Cambridge Audio Disk Magik CD Players

Disk Magik

transport mechanism /SONY/

User Reviews (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8  
James   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 05, 2000]
Strength:

Value for money
Neutrality

Weakness:

s/pdif suffers with bad mains

System:

Meridian 203 dac
Musical Fidelity X-Pre with X/Psu
2 Myryad T-60 Power Amps
Mission 735i Speakers - (bi-amped)

I know other people have criticised this transport as it can behave very badly with a poor mains supply. In my university flat, the sound cut out briefly whenever the fridge door opened, or a light was switched on or off (anywhere in the flat). I tried various things including Russ Andrews Yello Power cables and Super Clamp to try to clean up the mains, with no success. The Russ Andrews gear did improve the sound quality immensely, but did not stop the brief lapses in sound. I eventually solved the problem by switching to a Toslink connection. Admittedly did not offer the same quality of sound as the s/pdif i had been using previously, but it did solve the mains problem. I have not tried the balanced output.

The most important discovery i have made is this: This transport operates perfectly in most houses - i only found the problem with the s/pdif in my university flat. The player worked fine in both my parents house and a friends house - where it was in no way outclassed by his Arcam delta
dac. The rest of his system was Linn, including Isobarik speakers.

I would conclude that in a house with good quality mains, this transport is a steal. I picked mine up from Richer Sounds for £99 (NEW!). Try a home demo to check that it will be happy with your mains. The mains problem does not, in my view, detract from what is a five star product.

Similar Products Used: Cambridge Audio CD6 (as transport)
Philips 750 (as transport)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 14, 2000]
Strength:

Good detailed sound, nice build quality.

Weakness:

Compact Disc drawer is a little flimsy. The remote is not illuminated and it's buttons are not logically laid out.

The Cambridge Audio DiscMagic Compact Disc Transport is a nice piece of audio equipment. It sounds very nice when coupled with the MSB Link DAC III. I do find the sound to be a little better when using a Canare BNC to RCA digital cable as compared to a MSB digital cable (RCA to RCA) and the supplied BNC to RCA adapter. It is less "hashy" and more smooth sounding than a Toshiba DVD player that I had been using as a transport. It is strange to think that digital output is affected by cabling and source but the differences are audible. I have had none of the problems with the power supply that the people using the 220 Volt version have experienced. Mine is the 110 Volt US model. It also reads Fuji CD-R's without skipping. I have no badly scratched CDs so I can not comment on the DiscMagic's ability to read them. If the CD tray were made from a stronger material, and the remote were easier to use in the dark, I would be inclined to rate the Cambridge Audio DiscMagic CD transport a five. As it is, I rate it a solid four when paired with a good Digital to Analog converter.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
DACmagic2MkII! by Roger Stevens   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 13, 2000]
Strength:

Inexpensive ($149 demo at AA), dual symmetrical DACs, balanced outputs, gold connectors (including XLR's and BNC's), digital output, front panel selection of three inputs, wonderful sound. inputs.

Weakness:

Discontinued closeout at Audio Advisor so act fast, slightly high output level (2.7V).

This site makes adding a new product (or a vintage one) too difficult. Send a note requesting a new model be added? Give me a break!

So, this the limited availability DACmagic2MkII from Cambridge Audio, available for $149 as a demo (while they last--$169 closeout price new) that is secretly the back end of the excellent CD6, now discontinued.

What AA doesn't tell you is that this is the MkII version, not the simple DACmagic 2, and has, according to www.thestar.my, 50% less distortion. What it also has is dual differential Philips DACs, instead of the Crystal DACs used in the CD4SE. Both configurations feature solid bass, but I was surprised, owning a CD4SE and loving it as I do, that this unit also has superior signal-to-noise, imaging, and detail.

It also has a fatigueless sonic character that does justice to its original $499 list price, is a stone bargain at the present $169 selling price, and an absolute steal at the $149 demo price. So much so that after a day of listening to the one I bought to spruce up my CAL Audio DX-2, I went up to the AA website and bought another! I mean, you snooze you lose--you snore, you lose some more. Been there, done that.

What's right about this? Three power transformers, nineteen regulators, a hefty 12 pounds or so, flexible front-panel selected inputs--a TOSlink and two BNC Coaxials, all gold connectors, and a BNC coaxial digital output to boot. Plus, oddly, a SCMS indicator light that lights up allegely when in the presence of a CD with SCMS encoding, which I haven't yet tested with one that doesn't have it. To me, it seems like it lights up all the time.

HDCD? No. Missed? No. 24/96? No. Missed? No.

What it is may be the single most cost-effective upgrade to an existing CD player with a mundane internal DAC available today, but if you wait, it won't be available when you want it. Go and order now and if you hate it--you won't--send it back. It was originally part of a transport (DISMAGIK) and DAC combo that had serious power line sensitivity problems from what I read, so I guess it lagged in sales. Too bad--as a standalone DAC, it's killer. If you liked the CD4SE or the CD6, you'll love this.

Only problem was mine came smelling like a tobacco factory.
Demo is as demo does, I guess.

Be a Tissue and Organ Donor and let your family in on your selfless secret.

Similar Products Used: Audio Note DAC-1, Theta Cobalt 307 with factory analog output upgrade, CD4SE, CD67SE, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Milo   Audiophile [May 25, 2000]
Strength:

clear,low jitter

Weakness:

spdif power mains problem

system:apogee diva speakers / krell kma 200 mono blocks/agi 511 preamp /vpi 19 mk3 turntable-sme mk5 tonearm-signet 440 mk2 cartrdge (not the g.d. mm unit the mc unit)/dbx active equlizer-anilizer /silver fiol interconnects /better grade monster cables for speakers (soon to be silver foil)

The transport mech. is pink triangle.Who builds it to p.t's
specs I do not know.Trans mech is isolated from chassis by spring mounting as in most good turntables.Trans mech uses a free floating disc for clamping the disc and has a variable focuse laser.Quality of build looks good.Spdif has drop out problem (only noticed on lightning hits to the mains-hits were not noticeble in the house other wise.)

very good bass /midrange smooth and detailed/highs are better than average cd crap with actualy some sense of air and detaile.used with s700 dac.not as smooth as old ladder dacs but close.more detaile though.as for transport what can one say low jitter,does its job well.I feel it will work fine with a much better dac.four stars overall due only to mains prob. Hoping line conditioner will help, should not be a problem with a dac with balanced inputs.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Ezra Linley   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 05, 2000]
Strength:

Exciting, brilliantly detailed sound when used with CA DacMagic,

Weakness:

Very, very fussy about discs.

I currently use this with a Cambridge Audio DACMagic, which is probably doing such a good transport somethign of a disservice, but it sounds absolutely fantastic in combination with an Arcam Alpha 8 amp and JPW Millenium 1010 speakers.

Like all Cambridge Audio CD spinners, this combo is very forward and could possibly sound too aggresive when combined with an equally forward-sounding amp. Twin it with the smidgeon too-soft Arcam and the great thumping big JPWs though, and it's a true joy to listen to.

Detailed, taut, with a degree of control and pace I feel is lacking in anything at a similar price range (and I demo'ed a LOT of players, including lauded Marantzes, Rotels, Arcams and Sonys before settling on this combo), but is equally capable with more laid-back settings. Strings in particular make you feel tingly all over. Plucked acoustic guitars are heart-breaking (try the astonishing, Steve Albini-produced PW Long album 'We Didn't See You on Sunday' for a dose of just what this player can do with a finely produced acoustic).

There are only two faults with this device:

The first, and least serious is that it is extremely fussy about the discs it will play. CDs must be pristine (it's best to give 'em a clean at least once a week to stop them skipping in this player), and CD-Rs can be problematic - use silvers and there shouldn't be any problems, blues can be a little less reliable.

The second, considerably more serious is that, to the best of my knowledge, the DiscMagic is no longer available...

Similar Products Used: Cambridge Audio CD4SE and CD6 CD players.
Ariston 710 CD player
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
john alan   an Audiophile [Aug 06, 1999]

I had the Discmagic for a couple of months.The sound was very good indeed. Clear, crisp, musical.
Considering the money, too good to be true.
Unfortunately, the build quality was poor. Due to crap power supply, it would pick up all sorts of garbage from the mains. Filters wouldn't help. I gave it back for another one (new again). The same problems. Whenever the fridge opened, it would go crazy. A month later, the display died. I figured it didn't have too many chances to make it through the warranty period, so I took it back to the shop (Richer Sounds) and got a refund.
Pity.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Tom   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 12, 1999]

I'm fairly sure the transport in the DISCMAGIC 1 is Sanyo. :)

The S/PDIF output isn't great... the voltage seems to be too low, and is easily affected by power spikes and the like. However - this isn't a problem, just make an AES/EBU -> S/PDIF lead, and you'll never suffer another unlock again.

Build quality is awesome for a 100 quid transport, though you couldn't tell from the outside. Look inside, and its clear where the money has been spent.

Sound? Well, it's a transport. Does its job well. It's fussier about damaged discs than ideal, and will simply ignore CD-RWs, but I'm generally very pleased with it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bruce   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 25, 1999]
Strength:

Clear, spacious sound and value for money.

Weakness:

A little light in the bass perhaps, but my speakers don't go down very far.

I have had no build problems with my Cambridge DiscMagic transport. It skips if the disk is really dirty, but what player doesn't ?

I auditioned a lot of players before I bought one and this is the first I heard that fit both my budget and my ears. My ears require clarity -- they are used to a Linn Sondek turntable.

Of course the Cambridge pair doesn't equal the Linn turntable or even come very close, but they make CDs quite listenable. I've paired my DiskMagic with a DACMagic 1 from the same company, and hope to upgrade soon. I'm guessing this transport can do justice to a very good DAC.

I have been told the transport mechanism is from TEAC.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-8 of 8  

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