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Cambridge DACMagic, anyone? (THREAD II) - Page 3

post #31 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
I got my Dacmagik about 1.5 week ago and i simply love it.
Before i was simply using the analog out to my LD MKIII. It was ok, but the difference is huge
Now pared with my brand new LD CDP im in heaven.
Out of the box it was dull. I auditioned it on my own amp+cans 2 weeks ago living up. More detail, stronger bass.
Mainly its heavy/extreme metal and my rig kicks ass imo!

What filter do you guys use?
So far I'm the Minimum filter, best bass/detail levels. Linear lacks detail and it has some veil of some kind. Not much experience with the Steep one though, sounds a bit flat.

Now that i got my LD CDP(today actualy, 1.5h on it ) I will probably make a little review when i more hours on both.

off-topic: The LD MKII, LD CDP and silver dacmagic make a awesome stylish set-up(pics will follow)
Hey -I'm almost ready purchase the DacMagic (already have the LD MK III) - but where are the pics promised of this silver trio?
post #32 of 642
I'm actually getting ready to sell mine, it was a temporary fix, great little dac though. I am doing the major blowout upgrade after finding one or two high enders I found a system i like but it is a pretty penny $2100 when all is said and done, so thats all it takes if you want to make the next jump, otherwise be happy with your DM. Mine should be up FS in about two weeks.
post #33 of 642
Love this dac. It's my 3rd Dac, and probably the 5th I've heard. Details are everywhere. It sounds great with heavily sampled hip-hop (especially when they scratch in different samples and such).
post #34 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by auee View Post
I agree with you about the filter settings; I prefer the sound with the minimum phase filter. The music simply sounds more like music or more natural to me with this filter. The DACMagic does require burn in. I think it took about 50 hours. For the price, Cambridge Audio hit it out of the ballpark with this component.
I'm pretty new here, but I'll peg out my tent early as a burn-in heretic. Doubly so when discussing equipment with no moving parts.

I was lucky enough to be loaned the DACmagic for two weeks, that someone had been using for 6 months+ already. When I got my brand new one it sounded just the same with my Beyer DT250. I believe any differences over time are personal listening perceptions and nothing to do with equipment.

I couldn't hear any signifcant differences between the filters either, neither could most of the trade reviewers I came across, so I wonder why CA bothered with this feature? Perhaps with higher end phones and amps some people perceive the small differences to be bigger than others?

A really good VFM product I think though. Clear upgrade from my Corda 3Move portable DAC/amp. More clarity, sepration and air between the different sounds/instruments.

Thing is, after having it a while, your ears get used to the pampering, and it sound less impressive than it did when I was in early critical listening mode. Then you have to go back to a lesser source to appreciate it again.

But I think this scenario is true of a lot of good audio, and is what leads to eternal upgrading.
post #35 of 642
I sure am glad they give you a choice of the filters instead of choosing one like the steep for us which I don't like anywhere near as much as the other two which I switch back and forth depending on headphones or even mood.
post #36 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by roker View Post
Love this dac. It's my 3rd Dac, and probably the 5th I've heard. Details are everywhere. It sounds great with heavily sampled hip-hop (especially when they scratch in different samples and such).
Roker, I see you finally went with the DacMagic. You were undecided on a couple of them...

Great choice...
post #37 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drubbing View Post
I'm pretty new here, but I'll peg out my tent early as a burn-in heretic. Doubly so when discussing equipment with no moving parts.

I was lucky enough to be loaned the DACmagic for two weeks, that someone had been using for 6 months+ already. When I got my brand new one it sounded just the same with my Beyer DT250. I believe any differences over time are personal listening perceptions and nothing to do with equipment.

I couldn't hear any signifcant differences between the filters either, neither could most of the trade reviewers I came across, so I wonder why CA bothered with this feature? Perhaps with higher end phones and amps some people perceive the small differences to be bigger than others?

A really good VFM product I think though. Clear upgrade from my Corda 3Move portable DAC/amp. More clarity, sepration and air between the different sounds/instruments.

Thing is, after having it a while, your ears get used to the pampering, and it sound less impressive than it did when I was in early critical listening mode. Then you have to go back to a lesser source to appreciate it again.

But I think this scenario is true of a lot of good audio, and is what leads to eternal upgrading.
So true. But my cure is to listen in the car or to any other low end system. Then I can easily hear how good I have it.
post #38 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post
Roker, I see you finally went with the DacMagic. You were undecided on a couple of them...

Great choice...
I haven't even hit 50 hours yet and I'm loving this dac

the drums kind of make my heart skip a beat sometimes . . . that's the way it's supposed to be.
post #39 of 642
For anyone looking for a cheap option to send bit perfect to Optical instead of using DacMagic over USB, look at getting the TBAAM (Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Micro). This is a C-Media device, and you just need to

1. Buy it :P (usually around 30$)
2. Use the Optical connector that comes bundled, these are also available on Amazon and Monoprice
3.Plug it in directly, without installing drivers that come with it, this makes Windows detect it as a C-media device
4.Setup ASIO4all to use this device, make sure you turn OFF the "Always resample 44.1->48Khz" option
5. Plug the optical cable into the Dacmagic and use Optical 1 or 2 instead of USB

I personally feel there is an improvement as well, it just sounds cleaner and more precise, not sure if its placebo, but I connected both USB and optical and switched outputs on ASIO4All control panel and compared the two, and I am fairly certain that there is some improvement over optical.

Also, I've tested TBAAM's output to make sure its ok, the most popular and simple test seems to be to pass through a DTS file. The receiver (in this case the Panasonic BX-500) should detect the DTS signal coming through the optical input, if its not bit perfect, the receiver will not be able to decode it.

TBAAM worked great with my DTS cd's using ASIO4all. Also, based on info I have gathered online, the C-media device as long as its installed and identified as C-media device, passes bit perfect over ASIO. Techincal aspects aside, I feel more comfortable using the Dacmagic over optical as opposed to USB, and at 30$, I think its worth a try.
post #40 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by jilgiljongiljing View Post
For anyone looking for a cheap option to send bit perfect to Optical instead of using DacMagic over USB, look at getting the TBAAM (Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Micro). This is a C-Media device, and you just need to

1. Buy it :P (usually around 30$)
2. Use the Optical connector that comes bundled, these are also available on Amazon and Monoprice
3.Plug it in directly, without installing drivers that come with it, this makes Windows detect it as a C-media device
4.Setup ASIO4all to use this device, make sure you turn OFF the "Always resample 44.1->48Khz" option
5. Plug the optical cable into the Dacmagic and use Optical 1 or 2 instead of USB

I personally feel there is an improvement as well, it just sounds cleaner and more precise, not sure if its placebo, but I connected both USB and optical and switched outputs on ASIO4All control panel and compared the two, and I am fairly certain that there is some improvement over optical.

Also, I've tested TBAAM's output to make sure its ok, the most popular and simple test seems to be to pass through a DTS file. The receiver (in this case the Panasonic BX-500) should detect the DTS signal coming through the optical input, if its not bit perfect, the receiver will not be able to decode it.

TBAAM worked great with my DTS cd's using ASIO4all. Also, based on info I have gathered online, the C-media device as long as its installed and identified as C-media device, passes bit perfect over ASIO. Techincal aspects aside, I feel more comfortable using the Dacmagic over optical as opposed to USB, and at 30$, I think its worth a try.

It's not Placebo, the measurements are well known at this point. Even in February owners were talking about the optical sounded better than the USB. Since about May we found out exactly why.

http://www.stereophile.com/digitalpr...er/index2.html

Stereophile: Cambridge Audio Azur DacMagic D/A converter

Yeah get either the TBAAM or Airport Express. You'll absolutely need it with this DAC just looking at how noisy and how much jitter (3200ps!!!!) the USB input brings with it. Otherwise sounds like a great DAC. Too bad about a price increase DESPITE the weaker UKP vs USD. The price should have gone down if anything. But the UK price also went up recently.
post #41 of 642
Not sure if the problem of jitter can be 100% attributed to USB, since the difference of results can partly due to the use of different power source for that particular laptop used in testing.

from Stereophile links above:

In particular, we've found that, with laptops, using battery power results in very good total correlated jitter similar to TosLink or S/PDIF (<200ps or lower at 44.1kHz, and with about the same noise floor), but using the typical switch-mode PSU with the same laptop can result in 3000–3500ps of jitter.
post #42 of 642
dac is starting to shine. I don't know if burn-in matters but I put in about 50 hours with this thing by now and it sounds unbelievable now.

My choice for great sound (not always good, I'd go linear for movies):

Minimum Phase.

Sounded great on Radiohead, Daft Punk, Beatles, and seemingly whatever I threw at it from my collection. There are differences. I'm going to do some more a/b'ing etc., but this one is my favorite so far.
post #43 of 642
Taking my Macbook, Technics Stereo amp and maybe my HD600 + ESW9 to demo this DAC at Richer Sounds tomorrow

Q: It has RCA, optical and balanced output...

Hmmm I foresee annoying cable switching just to listen to speaker amp or headphone amp as I have only one pair of RCA outs to play with. Or am I missing something?
post #44 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFC_SL View Post
Taking my Macbook, Technics Stereo amp and maybe my HD600 + ESW9 to demo this DAC at Richer Sounds tomorrow

Q: It has RCA, optical and balanced output...

Hmmm I foresee annoying cable switching just to listen to speaker amp or headphone amp as I have only one pair of RCA outs to play with. Or am I missing something?

It only has RCA (unbalanced) and balanced outputs...no optical out.
post #45 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFC_SL View Post
Taking my Macbook, Technics Stereo amp and maybe my HD600 + ESW9 to demo this DAC at Richer Sounds tomorrow

Q: It has RCA, optical and balanced output...

Hmmm I foresee annoying cable switching just to listen to speaker amp or headphone amp as I have only one pair of RCA outs to play with. Or am I missing something?

Does your stereo amp have a tape loop? If so you could connect your laptop to TAPE IN and feed the TAPE OUT to the headphone amp.
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