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DacMagic 100 Impressions - Page 8

post #106 of 121
Meant to say: yes it goes to 92 showing its on usb2 if I recall correctly. Then, when you play a file through it, it shows the actual res of that file; in your case with the flac it was 44. So yes, that's correct. It sort of uses the res as indicators when not in use if you see what I mean.
Edited by SuperiorTramp - 11/20/15 at 5:29pm
post #107 of 121


I'm between DacMagic 100 and the IFI nano DAC.
What differences are there?


I'll use it only as a DAC, I do not care the amp on IDSD



post #108 of 121

Well, most obviously:


- the ifi nano supports DSD, the new hot thing, if you have or think of acquiring such files at some point, that's your choice.

- the DacMagic 100 has more inputs, the ifi nano is USB only, so if you have a player or preference for optical or coaxial, that's your choice. You can get converters, but that results in a more clunky setup and maybe SQ deterioration due to more components in the chain...



As for SQ, or the merits of DSD or HD in general, well there's this head-fi website where people endlessly debate these subjects ^_^ And ultimately it's subjective (I don't know what will sound best to you, or even what other components in your chain will have which impact), so I can't help you with that.


I had the DM 100, liked it, I read good things about the ifi nano, so I think either will be fine. Even with all the gear I've been through, IMHO of all the components (decent) DACs have the least impact (nothing matters more than the actual headphones, followed by quality well-matched amplification of said headphones, and on the other end, quality mastering will always matter more than file/signal specs)

post #109 of 121

I don't see 176khz as one of the rates it can decode, did I just miss it or does it not do that one?

post #110 of 121

It doesn't officially support it, don't recall my own tests results when I had one. It's one of its quirks (considering it supports 44.1 and 88.2) To be fair though, it's not that common  (I have in my fairly large collection only 3-4 tracks at that sampling rate and only because I downloaded them specifically to test compatibility)

post #111 of 121

I just bought this DAC and it is on its way. Might do a mini review of this if I have some time in the near future.

post #112 of 121

Guys, has anyone else a problem, the incoming sample rate indicatior is just showing nothing ? Connected to the PC...

post #113 of 121
Has anyone here done any detailed comparisons of this DAC to any versions of the Schiit Modi, Modi 2 or Bifrost DACs?

I seem to have a sudden curiosity about speaker DACs (like the Cambridge Audios and the Arcams) and if speaker DACs have the same kind of soundstage as headphone DACs (e.g. ODAC or Schiit Modi/Modi2/Bifrost)?
Edited by cyberridz - 6/3/16 at 4:49am
post #114 of 121
Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100

Mini review of the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100

I just received my DacMagic 100 today in the mail and here are some pictures of the DAC in detail. Since there has not been any in-depth reviews anywhere on the internet on this DAC, I decided to write one up.

Pictures of the DacMagic 100


Packaging was excellent, very detailed instructions included and the DAC was packed in a blue cloth bag for protection. A very nice touch.

Build Quality

The DAC itself has weight and heft to it, no complaints there. The one thing that I was a little disappointed with was that the front face-plate was not evenly attached and when viewed from above, one can see that the thickness of the machined aluminium was not perfect. If viewed from above the unit, the front face-plate exhibited uneven thickness from left to right, resulting in the left side being thicker than the right and this creates a kind of "slope" which was a little disappointing. Other than that the top, bottom and rear of the unit was fine. Good gold plated RCA inputs too.

Overall the quality control of the unit was a little disappointing for a company that is supposed to be the epitome of British hifi.

Sound Quality

This DAC was very difficult to evaluate. Where do I begin?

I would say that this DAC is a bright DAC. But that's fine, seeing what this was meant for. A lot of what I read was that it was designed with live "un-amplified" music (correct me if I am wrong here).

This DAC is bright, but not in a bad way, but there is a little bit of harshness coming through especially in the mids.

Treble is nothing spectacular, but not overly fatiguing.

Bass hits low but does not have a bass heavy sound signature.

Vocals is the area in which this DAC really excels. Vocals are rendered very naturally and sound "live" (as if on a stage) and have a sparkle and softness to them that is characteristic of Wolfson DAC chips, which I really enjoy (think Audinst HUD-MX1). This DAC would really excel in areas such as operatic or classical music or maybe even genres such as "Broadway" musicals.

Soundstage is a little difficult to describe. It is not as wide as what everyone seems to say it is on forums, perhaps maybe it is tailored more towards the use of speakers and speaker amplifiers and I find the soundstage to be wide but not as wide as say the Schiit Bifrost - which is a soundstage king in my opinion - but then again, the Bifrost is a DAC that was designed from the ground up to be used on headphone based audio systems.

The DAC has a kind of CD quality feel to it - as I know that Cambridge Audio does use similar DAC chips in their own line of CD players. Also, the characteristics and feel of the DAC is very "analogue" sounding and "does what it says on the box".


This is a very nice DAC for it's price and I see no faults with it. It will suit vocal-centric genres of music such as opera, jazz, classical and live very well. It is not a bass heavy DAC and is not good for things like electronica or rap in my opinion.


Very good with vocals and vocals are rendered very naturally and sound almost "live". It is also a very analogue sounding DAC and almost feel as if you are listening to a CD player (if that makes any sense at all?).


A little harsh at times, especially in the mids, and sometimes, things like guitar strings can sound a little harsh and overpowering (but that is just nitpicking).
Quality control issues prevents the DAC from being the best in its price range, as it is unacceptable, a DAC in this price range, and from a higly regarded (British) audio manufacturer, to have these kinds of quality control issues (uneven face-plate and not attached evenly to the case body).

Overall I would rate this DAC a 4 out of 5.

Overall I think this is a good DAC if they improve the quality control issues.

I hope this is useful for anyone interested in this DAC. Thanks.
Edited by cyberridz - 6/11/16 at 11:39am
post #115 of 121

Are you using Windows 10?

post #116 of 121

Has anyone succesfully been able to play from an iOS device thru to the Dacmagic 100? When I plug the USB cable into my USB/Lightning adapter and plug into my iPad, i get an alert saying the DAC draws to much power and can't be used? A couple of years ago under an earlier iOS I can play music thru to the DAC just fine.

post #117 of 121
Has anyone managed to play 24bit 192kHz flac files from an android phone through the dacmagic 100 without downsampling? Im thinking of using my phone as a source for a while and I've got quite a few 24/192 files

post #118 of 121

Is DSD support in DOP or better yet native ever going to happen from Cambridge? With the 100 or a new DAC all together? I love my Dacmagic 100 but I really wish it had support for DSD. Funny enough it sounds not to bad when a .dsf file is converted to 192 pcm by Jriver. My comparison is vs a Chord Hugo with DSD over DOP.

post #119 of 121

I'm actually tempted to get this, what low budget headphone amp could i pair it with?

post #120 of 121

DacMagic 100 is actually pretty good resolving DAC so do not go too low because if your amp distorts it would be a waste. I run it with Talisman T3H  but it also worked well with JDS Labs C5 (portable) and it is pretty good. I think that JDS Labs O2 would do well. Or any other incarnation of Objective2.

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