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Cambridge DACMagic, anyone?  

post #1 of 920
Thread Starter 
What Hi Fi?, for what it's worth, called it "one of the best we've tested" in a recently posted review. What all else they've tested, however, they don't exactly say.

But they do make at least a token comparison, saying it combines the "timing, clarity and punch of Beresford's £120 TC-7510 with a healthy dose of the £160 Musical Fidelity V-Dac's midrange fluidity and richness."

Full review is here.

I placed a pre-order for the DACMagic a couple weeks ago figuring I can always cancel if I can find a more promising DAC in the $300 to $500 range by late October.

Any thoughts, opinions, random assessments out there?

Anyone actually have one of these yet?
post #2 of 920
I'm also very interested in this DAC. Just sold my EMU0404 in order to upgrade a better source.

How do you know that there will be a promising DAC coming in Oct? Any info?
post #3 of 920
Thread Starter 
Wildwestern Electronics is taking pre-orders now. They estimate late October, maybe sooner depending on customs. That squares with what I've read elsewhere. It's priced competitively with all but the cheapest Chinese DACs (Zero, Zhaolu, etc.).

I'm sure it will get good press from the glossies if only because Cambridge Audio spends more on advertising than some of the favored brands around these parts.

But it's also quite possible they've taken advantage of their size/buying power to deliver a pretty good DAC for under $400.


My driving requirement is finding a DAC that works well with Airport Express. I have a Citypulse DAC that is ready to go back because it simply won't read the Airport Express' optical feed.

If the DACMagic also makes my DVD player sound like a proper CD player, all the better.
post #4 of 920
This is not what is inside the 840c is it, specs and write ups look very similar?

Hate to think I'd buy that as a DAC when it could be had for £200.
post #5 of 920
I'm currently on the waiting list for this in the UK.

1) It's going to be £199. With the fluctuating value of our Pound Sterling, I could easily spend that on getting a Chinese DAC, with customs and overpriced postage taken into account.

2) It has plenty of inputs, PLUS a balanced XLR output to go with the RCA unbalanced output.

Mind you, having said that, the most important thing is how it sounds... and that's something I won't know until it turns up on my doorstep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stvn758 View Post
This is not what is inside the 840c is it, specs and write ups look very similar?

Hate to think I'd buy that as a DAC when it could be had for £200.
Pretty sure that Cambridge have confirmed that it uses the same DAC setup as the 840c.
post #6 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by McPanse View Post
My driving requirement is finding a DAC that works well with Airport Express. I have a Citypulse DAC that is ready to go back because it simply won't read the Airport Express' optical feed.
.
That's most unusual. One other problem I have also heard about the AE and external DACs is that on some DACs the AE gives out a clicking sound or that the first few seconds of play are not audible.

I am waiting to listen to the DacMagic as well.
post #7 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bencrest View Post
Pretty sure that Cambridge have confirmed that it uses the same DAC setup as the 840c.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry hearing that.
post #8 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by stvn758 View Post
I don't know whether to laugh or cry hearing that.
You'll have to expand on that for me
post #9 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bencrest View Post
You'll have to expand on that for me
Well the 840c is on my list of DAC's as it has twin optical inputs, so if I had bought one I'd be pretty upset I could of got the same sound quality for that price. On the other hand I should be pleased.

While I'm not stupid enough to think everything expensive is good, what I would really like is a reasonably 'killer' DAC for £700-1000.

Only two others I have seen, the Russ Andrews/Stello is a little too cheap and the new Bryston is too expensive.
post #10 of 920
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanleyB1 View Post
That's most unusual. One other problem I have also heard about the AE and external DACs is that on some DACs the AE gives out a clicking sound or that the first few seconds of play are not audible.

Unusual indeed. Two separate Citypulse units refused to work with the Airport Express. A Zhaolu 2.5 worked just fine, with none of the clicking or momentary muting you mentioned. The Citypulse dealer called in the help of a Mac specialist to try to run down the problem. The specialist concluded that the fault lies with the implementation of the Citypulse's SPDIF receiver. Citypulse, to the best of my knowledge, was non-responsive to the dealer's request for a remedy or guidance.

But I digress. The DACMagic is a promising looking unit that is sure to give folks like you, Stanley, and Aeolus a run for the money.

Only time and bona fide listener feedback will tell who has the better DAC for the dough. The Beresford still has the price advantage and a fair number of fans. That's not the case with AudioMagus and their Aeolus magiDAC, the latest version of which weighs in around $500 and has no optical input. They will have the steeper hill to climb to prove that their Made in the USA DAC is worth the price premium.
post #11 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Knight View Post
I'm also very interested in this DAC. Just sold my EMU0404 in order to upgrade a better source.

How do you know that there will be a promising DAC coming in Oct? Any info?
For your information the DAC magic will be available at the beginning of November in France with all the dealers representing the Brand
Dixit Cambridge Audio
post #12 of 920
I am really excited to hear this DAC. I really want to go sort of mid DAC range without spending too much money. I have so badly wanted to try out the KECES 131 and now this has come along. I also want to try the beresford as a posible setup along side my HT setup.
post #13 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bencrest View Post

Pretty sure that Cambridge have confirmed that it uses the same DAC setup as the 840c.
From the specs it seems to be more like a DAC version of the 740c, except that it has balanced outs (the 740c is SE only)
post #14 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by PFKMan23 View Post
From the specs it seems to be more like a DAC version of the 740c, except that it has balanced outs (the 740c is SE only)

The 840c uses a different DAC and has the 340+ sampling rate too.

I imagine the 840 is so popular they didn't want to mess with the market by using it's DAC, although they could of competed with Benchmark and Lavry if they did.
post #15 of 920
Well, I pre-ordered this.. so I will hear soon enough.
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