Bluesound Node 2i vs. Hifiberry DAC Pro +

Dear all

I’m actually using a Hifiberry DAC Pro+ with my Yamaha A-S810 and Dali Zensor 5 for streaming music from my Qnap NAS with an external Quadra HDD where the music is saved.

Does it make a sense to change my Hifiberry to a Bluesound Node 2i ? I mean, is the sound quality going to be better? And how about playing more files like .dsd?

Also I’m trying to change the Roon Core on my Qnap to a newly Intel NUC8i3BEK with ROCK.

Many thanks for your help.

Earlier this year my setup was an IQAudiO Pi-DAC+ (similar to your HiFiBerry), Arcam FMJ A19 and Dali Zensor 7s. I auditioned a number of DACs including the Bluesound Node 2 before choosing a Chord 2Qute. The Bluesound wasn’t an improvement on the IQAudiO and certainly not worth the £500 price tag.

If you want to hear an improvement, my recommendation is to spend more on a good FPGA or discrete DAC rather than another integrated DAC. Otherwise, stick with what you have.

yes, but the chord 2qute is not working like the hifiberry…i mean, no ethernet etc…
i need something like a hifiberry which produces better sound…i need a network player…like a aries mini or something else

sorry for my questions i’m really new regarding sound.

You might notice an improvement you might not . But I would say you will. The dac in the bluesounds is no slouch and very good for an integrated device and is on par to what I had prior with Allo USBridge and Arcam irDac. You have to spend about the same or more on a separate DAC to see a big mprovement on the ■■ in my view so comparing it to a £700 DAC is not exactly fair.

Hi and thanks.

But…I think I’m not understanding correctly…The Arcam irDAC has no Ethernet…so this would mean i have to add to the Hifiberry another DAC (Arcam for example) and this one is connected to my Yamaha?

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You have the Raspberry Pi … plug any USB DAC into this.

Also, remember that a consumer product costs more than the HiFiBerry (or IQAudio etc.) because of marketing, distribution, retail costs etc. The Burr Brown ICs you’ll find in your HiFiBerry cost a few dollars each and are the same you’ll see in £500 retail products.

Hi Martin

Many thanks.

plug any USB DAC? And what about my Yamaha A-S801?
I think I’m confused now. My RasperryPi is attached via RCA Cable to my Yamaha A-S801. Whats the benefit of USB?

Hi Piero

Based on your initial post I understand you are currently using the Hifiberry which is both a streamer and a dac in one box (please correct me if I am wrong). The Yamaha has a dac as well but I understand you are feeding analogue out from the Hifiberry directly to the analogue input of the A-S810. If I understand this correctly then you have quite a few options if you want to try. A Bluesound Node 2i is an all in one (streamer + Dac) but it also allows you to take the digital signal (bypassing the integrated Dac) and feed it directly to your Yamaha. These are options to try out if you want as it may (or not) result in subtle sound differences.

I have tried the Node 2i as an all in one (i.e. using the integrated dac), feeding the analogue out to my Rega amplifier. It sounds fine, warm and punchy. I have compared this to an Allo Digi One (streamer only) with a Musical Fidelity V90 Dac, which then feeds the same amplifier. I preferred the Allo Digi One. + V90 Dac but only by a tiny bit. I then tried the V90 Dac with the Bluesound Node 2i (digital out) and the sound was identical with the Allo Digi One. Any differences to my ears were very small.

You have a dac in the Yamaha which you can try using with a streamer. It might work well enough and in that case you avoid adding another box (dac). If you go for the Bluesound node 2i then you can try with and without dac to see what you prefer most.

Hope this helps a bit

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Hi Yiannis

Many thanks.

I think that the Raspberry is actually not used as a DAC…i would like to use it only as a Streamer only…my Yamaha A-S801 should do the rest. So, to use it only as a Streamer I should buy the Allo Digi One?

Hi Piero

Maybe I have misunderstood your use case but I as far as I understand, a hifiberry dac pro + is a dac:
https://www.hifiberry.com/shop/boards/hifiberry-dac-pro/
This is usually used in combination with a raspberry pi streamer (from Hifiberry in this case). You end up with an all in one solution (streamer + dac).

Sorry in case I have misunderstood what your setup is.

So what do I need as a only “transport” raspberrypi? I’m checking the Allo DigiOne. This would mean, that in that case my RP would be used as a “transporter/bridge” with Ropiee instead of a DAC with my Hifiberry.

As far as I understand actually I have two DAC:

the Hifiberry
the Yamaha

I would like to use the Yamaha as my DAC…the music is saved on my NAS…and should be transported to my Yamaha thru RP

If you only need a transport then you can indeed go for the Allo Digi One. This will output digital (coaxial) which you can then feed to the Yamaha dac.

Difficult to predict if that will result in better sound compared to what you have now though :slight_smile:

or use the Allo USB Bridge to my Yamaha A-S801…which has a digital DAC

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That would also work for sure. The Yamaha dac accepts USB / Coaxial and Optical so you can use the Allo Digi one or the Allo USB bridge as transport.
Best
Y

does i need a special powersupply?

No mention of Linux support on their website, so beware it might work but with limited format support so unlikely DSD native compared to windows.

Not unless you want to and make it more complicated and expensive. Personally adding on an expensive psu to a cheap DIY solution seems counter productive. But hey

on the yamaha website?

Yep was just looking it mentions windows and Mac but not linux. Your best asking them direct what support it has on Linux before jumping in. Or just try your current raspberry pi using USB to see what options you get.

and if i use the digione (not usb) but spdif/coax?