Bluesound Node 2, $500: MQA and CD Streamer
If you have not bought a Node 2 from us yet, you need to stop by – or order one on the phone!
Bluesound is part of the NAD family. They didn’t ask my opinion but, I would have said, call it
NAD Node 2 so everyone will know it’s from an established audiophile company. Since “nobody”
has heard of Bluesound, one might be leery. I assure you, be leery NOT.
Ah, these clever marketing people… they’re often too smart for their own good.
Node 2 streams Tidal or many other services. The average cost per month is about $20. You don’t sign a contract. If you want to change services at the end of the month, you CAN.
MQA is a state of the art, hi-res format. You stream it to the Node 2 “without water.” The Node 2 has the handshake to “add water” to UNFOLD the FOLDED UP MQA music. MQA measures ten times less distortion in digital filtering. This doesn’t mean it sounds 10x better than hi-res. But it does sound cleaner.
MQA is a smarter way to go than buying hi-res files from some site. First of all, do you really want to buy “Hotel California” again for $25? And have to STORE IT. And then have to find a way
to play it through your system without computer components buggering up the sound? And then there is that pesky issue of digital filtering distortion being much higher in down loaded files.
Streaming is the way to go! First of all, you pay $20 per month, not $25 per album. Due to streaming instead of buying files, you don’t have to worry about DRM artifacts in the road. The people that sell files have DRM to keep you honest. Nope, they don’t trust us.
MQA is available in over 2000 albums today, with more being released every week. The big music providers like Warner and Universal have signed on and are converting their libraries. The other labels are tumbling like Dominoes. Why would they NOT want their music to be available to us
in the best possible sound if they don’t have to worry about us copying and selling files?
The CD quality music of Tidal is wonderful too. The other day I punched in “Abegg Variations”
of Schumann. I wondered which recordings they had. I have about four versions. They had about 20! So at the touch of a button I had access to 20 great pianists playing this wonderful work. The difference in fidelity, speed & touch, was wide. How GREAT to be able to hear so many different versions by artists well known and NOT! You get the picture. Buy a Node 2 from us please!
Oh, and by the way, Node 2 has an optical digital input. It can serve as your DAC for that input- or to see your network. Most audiophiles point the Node 2 towards any music they’ve saved. Hence Node 2 can serve several purposes with its 24/192 DAC.
Emotiva ERC-3 CD Player $500: BALANCED!
We get a steady stream of callers/visitors who have old CD players that are wearing out. They won’t play any more or are mistracking. Many shoppers don’t want to spend a fortune on a replacement, but they DO want a new CD player. So what’s the best CD player to buy south of thousands of dollars? Easy answer! It’s the ERC-3!
ERC-3 is a dual rail, BALANCED CD player. If your system runs BALANCED, I guaranty that this $500 CD player is going to compete well with ANY CD player you’ve ever had, regardless of price. Yep, ERC-3 is THAT good. It will beat a multi-thousand dollar player from a decade ago.
It weighs 22 pounds and is built like a tank with a five year warranty. ERC-3 also makes great sense if your system is single ended. It doesn’t have to be balanced. I’m making the big point about balanced because… if you are NOT running balanced, you’re leaving performance on the table.
We have many customers who bought big Denons, CAL’s or Regas many years ago. To a man, as they replace these much more expensive players with ERC-3, I’m getting great feedback.
ERC-3 is built solidly and is a legit, dual-rail design. We’ve sold them for years and have had ZERO service issues on them. Most importantly, due to the rugged design, they provide a robust sound with great bass impact and dynamics. You’ll be happily surprised at the improvement vs virtually any player of yesteryear.
Brahms Piano Sonata #3: Nelson Freire: Decca
Nelson Freire (b 1944) is a fantastic musician who loathes the limelight. He’s as fine a pianist as there is and has a wonderful new recording of one of my favorite piano works, Brahms sonata #3 OP5.
You’ll hear five movements of magic, totaling 33:47. There are other beautiful Brahms’ works on the disc. Brahms wrote nothing bad! Pull up this album on Tidal in MQA and enjoy. Music doesn’t get better than this!
Claude Debussy’s (1862-1918) L’isle Joyeuse: The Joyful Island
In 1904 Debussy bolted with new girlfriend Emma to the Channel Island of Jersey. Never mind that they were both married with kids at the time. The union inspired a magnificent piano composition
called “L’isle Joyeuse,” among the finest “impressionist” works ever written.