Node 3 or Better Streamer

Currently have a node 2i and has been paired in the past with a Mcintosh MA252, Cambridge 80 and a Primaluna Dialogue Premium. The speakers I use are JBL 4312SE 70Th anniversary edditions and pretty happy with them. So far I have liked the way the node sounded with the tube amp but I am looking at the Technics SU G700 and was going to upgrade to Node 3 as I need the hdmi arc for my tv. I am wondering if there is a huge difference like in a WOW effect by spending another $500-$1000 in a better streamer over the node 3? Again it has to be a huge noticeable improvementI, only do Tidal as my source.



If you are using the DAC in the Node, then spending the extra $1K on a different unit won’t get you much farther. In this case I would agree with the above of improving the power supply. There are many solutions that drive better SQ than the Node, but the cost of entry to easily surpass is likely about $3-4K. 

Plus upgrading the power supply makes the biggest difference if you're using the internal DAC. If you're using an external DAC, the upgrade has a smaller effect at least in my experience.

I have heard, although with no experience, the ifi Zen Stream has better SQ than the Node. You have to have a dac as Zen Stream is a streamer only. Priced at $399.