Looking at a used DS and optical out of a Blue Node 2I

I have been watching Paul’s YouTube channel and as someone in electronic repair for over 35 years I love the idea of the FPGA DAC and the ability to reprogram a great piece of equipment. I now use the BlueSound Node 2I in three different system thought out my home, most of the systems are equipment I purchased broken and repaired. Two systems are McIntosh and one a Fisher 800C. My main listening room I use a McIntosh MAC7200 and ATC SMC11 speakers, also in this room I use a Primaluna model 3 Pre-amp and a pair of Dynakit MKII I built from their kit. I like to purchase a PS Audio PerfectWave DirectStream on the used market and use the node 2I to feed the DS by optical. I know it will only be 96k at best. but other then the 96k limit are there any other issues? Bad for me but great news for PS Audio I can never find broken PS Audio equipment :grin: I am not in the position to purchase new, sorry as I would prefer to buy new.

PS Love Paul’s Ask Paul channel, like that he gets more technical then other Youtubers.

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Welcome, Mark_Daniel!

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I too would like to get a node 2i just to see if via the optical connection (my coax and I2S’s are taken) if the bitrate changes because the 2i is AmazonHD compatible. Audirvana is not. When playing QoBuz via my network (I don’t have the Bridge option - nor do I need it), Audirvana displays/changes the Bitrate as per the file streamed.

Trying to save a few Bucks even if it means buying a Node 2i (I could return it via Amazon - but I’d rather see if anyone here in the PSA forums have tried this.

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My experience is coax in is way better sounding than optical to the DS. And I can play my 192khz and DSD files. I do use optical from my TV though, and it does seem to be pretty good, but for music nah…

Okay. I have a node 2i and can sign up for the Amazon trial period. What exactly do you want me to do? I have a Stellar Gain Cell DAC which I think will show the bitrate on the display. (Right?)


You da man ! Yes, sign up for the free 3 month trial and connect an optical cable from the 2i to your SGCD. Select the “PS Audio Speakers” in the Amazon HD App available for both Win10 and Mac. Disconnect any USB going from the 2i to the SGCD just so it forces the AmazonHD software to find the Node 2i on your network.

BitPerfect playback will only work via the App and not the web browser version of AmazonHD.

Thanks again Mike.


The optical input on the DS DAC is awesome, because the things that cause optical to suck on other DACs just aren’t part of the design that Ted came up with. Ideally don’t have other (metallic) inputs connected at the same time, because electrical noise/hash is basically always present on those and impacts the DS performance.
If you’re lucky you’ll get 176.4 and 192kHz capability on that input too. The Toslink receiver components are only guaranteed to 96kHz but some of them just happen to turn out better than that in the factory. Mine has worked up to 192 since I got it years ago.
One relatively-low-cost mod that can help get even better performance out of cheap Toslink sources is to put a simple reclocker in between it and the DAC. I’m using a SPDIF iPurifier2 by iFi audio | Digital Optical and Coax Audio Signal Optimiser to good effect – actually I’m using it to create effectively a second Toslink input on the DS DAC, by connecting this to the coax port.

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I haven’t forgotten. My node is not playing when I use ultra HD. I’ll keep screwing with it but so far no joy. I’ll update you probably later today.

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Thanks, man. No hurry whatsoever.

Okay. The node 2i does not seem to play nice with Amazon Music HR tracks. It says it’s playing, but the SGCD doesn’t decode it. It does fine with CD quality, but I’ve had no luck with any of the “hi-res” stuff.




That’s what I was afraid of even though some have claimed it’s bitperfect. There’s a Dealer here in town and a member of our audio club. I trip to his store and maybe he’s let me try it either in the store or at home if he has a demo model kicking around.

Thanks once again Mike,

This is troubling. I was planning on getting a node 2i and using the SGCD as the DAC. Are you telling me this will not work with Amazon HD?



Chris at Audiophile Style just did a full battery of tests on Amazon HD last most and it is not bit perfect or lossless. My daughter has a 2I that she had hooked up with the Optical cable. When I was at her house at Christmas I gave her access to my Tidal account I rarely use and she could get nothing over 16/44 to play over optical and we tried multiple cables.

Hey, @rajugsw

Maybe it was just the tracks I tried before, but now I’m seeing the SGCD light up at 96. So I can’t say if it’s bit perfect, but it seems to imply high resolution.

Photos below:

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I may be a bigger Bluesound fan than most, as I have units all around my home. But as I upgraded my system over time, because I was so loyal to the BluOS, I replaced my my Bluesound Vault with the NAD M50.2. I have never looked back. As a streamer, it is incredibly noise-free and built like a tank, with performance as high as the upper-level Innuos units.

Comparing back to a Node is quite painful if you are using an external DAC, as the Node can introduce jitter and is made of a cheaper architecture.

I guess my point is this - if you are considering spending the $3K or so for a used DirectStream, go for a dedicated streamer, otherwise you’re paying for the Node’s DAC and output stage and are not even using them. If BluOS is that important to you, then I wholeheartedly recommend the M50.2, but if you don’t need BluOS, there are other good-caliber streamers for less in the price point between the Node 2i and the M50.2.

SGCD will work as DAC but you need latest firmware on Node 2i to get Amazon HD working - personally I outgrew both and now use Qobuz and an Aurender streamer/server with the SGCD DAC and am more than happy.

Thanks for the response.

Kindest Regards,

I believe you are BitPerfect Sir !

When you have time Mike, try this track and see of your SGCD lights up as “PCM 192 F-1”

If this works then I’ll be seeing my “Dealer” soon.

Thanks again,

I wish the Node had coax output. I2S is still niche I guess.


My SGCD had a little problem locking onto the signal, but joy did occur and once locked, it stayed locked. I’m pretty convinced it’s my optical cable. It’s a very cheap commodity cable. Guess I know what my next upgrade is.

Any recommendations on a good, affordable TOSLINK cable?

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