I have owned a Bluesound vault2 for 18 months and use it mainly for streaming tidal and deezer now.
Imho its weakest point is its DAC.
I get much improved sq using its spdif out to the DAC in my Lyngdorf than from its rca outs to the Lyngdorf. This was also the case on two previous integrated amps, both Hegel.
I cannot see the DAC in the node being any better than the vault, more like exactly the same I would say.
Do not ditch the Brooklyn yet, at least not for a node2!
It's not clear to me from reading the original post what your streaming goal is other than to listen to Tidal. If it's simply to listen to music via your computer, you can save money (if that's another goal) by selling the Brooklyn and buying an Audioquest Jitterbug and DragonFly Red with Audirvana Plus software on your computer (costs for the Audioquest combo ~$250 and Audirvana Plus is ~$70). You can plug the computer into powered speakers or listen directly with headphones. However, the Brooklyn has many more capabilities besides MQA and it's an outstanding DAC (complete with a decent phono stage). If your goal is wireless streaming of high quality music throughout your house, perhaps you should consider keeping the Mytek. Keep in mind that, if you sell, you'll lose a substantial sum relative to the purchase price.
I basically second the others here. I have the Mytek Manhattan and the Bluesound Node 2 and Vault 2. There is no comparison between the DACs in the Mytek v. Bluesound isn’t even close, nor should it be. The Manhatten is a dedicated DAC that goes for about 10 times the price of the combo Bluesound DAC-Streamer. I’ve never heard the Brooklyn, but imagine the same applies.
btw, both the Brooklyn and the Bluesound will do MQA.
Another factor is reliability. Bluesound does updates very frequently, and many of them wind up disabling functionality. In the 2+ years that I’ve had Bluesound, I would say that’s inoperable about 20% of the time. In fact, I also had their Pulse Mini, which is an expensive glorified boom box, and it died completely on me last month. The warranty is one year, and Bluesound has told me that I’m sol. I’m not to impressed by the short life span of a $500 component that sat in my kitchen for two years without moving.
My Mytek hasn’t missed a beat
My thought was the CD player sounds amazing without the Brooklyn....I could save some money getting a dedicated streamer but didn't want to lose audio quality. My laptop sounds more than adequate to stream through the Brooklyn.
Sounds like I would I need to spend more than I can get for my Brooklyn an LPS to upgrade though.
+1 to Bob and others recommding keeping the Brooklyn. I’m also a Tidal MQA listener. The biggest change I’ve made in my system was an upgrade from a Node 2 (with which I was very happy) to a higher quality DAC (in my case a Lumin T1, probably similar to what you have with the Brooklyn). As someone posted , I think you can stream through the Node 2 without unfolding, and let the Brooklyn handle that.
@mswobo, you've got a lot of good advice here, but some of it is not true. I use the Node2 and love it. Even like the DAC in it. But the Node2's digital outputs do NOT support MQA into another DAC even if the DAC supports it as does the Brooklyn. You can still listen to Tidal Masters, but you will be listening to pcm. If you need a technical explanation for this, Bluesound support is superb. Meridian does not currently allow MQA streams to be output from the decoding device as digital.
"But the Node2's digital outputs do NOT support MQA into another DAC even if the DAC supports it as does the Brooklyn"
Not true. If the downstream DAC supports full MQA decoding, Node2 will just pass the source through with the first level encoding.
"You need the Vault 2 to stream MQA through without full unfolding to a further MQA capable device, you have an option then in the Bluos APP to select whether you are using an external MQA decoder or not.
I do not believe this exists in the Node2."
Not true. Select the album vs. smart gain. I literally just checked this on my phone.
Why complicate things? Why do you need a separate streamer? Why use a USB connection? Why use a computer in your audio room or even a streamer with attached disks? Been there done that for over 10 years. There is a better way and that’s using bridge technology inside a dac. The 2 eat models are from DCS and PS Audio, I have the ps audio setup and your trade mags have it as rated in the top tier and I would agree. My best day was when I sold or got rid of my computer/audirvana/pure music setup, the Auralic Aries, and especially my AQ Diamond USB cable. Hello roon with ps audio dac/bridge II,no hiccups, the best interface, fantastic Tidal implementation, and only using a good quality Ethernet cable with 1Gb external internet speed.
@rbstehno - This is slightly OT, but I am really curious. I know a bunch of people moving from their own music collections to streaming from Tidal. Here is my question: How do you decide what to listen to? I almost never run to my stereo saying "I have got to hear some [insert name of artist here] today!" One of the joys of my server (and I use a dedicated Linux server via a Squeezebox Touch, so no USB anything), is that I know I like every music file in my 450gb+ library. I can select random play of albums, genre, artists or songs, and I have the world's best radio station; one that plays only stuff I like and with no ads. Before I got my server, I was often at a loss to decide what CD or LP to pull out. I listen a lot more now than I used to, and enjoy it more, too.
So, what do streaming guys like you do when you have to pick from millions of albums? What is it like for you when you have time to really listen, as a destination activity?
bondmanp-I took my Mac mini running audirvana or pure music and turned it into a true server running OSX server. I have 26TB of raid data to hold all my ripped music or purchased hires files. This server is located in the basement a 100ft away from my dedicated audio room. the Mac server is used to backup all my macs data, setup caching of software updates, run minimerver for other audio connections throughout the house, and handle sharing of my audio ripped files.
using roon with the ps audio dac/bridge, I point to the Mac server for my audio files, and the server runs roon to render MQA files. The thru roon, I link to the bridge to play my music. It’s also critical to use fiber for your network connection (I have a 1Gb fiber connection) so it’s absolutely quiet whereas copper connections introduces noise. Using roon, I can mix Tidal albums with my ripped music so when I play an artist, it will play from my server or from Tidal, in shuffle mode you really don’t know where the music is coming from, who really cares.
@rbstehno - Oh, thanks for the clarification. Sounds like Roon is the key, but AFAIK, it won't work with Sqeezebox or Sqeezeserver yet. And then there's the money issue. Always the money issue. [sigh] - Seems like you use Tidal as an extension of your server, with Roon as the program that makes this possible.
Correct. I would have to say that the iPad software for the Auralic Aries streamer is almost as good as roon, better than the other streamers software that I looked at and the Auralic sounded better than the other streamers I looked at. I still have an Aries mini for my living room system so I still use Auralic a DS Lightning software with Tidal.
I use Tidal because of the MQA albums.
I know what genre I like to listen to.
Deezer has an,option called Flow that plays music based on your saved fave artists, albums, songs etc. Much like a Pandora station does but at 16/44 .
When I can’t be bothered to choose I just hit the Flow button and if it plays something I do not like just hit next.
Of course the whole vinyl process is on a different level.
Some would call streaming like the Flow channel,hirez elevator music...lol
If you use a great dac like the Brooklyn you should also use a great streamer in between computer and dac. Like ultraRendu or Sotm-sms200 ultra. Or you could give Uptone IsoRegen a try. To my experience a streamer is as important to sound quality as a dac. A Bluesound Node is a moderate streamer. A Brooklyn deserves a better streamer or at least a quality buffer between dac and computer.
streamers are old technology!
uberwaltz-tidal or other sites, you MIGHT be correct that vinyl MIGHT sound better, which is also true if you are using a cd player. But to say that hires/dsd and now MQA is worse than vinyl is just a silly remark. I have a very nice TT setup that costs 4x more than my digital setup and good recording DSD/MQA files will blow away vinyl. Since my PS Audio dac upsamples everything to DSD (not sure what it does to hires/dsd/mqa) even redbook can sound better than vinyl. If using a typical non-ps audio/dcs type dac, then vinyl will probably sound better than redbook thru these dacs.
Please point me to ANY comment made that states vinyl is BETTER?
Saying vinyl is on a different level has NOTHING to do with saying it is better, same or worse, just that it is DIFFERENT.
As I have stated in MANY threads you cannot compare vinyl to CD to streaming and really should not even begin to try to.
I tend to use Spotify as it has a super classical catalog and is much more complete than Tidal.
Spotify has a nice little tab called Discovery which offer music based on what you have been playing. I find tons of new material using this. In fact, I have discovered at least 6 Early Romantic composers, who I never knew existed, and works by some that I had never heard before(- And, I have been listening to WQXR since Duncan Pirnie).
As I said before, my Bluesound Node's are for connecting my upstairs office and living room main system. If you don't need whole house connectivity, then just using the Brooklyn with your computer or CD transport should suffice.
Hi - I wanted to share my brief ownership with the BlueNode 2 as a +1 on mahler123's reliability comment. I wanted to like the unit, and I know some others have had success with it, but mine was an extremely frustrating experience and I ended up returning my unit after a few weeks of use. Nothing more annoying than going to listen to your music and discovering that the BlueNode has lost its NAS library and has to re-index the NAS all over again, hopefully they have corrected that issue by now, my poor experience was 9 months ago (Fall 2017). I posted the following comments at the time to another forum where I had been touting the BlueNode's virtues before getting bogged down with disappointing technical issues!
"I am still evaluating the BlueNode 2 but it is likely going back to retailer. One key issue I have is that for a new device, with latest firmware, it still has a couple quirks – one of which is lack of being able to do artist/song radio properly. Also, I find library scrolling to be slow even on the associated desktop app (if it has indexed my library, why does it take seconds for my album art to load for my library and Tidal, when scrolling a list?). And then when I wrote in about the artist radio, the rep told me they can see my unit is in temporary storage mode (?) meaning that if power failure or unplugged then the BlueNode 2 will lose all settings including Tidal log-in and all the library indexing to my NAS. This has happened twice already due to power outages. No DIY solution to put it out of its ‘temporary’ mode, only fix per company is to schedule a shared Teamviewer computer screen-share with support desk and give them remote access to network?!? No thanks, and especially not for a brand new product…back to the store it will go! Unacceptable that this is not something they can address with firmware download. "
All I can say on the Node2 issues you and Mahler have experienced is either a very unfortunate coincidence of faulty units or the Node2 has faults that the Vault2 does not.
I have owned the Vault2 for 18 months and not once experienced similar issues as you describe and both it and the Bluos app have undergone numerous updates along the way.
Very unfortunate for the pair of you.
I am glad to hear your Vault2 doesn't share the same issues. The Bluesound rep saying they needed to be allowed remote access to my home network to fix that 'temporary storage mode' issue was the final straw for me after the other frustrations. Maybe I had a lemon, or maybe the unit/OS behaves when the music is stored on an integrated drive, like your Vault2, rather than on a separate NAS over a hardwired network? (I have a Synology NAS that stores my music files). Anyhow, I was really keen on the unit as a way to stream Tidal to my system along with the ability to have my own FLAC library all easily accessible in their app. For the latter I ended up using newest JRiver (+app) which serves the same purpose of sending my FLAC to receiver as a DLNA device. As for tidal, they lost my subscription money as I went back to using Spotify for streaming (still hoping they will launch a full high res option, but it sounds ok for now...not quite as robust as my Tidal tracks while I had the Node2 but not bad).
I have no doubt that someone out there has made the Node2 work for their setup, but definitely I had issues with mine so this is just meant as a PSA that if you get one, be sure to put it through its paces (and make sure it doesn't have issues described in my case) before the return window is up!
Those of you experiencing hiccups during play with the Node2 and using the WiFi connectivity, I strongly recommend to keep it as far away as you can from your TV or any other device that uses a remote control, preamp, integrated amp, or even your (external) DAC if it has remote control volume adjuster. In my experience, the remote control devices (can) interfere with the WiFi signal going into the Node2. Just as an experiment, point your device remote control to the front of the Node2 and lower/increase the volume and watch the blue light and watch and see if it flickers. For me, its 100% repeatable and every time I lower the volume on my TV the light flickers the signal gets lost. It might depend on the type of remote control you have but its a simple experiment and you can simply rule it out or in. I discovered this by accident and I no longer have the TV on while I play music through the Node2.
@kalali, very interesting post.
One thing I noticed on the Node (first version- I don't know if the Node 2 is different), is that it only runs on the 2.5ghz band. I went with a Netgear wireless converter to get it to 5ghz. The 5ghz band is almost empty in my area, so I find connectivity much more reliable.
I'm getting one of these too. I highly recommend you watch Hans Beekhuyzen's channel, and get his book. Book is cheap on Amazon. He's a fan of these, but says that the ones by Allo are the best. Much better then HifiBerry. The coaxial one is called the Digione, and the USB is the USBridge. He says that, if you add a linear power supply. The only thing that beats it for less then about a grand. Is the SOtM SMS-200 with an added linear power supply.
I had problems with both my Node2 and Vault2. The whole system goes kablooie at once. And I still haven’t heard back from my dealer about the Pulse Mini that died a year out of warranty.
I am burning my discs to a Synology NAS that I am currently controlling with the Bluesound. It works now but I hold my breath with each Bluesound Update. Travis from Bluesound Tech Support and I are now best buddies. Ultimately I’d like to get a Bryston BDP 3, but that will have to wait.
Bluesound is an amazing bargain, when it works. The Vault combines a ripper, storage, software player, DAC (MQA at that), for just over a grand. At that price point, it’s perhaps unrealistic to expect flawless performance.
I use Tidal and in regard to what do I listen: I am demoing a lot at the moment so I save all the albums I've never heard of from the sessions. I trade ideas with guys on sites like these for high-quality recordings regardless of file type, resolution. I want to start a thread of super high quality recorded/engineered and sometimes produced albums. I'll give you an example: Dylan "Oh Mercy." Probably a staple for many audiophiles. I never would have found it if not for a guy at the stereo shop. Punch it into Tidal on your phone, favorite it and viola, it's yours. Driving around in the car I hear stuff I forgot or never heard of or whatever. Get home and Tidal has it. It's just too bad it doesn't always sound as good as that Dylan album.