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Disappointed with the Cambridge Audio Dac Magic?


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I've owned the Blue Circle Thingee for about a year. While a step up from the X-Fi card installed in my computer (very nice, tight bass) I knew it was not the Holy Grail of audio. I wanted a second dac for my main rig, a Simaudio Moon integrated and smaller Magnepans. (I guess none of the Magnepans are small!) I succumbed to the ad hype and bought the Cambridge Dac Magic. I agree with Chris, it's a nice piece of kit for the money but within a week I was wondering what the Bryston, et al sound like. I went to the Blue Circle site to see if any of the dacs with heart-stopping prices had become more affordable. Nope. But I did notice that Blue Circle recommends using the Thingee with any standalone dac you might have lying around. Guess what I did? I plugged the Thingee into the Cambridge Dac Magic. Wow! Or, more accurately Double Wow!! I'm wearing myself out by staying up way too late to listen to every piece of music I own. I still need a second dac but am actually wary now of single box solutions. I feel it's that good.

Cables..I got good results with an optical cable between the two that I bought in a drugstore! An Atlas Compass coaxial that cost ten times as much, while a good cable, is only marginally better. I'm using the little usb cable that came with the Cambridge while Audio Advisor takes their sweet time delivering the Kimber usb that Chris recommended. Today I discovered that a Belkin Pure AV RCA stereo pair to 1/8 inch from the DacMagic into my brave little Audioengine A2s sounds VERY good!

The only down side to all this is that my desk looks like a dog's breakfast of gizmos and wire. I don't care! I've been after sound like this for longer than I care to discuss. No, I haven't heard many other dacs. My point is I don't especially want to. I'd rather stay in and build another playlist.

 

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Very happy with my DacMagic.

 

I'll say one thing for the record: straight out of the box I wasn't impressed. The sound seemed thick, muddy. But after two weeks I didn't want to give it back. Maybe I was just getting used to it, maybe it was "burning in", but I kept it.

 

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I am hoping to try out a Dacmagic soon.

 

My current experiments seem to also point to a 2 part output solution from my Mac Mini.

 

First I'd convert USB to Coaxial(borrowed M-Audio FAstTrack Pro) and then go into an external DAC (Aragon D2A). I am actually using the Atlas Compass as my digital cable, and in my system is sound much better then a straight optical connection from the Mac Mini.

 

Unfortunately, my cheap Toslink cable doesn't seem to be that good. Still looking for Glass.

 

Thanks for the info on the Dacmagic though.

 

TOM...

 

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