I think you're in the same situation as me. I didn't think it would be prudent to keep unplugging and plugging the RCAs in the back several times a day since I'm only using 1 at a time too so I went and got the XLR to RCA modified cable made. Turns out Atlas Audio is an EXPENSIVE interconnect and cable manufacturer. Still, the cable is hopefully going to be £5 below retail and I should be getting 2 x £5 XLR sockets thrown in and fitted at no extra cost
Having said that, it's approx double the cost I paid for a profigold RCA to 3.5mm cable with 1/5th the length. It's also like 3x the cost of the cables I mentioned earlier in the thread. They are award winning, but then again, we're talking about What Hi-Fi so I'm not sure if that really means much.
This is the cable:
In general the music just has a cleaner feel to it (although at first I was disappointed since I was used to using my headphones with my Cowon S9, ibasso and various equalisers and sound effects/enhancements). I was mainly using the headphones last night for obvious reasons and I found that in someways the combination of DACmagic and 'phones made me into a more active rather than passive listener, suddenly noticing various subtleties to the music which were missing both just from the headphone out of my soundcard and via my cowon s9. It was quite enjoyable 'seeing' the various layers of the music.
The good thing is that over my razer mako speakers, since they do seem to colour/process the music slightly, I find that the music can still be 'fun' and musical rather than just clean and musical. Either way, an improvement over not having the DAC. This is especially true when I don't use the WASAPI output and allow the soundcard to use it's X-Fi crystaliser, bass boost etc (or if I play around with sound effects, not the equaliser, with various media players). Same was also true over headphones.
Definitely happy here. The place I visited also said that if I am certain that I am getting compatible parts they be happy to upgrade the DM for me in future so I think I might go down the incremental (2-3) upgrades route in the long term rather than just upgrading in one move to a dac which is twice the cost of the DM. Fortunately for me, I've got head-fi to study with other people's upgrades to the DM so I can make sure I get the right parts for them to install.
Ibasso D10/12 and DACmagic combination:
In terms of headphone amps, I was advised that if I tried to plug a headphone amp/dac combo like the ibasso d10 into the cambridge audio using the optical out in the DACmagic, nothing would happen since you can't have a dac plugged into a dac, even if the second is a dac and headphone amp combo. Is this true?
Edited by analogue 3 - 9/23/10 at 7:44am