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Comparison of Dacmagic and 840c as dac. - Page 2

post #16 of 55
Just read that a CA retailer in Australia wrote in a newsletter that, in his judgement, the dacmagic in sound quality was closest to the 540C.
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tubes View Post
"The DacMagic has too much of a laid back sound for me. I don't know if it is the way that upsampling work or not that makes it sound like that. I like an exciting attacking sound with good dynamic range. The more I listen to my DacMagic the more it sounds like a boxer hitting you with a pillow instead of a punch."


I had the 740C and agree with the above quote, the 740C misses the excitement in a piece of music if it is there giving it a bland and boring presentation, dynamics are missing in action. I have not heard the DM.

Phill
I've not really noticed this with my DacMagic. Although it's being fed into an Emotiva XPA-2 powerhouse, so that may make up for this. I do enjoy the sound though.
post #18 of 55
Thread Starter 

dacmagic vs 840C as dac?

Anybody had a chance yet to do some direct research on Dacmagic vs. 840C.
I know that at last two people had the former and were expecting to receive the latter this month. Curious still to get impressions of a direct comparison.
post #19 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickbianchi View Post
Anybody had a chance yet to do some direct research on Dacmagic vs. 840C.
I know that at last two people had the former and were expecting to receive the latter this month. Curious still to get impressions of a direct comparison.
still hoping.
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickbianchi View Post
Anybody had a chance yet to do some direct research on Dacmagic vs. 840C.
I know that at last two people had the former and were expecting to receive the latter this month. Curious still to get impressions of a direct comparison.
Still waiting to receive my DacMagic. I was told it would be in this week, but I guess it will be longer.
post #21 of 55
Mik: I bought my from here, I believe they have DacMagic in stock
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cankin View Post
Mik: I bought my from here, I believe they have DacMagic in stock
Thanks for the tip. I just contacted my shop and my dac just came in last night. I'll be picking it up tomorrow so I should be able to compare it to my 840c within the next week.
post #23 of 55
There's no reason to expect the DacMagic is as good or on the same level of 840c, but I'd be happy if it's not too far behind
post #24 of 55
I'm expecting it to have similar qualities and I'll do my best to try to pick out the differences.

I'm not buying it to replace my 840c, rather it's going to replace my Musiland dac (unless I decide the Musiland is better) for use with my laptop. My 840c is used as my cd player and also as a dac in my 2 channel/gaming/movie setup. I also use my 840c connected through a Trends UD-10.1 to play pc audio on my speakers. My DACMAgic will be used primarily with my pc headphone setup, and also possibly in place of the Trends to get digital audio to my 840c.
post #25 of 55
I have my DacMagic now. I'm still in the process of breaking it in so I won't do a serious 840c v. DacMagic comparison just yet. Also, I got distracted by comparing my DacMagic to my Trends UD-10.1 as a USB->SPDIF converter. Sorry if this gets a little off-topic, but some of you considering a dacmagic might be interested in what I'm about to say.

So far I have used the following speaker setups for my comparison:

flac>foobar2000>asio>usb>trends ud-10.1>840c dac>emotiva rsp-1 preamp>d-sonic 1000s amp>paradigm s6 and jl audio f112

flac>foobar2000>asio>usb>dacmagic (used as usb to spdif converter)>840c>emotiva>d-sonic 1000s>paradigm s6 and jl audio f112

I find it easier to spot differences in components using my speakers than my headphones. I'll still do a comparison with both headphones and speakers when comparing the dacmagic and 840c as dacs, but for now the dacmagic and trends are being used interchangeably to pass a digital audio signal around my living room to my 840c which then does the dac stuff. I was expecting the dacmagic and trends not to be changing the sound at all. I'm surprised to say the dacmagic and trends sound different in this configuration, and the trends is definitely better.

I'm listening to my favourite demo music: track 2 of The Guitar Trio by Paco de Lucia, John Mclaughlin, and Al Di Meola (ripped from my cd to flac). With the dacmagic acting as usb converter, bass tones exhibit a mild ringing as if they are being slightly sustained. The reverb on any tones which already have a reverb effect in the original recording are also more pronounced. The difference is a little on the subtle side, but I can definitely notice it. I flipped between dacmagic and trends a good dozen times before I could fully explain the difference I was hearing. USB audio converted through the Trends sounds more correct. The bass tones and reverb are crisper. They sound much closer to the same track from the CD as played in my 840c. Unless the dacmagic changes during break-in, I will definitely be keeping my Trends to be used to convert usb audio to spdif in my system.

My preliminary conclusion is that the usb implementation on the dacmagic is inferior to the trends. Possibly the dacmagic has more jitter when connected through usb. I don't know what jitter is supposed to sound like though. For anyone more knowledgeable, does jitter sound like what I described above?
Note that when playing the CD in my 840c, it's ever so slightly crisper than when using my Trends for usb conversion. The bass is cleaner when playing the cd on the 840c. I'm definitely not imagining it. Perhaps the trends is introducing some jitter too, just much less than the dacmagic.

This testing process is making me wish for an asynchronous usb to spdif converter.
post #26 of 55
By the way, i read on some Cambridge literature that the Dacmagic was the dac version of the 840c or something along that line recently, same chip or something. I really couldn't believe it considering the price difference so i searched to find this thread again, i had read part of it before getting my dacmagic. Glad i found my way back after reading that "official Cambridge claim". I will have to go find it later and reference the comment though if i can.
post #27 of 55
It uses the 740c dac. The Wolfson, not the AD.
post #28 of 55
Okay, with i could remember where i read it. I'll look back.
post #29 of 55
Okay here is the confusion. I read on the Cambridge audio web site, if you go to filters here is the quote for Linier Phase.

'Linear phase is the same as used in the flagship Azur 840C upsampling CD player. It uniquely features ‘constant group delay’ which delays all audio signals at all frequencies by the same amount meaning all audio is fully time-coherent at the output."

So it deals with the filtering not the dac chip i guess.
post #30 of 55
Here's the link by the way:

Cambridge Audio
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