This is good Schiit...
Hang on... this is a long one...
So I had never tried anything from Schiit Audio before in my nearly 30 years messing around in mid-fi gear. I have owned many, many amps, preamps, integrated amps, CD players, DACs, etc. Most individual units were ranged between $500 to maybe $6,000 (retail), but the majority were purchased used.
So I was messing around on YouTube one day and saw some videos on the Schiit Freya+ tube preamp. I have always been a fan of a tube preamp + big SS amplifier.... just always preferred this setup generally. So after seeing what these were selling for used (and the fact that I much preferred the black finish - harder to find), I decided to just order a new one from Schiit and give it a try. Even if it suck or was Schiity, I could sell it for a decent price and only lose maybe $200 or so. At the same time, I ordered a couple matched quads of old NOS RCA & Sylvania tubes.
Having owned much more expensive SS & tube preamps in the past, I was fairly surprised with the sound straight out of the box. As a few music sessions went by over the next month or so, it got better and better sounding. I was using a Parasound A23+ amp with it at the time and a Bluesound Node 2i for a streamer/DAC up front.
Then seeing several other videos on YouTube about the Schiit Aegir amplifiers... I decided to buy a pair of those and give them a try. I was also shocked at what they sounded like, especially at that asking price... HUGE bank for the buck in my opinion.
Then, after watching more videos on YouTube about the new Tyr mono blocks, I bought a pair of those to try. I have been going back-n-forth between these amps on/off for the last few weeks - still trying to decide which ones I prefer... they both sound fantastic and are a ridiculous value I feel.
So this brings me to my question (finally, I know)... since I seem to have a serious fondness so far for this Schiit and I am only running a Bluesound Node 2i for both streamer & DAC duty... maybe I give one of their DACs a try also??? Would it make a significant difference???
My experiences with DACs (and I have tried many) left me satisfied with the sound from the BS Node 2i alone. When trying different DACs in the past, with decent cables, etc., the sonic differences were very minor to my ears.
One specific comparison was when I had the BS Node 2i hooked up with both a pair of Clear Day silver RCA cables out and a nice Furutech digital cable out. I sent the digital stream into an MHDT Orchid tube DAC w/ the highly recommend NOS Western Electric tube, then the same Clear Day RCA cables continued onto the integrated amplifier (Plinius 8100). The other Clear Day silver RCA went directly from the BS Node 2i into the integrated amplifier. The power cord on the BS Node 2i was a Nordost Purple Flare and the power cords on the MHDT DAC and the Plinius integrated were both LessLoss DFPC Signature (so I am not hooking all this up with basic/cheap cables at all). All of this was plugged into a BPT line conditioner.
So cue up some music stream from Tidal and go back-n-forth on the two different inputs on-the-fly....differences? Yes, but not that much... not NEARLY enough to justify the additional costs of the DAC, tube & cables I felt.
So does anyone have actual experience with using a Bluesound Node 2i alone and then upgrading to a better external DAC and just using the BS Node 2i for streaming duty? I understand that there are many out there that downplay the BS Node capabilities as a DAC, but let's not make a comparison to a streamer/DAC that cost $8,000... let's really compare apples to apples.
I do not have a huge issue with buying Schiit's best DAC, but I feel like it would take that unit to have me hearing a worthwhile difference.
Thanks for your attention and any/all advice is much appreciated.