Buying Advice - Raspberry Pi or Bluesound Node 2021

audio_wolf

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I have purchased an Audiolab 6000A and I'm looking to purchase a streamer for Spotify Connect - hoping Spotify Hifi will work and if not I may consider the Tidal route for better sound quality later.

Initially, I was about to buy the new Bluesound Node but I am also now considering assembling a Raspberry Pi + Volumio to do the streamer.
It looks like the Audiolab has a pretty decent DAC so I could use a Pi + a SPDIF HAT.

With the Raspberry Pi route (if that's what you recommend) I am completely lost on the best routes to go.
Options I had considered:
  • Pi4 + HifiBerry Digi2 Pro + using the Audiolab DAC
  • Pi4 + HifiBerry DAC2 Pro + using the Audiolab as an amp only
  • Pi4 + Allo Digione + Audiolab DAC
With the Bluesound I am hearing conflicting feedback - really good support and excellent OS but then I also hear buggy.

Can anyone give any advice on this?
 

Pancho

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I have purchased an Audiolab 6000A and I'm looking to purchase a streamer for Spotify Connect - hoping Spotify Hifi will work and if not I may consider the Tidal route for better sound quality later.

Initially, I was about to buy the new Bluesound Node but I am also now considering assembling a Raspberry Pi + Volumio to do the streamer.
It looks like the Audiolab has a pretty decent DAC so I could use a Pi + a SPDIF HAT.

With the Raspberry Pi route (if that's what you recommend) I am completely lost on the best routes to go.
Options I had considered:
  • Pi4 + HifiBerry Digi2 Pro + using the Audiolab DAC
  • Pi4 + HifiBerry DAC2 Pro + using the Audiolab as an amp only
  • Pi4 + Allo Digione + Audiolab DAC
With the Bluesound I am hearing conflicting feedback - really good support and excellent OS but then I also hear buggy.

Can anyone give any advice on this?
I’ve posted my experience in another thread .... that thread has valuable info .... all Pi + Volumio based config will get the job done. It will sound “good” depending upon the rest of the chain. Bluesound Node is supposedly much better over Pi ... that’s just my opinion based on what I’ve read. I have pi like streamer - Hummingbird- as a “stop gap” unit as nice new friend commented whom I found here in the forum!
 

audio_wolf

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I’ve posted my experience in another thread .... that thread has valuable info .... all Pi + Volumio based config will get the job done. It will sound “good” depending upon the rest of the chain. Bluesound Node is supposedly much better over Pi ... that’s just my opinion based on what I’ve read. I have pi like streamer - Hummingbird- as a “stop gap” unit as nice new friend commented whom I found here in the forum!
That's helpful!

So any Pi will do, the Node might be better.

Out of curiosity would you expect a stereo amp to sound better than an AVR? This is why I'm looking at getting both the Audiolab amp plus a streamer
 

Pancho

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That's helpful!

So any Pi will do, the Node might be better.

Out of curiosity would you expect a stereo amp to sound better than an AVR? This is why I'm looking at getting both the Audiolab amp plus a streamer
2 Ch stereo unit is a totally different machine compared to that of an AVR. An AVR is predominantly built for 5.1 or higher - home theatre experience with digital deciding facility - so you can connect your DVD / BluRay units. Some AVR”s offer the option to manually select “2 Ch mode” - my AVRX4200 offers that - but it’s not at all to my liking! But as an AVR it is excellent.

please understand that not all AVR”s are good for 2 Ch enjoyment of the highest grade. Will it do the job ? it certainly will. Hope this helps !
 

audio_wolf

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I should have been clearer.

I currently own an AVR and invested in some new 5.0 speakers (kept my sub). When I auditioned the range I did it with a stereo amp in a store - I was blown away by the music quality.

So much so I have been exploring the stereo amp alongside my AVR. If it goes will I'll make sure my next AVR has pre outs.

Does that make sense?
 

Amitdubey

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I have a x3600h and a cxa81. Cxa81 always sounds better to my ears but the denon 3600 measures better for music. Cxa81 has a v shape presentation with accentuated highs and lows...the denon is more neutral and linear sounding like marantz 8006 kinda presentation and also does music well. Av receivers have come a long way and are perfectly suitable for music. Strongly recommend 3600 especially at the price you can get it for. I got 3 month old for 60k.
 

audio_wolf

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Oh I see! So something like the 3600 price point equates to good quality music?

I currently own a Sony STR-DN1080 and it's disappointing.

How do you own the Cambridge Audio too, because you prefer the sound?
 

chander

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With the Bluesound I am hearing conflicting feedback - really good support and excellent OS but then I also hear buggy.
I use the exact config - AL6000a + Node 2i and I have personally never experienced any issues except occasional delay in changing a song. I have also used the RPi based setups and in terms of ease of use and UI, Node 2i is light years ahead. MIND YOU I am a sucker for convenience and RPi was never very convenient for me.

In terms of sound quality, I still give Node 2i a higher score compared to RPi based setups, but then again too many things come into play, so this is extremely subjective rather than being an objective measurement based comment.
 

audio_wolf

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I use the exact config - AL6000a + Node 2i and I have personally never experienced any issues except occasional delay in changing a song. I have also used the RPi based setups and in terms of ease of use and UI, Node 2i is light years ahead. MIND YOU I am a sucker for convenience and RPi was never very convenient for me.

In terms of sound quality, I still give Node 2i a higher score compared to RPi based setups, but then again too many things come into play, so this is extremely subjective rather than being an objective measurement based comment.
What services do you use with the Node 2i?

I do like "things that work"
 

chander

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I use Spotify primarily. I had Tidal too but have recently stopped the subscription.
 

chander

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I have had no issues - EXCEPT - the delay in changing songs and that is also occasional. I use the system pretty much everyday as this is my office setup.

I could also be lucky - so do your research and go with what the majority says. FYI my controllers are almost exclusively apple products if that makes a difference.
 

audio_wolf

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I have had no issues - EXCEPT - the delay in changing songs and that is also occasional. I use the system pretty much everyday as this is my office setup.

I could also be lucky - so do your research and go with what the majority says. FYI my controllers are almost exclusively apple products if that makes a difference.
And that's using Spotify Connect that you experience the delay?

I'm 2/3 apple products
 

chander

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In this setup I use the spotify app downloaded on my apple devices and just select the node 2i as the playback device.
 

Amitdubey

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Oh I see! So something like the 3600 price point equates to good quality music?

I currently own a Sony STR-DN1080 and it's disappointing.

How do you own the Cambridge Audio too, because you prefer the sound?
3600 is very good for music and measures well. Feed it clean current through an upgraded power cable and it sounds fantastic. Good enough for most of us to have it as a dedicated all in one home cinema and two channel amplifier
 
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