Bluesound Vault out o warranty

I am thinking of moving on from Bluesound Vault 2i. They say it is not under warranty and want to sell me another one. I am willing to pay the money to get it fixed or buy a new one but I was wondering if I should move on to something else? I know that I will have to put out more money than to replace the Vault. Can you help me make the correct decision? THX
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
I am thinking of moving on from Bluesound Vault 2i. They say it is not under warranty and want to sell me another one. I am willing to pay the money to get it fixed or buy a new one but I was wondering if I should move on to something else? I know that I will have to put out more money than to replace the Vault. Can you help me make the correct decision? THX
Firstly. Welcome aboard! 2nd, Did they give you a quote for the repair? That would be a factor. Also, what is wrong with the Vault?
 
It would cost about 600 dollars for the repair or 1200 for new. I am looking to enhance the experience on my system. I have a Parasound A21+ amp and P6 Pre. Currently using a chord Qtest doc that I really like . I have Goldenear Triton ones for speakers. I am wondering if there is a huge jump in sound moving from a Bluesound streamer to something more expensive? Bluesound makes nice streaming but am wondering if I put the money into something more expensive will get better sound? I have only use the Vault for streaming so I don't know what else is out there. Thanks
Firstly. Welcome aboard! 2nd, Did they give you a quote for the repair? That would be a factor. Also, what is wrong with the Vault?
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
The vault is a ripper and storage solution as well as a streamer. without knowing more about you system, it is difficult to offer solid advise. Do you use the vault to rip and store your music? Are you looking to have the new streamer have the same functionality? Do you have another storage solution for your music files? do you only stream from services such as Tidal? Do you have a dedicated music server and thus can get away with a streamer only? I ask these things to get a better idea of your set up and your requirements.
 
Do you only stream locally stored files such as CD rips, or is a cloud-based streaming service such as Qobuz or Spotify a requirement?
I have a library of 300 cd on the vault that I have backed up. I use the Vault to stream from Qobuz and Tidal. I am definatly heavy on the digital side.Thanks
 
The vault is a ripper and storage solution as well as a streamer. without knowing more about you system, it is difficult to offer solid advise. Do you use the vault to rip and store your music? Are you looking to have the new streamer have the same functionality? Do you have another storage solution for your music files? do you only stream from services such as Tidal? Do you have a dedicated music server and thus can get away with a streamer only? I ask these things to get a better idea of your set up and your requirements.
I am sorry I should be more thorough... From the Vault I go to the Chord Qtest Dac. I have it setup that I can play music from cd or stream from the hard drive. I would say 95 % of the music I listen is through Qobuz. However, I really don't want to go through the process of loading all the CD's again as it took a while. I wonder if there would be a file compatibility issue if I went to a new server? I did a backup before I sent the Vault into Blusound. I do not have another storage solution besides the backup from the vault so I would need that as well. Bluesound Vault made it very convenient at a good price.
 
Do you only stream locally stored files such as CD rips, or is a cloud-based streaming service such as Qobuz or Spotify a requirement?


What exactly is wrong with it?
yes I stream from the vault but it is more of a backup of my cd collection. I do not have any hi res files on the vault
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I am sorry I should be more thorough... From the Vault I go to the Chord Qtest Dac. I have it setup that I can play music from cd or stream from the hard drive. I would say 95 % of the music I listen is through Qobuz. However, I really don't want to go through the process of loading all the CD's again as it took a while. I wonder if there would be a file compatibility issue if I went to a new server? I did a backup before I sent the Vault into Blusound. I do not have another storage solution besides the backup from the vault so I would need that as well. Bluesound Vault made it very convenient at a good price.
Since you already have a great DAC, you can beat that $600/1,200 price on a server/streamer by a country mile, but it's a little bit of DIY work to put that together.

Many of us use the Raspberry Pi as both a server, and a streamer. I break that job into those two parts, whereas something like a Vault is both a server and a streamer all in one.

It's not super difficult, but it's also not an off-the-shelf plug and play kind of thing either.

For the server side, I use a Raspberry Pi with a USB hard drive attached that houses the actual tracks, your Bluesound backup could be that same thing and no there shouldn't be any file incompatibility issues, I believe those Vault rips are FLAC, no?

Anyway, take a look at the the JRiver Id, it's an example of what can be done very inexpensively and the sonic result is nothing shy of outstanding. I use the Id Pi version, which runs on Raspberry Pi hardware instead of a NUC. Thats the server with the USB hard drive connected to it.

I did a thread on the Id Pi you can look at here, mine has been through 3 different versions now, as I like to upgrade when newer better versions of the RPi board come out, not because there was any problem with the previous version, but because it's flat out cheap to do so, why not then? I still have all 3 iterations and could plug any of them in and be up and running with it in no time. That thread isn't long, just 14 total posts.

A higher end version of the server side piece would be something like the Small Green Computer sonicTransporter i5 Gen. 3.

We also have a few different threads on use of that very same RPi board in a streamer/endpoint. That unit connects to the DAC via USB or SPDIF, and the separate server above streams to it over your network, using either Ethernet or WiFi.

But if off-the-shelf plug n' play is more your speed, it costs a lot more, but there are certainly alternatives to Bluesound for consideration. Anything from a Cambridge Audio, Denon/Marantz HEOS, Yamaha, etc... all compete with Bluesound, and the next generation of Sonos does too as it now supports hi-rez unlike the original Sonos products which were restricted to 16/48.

Higher end solutions include Lumin, Innuos, Sonore, Aurender, and various others. But for 1,200 clams I think something like the Innuos Zen Mini Mk 3 smokes a Bluesound Vault, but that's just my opinion. Better design, and better sound too.

About $1,400 would get you a server and a streamer in the high-end realm, the sonicTransporter and microRendu combination will blow the pants off the Vault, no contest in my opinion, though not exactly cheap like the DIY Raspberry Pi-based stuff is.
 
Since you already have a great DAC, you can beat that $600/1,200 price on a server/streamer by a country mile, but it's a little bit of DIY work to put that together.

Many of us use the Raspberry Pi as both a server, and a streamer. I break that job into those two parts, whereas something like a Vault is both a server and a streamer all in one.

It's not super difficult, but it's also not an off-the-shelf plug and play kind of thing either.

For the server side, I use a Raspberry Pi with a USB hard drive attached that houses the actual tracks, your Bluesound backup could be that same thing and no there shouldn't be any file incompatibility issues, I believe those Vault rips are FLAC, no?

Anyway, take a look at the the JRiver Id, it's an example of what can be done very inexpensively and the sonic result is nothing shy of outstanding. I use the Id Pi version, which runs on Raspberry Pi hardware instead of a NUC. Thats the server with the USB hard drive connected to it.

I did a thread on the Id Pi you can look at here, mine has been through 3 different versions now, as I like to upgrade when newer better versions of the RPi board come out, not because there was any problem with the previous version, but because it's flat out cheap to do so, why not then? I still have all 3 iterations and could plug any of them in and be up and running with it in no time. That thread isn't long, just 14 total posts.

A higher end version of the server side piece would be something like the Small Green Computer sonicTransporter i5 Gen. 3.

We also have a few different threads on use of that very same RPi board in a streamer/endpoint. That unit connects to the DAC via USB or SPDIF, and the separate server above streams to it over your network, using either Ethernet or WiFi.

But if off-the-shelf plug n' play is more your speed, it costs a lot more, but there are certainly alternatives to Bluesound for consideration. Anything from a Cambridge Audio, Denon/Marantz HEOS, Yamaha, etc... all compete with Bluesound, and the next generation of Sonos does too as it now supports hi-rez unlike the original Sonos products which were restricted to 16/48.

Higher end solutions include Lumin, Innuos, Sonore, Aurender, and various others. But for 1,200 clams I think something like the Innuos Zen Mini Mk 3 smokes a Bluesound Vault, but that's just my opinion. Better design, and better sound too.

About $1,400 would get you a server and a streamer in the high-end realm, the sonicTransporter and microRendu will blow the pants off the Vault, though not exactly cheap like the DIY Raspberry Pi stuff is.
Thanks so much. I know that the vault is hard to beat at the price. Thanks again
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I use a vault and find it a perfectly capable source for a DAC. But if you’re not really using it as a server and just streaming, mostly, there’s plenty of options. Their reliability has lately been proving to be less than stellar. I’ve had no problems but of course that could change.

there’s a way to transfer your files off it in a way useable on other devices. I ... just don’t remember what it was. A quick search should turn it up. I found it pretty easily when I was curious. Also not wanting to re-rip everything if I go with another solution (though, again, I’m happy with the sound.. use it with a Topping D70 or Berkeley Alpha DAC).
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I know that the vault is hard to beat at the price.
I really don't think it's that hard, the Innuos ZENmini Mk3 is $1,249 and a far better designed, built, and performing unit in my opinion.

It has several different user selectable operating modes that allow for future upgrades, should one decide to use Roon for example, and just a better value from all angles.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I really don't think it's that hard, the Innuos ZENmini Mk3 is $1,249 and a far better designed, built, and performing unit in my opinion.

It has several different user selectable operating modes that allow for future upgrades, should one decide to use Roon for example, and just a better value from all angles.
Had I known of the ZenMini when I bought the Vault I probably would have bought that instead, with its LPS. While I've had no problems with my Vault2, and when used with an external dac the sound quality is good, I've also not been overly impressed with the BlueSound user interface and their handling, as a company, of known problems with the Node series and power supply reliability. Luckily it seems that the files on the Vault can be retrieved in a format usable elsewhere.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Had I known of the ZenMini
An interesting brand that has somewhat flown under the radar, I guess primarily because their initial offerings were all at rarified air price points, so anyone shopping with a real-world workingman's budget wouldn't have considered them even just a few years back.

I have only heard the Mk2 version of the ZENmini, and that was with LPS, and driving an external DAC, so I'd have to defer to @AudioThesis and perhaps others about the newer Mk3, and for that matter the sound using it's own onboard DAC.

I always assume (wrongly) that everyone has an external DAC already on hand that they can use in that way, so the spend is only for the server/streamer itself as I already have the DAC part covered in spades.

The reality is many people just getting into this for the first time might need out of budget necessity to use a player with a capable onboard DAC at least initially, then upgrade with an external DAC later. Both the Vault2, and ZENmini Mk3 allow for that, but the ZENmini also offers the natural upgrade path of a purpose built LPS, designed by Sean Jacobs in the U.K. whose PSUs are said to be on par with or even exceeding the work of others on that side of the pond, including Paul Hynes.

Certainly the other aspect is the software, and Innuos is solid there too, a really interesting and well rounded brand in terms of the marrying of hardware and software, with the design in the U.K. and manufacturing in Portugal.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
That ZENmini looks like a great piece. Thanks for sharing.
It's quite nice, TEAC optical drive, Intel quad core CPU, 4GB RAM, WD Red 1TB HDD, sturdy metal enclosure with cool looking machined anodized faceplate, and various ways upgrade paths make it flexible too.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
An interesting brand that has somewhat flown under the radar, I guess primarily because their initial offerings were all at rarified air price points, so anyone shopping with a real-world workingman's budget wouldn't have considered them even just a few years back.

I have only heard the Mk2 version of the ZENmini, and that was with LPS, and driving an external DAC, so I'd have to defer to @AudioThesis and perhaps others about the newer Mk3, and for that matter the sound using it's own onboard DAC.

I always assume (wrongly) that everyone has an external DAC already on hand that they can use in that way, so the spend is only for the server/streamer itself as I already have the DAC part covered in spades.

The reality is many people just getting into this for the first time might need out of budget necessity to use a player with a capable onboard DAC at least initially, then upgrade with an external DAC later. Both the Vault2, and ZENmini Mk3 allow for that, but the ZENmini also offers the natural upgrade path of a purpose built LPS, designed by Sean Jacobs in the U.K. whose PSUs are said to be on par with or even exceeding the work of others on that side of the pond, including Paul Hynes.

Certainly the other aspect is the software, and Innuos is solid there too, a really interesting and well rounded brand in terms of the marrying of hardware and software, with the design in the U.K. and manufacturing in Portugal.
what I would like is a budget (or, well, apx $1000-$1500) device like the ZenMini that doesn't have an onboard DAC, and puts the savings into power supply, etc. I get why they have DACs, but there really must be a market for those of us who like our DACs.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
what I would like is a budget (or, well, apx $1000-$1500) device like the ZenMini that doesn't have an onboard DAC, and puts the savings into power supply, etc. I get why they have DACs, but there really must be a market for those of us who like our DACs.
You'd think it would be easy enough for them to offer a unit sans DAC, they already offer a fair amount of end-user defined configuration/ordering options, saving someone a bit by offering a DAC delete option probably makes sense, and that crowd would probably just plow that savings right back into the LPSU option anyway. Win win.
 
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