Well, why not ask the pros? What dac I could connect to iMac that would connect to MHT200?

Living a bit in yesteryear, I have a new Bluesound Node connected via coax to McIntosh MHT200 (ancient box nearing 20 years old, but sounds good with Paradigm speakers/sub). The MHT200 has only RCA and digital inputs. Turns out I have been using the MHT200 dac with my connection. I will try the RCA output of Node to use its dac to see if it is better than the MHT200s.

I have settled on Audirvana on iMac, though it airplays to Bluesound Node because Node does not do UPnP.

Thusly, wondering what dac I could connect to iMac that would connect to MHT200 in price range of Bluesound Node.

Forgive me for stepping into this hallowed space with my pedestrian question.

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Schiit Audio Modi Multibit 2. $299


one thing…would like network connection to control Audirvana with iPhone

A-B between Node Dac (RCA to McIntosh) and McIntosh Dac (Coax from Node to McIntosh, thusly using McIntosh Dad)…Node better

so the test to do is comparing Node Dac with Schiit Modi Multibit 2 (would be a $300+ experiment)

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Chord mojo is highly reviewed, and now that the mojo 2 is available original mojos are on the used market for good prices.

What are you primarily listening to? Streaming, stored files?


Are u using the newest version of the Node? The only reason I ask is because the dac in the most recent (what replaced the node 2i) is suppose to be very good and I wonder how much improvement you’ll see in adding a $300-400 external dac between the node and Mac. If you’re not then maybe a dac would be an improvement.

Are you using tidal? I used tidal connect with my node for 2 years and was very satisfied with the results.

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So you would like to replace the node with another DAC?

IMac (via USB) → DAC (RCA) → McIntosh


Is your budget new Node 2i ($600) or used Node ($200-300)

I have the new Node

Have now tested using the Node Dac (Node RCA out to McIntosh RCA in) and the McIntosh Dac (Node Dig Coax out to Dig In on McIntosh)

The Node Dac is clearly better. My McIntosh is about 20 years old and its Dac apparently does not do beyond 48 khz or MQA.

I have also compared Roon, Qobuz, Tidal, BluOS, and Audirvana programs. First four use Node Streamer ‘directly’. Re Audivana, no UPnP support, so uses iMac AirPlay to Node. Nevertheless, Audivana is best. BluOS second. The other three about the same with less bass and 3d. Although all are quite good.

Roon and Audirvana provide some info on resolution path, ie incoming and played.

It may be that attaching an external Dac to the Node (this Dac would RCA to McIntosh) is diminished return.

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I had a node 2 which I used as a streamer and used a Denafrips Aries II as the DAC. This was far nicer than the node 2 alone. Eventually I replaced the node 2 due to connection issues and installed a sonos port.

The latest node is simply called blue sound node.

The node 2i is the previous version.

I also have Sonos, and the blue node is much better.

I think at the price you are looking you might be correct. And upgrading something like the rcas between the node and the Mac might satisfy your upgrade itch for less then $100….

Why I asked about streaming is because I wonder if taking airplay out of the chain might make a noticeable improvement. I.e. tidal connect to the node.

dusted off pair of Vampire cables for RCA

I find Qobuz better than Tidal and Audirvana program better than Tidal/Roon. Roon has amazing features.

Ran across SMSL SU-9 Pro as yet another Dac

I agree with you about Qobuz…. Built myself an ROCK to run Qobuz through Roon cuz of it. But honestly as far as ease of use tidal connect is pretty great.

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