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RE: First foray into streaming

I have a Bluesound Node 2 although I do not use it for critical listening. For the most part, I use it to identify new music which I then purchase as a CD and copy to my server, or as an LP and play on the turntable, or in some cases, both.

I am currently running the Node 2 directly into one of the RCA inputs on my preamp and not through my DAC, although I could if I wanted to. I chose to go directly to the pre for convenience's sake and because of how I am using it. If you are using an integrated, for instance, you would need an open RCA input.

As for sound quality, if you are really concerned about that I would recommend you consider the CD quality level of Tidal. Spotify, even the subscription version, is only streamed at 320kbps whereas Tidal can be streamed at CD quality, which is 1411 kbps. Quite a difference. Of course, you could always take advantage of the 30 day free trial period offered by both to hear the difference for yourself and then decide which service suits your needs best.

Regarding the iPad, yes, the Node 2 can be controlled wirelessly through a Bluesound app you download from the iPad app store. You simply add the Node 2 to your existing WiFI and you're all set. The Node 2 comes with a power cord and the necessary RCA cables so it is pretty much self contained. It took me about 10, maybe 15 minutes, if I remember correctly, to set mine up, download the app, and start playing music. Pretty simple really.

For the cost of the Node 2 and your budget of $1000.00 you might consider using any of the popular DAC's in the $300.00 to $500 price range. That would allow you to stream any of the current or future higher resolution music available through Tidal or any new service that may come along.

One big question is will streamed digital music, regardless of the source, bring you the enjoyment I'd guess you obviously have with LP's? That is a question you will have to answer for yourself. However, it should be noted that the Node 2 with Spotify might be considered by many audiophiles ( and certainly by myslef) to be seriously lacking in sonic quality. Using a CD quality service like Tidal may help to improve your listening enjoyment of streamed digital music. Depending on the rest of your system, that might be something to keep in mind.

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