Where/how to start?

My music source is CD, SACD, and LPs. I occasionally listen to streaming music through Spotify. I don't have a music server or I don't use DACs for any digital forms of music.

However, as I am growing older (almost 60), I've been thinking about making things simple and setting up digital systems. Also, even though it is not lossless, I feel that music from Spotify is getting better recently.

I have a dedicated HT and 2 channel system. I have OPPO 105D and Esoteric UZ1. (Also 5 turntables.) 

So, how would I start? I don't have a budget set yet so it would be tough for you to give any concrete advice, but I'd like to hear about basic and simple pathways to setup a decent digital systems.  


If you get a Bluesound Node/ Vault streaming device, I strongly recommend  running a hard wire Cat cable to your router/modem. Using the Bluesound wireless has often caused many frustrations for people. Bluesound is a great solution but works best WIRED to your network.

Can somebody comment on Node’s DAC? Would it be better than the DAC on Oppo?


Node DAC is a Burr Brown PCM 5242 and the Oppo is a ESS Sabre. It really comes down to the implementation of the DAC chip. You would have to really dig deep to find the implementation details. If I was venturing a guess/bet I would go with the Oppo as it is 2x the cost of the node so it might have a little bit more engineering $ spent on the DAC.


Excerpt from Oppo review regarding the DAC:



Oppo have of course put extra effort in the sound of the 105 model. It has two ESS Sabre32 Reference Audio-digital converters, 7.1 outputs and a stereo output. Both use a 32-bit Hyper Stream DAC topology that is said to provide a wider dynamic range and minimize both jitter and distortion. There is both balanced and unbalanced dedicated analog stereo output and digital outputs in the form of RCA and Toslink.

​Had I made a pure CD player in the same price range and a bit upwards, I would be nervous - Oppo BDP-105D certainly sounds compelling with music. Sure, you can find CD players that sound better, but probably not at this price. And it can play all discs and can handle both two- and multi-channel, even a HDCD filter is built in. Considering all the things the Oppo 105D can do picture-wise in addition, it is simply brilliant value for the money.

​I have heard many significantly more expensive CD players that gets beaten by the Oppo 105. You get a sound with the calm, the detail and the super quiet background that I really only expect from dedicated CD players of high class. The DAC has a slightly different, slightly warmer character than the Burr-Brown type I’m used to, but it’s just another side of the same coin. It’s still a good DAC."


It appears that I would not be able to tell the difference between DACs on OPPO and Node.

I will most likely go for Bluesound Node with Qobuz subscription. To get a wired network connection I need to rearrange my current setup - swap the HT and 2 channel setups to avoid a long running network wire.

I based my decision on the budget, sound quality, flexibility, and ease of use. Once I gain more experience on digital streaming, I will get rid of at least one turntable to fund for a higher end streamer and DAC.

My iPad is about 4 years old and I have iPhone 11.

So, I can use either iPad or iPhone to control the music? Then, the connection between iPhone and Node is through WiFi, right?  

If I use a direct network connection, do I still use iPhone to control the music? Well, things will get cleared once I get a Node.