Hello , Please suggest if anyone having views on the same.
Nait XS3 + Bluesound Node OR Uniti NOVA.
I am preferring XS3 + Node as i will have options to change the streaming option but not sure how internal DAC will perform for Node.
Appreciate some more insights on the same. I will be pairing it with Buchardt S400 MK2.
the xs3 will give you more options by being able to add hicap and a dac to lift the performance for a few yrs to come…
The Nova and XS3 are very closely related , I have a Nova and it has oodles of inputs but no phono stage, slightly more power than an XS3 . It drives my P3ESR comfortably but needs a full Powerline to sound at it’s best
I haven’t heard the Bluesound Node but it seems well thought .
The Nova will probably be at least a thousand pounds dearer -and won’t have the capacity for further expansion
I’ve used two generations of Node (2 and 2i), but not the latest version. Both were solid little machines that sounded okay. I’ve read that the newest version has a further-improved DAC and output section, but cannot attest to this. However, the new version also permits asynchronous USB output of digital signal to an outboard DAC and this seems to be a very big benefit to me for future expansion. You’ve still got coaxial SPDIF digital outs as well.
I currently run a Chord Qutest + Shanti LPS going into my SuperNait 3 and am very pleased. It’s fed by a Denafrips IRIS DDC that is in turn fed via USB from my Nucleus + (RevA).
Lastly, adding a HiCap DR was a very obvious uplift in performance for me (and the SN3 is already DR’d in its preamp, unlike XS3). That’s a nice option to have for the future.
Nova looks terrific and is excellent if space is at a premium.
Unsure if Nova benefits from recent power amp improvements in XS3 (and SN3 that 1. doubles the speed of voltage gain and 2. removal of cascode and improvement transistor optimisation) so as ever, a demo would be optimal.
Either option is pretty costly so worth auditioning to ensure you get the sound you like or want.
I tried the Node2i into a Supernait 2 and was not satisfied. It sounded rather thin and , well, not very „high-end“ to my ears. The streaming engine of the Node 2i however is really good, very stable over Wifi, no bugs, Roon-ready. So i used it into a external DAC ( a Gustard X26pro) into my Supernait 2 and later into 202/200/HC and was very satisfied. The Nova we own and use is a very reliable, very good sounding device, that works very well with different speakers ( Harbeth Monitor 30.1, right now Kudos X2), very pleasing sound and user interface, and it looks terrific. No upgrade options though and rather expensive . So i would strictly consider my monetary possibilities and then decide. Maybe the in-built DAC of the new Node is better than in the old Node 2i, then the xs3 + Node would be a nice starting point, and maybe in 1-2 years a NDX2 is an option.
Cheers , Matthias
I have the same xperience with the Node. It streams exceeding well and the app is almost perfect for my use. It does need a better dac though to enjoy hi end sound quality that most Naim kit deserves. I have used both the Qutest and the Auralic Vega and then the node sounds very good. However if you are starting from nothing then the costs of Node plus a good dac may not stack up vs a lightly used Nd5 xs2.
using a Node (latest model) with my SN3. Well satisfied, but have to mention I changed the internal power supply of the Node by a Teddy Pardo. Low budget change with good result. The HDMI socket of the Node as an important element in my whole set-up including the television. Gives me also time to save for a further upgrading and look around on the quick changing digital audio market.
Try a Used ND5XS instead of the Node. Will cost not much more and will match the XS 3. I did it albeit with a 5si and have never been happier.
I really like the Node 2i for its user interface and trouble free operation and when partnered with an external DAC, I use and RME ADI-2, I felt this improved the sound quality when compared to the Node 2i’s internal DAC.
Why not XS3 + ND5XS2 vs. Nova? Almost same price but the decision criterias are much easier to determine
I am running a Node N130 into an nDac with an XP5XS with an XS2 and a HicapDR. It sounds great, and I do love the bluesound interface. I also run small bluesound speakers (pulse flex) in my kitchen and office and it’s nice being able to easily sync the music. The nDac is a huge improvement over the DAC in the Node.
And share much of the same underpinning -something admitted by Clare Newsome (before she went)