Adding a dac to blue sound node 2

I mainly listen to vinyl and cd for serious listening but lately have streamed quite a lot from the Bluesound Node with quite reasonable results. I am curious to know if I could add a relatively cheap dac to give me an uplift in performance. Any ideas ?

Could you give an idea of budget? And any preference for new vs second hand?

Just because I have one, a used MK1 Chord Hugo goes for about £400-500 in the UK, it’s a very good DAC.


I realise the Bluesound Node is a budget streamer really. I just want to try to max it out if I can and hopefully get it somewhere near my vinyl SQ. I would be prepared to spend around £500 and I don’t have a problem going used if it means a better dac in the long run. Also are they easy to connect and would I need extra leads etc.

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I would say the BS Node is more of a budget DAC than a budget streamer. The Hugo could be a good option and some very good Cyrus DACs can be found for similar money these days, both easy upgrade for not too much cost.

You’ll need some sort of digital lead- coax or optical is supported by the Node IIUC - from your Node to the DAC. You could then reuse the RCA leads you currently use from the Node to your amp to connect whatever DAC you go for to your amp - that should do it, pretty easy :slight_smile:

I run a SL1200, the Chord Hugo DAC (using a Primare streamer) and my vinyl setup are great, different, but I would say pretty evenly matched. I’m sure there are lots of other good DACs around too, hopefully you can get to listen to a few?

The power supply to the node could be a good place to start. eBay is your friend here.
As my NDX 2 is holidaying in Salisbury, my node is currently performing streaming duties to my NDAC fed by a 555 PSU. I can’t imagine many nodes get to do this. So how does this sound? Well, not as good as my NDX2. But then if it did, I might be upset.
Source first still counts. The node is great for the money, but the NDAC/555 can’t make it sound like an ND555 or even an NDX2.
I did use a DAC v1, and I reckon that was a reasonably priced sweet spot.


The best bit about the Node is the app and interface. Rock-solid connection to my network and a great app. I wish the NDX2 had as great an interface. :thinking:


Thanks for the great advice, I will do a bit of research and visit my nearby dealer as soon as I can to get their thoughts also. So many options if I can get a decent uplift in SQ I will be more than happy.

I realise it is a little more expensive but I use a Chord Qutest with my Nodes. Excellent sound and around 750 pounds pre owned.


I had seen some positive reviews on the Qutest. I wouldn’t mind spending a bit more if necessary. How do you connect to your nodes?

Straightforward. Node co ax out to the Qutest and then rca qutest to din input on the Naim amp. With the xs I think you can use rca to rca rather than the Naim din connection.

I don’t have Naim amp I have Musical Fidelity A5

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Not familiar with that but I guess rca is most likely.

Thanks i’ll check it out

Standard RCA out of chord into MF.

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the chord mojo 2 would be a better Dac than a Hugo 1 for a bluesound node

I run my Bluesound digital coax out into the DAC input of my Rotel DT-6000, which easily bests the DAC in the Bluesound. I’m not suggesting this as a solution in your particular case, but it demonstrates to me at least that better results can be obtained out of that unit.

I run a optical cable from my Bluesond Node to my Bel Canto DAC 3.7 and the results are only limited by Free Spotify limits.