Streamer Upgrade

I have a modified Bluesound Node 2i with an upgraded power supply board and Terry Pardo power supply. While I am happy with it, I have the upgrade itch! I'm curious if anyone has upgraded from a modded Bluesound Node and what your thoughts are/were? On the TP website, they claim this upgrade brings "it very close to the level of network streamers costing twice as much" which makes me curious as to how big of a jump others experienced. I'm looking at streamer only as I am not interested in units with onboard DAC's. I currently use Roon with a Mac Mini as my Core. My DAC is the Schiit Gungnir MB. 






@glennewdick Did you use the Nucleus as your streamer straight into your external DAC, or did you have a ROON endpoint in-between?   Am asking because my experience streaming QOBUZ with ROON using the Nucleus with an IFi Zen Stream as the ROON endpoint provides superior sound quality, user interface and connectivity dependability vs. my previous setups with Bluesound streamers and an Aurender N10." 

I used the Nucleus directly into a Schiit gumby Multi bit DAC same as the optimized PC prior. I'm using Tidal. I used the USB output to the DAC, I believe, I think if i remember i used the optical as well with lesser sound quality. Why would you use a Roon endpoint with A Roon Nucleus isn't that your endpoint? 

Where it really seemed to be an issue is with the Tidal master series tracks they just did not sound even close to what I got out of the optimized PC. It sounded about the same as the CD quality coming from the none master series tracks. rather flat sounding to be honest.  not even as good as the CD player I have (McIntosh SACD/CD player). 

I don't seem to find MQA (fully unfolded) out of my Aurender A10 is superior either. personally i don't see the hyp of MQA in my current set up.

I'm frustrated with streaming to be honest. my Apple 4k tv box  (digital out to DAC) with the Tidal app sounds about as good as the Nucleus did, and easier to use, that's why I sold it. 

The Aurender is better of course and i see some of what can be had but it should not be this difficult to use and set up to optimize the sound. none of these streamers are plug and play, really. The Aurender app is a bit of a mess IMO, too many setting that seem to do nothing, to many steps to connect your tablet after a power on, etc.  

When i run the optimized PC, I can hear a defined increase in sound quality when i switch on the master tracks in Tidal.  I do not here the same level when streaming through the Roon nucleus or the Aurender A10. 

That said I sold the Schiit Gumby DAC when i got my Preamp (Mac C2700 with the DAC 2 board). I don't think its at the same level as the Schiit Gumby Multi bit DAC to be honest. I was hopping the Aurender A10's DAC would be superior but i don't think it is.

I'm going to borrow another DAC and try to see if that's the Issue. 


good luck and have fun, 


I respectfully disagree with @blisshifi in that I don’t think you have to spend much to get great streaming.  The Node is an ok entry point but the Cambridge Audio CXN 60 is a staggeringly good value at about $1200.  It has a beefed up power supply compared to the Node, an excellent Wolfson DAC, a great app, and adds Chromecast and AirPlay. It has enhanced Internet Radio capabilities relative to most streamers.  I added the Google Cast app to my phone for $3/year and I have several downloaded albums on my phone.  I could easily live with this as my only source although glad that I don’t have to.  In the analog world this kind of money won’t get the same level of return 

Rose Hifi.....I have the 150b that recently replaced a DCs network bridge and find it to b very good.  They have a 250 version that may fit ur budget.  Good luck w ur search.

I have been lsistening to streamed music almost since it started. First with Slim Devices Transporter, Node2i and Aurender N100H.  Aurender has worked a lot on its USB.  The N100H gives you the same sound as bigger models if your Dac has a good USB input. I have two of them, one to a Denafrips Pontus and the other one feeds a Devialet 220 Pro then Raidho X3. No harshess, grain or fatigue. Much better than using Airplay or Mconnect with a direct RG45 Internet connection to the Devialet.  

Finally, there is less and less difference between localy strored music and Qubuz stream. Flipping the same Hirez sound in two modes, it is so close , it comes to a guess.

@mrmanisundaram I’ve definitely been intrigued by the HiFi Rose stuff. They look beautiful. My biggest hang up is that I’ll only use it for the streaming side not the D/A side. Would be cool if they come out with a streamer only version.