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Bought a DACMagic, prefer iBasso D12 DAC ... Can't believe it ... money wasted?? - Page 2

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 

 

Errrrmmm ..... I THINK I found the cause .... the only other variable when I introduced the DACMagic was a pair of interconnects from a high-end cable vendor here on head-fi. Didn't really think it'll matter but tried eliminating that variable. 

 

I swapped those out to "stock" cables and BAM!! The sound opened up!! It was like a veil was lifted ... 

 

Not gonna start a war on cables debate ... but I heard it - even when I didn't realize or think the cables would be a factor and it turns out I don't like them :(

 

Gonna try "breaking-in" for 50hours per the vendors' suggestion and see what happens after that ..... 

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jermng View Post

 

Errrrmmm ..... I THINK I found the cause .... the only other variable when I introduced the DACMagic was a pair of interconnects from a high-end cable vendor here on head-fi. Didn't really think it'll matter but tried eliminating that variable. 

 

I swapped those out to "stock" cables and BAM!! The sound opened up!! It was like a veil was lifted ... 

 

Not gonna start a war on cables debate ... but I heard it - even when I didn't realize or think the cables would be a factor and it turns out I don't like them :(

 

Gonna try "breaking-in" for 50hours per the vendors' suggestion and see what happens after that ..... 



If a cable is making things sound WORSE, it's probably malfunctioning. I actually have a malfunctioning cable that cost about 50 cents (I think it's grounding itself?). Basically the soundstage from it is zero, and there are no highs and no bass.

post #18 of 23

I'm interested on how this ended up. I was about to ask if a DacMagic would be an improvement over the iBasso D12 DAC. Reading the first post seems like :"I'm fine with the D12!" But then jermng says that it was just a cable.

 

I really like the D12 paired with my iHP-140 (with FLAC files) as a DAC to my stereo car, it's a big improvement vs my iPod (with ALAC files). In my car the sound with the D12 opens up, has about everything else added, bass and mids response/body mainly and more clarity. Here the iPod Line-Out really sounds dull .

 

Anyway the D12 combo doesn't seem to be a big improvement over the iHP-140 headphone output. The iRiver drives my HD600 very well at top volume and the difference in sound quality is small when using the amp output on the D12. What I want to believe is the amp part of the D12 is the one that's holding back a better result from the HD600 and not the DAC part. When using my iPod's Line out to my D12 the sound is indeed duller than when using the IRiver + D12's DAC (couldn't believe what I write when I was really happy with the result, but I got the iHP-140 thanks God and now I use the DAC too).

 

I'm about to try a Bottlehead Speedball Crack with the D12 + HD600 cans, let's hope in one month more. Then I see if I was correct.

 

Anyway, would the DACMagic give a notorious step up over the D12 when paired with the Crack? If it's like D12's DAC vs iPod's DAC then maybe yes, if it's like using alone the iHP-140 with the HD600 vs adding to the chain the D12 DAC/AMP then no. Maybe the Gamma2 would be the way to go, nevertheless I don't find comparissons γ2 vs D12 DACs either.

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

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..



By "many" do you mean primarily independent web site reviews or audiophile websites and audio magazines that you can follow them (a certain reviewer or reviewers) over a longer period of time to see if your taste fall in line with theirs? In my opinion the DacMagic is a nice DAC for the money but many love to rip a product that has received a lot of favorable press, it's like they enjoy being one of the first to put down a product that others have liked.

 

The fact of the matter is these are great times to be a music lover as there are so many great sounding yet reasonably prices pieces of audio gear on the market. Ten years ago it was difficult to find a great sounding DAC for under a thousand dollars as where today there are many.

Take care.

post #20 of 23

 

Originally Posted by KLJTech View Post

By "many" do you mean primarily independent web site reviews or audiophile websites and audio magazines


I don't trust audio magazines, they'll tell you whatever their sponsor wants. I mostly talk about real world reviews: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/Cambridge-Audio-DacMagic-Review

 

"my 2 cents is still that the NE5532 op-amp is an inferior component which always sound inferior and harsh.

 

If you can not hear it, that is not my problem - I would immediately replace it with a Burr-Brown, National or Analog Devices chip made for audio and I have done so on a number of devices and even my wife immediately notices the difference though she has no clue as to what have been done!

 

The 5532 is a component which sounds inferior to almost anything made with audio quality in mind. The output section of the Squeezebox Classic is even worse. That is made with an opamp made for telephones and comms systems.
[..]

the DacMagic does not sound too bad, but why spend that kind of money on a dac, when the same (analogue) circuit can be found in a receiver which is so much more versatile - and eventhough the DAC-section is less sophisticated still sounds way better than the DacMagic when properly modified...

So you're right in recommending people to use their ears, I've done so, and my conclusion was clear: The unit was sent back, full refund received."

 

There are only bad components(NE5532/192kHz ASRC/CMI108/OP275/SMPS wallwart) in the DM...miracles do not occur in the audio world IME. I've got no problem believing that a uDAC will match it.

post #21 of 23


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

 

Originally Posted by KLJTech View Post

By "many" do you mean primarily independent web site reviews or audiophile websites and audio magazines


I don't trust audio magazines, they'll tell you whatever their sponsor wants. I mostly talk about real world reviews: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/Cambridge-Audio-DacMagic-Review

 

"my 2 cents is still that the NE5532 op-amp is an inferior component which always sound inferior and harsh.

 

If you can not hear it, that is not my problem - I would immediately replace it with a Burr-Brown, National or Analog Devices chip made for audio and I have done so on a number of devices and even my wife immediately notices the difference though she has no clue as to what have been done!

 

The 5532 is a component which sounds inferior to almost anything made with audio quality in mind. The output section of the Squeezebox Classic is even worse. That is made with an opamp made for telephones and comms systems.
[..]

the DacMagic does not sound too bad, but why spend that kind of money on a dac, when the same (analogue) circuit can be found in a receiver which is so much more versatile - and eventhough the DAC-section is less sophisticated still sounds way better than the DacMagic when properly modified...

So you're right in recommending people to use their ears, I've done so, and my conclusion was clear: The unit was sent back, full refund received."

 

There are only bad components(NE5532/192kHz ASRC/CMI108/OP275/SMPS wallwart) in the DM...miracles do not occur in the audio world IME. I've got no problem believing that a uDAC will match it.


 

I read the review at the link you gave and it sounds like a pretty good review to me:

"it's fabulous to see high performance low price audio components. The DacMagic is certainly one of these components"

 

I have no doubt at all that there are parts in the DacMagic that could easily be upgraded (I hate board mounted RCA's) and make an improvement but I think that the stock unit at the retail price is a very good sounding DAC. Until you start getting into "cost is no object gear" its easy to remove the cover and find parts are "could/should/I would" have upgraded. There are always exceptions but for the most part its easy to find components that could be upgraded in gear under a thousand or so dollars.

 

I agree with you regarding audiophile magazines but if you read them over a period of time you'll find certain reviewers you agree with more often than not and that can give you a good starting point when you're in the market for a new piece of gear. Ultimately you have to trust your own years and buy what sounds most like the real thing (at a given price point) to you. It also helps if you're able to listen to live music as often as possible.

 

Luckily, there is enough good gear out there for all of us to find what we're looking for at whatever price point we're shooting for at that time.

Take care.

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jermng View Post

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


I was surprised to find a post from a Head-Fier in one of the meet threads where, surrounded by all manner of orthos and high-end kit, came away raving about how much he liked the D10 as a DAC into a more expensive amp. Even professional reviewers periodically throw a curve ball, saying that they prefer DAC B over DAC A even when DAC A is clearly 'better' technically. The Benchmark and the QB-9 have both found themselves in the crosshairs for this sort of comparison with various DACs of late, despite their undeniable ability to render minute details in a recording. I still think a lot of it comes back to your willingness to give new kit a few weeks to settle in - 30 second 'auditions' can only take you so far, unfortunately.

post #23 of 23

I wasn't satisfied with my Audinst Hud-mx1 either, but after 206 hours burn-in i changed my opinion. maybe the ibasso was better burned in thus the difference.

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