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Bought a DACMagic, prefer iBasso D12 DAC ... Can't believe it ... money wasted??

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

In short, I was using an iBasso D12 DAC into a Schitt Asgard driving my LCD-2s and liked the sound. 

 

Thought I could improve on it by getting a desktop DAC cos - 

 

1. Plug in power supply (no worries bout batteries and overcharging - or forgetting to )

2. Multiple inputs so I can use it for my CD player and Macbook Pro without switching

3. Digital Filter options

 

 

Decided on the Cambridge Audio DACMagic cos 

 

1. Uses the same chipset as the D12 which I already know I like

2. Affordable

3. Read another review which said the user loved the DACmagic-Asgard-LCD2 config. 

 

 

Well, turns out the DACmagic not only sounds different from the D12 and did not improve things, I actually like the D12 much better - it seems to have a fuller sound and better separation overall ... I'm kinda disappointed .... 

 

Gonna try putting the DACmagic into my LittleDot MK IV SE and see if works better .... might be a synergy thing .... 

post #2 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jermng View Post
......not only sounds different from the D12 .... 


How long did you listen to the new dac? Sometimes it takes a bit of time to erase the 'old' sound from our minds so that we can properly evaluate whether we like the 'new' one.

 

A good example is when I switch tubes in my amp. Initially, the 'new' tube sounds perhaps a bit rolled-off in the treble and sounds 'different' from the 'old' tube; maybe not as likable. After a longer listening period, I realize the 'old' tube was maybe too bright, and the 'new' tube's rolled-offness is actually a more realistic performance. Just a suggestion. Maybe give it a longer audition?

.

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Been listening to it exclusively for 3 days .... it really diminishes the quality of the Mids of the LCD-2s .... separation and detail seem to get lost too ... 

post #4 of 23

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by jermng View Post

Been listening to it exclusively for 3 days .... it really diminishes the quality of the Mids of the LCD-2s .... separation and detail seem to get lost too ... 


Separation and detail is no problem for a dacmagic, despite being a bugdet option. Separation wise, paired with an LCD-2 it does a great job, likewise in terms of mids (but below stax IMO). I'd sooner blame the LCD-2 for lack of detail (bite me). RE: "fuller" - a source should sound dry. As far as sources go, I'd even say the dacmagic isn't dry enough!

post #5 of 23

Then maybe the DacMagic just doesn't suit your musical taste. I bought my Gamma2 dac from someone who wanted to upgrade to a DacMagic. After he got it, he told me he wished he had kept the y2. I have no experience with the Cambridge, but am very happy with the one I have. At first it didn't sound altogether that different from my previous dac, but after a couple of days I realized that cymbals in particular sounded more realistic and had a shimmer and decay that was very pleasant to me. The difference wasn't night and day or immediately apparent, but after listening for some time and getting used to the new dac, I noticed the difference right away when I listened to the old one. I think once you get to a certain level of equipment, it's more a matter of taste and synergy than it is of 'good' or 'bad' quality.

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Uthadude View Post

Then maybe the DacMagic just doesn't suit your musical taste.


yep

post #7 of 23

I find it interesting that many of the same reviewers who previously struggled for superlatives when reviewing the DM suddenly find it lacking in certain areas. FWIR, you really need to spend several weeks with the CA DAC to appreciate the improvements, and there is no guarantee that technical improvements to separation, detail etc are what you are looking for in your music. I bought a new pair of IEMs last week - for all the 'gee whiz, I havent heard that before !' revelations, I'm simply not enjoying them as much as my old Sony IEMs or less capable fullsize cans : classical is great, but metal sounds like someone removed the excitement and replaced it with a bunch of session musos. 

post #8 of 23

completely agree estreeter

post #9 of 23

there's many reviews where the DM is really bashed: http://ravenda.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/audiogddac19/

 

it's using the crummiest USB chip on earth(CMI108), mandatory 192kHz ASRC, a wallwart and jelly-bean 5532/OP275 opamps..

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 

There's a service on eBay with 2 levels of upgrades to components and power supply of the DacMagic ... any one heard of it or have any experience?

post #11 of 23

replacing 5532's by 49720's doesn't sound like too bright of an idea IMHO.

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

Could you elaborate? I'm sorry I'm not familiar with chipsets or the inner workings of DACs ... :)

post #13 of 23

It's hard to discuss about opamps w/o listening to them, you could use this page for reference purposes: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/397691/

 

Many ppl feel that they are what colors the sound the most in a DAC: http://forum.rightmark.org/topic.cgi?id=4:504-3

 

"Everybody -in different locations, at different times, without knowing from each other- told the same story, that they found the differences between opamps more important than the differences in dac chips."

post #14 of 23

jermng, there are no surprises in this price category. Though I love my MusicStreamer it is not a competition to 1K$ DACs.

I just say, with this kind of headphones you should expect to spend a whole lot more to fully enjoy them.

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies smily_headphones1.gif

The surprise to me is that I prefer the portable D12 ... I think like some have mentioned, it's probably just me and the musicality of e DM. smily_headphones1.gif
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