Originally Posted by thathertz
** UPDATE **
I get my DacMagic back tomorrow.
No mods have been made by Audiocom.
I had to call to find out what was going on and I was told that one
of the main screws behind the faceplate was shredded. This is strange
because my Dacmagic was purchased new from the only UK dealer
(Richer Sounds). Audiocom suggested that someone had attempted
to open the unit in the past. Unless this happened during initial manufacture
this is just not possible.
Sorry to hear of this, but I am curious as to whether Audiocom actually opened the unit to make this diagnosis, or whether they decided this was the case based on external inspection only?
I ask because you might be interested in my own experience. As some might know, I am already onto my second DACMagic. The first died around 36 hours into use, developing an internal noise that sounded like a large gas-fired fireplace. It got worse and worse to the point where I was asked by the dealer to immediately desist from using the unit and to return it for exchange.
The seller replaced it with a brand new one since the original was determined to be DOA. When I received the second one, I did not closely inspect the build quality as I was more interested in getting a unit that functioned flawlessly. I had the second unit burning in for nearly a week (no gas noises thus far).
After a week, I went to lift the unit and move it into the bedroom. I noticed upon lifting the unit that it made a sort of creaking noise, as if it had not been perfectly screwed together.
Upon very close inspection of the unit and packaging, I happily convinced myself the replacement unit really was new (it was obviously new, even right down to the smell lol, and the dealer is very ethical about these things). But what I also noticed was that the front panel did not align itself correctly with the fascia of the metal body. What I mean by that is there was a small air gap between the alunimium fasia and the body at the point where there is a self tapping retaining screw (this is the screw people talk about when they mention needing a very long screwdriver to dismantle the DACMagic).
Anyway, after looking at it externally with a torch and magnifying glass, I actually came to the same conclusion that your Audiocom friends did - that this front panel self tapper had sheared, and this was why the front panel was not perfectly flush against the main body. I even "verifed" this by gently pushing the front panel against the body, whilst observing the screw not to move either (which either meant the screw was not done up at all, or had indeed sheared.
I was obviously reluctant to send yet another DACMagic back to the seller, plus I was worried I might get accused of tampering with it. But since I also realised that I could open the unit without leaving any telltale signs of having done so, I decided to purchase a long screwdriver to see exactly what the problem was with front panel retaining screw (so I actually only needed to remove the back panel in any case).
After taking off the back panel and inserting the newly purchased 20cm Philips, I was mightily relieved to discover that the screw actually had not sheared at all - it simply had not been done up properly. After carefully positioning the front panel and carefully torquing up the offending screw, all was well again.
Sure, I could have just returned the unit, but it would have lost it for a few weeks and it would have cost me $20 to send it back. And in the end, they would have done exactly what I did. So, I think there is a possibility that the problem with your unit is the problem I had with mine, unless they are talking about a different screw.
Anyway, I have to say that I continue to be unimpressed by Cambridge's quality control. I have had two units - one with an electromechanical flaw, one with a constructional flaw, plus I now read about yours and now another post here about the power supply. I can't help thinking that Cambridge are trying to pack so much into this wonderful sounding device for the money, that corners are being cut - in the design (it is barely any more sturdy than a mass market Chinese digital set top TV box imho - don't let the nice front panel fool you), the materials used for construction, and seemingly at the factory where they are put together.
What I would advise people to do is to lift and handle these units carefully. Always lift them with both hands and hold as much surface area of the unit as possible from underneath. Do not concentrate any pressure on the front panel itself, as there is already too much tension on the panel mounting to begin with imo. Had I engineered the casing of this unit, I would have used at least three screws on the front panel - not just one. And I would have used a larger gauge of screw everywhere. It is rather ironic that given the cheap construction in some places and the painfully thin metal casing, the back panel is held very well in place by six properly threaded screws (though still too narrow a gauge). Maybe Tom engineered the back, Dick engineered the front and Harry engineered the guts of it...