Upgrade Bluesound DAC or go to Aurrender?

I want to go up a good step in SQ, I listen mostly to my Bluesound Vault2 and LP’s, streaming only for background music. Do I get a outboard DAC for the Bluesound ($3-5k) or switch to an Aurrender like the A10? Vote here. 

Ask anyone if they like their $2000 or $5000 or $10,000 item of any high-tech category, and 90% of time they'll say how great it is, UNLESS OF COURSE, they've already decided to dump it.  The above discussion is nearly pointless.  I've conducted blind listening tests between Blue Sound and streamers costing 8x the amount of the Blue Sound.  If you use the same external DAC in the test, no one can consistently pick better than 50/50 a $5000 streamer over a $600 Blue Sound. Audiophiles like to believe they have golden ears.  However, the differences between an inexpensive and more expensive streamer, when using a high quality DAC, are always going to be negligible.  OR put another way, digital differences will never be as discernible in scope as the sonic differences between analog gear.

The one caveat may be the noise floor associated with a power supply comparison between streamers.  However, hook up an S-Booster power supply to the Blue Sound Node 2i ($350 bucks??), and I'd challenge anyone to a sizable bet that you could not do better than 50/50 in selecting a $5000 steamer over a Node 2i.  The problem with the above argument is you are not comparing just streaming functionality, as you're being influenced by the superiority of the DACs built into some higher priced streamers.  

I am confused. I thought that the node 2i takes a direct AC input. The S booster is a DC power supply. Please explain. 

In order of value for money and SQ:


2.N10 Second hand bargain


I've never heard the W20/SE but the N30 is over twice the price of the N20 and it doesn't beat the N20 by much plus it's two boxes.

Any Aurender will give stellar performance with a $1000.00 DAC, the A Series except for the ACS100 have internal DACs.

You must audition them don't buy just on recommendations.

Good Luck.

OP here, so this is what happened...  I had the Bluesound Vault 2, it got me introduced into streaming and getting my CD’s ripped. It sounded great, was easy to set up and use and cost-effective way to get into streaming. I then upgraded to a external DAC, which did make a very nice improvement for the Bluesound. I have now switched to an Aurender N200 (their newest model without an internal DAC) and that was another very nice boost in sound quality. In either case, I don’t listen to my CD’s any longer.

I thought about going to the "A" series, the Aurenders has a very good DAC built in compared to the Bluesound, but realized that DAC’s are always improving and I would end up eventually wanting a better DAC for the Aurender, so I went with their "N" series. You can’t go wrong either way, just depends on the level of the rest of your system and how much cash your willing to spend. Hope telling you my journey helps someone else.