- 11 Posts. Joined 4/2008
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Just purchased the Lyr. Running it off my Modi for now, but I'm looking to upgrade that. The obvious choice is the Bifrost, but I am interested in the DACMagic Plus. The only thing really keeping me from purchasing it is the fact that it's entirely self contained where as the Bifrost is upgradable and Schiit has already proven they are creating upgrades to it every year (better USB, better analog converters). Thoughts?
I got a DAC Magic Plus about 9 months ago. I use it just with the computer and only USB. It's worth mentioning I think that the DAC Magic Plus includes a headphone amp, pre outs and balanced outputs. That may be important to someone starting out. You get an all in one box now, and get a Lyr or Mjolnir later if you want a better amp.
The DAC Magic Plus is also an upconverting DAC. Everything gets upconverted to 24 bit / 384 kHz. I know Jason and Mike at Schiit cringe in horror at the very idea. :) I haven't seen any credible evidence that doing the upconversion is good or evil. Cambridge does it on all their equipment, Schiit argues its a terrible idea.
I now have a Yulong DA8 at home and the DAC Magic Plus is on permanent duty at the office. The HD650 headphones travel back and forth.
I am under the impression that you may get more for your money buying from a small US company than a biggish UK company but who knows. I do like that Schiit has put out upgrades for the DAC. In the past there have been companies who offered "upgrades" that were about a dollar cheaper than rebuying the thing. Schiit seems to be doing this right!
I don't regret buying the DAC Magic Plus. It plays all my music and drives my headphones so it does what I expected.
I won't talk about cables, or if one sounds more open and lush than the other, lots of people here to do that
My music sources are mostly my CD collection ripped to FLAC, plus some HDTracks downloads. I don't bother with anything over 96K now. I also have an Oppo 105 to play SACDs on, but I just plug the headphones into it when I want to listen to those. I am not using either box as a DAC for the OPPO.
DacMagic Plus is very good for beginning, and offers a very flexible feature-set with lots of comfort and a very good sound:
=> 3 selectable filters
=> very flexible cabling options (XLR and Cinch simultaneously usable, automatic mute when headphone is plugged in)
=> many inputs (optical, coax, bluetooth, usb)
=> Bluetooth(Optional) and Apt-X capable
=> very decent headphone-amp for its price tag...
=> switchable between USB 1.0 and 2.0 modes (also driverless-operation possible)
=> switchable output profiles (fixed level line-out with disabled volume-control, or preamp-mode with variable volume-control)
=> good design and build-quality
the DacMagic upsamples everything to 24/348kHz whether this is good or bad is everyones own judgment i think. I think the DacMagic delivers exceptional performance and Cambridge Audio also seems to have a good support. (Guidebooks for Foobar+ASIO, USB2.0-Audio explaination, Support-Center, there have also been firmware-updates in the past)
Actially the macbook has the SPDIF output, is in the 3.5mm headphone jack, you need to use a mini spdif connector, like this one:
Old, but some interesting info on upsampling and how it improves the resulting signal: