Upgrade from Cambridge CXN


This is probably the 1000th query like this, but here is my situation:

I have a Cambridge CXN streamer / DAC.  I am not totally unhappy with it sonically, but am not enamored of the software.  I use it for TIDAL.  The unit does not support MQA and Cambridge indicates there will never be a firmware upgrade to do so.  I have not experienced MQA so I don't know if this is a big deal or not.

What say you all?  Can I get anything decent at my budget? 

I don't mind buying used.

Thanks in advance.  I always enjoy these discussions (including the trolls  lol )
markainsworth
I have been doing a little research. Bluesound Node 2i looks like a good low cost option. What HiFi even likes the incorporated DAC.

NAD C 658 (same OS; same parent company) is also on my radar closer to the top of my price range. I am a little wary: I do not need the pre-amp or the phono section. But reviews seem to be strong

I am also thinking about the Audiolab 6000N Play which got good reviews also from What HiFi.

Both the Node 2i and the 6000N Play are cheap enough to consider buying and adding a dedicated DAC (like the Chord Qutest) later.
Node2i does a good job the app interface is easy to use but if you bypass the internal dac you will have to have an external dac that supports MQA. I am going to be selling mine soon and getting the NAD C658 which I imagine sounds very similar  with same  bluOS app but I want to try the dirac room correction. 
thanks djones51. The dirac correction feature  also appeals to me since I don’t have the luxury of building a dedicated listening room. Thanks for your input.
I heard a Cambridge streamer at a friend's recently, not sure if it was the same one you have.  The Node 2i is probably a side step and while it can be bettered by adding an external DAC, you can probably get more bang for your buck by getting an all-in-one like the Lumin D2.  I recently replaced my Node 2i and Auralic Vega DAC (a $3500 DAC when new) with a TEAC NT-505 streamer/DAC and it was a significant upgrade.  I've had DACs with and without MQA and don't miss it in the ones that don't have it.  The NT-505 does do MQA and can also serve as a Roon endpoint.
Hi big_greg.  Thanks for your post.  After reading your post I took a look at the TEAC unit and am very interested.  The unit has been around now for about 3 years and neither it nor its predecessor, the NT-503 seem to be available used.  That probably means people that have them are satisfied with them.   Do you know if there is a bypass for the pre-amp section?  I have a tube pre-amp that I like and intend to keep using it.
Mark,

I'm using the NT-505 with my tube preamp, but am using it as a streamer only.  If you want to connect something to the DAC, you would connect the TEAC to your preamp as a source, set the TEAC's volume to full and use the volume control on your preamp.  Not sure if that's what you're asking.

You can download the manual and see if it has the functionality you're asking about.  
sounds right .  The CXN has a mode to disable the pre-amp section.  Probably does the same thing just bypassing the volume switch.
Yes, Teac NT-505 has a fixed volume setting to output it to a preamp or integrated amp. That’s what I do. There are several NT-505 owners on A’gon who have nothing but great things to say about it (you can see my posts for my opinions - short version: super impressed).

I’ve never actually seen anyone who has owned it say anything bad about it on any forum, and I looked hard to find because their aren’t many/any professional reviews (at least when I purchased 10 months ago). There are people who dump on it here, but when you press them they admit they’ve never heard it -- they just want to believe the $2.5k Lumin or even the $4.5k Lumin is better.

Dual monoural AK4497’s, dual torroidal power supplies, dual on-board clocks, fully balanced XLR, DSD512, full MQA support, native Tidal, Qubuz support, Roon ready, Lumin software operating system, amazing analog output section, .... For under $2k, nothing not to like. I use it with Audio Research and Spendor D series and don’t feel like it is a weak link at all, though by price it certainly should be.

Teac is the parent company of Esoteric, which some consider to be the overall leader in digital, though fans of MSB, dcs, T+A and others will argue (I have no opinion, those are way out of my price range). But regardless, when you factor that in, not hard to understand why the Teac is so good, as there is likely a lot of technology trickle-down from Esoteric into the Teac. I call it "Esoteric-lite", haha.  (that tends to ruffle feathers of those who sell much higher priced streamer/dacs or who own them I guess)