Moving up from a Node 2i

I want to keep it between 1K and 1500.00, closer to a grand if at all possible. I don't care about onboard DACs, since I have a keen liking for mine. What is out there for a streamer, new or used, that will sound better than the Node when outputting to an external DAC? I like the functionality of the Node, don't want something with a sketchy user interface. But honestly, I think my old Allo Digione (Raspberry Pi) might have sounded a little more organic and fleshed out than the Node.

What say ye, Audiogon?


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DSD 512 is the one I use, just checked it again to be sure 

Just wanted to pass along my recent experience of adding a Schiit Gungnir MB to the Node 2 that has been in my system for a few years now.  I am using the coax out to the GungnirMB and balanced XLR into the Luxman 507uxii.  The difference is so massive it's not even funny.  I was hesitant thinking "how much better could it actually be?".  It is better and by a wide margin.  This has been a very good value upgrade for the result.  I'm not going to get into making claims like it sound like vinyl or better that this or that because I don't have anything to compare it to other than the Node2 but it is so much clearer, plays to greater extension at both ends and has removed some digital harshness that existed when turned up louder.  I still have the Node 2 hooked up through it's RCA - for MQA - and can a/b which makes it easy to tell the difference.  I though that MQA from the Node would still best CD from the GMB but it doesn't.  Not even close.  I use this mostly for streaming but also have some music on a local NAS as well.  

I would definitely give this a shot if you have the chance.  Good luck!
@ mattshere  that’s  nice. But also to be expected and not surprising especially with your choice of DAC. Isn’t it awesome tho??!!

what we really need to hear and quantify , per the OP’s question, is what happens to overall SQ if you replace the Node 2 with a dedicated (DAC-less) streamer: Lumin U1 mini, Innous zen, project, etc.

still use your Schiit, but change out the node 2 or 2i.

what happens, why, and how much?

My Lumin U1 mini arrives tomorrow. The game is afoot........