I have had to move some kit out of a bedroom for some work to be done and decided to connect streamers to a HC/82/140 set I have feeding a set of Spendor A5 loudspeakers.
GN DS-10 DAC and PSu10.
Auralic Vega G1 DAC
Bluesound Node and DAC
Using the Node as the streaming source I found feeding either the GN or the Vega, the sq is to my ears indistinguishable. Switching between inputs on the 82 I could not hear a difference. After sitting and listening and then switching I convinced myself that the Vega had a slight edge, more clarity perhaps, but it is what I wanted to hear so who knows?
The NODE DAC however was noticeably more muddled. It doesn’t split the sounds into their separate frequencies as well. Not at all muddy, but lacking in clarity compared to the other two. Not a surprise at its price point but it shows the NODE really needs a better DAC to make the best of it.
Comparing the streaming side of each NODE v GN v Vega, again the Vega won out. It has a clarity that the GN just about reaches but there is a slight treble ‘wobble’ on the GN that is not there on the Vega at the same volume. The Node is as before, not up to the clarity of the GN and Vega.