I hate to create another thread but after quite a few days of researching I am absolutely no closer to knowing what to do.
Basically, I am looking to create a system that is the best I can achieve for the money I am willing to invest. I created another thread asking for speaker advice - this is easier as I am lining up a demo with various speakers that interest me. The other parts of the system is where I am struggling to understand.
Currently, I have the supernait 3, Bluesound NODE 2021 and a Topping E30 DAC. I feed USB into the DAC from the NODE and then the DAC into SN3 via RCA.
The Topping E30 DAC is very much a Chinese budget gizmo. I am struggling to hear any difference between the E30 DAC and the internal NODE DAC. Maybe they are of similar performance.
The other thread I created had replies of my source been the a weaklink with the SN3 and I should be looking to upgrade my speakers and DAC with a bias of more ££ towards the DAC. Now, the Bluesound NODE gives me just what I am after - Amazon Music, some online radio stations and NAS access to my high-res music. I really don’t want to change this setup as it just suits me perfectly. I know there are much better Streamers out there but I also know i’ll probably end up in a situation where the functionality isn’t as good as I have now and this is something I want to avoid at all costs.
Am I correct by saying the NODE via USB does not use the internal DAC at all? So even if the NODE DAC is rubbish I am not losing performance by going to another standalone DAC via USB?
The next question is what advantages does the Naim connectivity have over mixing and matching different OEMs? Is the Naim designed in a way that a grouped Naim system will outperform anything else due to its propriatary connectivity? Do I just get a Naim DAC and use the DIN leads as opposed to a non-Naim DAC using RCA.
Aesthetics are also important to me. I like black and plain.
I’ve literally spent all day on a certain forum that specialises in taking measurements from DACs etc. It’s a mindfield of opinions, technicalities, recommendations and egos.
I started by saying I wanted the Naim SN3 and new bookshelf speakers. Now I am wondering if I should be looking at DACs and Floorstanders. Obviously my potential budget needs to increase and I am fine with that but I don’t want any regrets.
Starting this whilst COVID is rife wasn’t my finest moment. Demos are limited, family keep testing positive, it is just hardwork.
Anyone else who went down a similar route have any thoughts on where I am with all this? I am thinking to increase my budget to 6k for a DAC and new speakers/stands. Great if I don’t need to max out but im open to using my allowance if it gives me the best gains for years to come.