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Bluesound Powernode Streaming Amplifier Review

Rate this streaming amplifier

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 98 43.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 102 45.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 16 7.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 7 3.1%

  • Total voters
    223

nygafre

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Perhaps a stupid about using the volume limiter.

I have the limiter on my Powernode set to -10 db normally. Lets say I’m watching a movie around 3 db below the limit.. what happens if there is a dynamic peak of more then 3 db then.. will the peak automatically ‘compress’ when it reaches the limit, or how does this work?

I guess I should turn the limiter off to allow for higher dynamic range if that is the case?
 

CT Sweden

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I was looking at Denon but bought the Powernode as it can index 200 000 tracks, right now I'm up to 70 000 tracks ripped from my own CD collection
that was the dealbreaker for me. I use my ears to judge the sound and I think it sounds okey, jumping from a track from 1966 to a track from 1999
there is a lot of difference soundwise, so for me it is okey, nice looking, lot of streaming options and as I said can handle a lot of tracks.
 

HNK23

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(Translated by moderator. Please post in English moving forward.)

I wasn't thrilled at all, on the contrary I was very disappointed with the Powernode. I then gave the Node a chance, but it also declined, the sound was far too weak, too empty, too faded... I didn't know anything about the measurement results and tests. Amir's test confirmed this disappointment.
 
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AltoVariago

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Ich war überhaupt nicht begeistert, im Gegenteil, ich war sehr enttäuscht vom Powernode. Ich habe dem Node dann mal eine Chance gegeben, aber auch er ging zurück, der Ton war viel zu schwach, zu leer, zu fade... Von den Messergebnissen und Tests wusste ich nichts. Amirs Test bestätigte diese Enttäuschung.
Please translate
 

CanuckPete

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I must say I’m surprised and disappointed that you didn’t find more to like about the Powernode. All the major publications have rated it highly, including Stereophile- although they did also measure some minor errors. Personally, I am enjoying mine and have no plans to part with it.
 

PenguinMusic

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I must say I’m surprised and disappointed that you didn’t find more to like about the Powernode. All the major publications have rated it highly, including Stereophile- although they did also measure some minor errors. Personally, I am enjoying mine and have no plans to part with it.
Hi,
As I wrote a little earlier, the Node indeed has high praises from major reviewers.
Considering my own experience, which has been a disaster (the Node stayed less than 3 days at home before I put it on ad site. That was the quickest device to leave my home, right next to the Cambridge Magic DAC mkI that stayed 8 hours).

After this experience, I would say that (optimistically) the reviewers received non commercial samples of the Node or (pessimistically) that Blusound paid the first reviewer to praise the device, the others being just "dedicated followers of fashion" or (dramatically) that the reviewers are not entitled to test a streamer as they have no clue about how things can (should ?) be done to accomodate the customer...

But if you like yours, it is OK. The measurements are not good, but hey... On another post you can see that I love my Sony MDR-Z1R headphones... despite it's poor/flawed measurements.

Regards.
 

beefkabob

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I must say I’m surprised and disappointed that you didn’t find more to like about the Powernode. All the major publications have rated it highly, including Stereophile- although they did also measure some minor errors. Personally, I am enjoying mine and have no plans to part with it.
Why would there be anything to like about this? It's distorted, noisy, under-powered, and extremely expensive. At $100, it's fine. At $1000, it's a stupid purchase, endstop.
 

nygafre

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Why would there be anything to like about this? It's distorted, noisy, under-powered, and extremely expensive. At $100, it's fine. At $1000, it's a stupid purchase, endstop.
That’s a bit harsh.. ‘Why would there be anything to like about this forum with replies like that?’

Can’t really take the $100 value ‘proposal’ seriously. In the package you get at least ok amplification (under-powered?), tone/balance controls, sub management, decent app-ecosystem, wifi streaming, headphone out, eARC, Dolby Digital decoding etc etc. It’s an OK aio for many people.

I do, however, somewhat share the sentiment on questioning value at full retail.
 

Rja4000

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Why would there be anything to like about this?
The BlueOS ecosystem
It's a good multi room system.
Historically, the first one to be CD quality.
It's easy to use (even for non Hi-Fi gear minded people), efficient for multi room, and, overall, quite stable.

I own one Node and 2 PowerNodes, and also a NAD M50.
All this works very well.

Now, if you're ready to take the cost and pain to install a dedicated PC and to bet on Roon future, Roon is probably a valid alternative (which works perfectly with any BlueOS device, by the way).
But who is ?
 

antcollinet

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I must say I’m surprised and disappointed that you didn’t find more to like about the Powernode. All the major publications have rated it highly, including Stereophile- although they did also measure some minor errors. Personally, I am enjoying mine and have no plans to part with it.
Reviews here are not done the way most of the major publications do it. Focus is on objective measured performance, not subjective (and usually flawed) "listening impressions"

Objectively it was stated as "good enough" - which will be why you are not hearing anything wrong with it.

But if you are going to deliver a product at $1000 that technically underperforms compared with a combination of a $70 Raspberry Pi with a $100 Fosi V3 amp - you'd better not expect you're going to get a highly commended here.
 

Timcognito

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But if you are going to deliver a product at $1000 that technically underperforms compared with a combination of a $70 Raspberry Pi with a $100 Fosi V3 amp - you'd better not expect you're going to get a highly commended here.
Have agree with the above statement but I can think of no other one box amp, preamp, multi-room, multi-platform, streaming, internet radio, integrated outside content with free life time curated software across multiple brands and product types that BluOS gives. ASR tends to focus on input/output specs and very little else, certainly not all the features that the market is looking for. Its like buying a car because it has the highest horsepower, and ignoring how it handles or how many people it transports, etc.
 

Rja4000

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ASR tends to focus on input/output specs and very little else, certainly not all the features that the market is looking for.
And that's the very purpose.

After which, it's yours to decide what to do with this information, which is usually available nowhere else.
You may then decide while knowing a fuller picture.
 

beefkabob

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If I don't care about audio quality, I can always just listen on an Amazon device. Shrug.
 

antcollinet

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Have agree with the above statement but I can think of no other one box amp, preamp, multi-room, multi-platform, streaming, internet radio, integrated outside content with free life time curated software across multiple brands and product types that BluOS gives. ASR tends to focus on input/output specs and very little else, certainly not all the features that the market is looking for. Its like buying a car because it has the highest horsepower, and ignoring how it handles or how many people it transports, etc.

The Bluesound POWERNODE is the HiFi amp reinvented for the streaming age, combining audiophile-grade componentry and multi-room music capabilities to create an intuitive “just add speakers” hi-res sound system for modern music lovers. The compact minimalist exterior disguises 2 x 80 watts of award-winning HiFi amplification, a premium hi-res DAC design, and access to all the music ever recorded with a tap in our BluOS Controller app for smart devices and laptops.

Car analogies are always faulty - but if you want one: It is like buying a Tesla - and finding that, though it has all the luxury, and advanced driving assistance features you wanted, it's power and handling** are that of a Hyundai I10 (good enough, hardly exciting, available at 1/4 the price).


** I would say handling (being an objective measurable performance characteristic) would be part of the measurement sweep. See, car analogies rarely work well. :p
 
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Timcognito

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And that's the very purpose.

After which, it's yours to decide what to do with this information, which is usually available nowhere else.
You may then decide while knowing a fuller picture.
My point exactly people buy for many reasons not just what ASR measures and what it measures may be of second priority. ASR does a great job and service in providing the information it does, even if it's not enough to complete an informed purchasing decision. ASR would have gotten one 90% there in the last century but in but in today's digital, data, wifi, internet, streaming, video integrated and connected world, its data, though extremely important, is just a large piece of the puzzle. Posters here have knowledge of many aspects of these devices and many are eager to share and learn form each other beyond Amir's fantastic test data. To walk into the wilderness and chicainery of the audio world when this resource is here is a mistake, as is thinking ASR data is all you need.
 

Purité Audio

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But certainly for electronics ASR data is all you need.
Keith
 

Timcognito

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But certainly for electronics ASR data is all you need.
Keith
This this thing gets recommended on this site hundreds of times by tens of posters. Amir did not recommend it. It's functionality surpasses his measurements in the mind of many. One of the few examples but there are others some are Bluesound products which seem to be defended by owners on many pages of postings.
1696013002165.png
 

AltoVariago

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Reviews here are not done the way most of the major publications do it. Focus is on objective measured performance, not subjective (and usually flawed) "listening impressions"

Objectively it was stated as "good enough" - which will be why you are not hearing anything wrong with it.

But if you are going to deliver a product at $1000 that technically underperforms compared with a combination of a $70 Raspberry Pi with a $100 Fosi V3 amp - you'd better not expect you're going to get a highly commended here.

There are several Japanese cars that are outperforming a Ferrari or a Porsche but they cost a fraction. Why? Specs are very important but are not everything. Otherwise everyone would buy a $10 Casio wristwatch and nobody would buy a less performing Vacheron-Constantin.
 

beefkabob

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There are several Japanese cars that are outperforming a Ferrari or a Porsche but they cost a fraction.
Maybe the Japanese cars could compare in some specs but not overall. A stock EVO was not getting around a track faster than a stock 911 or stock mid-engine Ferrari of the day.
 

AltoVariago

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Maybe the Japanese cars could compare in some specs but not overall. A stock EVO was not getting around a track faster than a stock 911 or stock mid-engine Ferrari of the day.
The point is that a Ferrari is a Ferrari; a powerful Toyota remains a Toyota (with all due respect).
 
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