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Cambridge DACMagic, anyone? (THREAD II) - Page 36

post #526 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilver View Post

 

I don't see myself needing to use both at the same time, just leaving both sets of cables plugged in and have only one device on. Still, this will be a ways down the line.

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:

Atlas Equator MK II RCA

 

DACMagic Experience

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
post #527 of 642

Unless the first DAC is doing some sort of digital processing on the signal (effects, equalizing, or whatnot), it should just act as a switch between the sources when using digital out.

post #528 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilver View Post

Unless the first DAC is doing some sort of digital processing on the signal (effects, equalizing, or whatnot), it should just act as a switch between the sources when using digital out.


Thanks gsilver. I did have another look at the DM manual and noted that if the digital outputs are used this does lead to the DM simply passing an unprocessed signal through the output. So I guess if I want to upgrade my headphone amp at somepoint both for better use with my DM and headphone setup and as an upgrade to my current portable amp, I better make sure it's not a DAC too. My portable only has 3.5mm out anyway so there probably isn't much point in me getting a portable DAC/amp combo device.

post #529 of 642

you can connect the Ibasso into DMs optical OUTPUT but not the other way around since I'm guessing the iBasso only has optical input not output. So if you had 10 DacMagic they could all be connected to each other but the optical has to be an OUTPUT.

 

I making my own XLR>RCA cables, I post the results here if it works out well.

post #530 of 642

Good luck making your own cables. I was telling my Dad yesterday how I wshed I had the expertise to do so myself. I would also like to learn how to do diy work for when I eventually want to upgrade parts within the DACmagic so I can make incremental upgrades whenever I see parts going for a bargain.

 

Quick question, my current head-fi setup is laptop>creative x-fi usb card>optical lineout to dacmagic>ibasso t4 headphone amp (via profigold phono to 3.5mm plug)>ultrasone hfi-780s.

 

Do you think the sonics would be upgraded by an significant level by me saving up for a new headphone amp?

 

Much obliged

post #531 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by ill_i_bus View Post

Good luck making your own cables. I was telling my Dad yesterday how I wshed I had the expertise to do so myself. I would also like to learn how to do diy work for when I eventually want to upgrade parts within the DACmagic so I can make incremental upgrades whenever I see parts going for a bargain.

 

Quick question, my current head-fi setup is laptop>creative x-fi usb card>optical lineout to dacmagic>ibasso t4 headphone amp (via profigold phono to 3.5mm plug)>ultrasone hfi-780s.

 

Do you think the sonics would be upgraded by an significant level by me saving up for a new headphone amp?

 

Much obliged

thanks!

 

good amps make huge differences in music enjoyment

 

look at here: http://schiit.com/

they make some fine amps for very nice prices
 

post #532 of 642

so we're all onto the next fotm amp now?

post #533 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaming_june View Post

so we're all onto the next fotm amp now?


there aren't many good amps at that price and it was merely an example. If you have anything better to recommend be my guest...

post #534 of 642

Thanks for the idea, I'm on their site now having a look.

 

I read on these forums that the HFI-780 are actually quite easy to drive. Originally someone like me was considering the LD MKIV amp, however someone said that due to the ultrasone's low impedance and ease of driving, they should just get LDI+ hybrid (i.e. Little Dot I+) amp and this is sufficient to make the ultrasone's shine. I did think of instead spending the money on an upgrade to the ultrasone pro-900 but thats £330 at the moment so in this instance, I am probably better of upgrading my headphone amp instead.

The little dot i+ would only cost me £110 from a UK retailer. This price is comparable to the musical fidelity (sp) v-can headphone amp and many others, so I need to do some research on this awesome site :) Although it's far less than my original plan to get a new portable headphone amp from ibasso for £200+

This is the thread discussing amps for my phones. It's a shame the thread starter never finished the thread by saying which amp he went with and how it sounds:
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/506100/ultrasone-hfi-780-amp-alo-rx

post #535 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by ill_i_bus View Post

Thanks for the idea, I'm on their site now having a look.

 

I read on these forums that the HFI-780 are actually quite easy to drive. Originally someone like me was considering the LD MKIV amp, however someone said that due to the ultrasone's low impedance and ease of driving, they should just get LDI+ hybrid (i.e. Little Dot I+) amp and this is sufficient to make the ultrasone's shine. I did think of instead spending the money on an upgrade to the ultrasone pro-900 but thats £330 at the moment so in this instance, I am probably better of upgrading my headphone amp instead.

The little dot i+ would only cost me £110 from a UK retailer. This price is comparable to the musical fidelity (sp) v-can headphone amp and many others, so I need to do some research on this awesome site :)" width="1" />" class="bbcode_smiley" height="1" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//smily_headphones1.gif" title="" class="bbcode_smiley" height="1" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//smily_headphones1.gif" title=":)" width="1" />" width="1" /> Although it's far less than my original plan to get a new portable headphone amp from ibasso for £200+

This is the thread discussing amps for my phones. It's a shame the thread starter never finished the thread by saying which amp he went with and how it sounds:
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/506100/ultrasone-hfi-780-amp-alo-rx



The LD I+ will rock the 780s.  Pairing it with the DM is also a good choice.  I also posted in the thread you linked as well in reference to the 780s..

Had to bump the thread you linked, did not catch his question first time around...


Edited by HeatFan12 - 9/26/10 at 2:22pm
post #536 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post



The LD I+ will rock the 780s.  Pairing it with the DM is also a good choice.  I also posted in the thread you linked as well in reference to the 780s..

Had to bump the thread you linked, did not catch his question first time around...


Thanks dude, I saw your post there. It's annoying because I can't seem to find anyone else who's posted a review of the LD I+ with ultrasones which is a shame since there are several threads discussing how it synergises well with certain brands and not with others. It would be good if there was more info about pairing them with 780s. I saw your comment on how they pair well with grados somewhere. Since you own two pairs of 780s, I guess who know your stuff :)

 

So you think I'm better off with the LD I+ than an ibasso or v-can or even going for something like the little dot MKIV/V (which I can't really afford though) witht he DM and 780s? I guess I can also then spend money on some really nice quality phono cables to connect it up with which should bring total expense up to £140.

 

There are some nice reviews on this amp which i've read though, so looks promising.

This review was particularly well done:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/381889/initial-impressions-little-dot-i-hybrid-tube-transistor-headphone-amplifier

post #537 of 642

if you get the LD 1 now it might limit you when you upgrade your headphones in the future. If you get something more powerful now on the other hand...

post #538 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Sup View Post

if you get the LD 1 now it might limit you when you upgrade your headphones in the future. If you get something more powerful now on the other hand...



This is very true.  However, if you stay under 75ohm (many to choose from) you will be good.  I have paired the I+ with many phones and IMO 75ohm is the threshold for proper drive.

In reference to the MKIV, if you get some Senns (HD580/600/650), Beyers (DT770, 880, 990- 250 or 600 ohm), yes, if not, for low z, the I+ is a better choice.

post #539 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Sup View Post

if you get the LD 1 now it might limit you when you upgrade your headphones in the future. If you get something more powerful now on the other hand...


I know, it's tricky. I had the same issue when deciding on a DAC too, whether to spend £450 vs £225. Money is kind of tight and half the cost is better. My next upgrade would ideally be the Ultrasone pro-900 but since these studio grade headphones need modifying to be fun for the avg listener like me, I don't see it happening for some time. To be honest, I'd rather try to get my hfi-780s recabled/modded first and make them last me at least another 1.5yrs or so as my main headphones. However, I'm reluctant to even go a day without my headphones so not sure if that would even happen. So guess I'm stuck with stuck for a long time, unless I can find a local place to recable them overnight/over a day or two. I am reluctant to ship them out of the UK for any of the popular mods.

 

Ideally I would need this to be my last purchase for sometime and will sit happy aside from the odd diy mods if I can ever learn to do this kind of work myself at a VERY cheap cost, at least a yr from now. Maybe a new portable amp in a yr when I go back to college, but at the moment, I've even stopped taking my 780s out like I used to incase they get damaged since I can't afford to replace them now. I use igrados as my portable instead. Painful but decent sound. Encourages me to keep the volume low too due to the openess.

 

Remember, the LD I+ is not the same as the LD MK1 since it's a hybrid. Also, assuming it pairs well with the 780s, I just need to know how it sounds with the DM, and whether there's something else I should be comparing for around the £110 mark. OR is itt going to be no different from my ibasso t3 portable amp which did cost me about the same amount of money. I shold probably start a thread in the amp forum...


Edited by analogue 3 - 9/26/10 at 3:51pm
post #540 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post





This is very true.  However, if you stay under 75ohm (many to choose from) you will be good.  I have paired the I+ with many phones and IMO 75ohm is the threshold for proper drive.

In reference to the MKIV, if you get some Senns (HD580/600/650), Beyers (DT770, 880, 990- 250 or 600 ohm), yes, if not, for low z, the I+ is a better choice.


Apparently the pro-900 are quite low impedance at 40ohm, so even if I found them extremely cheap (like 50% off) from somewhere and couldn't resist the upgrade, the DM>LD I+>Ultrasone Pro-900 should work fine.

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