sonos Connect digital out to DAC.  Then upgraded Connect  to W4S mods for a SQ bump.  Then picked up a BDP Pi for an additional SQ bump.  Then I added The Roons.  I think the BDP MPD sounds a touch better than  The Roons.  If you end up with a Bryston product I would be cool to hear what you think twix Roons and the MPD in Manic Moose, super easy to flip back and forth.   If it were me I would seriously consider picking up the BDP 2 from @jaytor 
@jbuhl forgive me but what is The Roons and "twix Roons"?  Also what is is MPD?

And I did buy jaytor's BDP-2 :)
Then it's settled for now. Enjoy.
So you bought the BDP2?  I think you will hear a significant upgrade over the Node2i.  
Yes I did buy it.  Not sure. That's why I made this thread to see if anyone else has noticed an upgrade from an older high-end unit to a newer entry level unit.

I think I expect it to sound better perhaps because of the AES output but we'll see.  Very difficult to A/B test.
The Roons = Roon
MPD= Music Player Damon, that renders Qobuz/Tidal or local file storage. and is managed by Manic Moose on the Bryston BDP series (1,2,3 and Pi). Its an alternative to Roon and Spartan but the SQ is Top Notch. I jump back and forth between MPD and Roon.

Twix = between
Manic Moose is scheduled for a rewrite soon so your new BDP should run that.


I did a Roon trial with my PC, but not from my Node or BDP3.  I have seen many comments that Roon causes a notable degradation in SQ, particularly from HiFi reviewers in the U.K.  Manic Moose is hopeless, IMO.  I think that Bryston has exactly 1 employee who over sees the platform.  I can’t see that a rewrite will do anything except be a band aid.  Bryston should use third party apps and be done with it
@mahler123 I have not seen many claim that roon degrades sound.  I don't believe it degrades anything on my end.  Peter Li at Lumin even recommends using it over their native app.  

Not to get off on whether Roon is worth it or not though.

I really just want to know if this old beast of a bryston would be better than a new Node.  

Thus far, I haven't got any real answers, but I did get sold a Bryston unit! haha.  So, certainly not a total fail :)
I have seen a few people comment that they hear a difference between Roon and other apps. Before I started using Roon a few years ago, I was using jriver and didn't notice any change in SQ switching to Roon. At the time, I was using a Windows PC as my media server, and my system was not as good as it is today, so this could have been obscuring the differences.

Since then, I have completely changed my system - literally every component - except Roon. My system is dramatically better than it was several years ago, but each upgrade has been very easy to discern (some more than others, of course). I can't say for sure that Roon is as good as other streaming systems SQ-wise, but it sure sounds good to me on my system and doesn't seem to be limiting my ability to make improvements through component changes.

And while I love to change things in my system to experience the differences, I have absolutely no interest in giving up Roon.
So now that you have the Bryston you will be able to switch between Roon and MPD.   But I cant tell yah right now that the Manic Moose (MM) interface is nothing like Roon.  But you will have to use MM to set the BDP to Roon ready and that is where you make the switch.  Just select either Roon Ready or MPD.  You will have to configure Manic Moose to connect to your music service once if you want to try MPD. Once thats done you can jump back and forth between the 2 to compare.   Be interesting to hear what you think.  Since I switched the Roon Core to an SGC Sonic Transport there is not much difference.  But under critical listening i still think MPD has a little bit more life and dimensional image. 
I have a BDP-2 (with IAD) that I use to play ripped files from an connected external DAC through a Yggdrasil DAC.  In that configuration it sounds terrific, although I fully agree that Manic Moose is not the last word in user friendliness.  But it works, and is definitely less time-consuming than cueing up an LP.

Recently, I've subscribed to both TIDAL and QoBuz and have been trying (unsuccessfully) to get the BDP-2 / Manic Moose to stream high-res to the DAC.

Turns out that for TIDAL, it's just not possible.  The folded masters files are not unfolded, even once, in the BDP players  So from TIDAL the DAC only gets 44.1 khz / 16 bit files.  The friendly folks from Bryston verified this is true.  In defense of the BDP, those 44.1khz CD quality files do sound great, nearly indistinguishable from using the DAC to play Redbook CD's from my transport (a Sony XA5400ES). 

Interestingly, my iphone DOES DO the first masters unfold, so connecting my iphone to the DAC gives a higher bit rate signal than the streamer does.  Sounds quite nice, maybe a tiny bit better then from the BDP-2? Maybe not though, is very close.

I haven't gotten QoBuz files to stream from the Bryston at their full FLAC resolution (up to 192Khz) either, but haven't put as much time into that project yet.  However, once again, connecting my iphone directly to the Yggdrasil works fine, Doing that, I can stream full 192Khz QoBuz FLAC files to the DAC.

Since I'm keen on streaming (probably QoBuz) high-res files to the Yggy, I am not sure where I'll go next; the iphone files sound quite good so I might just stick with that, or might try a Bluesound Node.  Roon is another possibility, although I'm not sure if I want to make such a major investment (core, license) just yet.

My apologies for long introduction, but if I had to do it right now, I'd try the Bluesound node first, and would buy from someone with a good return policy and see how it sounds (and works) in your system.  If you're happy with it, then be happy.  If not, then return it and try something else, perhaps from the used market.  While I love the build quality and fantastic sound quality of the BDP-2, it's really not very user friendly with the current software version, especially when streaming (without Roon).

Apparently a new version of the Bryston software called, "Nutty Narwhal" is on the way - perhaps this might address some of the UI and streaming issues? 
@cdrake thanks for your input.  How do you even get Manic Moose.. I looked and there's no iphone app.  I was able to connect to the player through MyBryston.com or something like that but its very basic and mainly used for firmware updates etc.  I would not call it a streaming app. I'm just using roon.. So far I really like the BDP-2 though if you're using Roon.