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correct me if i'm wrong but...

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if the cambridge audio dac magic up samples to 24/192 is this an effective work around for the airport express which only uses 16/44??


you see i'm thinking of upgrading from a beresford, and the dac magic looks to me like the next logical step, i'm also considering the cambridge 840a integrated amp, although the naim nait 5i is also very tempting. that is unless you know better of course, my budget for the two items, i.e. an amp and a dac is around £1,000. in a wholly digital system i consider the dac to be very important indeed.


i've also seen some very good reviews for all three pieces, though naturally i would have home demo's before laying out the cash.

i should i suppose mention that i use diy speakers built with audio nirvana full range drivers, i've built the ambience model which uses a 12" forward firing and an 8" upward firing driver. pics available on hifiwigwam.


i will be adding an apple tv, upgraded to 320 gig of course, at a later date. all advice gratefully recieved,





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Up-sampling doesn't really get round the 16/44.1 limit ... they are two different beasts really ... having said that it doesn't make the DAC Magic any less of a good DAC for the money and the Airport Express is (generally) thought of to work effectively for CD resolution files ... there maybe better solutions if you have more to spend, but you have to remember that the Airport Express costs £80


You ask about the Cambridge Audio 840A and Naim Nait5i and ask if it's an upgrade ... but what are you upgrading from? Another option would be looking at Rotel Pre and Power amps or Arcam at similar cost. All are good amps but do have a different character to their sound. Maybe controversially, but I don't think that music having some character isn't a bad thing, however it does mean that you'll have to get out there and listen.


Personally I'm not sure if replacing your Beresford with the DAC Magic will bring much of an upgrade - (in England anyway) you'll be replacing a £130 piece of kit with a £200. Now price isn't everything but you may find replacing your amp (assuming you have something lowish end) gives you the improvement you are looking for without replacing the DAC, and the £200 you save on the DAC Magic will buy you 20 CDs, or start towards you saving for a Benchmark or Lavry at £1000 which would be a more significant upgrade.


Anyway ... probably not really the answer you're looking for and others will doubtless suggest different pieces of kit for improving your setup. As I say though (to me anyway) it's important to know your starting point when directing you to upgrades and also to know what you hope to improve most - mid range, top end, bass response, overall detail, etc, etc. As I'm sure you've found there really is a minefield out there ... I think one good thing is that these days there is a lot less bad kit out there.




...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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i'd be upgrading from an onkyo 715dab black box, and of course a beresford. i'm hoping for an all round upgrade in quality, space, detail etc. i don't bother with headphones at all and as i said earlier i use my diy speakers.

i'm not sure about spending £1000 on a dac, but i have senn the stello at £400 ish depending on the exchange rate.




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