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DACMagic Plus Impressions - Page 7

post #91 of 342

Why was the original DM such a hit?

post #92 of 342
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjAmTraX View Post

Why was the original DM such a hit?


Timing, the CA name and cost. Take a look at the prices of some of the dedicated DACs that occupied the same space 3 years ago - something like the Bifrost would have been unthinkable.

 

 

post #93 of 342

does this new dac sound as good as the dacs in the 840 c cd player if it does i will get one for my pc and use with grado ps1000s?

post #94 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

Thanks Gwarmi. I am looking for an extra DAC for my Realiser setup and it looks like the DAC Magic plus will not be it. I have to reconsider the Antelope Zodiac Gold with Voltikus power supply. 

Well well well... sorry that we only sell beer here...

though we could certainly do with a great H-D 'LCD3' tv screen in front of us... : P

i wish i own 'Google' Googleli, i wish i did...

post #95 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by our martin View Post

does this new dac sound as good as the dacs in the 840 c cd player if it does i will get one for my pc and use with grado ps1000s?


 

i had a brief audition of the old dacMagic and 840, frankly it didn give me a WoW. But 840s are indeed better, slightly noticeable in their cleanness and less digital reproduction but difference are still somewhat subtle sometimes, they are based on different designs anyways. If i own a dacMagic (which i dont), i prob wont upgrade to dm+

post #96 of 342

 

 

I conducted an A/B/X test a number of years ago with three knowledgeable sound experts; a drummer for a semi-known rock/jazz band, a sound engineer, and the audio rep for a world famous speaker company.

 

The purpose of the test was to determine if the average but sound-knowledgeable person could hear the difference between the USB, Optical and Analogue outputs from the Macbook Pro into the CA DAC Magic.

 

We selected equipment that was somewhat high-end.

The test included an Apple Macbook Pro, Cambridge Audio DAC Magic, McIntosh Integrated Amplifier (either the MA 6600 or 6300, sorry I forget which model exactly) and Tannoy Dimension TD 8 (grills off).

 

We used three pieces of music, jazz, rock, and classical in the AIFF format.

 

Key to any A/B/X test is the volume. The volume level was matched for each input so that would not colour our results. Remember the purpose of the test was to see if somewhat knowledgeable people could hear a difference between the USB/Optical and Analogue outputs on a Macbook Pro.

 

Of the three, the output that performed the best was the optical. Hands down it won every single time on every song. To our three panelists it was the winner.

 

Now here comes the surprise... the analogue output sounded second best!

 

And by far the worse... the USB. Time after time the USB failed to impress all three participants. Every song... every time. At one point I switched USB outputs on the Macbook Pro cause I thought something was wrong with the port cause the results for USB were so bad!

So was it the Macbook Pro's USB output? Or the DAC Magic's USB input? Who knows... I'm not an electrical engineer, but I will say this in my experience, I have NEVER heard acceptable audio quality from a USB port and I've used half a dozen USB audio interfaces in a dozen Apple computers.

 

I might someday... I plan on getting the DM + soon, but until then my USB ports are dedicated to printers and cameras. ;^)


Edited by archimageaudio - 12/18/11 at 5:12am
post #97 of 342

Keep in mind that the USB implementation of the first DAC Magic was particularly flawed (cf stereophile review), things have changed since then.

post #98 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by archimageaudio View Post

 

 

I conducted an A/B/X test a number of years ago with three knowledgeable sound experts; a drummer for a semi-known rock/jazz band, a sound engineer, and the audio rep for a world famous speaker company.

 

The purpose of the test was to determine if the average but sound-knowledgeable person could hear the difference between the USB, Optical and Analogue outputs from the Macbook Pro into the CA DAC Magic.

 

We selected equipment that was somewhat high-end.

The test included an Apple Macbook Pro, Cambridge Audio DAC Magic, McIntosh Integrated Amplifier (either the MA 6600 or 6300, sorry I forget which model exactly) and Tannoy Dimension TD 8 (grills off).

 

We used three pieces of music, jazz, rock, and classical in the AIFF format.

 

Key to any A/B/X test is the volume. The volume level was matched for each input so that would not colour our results. Remember the purpose of the test was to see if somewhat knowledgeable people could hear a difference between the USB/Optical and Analogue outputs on a Macbook Pro.

 

Of the three, the output that performed the best was the optical. Hands down it won every single time on every song. To our three panelists it was the winner.

 

Now here comes the surprise... the analogue output sounded second best!

 

And by far the worse... the USB. Time after time the USB failed to impress all three participants. Every song... every time. At one point I switched USB outputs on the Macbook Pro cause I thought something was wrong with the port cause the results for USB were so bad!

So was it the Macbook Pro's USB output? Or the DAC Magic's USB input? Who knows... I'm not an electrical engineer, but I will say this in my experience, I have NEVER heard acceptable audio quality from a USB port and I've used half a dozen USB audio interfaces in a dozen Apple computers.

 

I might someday... I plan on getting the DM + soon, but until then my USB ports are dedicated to printers and cameras. ;^)



 One of these, it makes the 'USB Jitter' gremlins go away ~ some DAC's just absolutely need one, more often than not

 USB integration on sub $1500USD DAC's can be hit and miss. Some like my old Arcam rDAC sound best from USB.

 

 audiophilleo2.png

 

 

 

post #99 of 342

Blast! Now i need one of those when I was previously content. Do they actually make a noticeable difference to the sound quality?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwarmi View Post



 One of these, it makes the 'USB Jitter' gremlins go away ~ some DAC's just absolutely need one, more often than not

 USB integration on sub $1500USD DAC's can be hit and miss. Some like my old Arcam rDAC sound best from USB.

 

 audiophilleo2.png

 

 

 



 

post #100 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesnz View Post

Blast! Now i need one of those when I was previously content. Do they actually make a noticeable difference to the sound quality?
 



 


 

 It was enough for me to shell out the $600 ~ it's a 'two birds with one stone' solution, allows you to use the SPDIF input for full 24/192

 compatibility (a lot of DAC's tend to be capped at 16/48 on USB) and it reduces the USB jitter to almost nothing.

 

 Really comes down to what DAC you have, the other bonus with this Audiophilleo is that you don't need a pricey SPDIF second

 cable, it just piggy backs off the DAC. Really handy for anyone who still has a pre-USB DAC too, lots of older DAC's that can be

 given a second life with one of these.
 

 

post #101 of 342

Was it $600au or US? Did you buy it direct from audiophilleo? hmmm that may be my xmas present to myself....

post #102 of 342

Seriously a USB to SPDIF which costs about 2-3 times the price of the DAC on review? What an utterly pointless investment, I mean if your running from a source that doesnt support optical/coaxial you'd be better putting the money there. If the USB interface on the DM is so poor (as I believe it is) then all the jitter correction in the world wont make it great. unless you've run the DM+ from any other input you really havent heard it. So in short you've listened using phones only - while the units being wired to its worst input ....seriously lopsided effort at best. I think you'll find when proper reviews start to hit the net they'll do staged listening through the various input configurations.

 

Finally a few people going on about the M-Dac which is by all accounts a very fine piece of kit and in a completely different price bracket here in the UK - so try comparing apples to apples. If you actually think you've dodged a bullet I'd take the 'review' on here with a large pinch of salt.

 

post #103 of 342
Thread Starter 

@opalfroot, I hear what you are saying, but CA have had several years to sort the USB input on their flagship (?) DAC - if they haven't done so at a time when the Chinese are releasing some very capable budget USB DACs, it speaks poorly of the company's ability to master the technology. They wouldnt have needed a crystal ball to know that most new owners would plug their shiny new DM Plus straight into the USB port on their laptop and expect instant nirvana - based on what has been said here, it would seem that they will be sorely disappointed.

post #104 of 342

*removed, poor post imo*


Edited by vrln - 12/25/11 at 10:26am
post #105 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by opalfroot View Post

Seriously a USB to SPDIF which costs about 2-3 times the price of the DAC on review? What an utterly pointless investment, I mean if your running from a source that doesnt support optical/coaxial you'd be better putting the money there. If the USB interface on the DM is so poor (as I believe it is) then all the jitter correction in the world wont make it great. unless you've run the DM+ from any other input you really havent heard it. So in short you've listened using phones only - while the units being wired to its worst input ....seriously lopsided effort at best. I think you'll find when proper reviews start to hit the net they'll do staged listening through the various input configurations.

 

Finally a few people going on about the M-Dac which is by all accounts a very fine piece of kit and in a completely different price bracket here in the UK - so try comparing apples to apples. If you actually think you've dodged a bullet I'd take the 'review' on here with a large pinch of salt.

 


 

 Audiophilleo 2 sells for $599 here

 Cambridge DacMagic+ sells for $699.

 

 Pays to check one's facts before posting
 

 

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