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Bluesound Node or WXC-50 or Cambridge CXN V2 or…. a cable?

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So I’m not sure what to go for between these streamers, or if I should simply stick with a cable for now.

So it seems the WXC-50 is better than the Bluesound in terms of sound quality, however I won’t need to use the internal DAC, as I can just use my A-S801 DAC. So pass through is important. The Bluesound supports a HDD whereas the Yamaha only supports a USB stick. Being able to connect a HDD is much more ideal. Other than that, I would like to use Airplay (1). The Cambridge is in the list because i like the idea that I could use the internal DAC instead of my A-erhalten DAC, if It is better. Inside the a-s801 is ES9010K2M. So if the Cambridge has a better audio quality then I like that option.

Finally, I’m tempted to cut all this out and get a usb c to usb b cable. My source would be my Samsung s8 plus and a iPad Pro 2021 tablet. But of course, I need to know if I can play the source and bypass the internal DAC of the phone and also the tablet. Is that possible?

And if I get a cable I’d maybe want one that is 2 or 3 meters long. Is that gonna be an issue? And could you recommend a good one that isn’t unnecessarily priced? I see audio quest cables, but are they over priced?


Any comments welcomed. Just want to get through this, so I can actually just listen to the sound as opposed to being rationally submerged in it.
 

Timcognito

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Please consider the user interface. The BluOS constantly updates. I Have the Node and like the connectivity, and supported features to other services like Roon, Qobuz, TuneIn and many more. So I'm biased there and also multi-room can get expensive. Roon can run a lot generic audio gear so think about that also but requires a 24/7 computer and $10/mo or $700 lifetime. A lot of good advice on this site. Good luck
 

Mindhead1

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I use an iPad Air as a streamer into the USB on my Element II DAC/Amp. It works great. I stream from the Qobuz app. I’ve also hooked it up to my integrated amp and it works great as well. USB-C on iPada makes the a legit streamer option IMO. Definitely get a cable to connect you iPad to the as801. That’ll be $10 of the best $$$ you spend on audio.

On the CXNV2, that a nice piece. On paper it’s DAC should be better than the DAC in the as801 but I can’t speak to the sound difference. I’m considering getting a CXNV2 to pair with my CXA81. I currently use a raspberry pi running MoOde to stream Qobuz via UpNP in my main system. The RPi also supports AirPlay and costs less than $100 to setup and sounds great which makes it tough to justify spending 10x more for the CXNV2.

Good luck!
 

NiagaraPete

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What not a PI streamer with a Hat like Hifiberry or Allo.
 

JRS

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If I were to go the streamer/DAC/pre-amp route I would buy the Cambridge Audio rig in a heart beat. Too bad the matching amp is priced so high. All the boxes are checked in streaming capability (be nice if BT were included vs an option). Has both digital and analog outputs, SQ is likely superb and available at a small fraction of their top of the line products, and resale value, however limited, is likely high among competing products. The only oversight I can see is not including HDMI arc.
 
OP
Eventhorizon010
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So many options to consider. Being wireless is great, but that cable option is simple. But i feel I want to know for sure whether it skips the internal DAC or not. I think there was an android USB DAC app that did something like that (?) but the IPad USB C is direct audio then? And from my windows laptop I also have USB C.. so there’s that, and I’m also concerned about loss of quality over the length of cable, which steers me in the direction of a quality cable, but I don’t want to spend $$$ on that trap. I’ve been looking at Audioquest cables, and I’m think about 2 or 3 meter, and I guess a 2 meter is going to be better for sound than 3, but ideally 3 would be great…

Any thoughts on this?
 
OP
Eventhorizon010
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If I were to go the streamer/DAC/pre-amp route I would buy the Cambridge Audio rig in a heart beat. Too bad the matching amp is priced so high. All the boxes are checked in streaming capability (be nice if BT were included vs an option). Has both digital and analog outputs, SQ is likely superb and available at a small fraction of their top of the line products, and resale value, however limited, is likely high among competing products. The only oversight I can see is not including HDMI arc.
The CXN is certainly tempting. Trying to fight my impulse there. But looking at the price it keeps me refrained. I could get it for 920 euro. Probably could have got it much cheaper on Black Friday…
 
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Eventhorizon010
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I use an iPad Air as a streamer into the USB on my Element II DAC/Amp. It works great. I stream from the Qobuz app. I’ve also hooked it up to my integrated amp and it works great as well. USB-C on iPada makes the a legit streamer option IMO. Definitely get a cable to connect you iPad to the as801. That’ll be $10 of the best $$$ you spend on audio.

On the CXNV2, that a nice piece. On paper it’s DAC should be better than the DAC in the as801 but I can’t speak to the sound difference. I’m considering getting a CXNV2 to pair with my CXA81. I currently use a raspberry pi running MoOde to stream Qobuz via UpNP in my main system. The RPi also supports AirPlay and costs less than $100 to setup and sounds great which makes it tough to justify spending 10x more for the CXNV2.

Good luck!
That USB-C is direct, right? No DAC used?
 

Mindhead1

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That USB-C is direct, right? No DAC used?
I have a USB-C to USB-B cable that I connect from the iPad directly into the USB port on my DAC. You should be able to get this cable and do the same directly into you as801 USB DAC.

Also, you don’t need an AudioQuest cable a good cable from Amazon or Monoprice will get the job done.
 

Mindhead1

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So many options to consider. Being wireless is great, but that cable option is simple. But i feel I want to know for sure whether it skips the internal DAC or not. I think there was an android USB DAC app that did something like that (?) but the IPad USB C is direct audio then? And from my windows laptop I also have USB C.. so there’s that, and I’m also concerned about loss of quality over the length of cable, which steers me in the direction of a quality cable, but I don’t want to spend $$$ on that trap. I’ve been looking at Audioquest cables, and I’m think about 2 or 3 meter, and I guess a 2 meter is going to be better for sound than 3, but ideally 3 would be great…

Any thoughts on this?
A quality USB-C to USB-B cable from Amazon or Monoprice will got the job done. Make sure it’s MIDI compatible and you’ll be good to go. It’ll work with you iPad or out of your Windows laptop. I don’t know the science around it, but my thinking is you’d need to have a cable much longer that 2-3 meters to experience any noticeable degradation in sound quality.
 
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Eventhorizon010
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A quality USB-C to USB-B cable from Amazon or Monoprice will got the job done. Make sure it’s MIDI compatible and you’ll be good to go. It’ll work with you iPad or out of your Windows laptop. I don’t know the science around it, but my thinking is you’d need to have a cable much longer that 2-3 meters to experience any noticeable degradation in sound quality.
Yeah I hope sound doesn’t drop over 3 meters. But also I really need to know if the signal from the tablet or phone is untouched. Don’t want the ****** internal DACs to touch the signal. So pure source upto the amplifier’s DAC.
 

Mindhead1

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Yeah I hope sound doesn’t drop over 3 meters. But also I really need to know if the signal from the tablet or phone is untouched. Don’t want the ****** internal DACs to touch the signal. So pure source upto the amplifier’s DAC.
The internal device DAC isn’t used when you connect via USB. That’s sort of the point of external USB DACs.
 

Jimbob54

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The internal device DAC isn’t used when you connect via USB. That’s sort of the point of external USB DACs.
I think @Eventhorizon010 might be confusing USB C dongle DACs with straight up USB C cables. Just guessing based on the posts so far.
 
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Eventhorizon010
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Yeah no to be clear, the DAC I want to use is in the A-S801 amplifier. So I want a clean signal from a source to be internalised with that DAC. So I know if I get a streamer and hook-up a hard drive to my files then I know I’ll get clean source if I bypass the streamer’s DAC, however what I’m trying to find out, is that if I skip the streamer and directly go from USB-B on the A-S801, through an appropriate cable, and straight into a tablet or phone, HOW to bypass the internal processing of the tablet or phone, so it can send a direct signal to the cable and onto my A-S801. I mean, why would anyone want the internal DAC limiting the sound, then sending it on to a better DAC? Do you know what I mean?
 

Jimbob54

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Yeah no to be clear, the DAC I want to use is in the A-S801 amplifier. So I want a clean signal from a source to be internalised with that DAC. So I know if I get a streamer and hook-up a hard drive to my files then I know I’ll get clean source if I bypass the streamer’s DAC, however what I’m trying to find out, is that if I skip the streamer and directly go from USB-B on the A-S801, through an appropriate cable, and straight into a tablet or phone, HOW to bypass the internal processing of the tablet or phone, so it can send a direct signal to the cable and onto my A-S801. I mean, why would anyone want the internal DAC limiting the sound, then sending it on to a better DAC? Do you know what I mean?
Phones /tablets should never go through their internal DACs when connected to an external dac and any player software should tell you where it is sending it to. This does not mean that the digital signal is not up/down sampled or otherwise processed in the device before it's passed to the external dac. I can't speak for apple devices but android ones most certainly do do that processing unless you use special software like USB audio player Pro app.

But it's not using the phones DAC.
 
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Snoopy

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I had the Yamaha wxa50 before. Musiccast was crap. Problems with DSD, flacs skipping, bad WiFi connection. Qobuz skipping files.


The Cxn V2 is probably my favourite hifi purchase. The streammagic app works great. And I use all the features of the Cxn V2.

XLR out for my headphone amp. RCA out for the cxa81.

The pre amp to control the volume of the headphone amp and Cxa81.

Airplay for my apple tv4k .
The usb input (supports UAC 1 and 2) for my ps5.

And the usb input for my flac files.

And if I wanted I could use it as a roon endpoint.
 
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OP
Eventhorizon010
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Phones /tablets should never go through their internal DACs when connected to an external dac and any player software should tell you where it is sending it to. This does bit mean that the digital signal is not up/down sampled or otherwise processed in the device before it's passed to the external dac. I can't speak for apple devices but android ones most certainly do do that processing unless you use special software like USB audio player Pro app.

But it's not using the phones DAC.

Im still learning with all this stuff, a lot to take in with so many possible variables. But do you believe that using files from a tablet or phone will be the same quality as say a streamer reading the files from a drive? But bypassing the DAC of the streamer? -if hypothetically the sample rate is the same on either. Hope you know what I mean.
 

Jimbob54

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Im still learning with all this stuff, a lot to take in with so many possible variables. But do you believe that using files from a tablet or phone will be the same quality as say a streamer reading the files from a drive? But bypassing the DAC of the streamer? -if hypothetically the sample rate is the same on either. Hope you know what I mean.

Yes, with the caveats that the source device (tablet/ phone / streamer) isnt doing anything to the file before passing it on. Which is by no means guaranteed with Android (and possibly Apple- but check the threads on here about that) devices.

But lets say and Android phone with UAPP (the app I mentioned last post) set to "bit perfect" output, connected by USB to a DAC should be no different to any of the streamers mentioned in your OP in terms of what goes into the DAC. when playing the same source file.

That doesnt mean functionality, user experience etc are comparable - but the digital stream should be the same
 

Bombadil

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Been down this road; if you're using the Yamaha DAC and want plug/play convenience, easy to use interface with self updating software, very good customer support, excellent resale, and access to EVERY source known to man just get the Node or used Node 2i and be done with it. Focus on speakers/room where a much more substantive change is possible.
 
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