Cambridge Audio Dacmagic DACs

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Cambridge Audio Dacmagic DACs 

DESCRIPTION

D/A Converter with USB input

D/A Converters: Dual Wolfson WM8740 24bit DACs
Digital filter: Texas Instruments TMS 320VC5501 DSP upsampling to 24bit 192kHz
Analogue filter: 2-Pole Dual Differential Bessel Double Virtual Earth Balanced
Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.1dB) - steep filter disabled
THD @ 1Khz 0dBFs: <0,001% (24 bit)
THD @ 1kHz -10dBFs: <0.001%
THD @ 20kHz 0dBFs: <0.002%
Signal to Noise Ratio: -112dBr
Total correlated jitter: <130pS
Crosstalk @ 1kHz: < -100dB
Crosstalk @ 20kHz: < -90dB
Output Impedance: <50ohms
Output level (unbalanced): 2.1V rms
Output level (balanced): 4.2V rms (2.1V per phase)
Digital input word widths supported: 16-24bit (16 bit for USB)
Digital input sampling frequencies supported: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz (44.1kHz, 48kHz for USB)
Audio output up-sampling: Fixed 24bit 192kHz

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 10  
[Jan 31, 2020]
ManixZero


Strength:

Bought 2nd Hand at a bargain price so that I could connect my Chromecast Audio via TOSLink. What a massive improvement it has brought to my listening experience. The second optical has my TV connected to it and a USB Hard Drive connected to that. One day I might try my Marantz CD85 but I'm happy with it as it is for the moment (used to it more likely) and might comment further then. As it stands the improvement to my streaming experience (certainly for the money I paid) is almost unbelievable. The soundstage is wider and there is certainly better separation between instruments. The USB stored music via the TV is also much improved though most of the files are MP3s so can't expect too much. I have yet to use the USB input but will try over the next week or so and maybe report back.

Weakness:

As mentioned the PSU does run hot but it isn't too bad and at least keeps the PSU out of the way of the audio parts.

Price Paid:
£63.00
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
2010
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Dec 26, 2011]
Pontifex
Audio Enthusiast

This is truly one of those products that will make you wonder how you ever lived without it in the first place. Like many others have said - it can make a modest and/or dated CD player sound way ahead of it's time. Not to mention how it really brings MP3's to life! This device is somewhat of a God send in this new era of digitized music. My hopes are that it will become more desirable among music listeners who gravitate towards the convenience and economics of MP3's and potentially spark their interests a little further into the world of hi-fi and the value of appreciating and discovering music that is created and recorded with purity and integrity.

For anyone considering purchasing this item I would have to say that it is well worth every penny.

By all means, it is arguable that there are higher quality units on the market but for many times the price. Do not be persuaded by the dichotomy of "mid-fi" vs. "audiofile" because there is often a fine line between higher quality and pretentiousness. Every eardrum and stereo system is completely unique and that cannot be emphasized enough. It would be foolish to claim otherwise. Remember the golden rule. Whatever sounds best to you will sound best to you. Try a few things out and go with whatever is best! A chacun son goute!

Getting lost in the magic is half of the fun. The rest is all beauty.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 02, 2011]
MusicalPoet
Audio Enthusiast

DAC is a good bargain but just because of the advancements in electronics and as a result the price drop of equipment over the last 10-20 years.

Good dynamics and can make an older $500 cd player sound like a $1000 cd player. However, with the markup on audiophile equipment as a rule that does not say much.

Bass response is excellent however that awful graininess that is present in most digital players' reproduction of sound is still present. This can make for a rather unpleasant experience when listening to music with a lot of treble such as classical. The soundstage is rather poor as it is very flat and when listening to a truly good DAC like the Lavry DA11 (which I upgraded to) the faults of this DAC really show up. I thought that buying this DAC would bring me closer to the transparency, smoothness and deep soundstage of analog but it did not.

If I were t to do it over again I would wait and save my money for a better higher priced DAC like the Lavry and not get this as my main source.

A side note. The power switch went on the unit after about 2 months of use and this leads me to think that it is produced of inferior quality parts.

If you want a good mid-fi upgrade and listen to a lot of pop or computer downloaded music then this may be for you. But, if you want high end sound save your money, do your research and opt for something better you can keep for a good long time.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
[Feb 20, 2011]
julian
AudioPhile

Astonishing who needs a £1000 cd player with a squeezebox and the DAC magc just fantastic !

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 11, 2010]
naudio8
Audio Enthusiast

I use the DAC with USB connecting to computer with windows vista, useing foobar (output device: DS)
and compare it with CDPLAYER MARANTZ CD-52-MKII.
I'v played a few albums on the dac & cdplayer,
when I played through the DACMAGIC the "stage" was wider and deeperand when there is a part with alot of instruments the DACMAGIC express it very clearly.
In other words the DAC is better then my CDPLAYER.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 08, 2009]
tilepronc
Audio Enthusiast

Ok,I'm not a golden ear kinda of listener, but for the money this DAC sounds great. I hooked up my 7yo laptop and also my Marantz 8001 CDP.The CDP sounded a little better but the best part was the laptop.I didn't expect it to sound as good as it did. Sure a 2k DAC will kick this unit to the curb, but for 429.00 I can't complain. The only thing that I didn't like was the box said British Audio Engineering and under that made in China. I'm sure this thing cost nothing to produce. Good value overall
An as for the guy who sold his after 3 days? give the thing a chance to burn in bro!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Oct 08, 2009]
bogeman
Audio Enthusiast

terrible machine, I bought it from USA, and I sold it only after 3 day I brought it back to my country, there is no sound quality improve at all, my cheap Marantz CDP can sounds same quality with this DAC, unless you use PC or DVDP to listen music, don't buy it. and I won't buy anything Cambridge anymore.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Jun 08, 2009]
harrie kuipers
Audio Enthusiast

A while ago I decided to replace my 20 years old Philps CD player (CD471). I was in for for a major sonic upgrade but set my maximum to spent on 400 Euro's. My set comprises a modified Pioneer A400 amp, Chario Syntar 100 towers and a Philips cdr800 (mainly used for MP3 replay). For more than a year I've been reading an studying reviews and articles. At the end I found a Hifi shop which allowed me to compare the two objects of my final choice: either it would be a Marantz CD6002 or a CA dacmagic fed by a second hand Philips CD753.

First lived for 2 weeks with the Marantz CD6002, then I returned it. Although the overal sound was impressive (thunderous lows, lots of detail, deep soundstage) it still had this digital harshness in the higher mids and highs. A lot my of elderly records simply sounded too sharp. This was not the major upgrade I was looking for.

Next the CA dacmagic. Wow.... definitely in a different league: very neutral, no emphasis on whatever part of the sonic spectrum, transparent and still warm sounding. This was a major step forward. The dacmagic comes with 3 filtersettings: 'lineair' fase, 'minimun' fase and 'steep'. Most reviewers are in favour of the lineair fase setting. I decided to do my own comparison but sticked to only comparing lineair and minimum setting.

Lineair fase setting:
Definitely the best....... but not my final choice. It presents the music to you in fine layers, every single instrument or voice can be easily recognized. For instance on some of the tracks of Melody Chardot latest CD it's clearly exposed that the background strings have been recorded in a different room (so different acoustics) the her voice. And that's exactly the problem I have while listening to this setting for a longer period. The music is presented to you as if it is an artificial composition of musical layers. In my opinion it should however provide you with the illusion that you're enjoying a live performance, create a kind of sonic view on a group of players performing for you. It should bring the theatre into your room. This setting fails to get you emotionally involved, although it's technically almost perfect.

Minimum fase setting:
A bit Less precise, lows and highs a bit less defined, still a warm, neutral and detailed presentation. After having listened to it for more than a week I came to the conclusion that this filter setting presents you a more coherent sonic picture. The voice of the singer, having a bit more air around it, now being portrayed in front the accompanying band like it should be. This is my definitive setting.

A big shame:
The cheapish wall wart power supply that came with the (400 Euro's costing) is a big shame. It hums and runs very hot. I already replaced it by a home brewed one based upon a decent 2 Amp sealed transformer and shielded mains filter.

Is it worth the money ?
Definitely YES. As for upgrading your mid-level CD player (assuming it has a digital output) this is the tip of the year.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 30, 2009]
Stevenbell
AudioPhile

I recieved my Dacmagic alittle over a month ago.After burning it in for four days straight, I decided to try it out.What a difference it has made. My Redbook disc's come close to my SACD and DVD-A disc's. The harshness that was there before the dac is gone and I can listen to most disc's all the way thru. I would get fatigued listening to CD before the dac. Thats is a thing of the past. Redbook disc's now are natural and smooth. But more dynamic and the imaging is spot on.Also there is a greater depth,width and height to the sound now. I listen to everything from Bartoc to Zappa from Beastie boys to Monk. And yes every type of music has benifited from the Dacmagic. My System consists of a B&K PT3 Preamp,B&K ST1400 MK2 Amp,Denon DVD1940CI SACD?DVD-A player,Musical Concepts CDB624 Redbook player,Calabrine IC's,Calabrine Speaker cables, Polk LSi7 Speakers and a Polk Pro 400 Sub, Last PS Audio power cables all arond with a Belkin Pure/AV PF31 Conditioner for everything but the Amp. How ever I cannot compare the Dacmagic to another Dac as I have never heard a Dac by any other company. I have to say that Cambridge Audio has made me a believer in there equipment. The build qulity is very good at this price point and I do mean Very Good. I hope this helps someone else in there decesion to buy a dac.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 06, 2009]
pullrich
Audio Enthusiast

Wow...I can't believe nobody has reviewed this product yet.

So I'm your basic music lover who also loves good sound, but only consider upgrades if justified in terms of value. I've been using the same Denon AVR3000 amp and Definitive Technology BP10's for about fifteen years now and very happy with the sound.

What I have been doing is making the transition from cd to digital. I've painstakingly put all my music on my laptop's Itunes software. I was playing through the headphone jack and noticed the sound quality was noticeably inferior to cd.

Then I purchased the Dacmagic. I hooked up my $100 cd player via digital out and my laptop via usb and experienced a true revelation! The sound (thanks in part to dual Wolfson dacs) is amazing. Listening to 'Gypsy' from Fleetwood Mac's (remastered) greatest hits is a joy. The only 'weak' link in my system is the quality of the recording (which varies more than many realize).

But alas I'm sad....it may be another fifteen years before I purchase anything!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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