naim do a good dac i am not sure what it's called but it uses bur brown dac chips if tech radar give something 5 stars it will be good!
DACMagic Plus Impressions - Page 9
Gear mentioned in this thread:
I did mention that most people are happy with a moderate lift in sound quality offered by USB but it simply isn't good enough for the enthusiast level.I also mentioned that the target market for this device includes people who are happy with a small lift from USB while enthusiasts will most likely discount it as a weak link.
That's fine - that's your opinion and its based on your experience - but I still think your average new user is going to want to plug this thing straight into his laptop. I think most Macbooks have optical out from the HO socket, but the rest are a mixed bag - my cheapo Asus netbook did but my more expensive Tosh laptop does not. Ultimately, a shielded soundcard in a fanless desktop might be the best option, but that doesn't help all those folks out there with a basic laptop and a burning desire to improve their listening experience.
Yea I'm thinking the same. Sounds like Gwarmi's test setup was off or the unit was off. As I mentioned before USB is suboptimal for critical listening but I really wouldn't have expected the unit to sound so poor.
I use Dacmagic plus with Sennheiser HD-800+Cardas or with SAA Endorphine cables via Cardas USB cable + Mac,minimum phase filter .I prefer this combo above Mac- Ayre QB-9-Moth 2A3 and with other headphone amps on hand
I found that Dacmagic plus needs a lot of burn in time the unit i use has now 3 weeks on it and is getting better,don't know where it ends when it performs at it's best.Gwarmis review is somehow odd
i have lot of experience with Dacs but somehow Gwarmis unit must be broken or connected or used wrong.Directly connected HD-800 with Dac-plus has great soundstage ,first two weeks the soundstage was
2 dimensional and later it opened up in depht.
Dacmagic plus runs quite cold,Gwarmis unit hot?
Great channel separation
Very open soundstage 3 dimensional after 3 weeks
Instruments have natural tone
Airy and sweet treble,Gwarmis unit is harsh?
Somehow wicked sound signature
I rate this unit 5/5
Now you wouldn't be referring to your dear Esoteric K-01 there googleli?
Have you thought more about that swap for your K-01 and this?
It's on it's way to Hong Kong today, make sure that K-01 is nicely packed with a nice message addressed to my
home address in Melbourne!
That is certainly a possibility, I have only auditioned and heard the 1 x unit.
However, this raises more questions than answers - assuming that *if* the unit was faulty, surely then this
proposes the notion that this is not the only one. Backtrack through the thread and also note that another
user has reported that his has gone back under warranty for faulty USB operation.
Hardly the stuff of champions from CA, not withstanding what we know as being indisputable :-
* Head amp section is a gimmick, one of the worst I've heard. Unless this was faulty too? If so see above.
* Unmarked Volume control is a bad April Fool's joke.
* USB 1.0 to 2.0 implementation is also another long lost Laurel and Hardy comedy sketch.
Also note that it did perform better from the SPDIF input using the Audiophilleo but the basic signature
I knew that my honest view would upset many die-hard CA fans, and I still maintain that at a certain price
many people will buy it regardless, however enthusiasts looking for a serious DAC need to be wary before
buying any hotly anticipated, hyped product.
Buy it if you can audition and you like it, mine was just one view - otherwise make sure you can return it
if unsatisfactory. Failing this, well, I've already said what I had to say.
Edited by Gwarmi - 12/22/11 at 11:05am
LOL@die-hard CA fans, this is my second CA product - I sold the first because it was lacking (replaced Azur DM with Stello DA 100). Your review sucks for the reasons I pointed out, testing with just cans on a USB feed is somewhat limited in determining if something has potential. When someones experience with a product is so far from even being average you have to wonder why - CA may not make 'utopic hight-end wet-dream' products but myself + world seem to agree they generally dont make bad products, certainly not as poor as you claim.
Well I bought one yesterday, xmas came a little early. Auditioned it at the shop and think it sounds marvelous. I had the old dacmagic and reckon it's a huge improvement, everything was just a little more juicy when comparing them side by side. However, that was through some monitors and I haven't bothered with the headphone jack because that's what my dedicated amp is for. (also I'll be bypassing the volume knob but it's nice to know it's there I guess).
I reckon it just sounded smoother but with more bite/punch (take your pick) than the old dacmagic. I liked it better than the stello da100 but that may have something to do with seeing the price between the two (I was on a limited budget).
Maybe gwarmi was listening to a faulty unit? Or just different tastes. Tell you what though, Gwarmi's review was great to have because it made me more weary when auditioning it.
Edited by jamesnz - 12/22/11 at 2:16pm
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Having owned DM+ for about 3weeks, I must write a few lines.. I'm very surprised about the negative feedback. This product is not bad! Quite the opposite..
First thing I tested was to play music from Spotify via usb.. not very hifi I know :) but I use Spotify many times for background music when doing something else. And this unit really makes even Spotify listenable. It smoothens the very bad treble of the low mp3 quality so that it doesn't hurt the ear in a considerably revealing system.. so how could this unit be bad if it makes even very bad source decent?
Next thing was the headphone amp. I rarely listen to headphones..don't think that they can compete with decent speakers in many ways. But anyway.. I pluged my HD-600's in and was very surprised.. I didn't expect much but it sounded very good. Definitely enough power to drive them. Tight bass and very sweet and smooth treble..never too bright. I got a little more air and timbre from my 2k euro cd player but I think the treble was even better from dm+ playing lossless files via usb. And the digital, cd kinda treble really annoys me. (This I tested with speakers) I compared it to my Luxman L-550's headphone input and I'd say that if I want very dry tight presentation and articulate bass let's say for electronic music..maybe infected mushroom I might choose DM+ For acoustic instruments and for music that has a lot of space information I'd go with Luxman. The Luxman again has more Tone and wider soundstage and has more natural bass but DM+ has some strenghts.. very hard to put in words but a very enjoyable headphone amp and I could live with it very nicely - (And I know L-550 is not a dedicated headphone amp but it's not bad either)
In general this is a unit I like very much and it makes digital music enjoyable and in hifi terms it costs next to nothing.. (My main source is vinyl)
The old DM won a dac test in Finlands only hifi magazine Hifimaailma. This magazine is very cynical about the product hyping of the international reviewers, but the summary was that this was the most desireble dac with perfect measurements. One reviewer liked the NoForce icon HDP almost as much (there were several other dac's too. the NuForce came in third place) but both concluded that over all performance of dm was better and it suited all musical styles the best.. there were also other benefits but this is enough of the previous model..
Enjoy music everyone...
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I saw the DM+ in person. It feels and looks cheap. The volume knob feels very low quality and I don't like that it is infinity knob because you can't tell what level you're at. The shop had a Music Hall 25.3 which looks and feels much better.
Yeah well, that's just your opinion man. I'm surprised you think it looks cheap. Especially compared to the music hall. One of my pet peeves (yes, just my opinion) is when equipment manufacturers give something a silver face plate but a different colored body. The DM+ has that new brushed faceplate which looks a million times better than the old one. But yes the dude who designed the knob didn't seem to consider the practicality of it.