Node2 seems lower volume than other devices

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  • Official comment

    Hi Ed,

    We were busy researching this(sorry about the delay).

    If you set the Audio setting  to Variable... do you still get the same result with the volume level?

    We appreciate your cooperation!

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    John M

    Hey Ed,

    I just got my Node 2 up and running and I have noticed exactly what you are describing.  Using a sound meter it's almost 1/2 the volume.  Can someone from Bluesound please weigh in on this?

    Thank you,

    John

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    John M

    This is john responding....

    Yes lower output happens is Audio is set to Variable.

     

    J

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    Ed Nazarko

    Will check this later today when I'm in my studio.  I tried an awful lot of things, including a reset of the player, going to variable, trying volume limits, resetting the player again, to try to change the low output level.  But will try again.

    I wonder if you shouldn't try one on your end, compared to a CD player or other streamer.

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    Ed Nazarko

    Just tried changing between variable and fixed while playing 3 different songs.  No change at all in volume level, as long as variable is set all the way to the top when switching.  If I turn the volume on the Node 2 down while in variable, then move the slider all the way to the highest volume setting, and then switch to fixed, zero volume change.  Also tried changing between fixed and variable with the music off, then replaying once changed, and again, fixed and max volume variable are identical.

    I wonder if something fiddled with the volume setting in the DAC chip.  I have no way to figure that out... but in my day job I work with very complex AI systems that behave in non-deterministic ways sometimes, so I can't stop myself from running through all the places a problem could occur.  

    I assume that the circuitry and components are identical in all systems, so you should be able to readily reproduce the problem there by comparing a system there with a CD player.  What could be different between John's and my system and yours or others, is that something reduced volume at the DAC volume control in my Node 2 and John's.  Assuming your normal volume control is on the analog side of the process.

    I'm OK with trying fixes for another few days, but if I get to Thursday without a resolution, I'll drop out of this discussion because I'm still in the liberal return window with the retailer.  I won't be in a couple more weeks. The volume difference between this device and the other three hooked up to my amp is just too huge to live with.

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    Ed Nazarko

    Did a full factory reset, which required a full library scan.  First thing I did once the network connection was established and the library sync was done, was confirm fixed output.  Tested three songs.  Still hugely lower volume than the same music via Logitech Transporter, and via blu-ray player.  I'm working from home this week.  I'll do as much as I can each day if there are new things to test, but as of Thursday, I need to stop focusing on fixing this.

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    John M

    Hi Ed & Kyle,

    As far as I can tell from the posts here Ed has been doing a lot of work trying to figure out what is going on.  Out of respect for his diligence I wanted to update the thread on what I've done.  Spoiler alert!  I didn't solve anything, just purchased a PowerNode 2.  This plays more than adequate (volume wise).

    Now, a brief history...

    I planned on using the original Node 2 I purchased for my kitchen.  Before this addition I had been playing primarily CDs for years.  The setup is not "traditional" in the sense that the kitchen's receiver is in another room about 30+ feet away from the kitchen.  Many years ago I ran speaker wire to an in-ceiling volume control in the kitchen.  So I realize that this long  run could affect volume and quality.  But the CDs I've been playing sound fine.

    After experimenting with a SP Meter (volume was almost off by 1/2) & posting to this forum I found that the Chicago Mail-Order Co. (also with a liberal return policy) that I ordered the Node2 from had a PowerNode 2 *demo* for a great price.  I ordered it and located it in the kitchen after the Volume Control.  This cut out all that cable and VC. So... Power Node direct to in-ceiling speakers.

    This set up sounds fine.  It's taken me a while to connect the wires in its new hiding place so I'm just starting to listen to it now.  But there is no doubt it is loud enough.  Sound quality compared to my vintage NAD 7240PE, not sure about that yet.

    Well I hope I didn't bore you all. Bottom line, I feel there is something different about the Nodes vs CD player.  I just cut to the chase by changing my setup. 

    I still have about 45 days left to decide which to keep , I'd appreciate hearing any other info if a solution is found.

     

    John

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    Ed Nazarko

    I haven't been able to figure out how to resolve the problem.  I've got the Node2 feeding into a 150wpc integrated amp, to relatively low efficiency speakers.  With the other sources, I'm running about 1/4 volume setting to 1/3 if I really want to rattle the windows.  When using the Node2, I'm all the way to half or more.  For some source material - amazing how much variation in gain needed for different albums - I have to turn it up even more than that.  The integrated amp and speakers aren't going anywhere (based on what they cost me) so without a solution, the Node2 goes back and I'm back to trying to find a decent streaming source. 

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    John M

    I "hear" you Ed.  There is defiantly something wrong with at least our two units.  I wish/hope that Bluesound's support would offer a solution, or at the very least, tell us how many customers are citing the same problem.

    John

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    Shodan

    Perhaps I am stating something very obvious, but did you disable the equalizer? If you enable equalizer settings, the sound will drop 6dB to prevent clipping if you ramp up the bass / treble.

     

    I actually use this to lower the volume, since my receiver is way to powerful and I only have a few mm headroom to change volume.

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    Naj

    Hi, I've just bought a Node 2 and immediately noticed the same problem of having to increase my normal listening volume by 30-40%. Has there been any resolution on this problem?

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    Tony W. - Product Support Manager

    Hi Naj

    Are you using fixed or variable output? Try using fixed output (in the Player Audio Settings in the Player Selection Drawer) and allow your pre-amp or amplifier to adjust the volume. See if that works.

     

     

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    Gene

    Similar case here. Just got Node 2 and experiencing much lower volume comparing to other source of inputs. Connected Node 2 to McIntosh MA252 amp). Now, need to crank volume up on the amp to at 40%-50% in order to hear anything (normally at this settings amp is already rocking my small room really hard). Volume is set to fixes, and tone control is off.

    Really annoying. Is there a way to fix it?

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    Naj

    Hey Gene,
    So trick I learnt is that your receiver should be set at reference volume (0db) and then use the blue sound as the volume control. Reason for this is that if your receiver and your bluesound are being used to control the volume you have a multiplier effect but it can’t really be calculated...example would be if receiver is at 50% and bluesound is at 50% you actually only getting 25% output or less depending on the power output of your receiver. On my receiver at 0db volume I no longer have to put my bluesound higher than 30% (depending on the recording source of course)

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    Gene

    Thanks Naj! Not sure how to do that with my setup. Amp indicates volume in percents 0-100%. Input to amp is analog, RCA interconnects. I do want to keep amp in control, since I use remote from it to adjust volume, mute.

    For now, I've set Node 2 to Fixed volume which is equivalent to 100% in variable volume, but it still requires amp to be set at least 50% for normal volume.

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    Naj

    Hi Gene,
    Try setting your receiver volume to 82% (or whatever max you willing to set it to). Then play with the volume of the Node 2 to see what the system should do (I recommend starting with 30%-that’s loud for me). Also ensure the Audio output level on the Node 2 is set to Variable (Settings-Player-Audio).
    So I assume you using the BluOS app to select your music so why not use the app to control the volume? I find this useful because each song is recorded at a different level anyway and needs the volume to be set.
    Remember most other sources like CD, LP, etc don’t have their own volume control on the device so it outputting at a hardware set max, Node2 is different in this way so the amplification multiplier comes
    Into play. In a setup like this it’s adviseable to use the pre-amplification source as the volume controller (Node2) so your amplifier (receiver) is giving your speakers the juice it needs. It gets more complicated the more
    Amplifiers you use...in one of my rooms I use a valve poweramp (which doesn’t have volume or gain controls) so in a daisy chain (Node2-Receiver-poweramp-Speakers) you want the amplifiers to do their dedicated job and the source controls volume (which is done by studio recorDing anyway).
    Hope this makes sense

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    Naj

    I’m not sure why Node2 behaves this way because I tried the Fixed volume solution and put the amp in control of the volume and I was frustrated for months until I tried the solution above.
    Node2 is a great unit especially with Tidal MQA but have to admit I was going to throw it out before I did the above set up...I was so frustrated....super happy now :-)

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