USB output is here

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113 comments

  • Melvin

    A few comments now that I’ve had some time with the new Node. Right now I’m using the Node with a Decware SE84UFO sans preamp so losing volume control and sub-out functions via USB-out was somewhat disappointing. That said, USB-out has worked flawlessly so far and the sound quality is outstanding. I resurrected my old analog crossover (Outlaw Audio ICBM-1) to address the sub-out thing. Works like a charm and sounds better to my ears than the on-board implementation. I could also resurrect my PS Audio linestage to address remote volume control but I prefer the sound direct into the SE84UFO. So, it’s sound quality vs. convenience and I’ll take sound quality every time, I just have to get off my a$$ to change the volume. BTW, when the hot summer months arrive I’ll change out the amp to a much cooler running Marantz integrated (class d) making all of this moot.

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  • Victor Levis

    Thanks Melvin.

    Has anyone used the USB connection with an Arcam AVR?

    Also how do we get the update? I got my Node 10 days ago but it was in the store a while.

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  • Seppi Evans

    Hi Victor,

    The current firmware is USB enabled for the 2021 NODE, so just check to make sure there are no updates available using the Bluesound App.

    As for the Arcam AVR… are you sure the USB on it is an audio input?

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  • clay holleman

    in the bluesound app on left side, click on HELP, then UPGRADE…

    I have been very pleased with the USB update…no problems - no dropouts, clicks, interruptions whatsoever, but i do not use ROON, only connect to DAC in my amp.

    I would be interested in any user feedback on differences in sound quality they have detected between the OPTICAL and USB inputs. Do you notice any increase or decrease in gain/loudness ?

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  • Victor Levis

    The ARCAM AVR10 advert states that it has a rear panel USB port "for audio playback from USB storage devices"

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  • Seppi Evans

    Thought as much, so no you cannot connect the NODE to your Arcam via USB but you can use the optical, coaxial or probably best the analogue outputs.

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  • Victor Levis

    The Optical tops out at 96khz.

    The Coaxial reaches 192khz on Amazon Music Ultra HD tracks. I also prefer the stronger cable.

    Analogue means using the Node's DAC but the Arcam DAC is higher rated.

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  • Seppi Evans

    Only ever go by what your ears tell you rather than specifications or graphs. So with your Arcam it’s coaxial or analogue to evaluate. 

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  • Victor Levis

    Agreed, Seppi. I did that. I judged the sound better from the Arcam's DAC. The reviews just confirmed it for me.

    The Node is $599 USD. It makes sense that the DAC in the Node is cheaper than the Arcam' s.

    There is a small nuance. If you stream Tidal MQA Masters at 192khz (small minority of tracks), the pass-through is limited to 96 kHz.

    So if you prefer the BluOS app to the Arcam Life, and don't want to stream Tidal directly into the Arcam, then you might want to see if the Node's DAC at 192khz sounds better than the Arcam's at 96 kHz.

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  • Greg Pugh

    Sorry to hear that people are still having issues. I ended up selling my Node and purchasing another streamer as a result of Bluesound's refusal to take these concerns seriously. I wish those of you still struggling with it the best.

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  • Yamil Llanos

    Hi. I'm interested in getting a NODE device to be used as a streamer with external DAC.  Can the NODE power a USB DAC? I'm thinking on getting a Motu M2 but I see no references to USB-powered DACs.

     

    Thanks

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  • clay holleman

    and maybe i’m confused by your question about the NODE’s ability to POWER a USB DAC. You still need a power source for your DAC. The NODE is not a power source. The POWERNODE has amplification and also acts as a streamer/dac. 

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  • Yamil Llanos

    and maybe i’m confused by your question about the NODE’s ability to POWER a USB DAC. You still need a power source for your DAC. The NODE is not a power source. The POWERNODE has amplification and also acts as a streamer/dac

    Not much of a difference, but Motu M2 is an audio interface with a good DAC.

    So not really. Some are USB-powered only:

    https://cdn-data.motu.com/django_prod/filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/76/3b/763b0ffe-266d-493c-bfc0-96416f5a8254/m2_rear_2.png__1200x1200_q85_subsampling-2.png 

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  • Yamil Llanos

    It does work. I just tested my NODE USB out with an Apogee Duet which powers over USB and the NODE recognizes it and powers it up without any problems. 

     

    Thanks as always Enrico

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  • Yamil Llanos

    BTW @Enricoclaudio how do you control the volume on NODE/Apogee combo? is it directly on the interface? Can a volume control be implemented via IR remote?

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  • clay holleman

    i see…when you say powered, you mean the unit has only a USB connection..

    you’ve read this from bluesound i presume ?

    NODE (N130) can transfer digital audio (USB Audio 2.0) to an external DAC via the USB Type-A slot.

    When connecting an external DAC to the USB port of NODE (N130), the USB port is automatically enabled.

    Note: When the USB port is enabled, other audio outputs (Analog/COAX/Optical) are disabled.

    To manually enable the USB port, perform the following steps:

    1. Connect a compatible external DAC to the USB port of NODE (N130).
    2. In the BluOS Controller App, select Player Drawer.
    3. Select the context menu (3 dots) of the required NODE (N130).
    4. Select Audio Settings.
    5. Select the external DAC from Select output.

    To disable the USB port (without unplugging the external DAC) and enable other audio outputs (Analog/COAX/Optical), set the Select output to Default in the Audio Settings screen of NODE (N130).

    My amp has a USB-B input so i had to purchase an A-B cable…i notice the unit you are looking at is USB-C.

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  • Mark

    Hi Tony,  I was talking about the sound artifacts, clicks and such, when using the USB output via ROON. I am not using an MQA DAC.

    Is it not considered "in Beta" anymore?  It still has a bad output.  Can you please tell me if this is still in the works or not?

     

    Thx, M

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  • If you are hearing audible clicks or ticks between songs when formats change - please contact your DAC manufacturer about muting settings.

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  • Petri K

    I can still hear clicks/ticks during playback, about every 20-30 seconds or so. It's not related to when format changes. 

     

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  • Mark

    @Petri K,  Exactly! Mine too.  It seems related to the USB implementation and its relation to ROON.

    I guess it's easier to answer a question that has not been asked than one that was.

    They know it does this because they've said it was "in Beta." Which is where I think it will stay.

    Bluesound, If you can't/won't fix it, just say so.  Don't keep BS-ing us please.  

     

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  • Same as others, when USB is selected, volume level is not fixed and is adjustable via the slider in the app as well as by my iphone volume buttons. 

    Your USB device is not a DAC it is a DDC and really not recommended... Though the Bluesound N130 does support USB Output for your USB DAC, there is no specific support for a digital to digital convertor. In fact, we do not recommend using a DDC as it will only add to or contribute to the possibility of distortion or jitter in the audio chain.

    Just a reminder that your Bluesound N130 uses a Texas Instruments PCM 5242 Burr-Brown DAC, which has been implemented with a differential output design in an endeavour to cancel out as much unwanted noise as possible.

    In comparison, the NODE (N130) measures in at -113dB SNR and 0.002% distortion due to this change -- a notable improvement over the NODE 2i's -110dB SNR and 0.005% distortion.

    The DAC is not programmable nor does it come with filters to alter the sound. Instead, Bluesound Players are engineered to create a neutral tone intended to be the most accurate reproduction of the recording as intended rather than be set to an individual room or taste. We know that's not for everyone's taste so using the digital COAX, TOSLink or now USB out of the NODE, you can bypass the onboard DAC if you wish to 'improve' on the recording using an external DAC.

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  • If you are able to control volume, the device connected is allowing you to control volume.

    Based on our tests, DACs are not allowing this but DDCs are. Please contact your third-party external device manufacturer for details.

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  • John Atkin

    @Valerio they want you to buy the new Node

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