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Cambridge Audio S-700
4 Reviews
rating  4.5 of 5
MSRP  800.00
Description: DAC and Isolation platform HDCD capable


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike Perrin a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Although discontinued the S700 (Isomagic) represents a cheap but very high quality choice of DAC. Most people will use it as a supplement to another brand of CD player; I use it in conjunction with the Cambridge DiscMagic transport, made by the same company. Both items were designed by a former designer for Pink Triangle, and share a secret: they both have connections for 'Clock Link" where the transport can be slaved to the DAC's internal clock. The result of this is a radically improved sense of timing and focus, making CDs crystal clear and intensely foot tapping. Stereo imagery improves, but best of all is the completely natural and relaxed sound produced by the combination, similar to high end (high cost!) DACs. I have heard a friend's Mark Levinson combo so I know! The DiscMagic/Isomagic S700 combo transcends its price bracket when used with clock link - how sad that few will hear this combination. Hint: the clocklink is optical, for best results use an optical link for the datastream as well. Connected using AES/EBU co-axial cable the DAC would occasionally lose sync and mute momentarily. A Nordost optical cable for the datastream prevents this. Also check the phase of your loudspeakers as I believe the S700 to be phase inverting at its output.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $99.00

Purchased At:   Richer Sounds UK



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian Musker a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 5, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Let me put this in perspective: I bought this to use with a DVD player, because they have yet to produce good sound. Given the context, the Cambridge is impressive, especially at the price. Compared to my Pioneer DVD, it's in a different ball park: this is a hi fi component, DVD players are not, at least not at the moment. Being polite (see my review elsewhere) the Pioneer DVD 444 is a good home theatre source, but for CDs it's brash, bass light and lacking in clarity. Switch in the Cambridge, and suddenly you're back in hi-fi land.

That said, how does it compare to purpose built cd players? Well, if you're looking for a Copland beater, this isn't it. If you're comparing it to an Arcam or Marantz machine (except the redoubtable CD 17), then the S700 is going to improve your system. It's a little bright, but the detail, depth and timing are all there. Bass is a touch light, but after listening to the decay of a brush on the cymbals, you aren't going to mind. The negatives are the lack of an on/off switch, a particular pain since the Cambridge must be switched on before the CD transport, and the BNC connectors. Oh, and the fact it takes a lot more than the 36 hours it suggests to run in; 72 at a minimum, I'd suggest.

I've only given this Dac a 4 star rating because of the operational quirks, but it's a fine piece of equipment. If you have a DVD player and want to use it in your hi fi system, it's a must. In fact, at the $100 Richer Sounds were throwing it away at, it's a must anyway.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Richer sounds



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by d a a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2001

Bottom Line:   
this works very well in my system, i'm using an audiorefinement cd player for a transport. mids,
vocals and such are glorious, everything sounds
very natural, cycmbals sound like cymbals, and
the dynamics are great.check out review at
uhfmag.com. it was highly praised.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   hifi attic vernon b.c



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Arie a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 31, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Cool stuf for the money and almost high-end in my humble opinion.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   Richerssound




Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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