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Will DacMagic help much in these circumstances ?

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Hi Guys


I have been doing a lot of reading here as I was referred to this site as being a must for digital music !

There sure is a lot of knowledge here. I would appreciate some advice. My question could probably go in a couple of forums, however the main crux is the benefit of a DacMagic, so here goes.


I currently store my music in my Asus S6f laptop http://www.asus.com.au/product.aspx?P_ID=9FhWmMVpI4Q97BxX&content=specifications


I connect via spdif to my Yamaha 3900 receiver into the cd inputs on the receiver http://www.yamahamusic.com.au/products/avit/htavreceivers/RX-V3900.asp


I play my music, mostly rippped in iTunes lossless, through my receiver to my speakers, Def Technology BP7000sc speakers.


However I find the quality is not as good as when playing the cd directly in my Oppo Bluray player http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-83/


I really want to retain the benefits of digital music. Perhaps even use my iPhone as a remote. Therefore I am thinking of a DAcMagic.


I am considering adding a usb external hard drive to the laptop, adding a dac magic between the laptop and receiver and perhaps buying some good analogue cables for the connections. I would rip everything in say Flac or Wav and use Monkeymedia for playback. Finally as my laptop is connected to my wireless network I am considering Monkeytunes or similar to enable me to use my iPhone as a remote. Hence when enjoying a social at home I can control the music from wherever I am at.


So, is my proposed set up, which will cost some money and a fair bit of time, a reasonable upgrade bearing in mind my current set up ?


Any other recommendations gratefully received.


Thanks for reading this far :)


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A DAC Magic, or other lower end DAC, may improve the SQ with your setup, but the problem is that the Yamaha doesn't have the worlds best analogue inputs.


A HiFace or similar may be more cost effective improvement.


Also make sure you turn all DSP effects off on the Yamaha


And what media player are you using on your computer?






...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 had a similar experience.


Macbook Pro connected to a NAD AV receiver with a TOSLINK/SPDIF cable was totally afwul compared to playing the same music through the built in CD player directly. It must be either the cable or the AV receiver is using different DAC's for CD playback and optical in. Have not experimented too much with it but I plan to (this is a tertiary system for me).


You could do a test with analog out from the laptop directly into analog in on the receiver, could be an intermediate solution.


Merging NADAC / Theta Compli --> Spectral DMC-20 --> Spectral DMA-250 --> Avalon Ascendant (with tweeter upgrades)

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So, I am thinking. If I get a HiFace and say a Cambridge Dac Magic and have these between my laptop and Yamaha receiver that will improve sound significantly ? I realise the Dacmagic is at the lower end of the Dac scale, but as you see below, $900 - $1000 is a reasonable spend at the moment. Any more and I'd investigate Sonos but hopefully there is no need.


I propose attaching Chris' recommended Samsung Go ext USB HDD to the laptop on which I will have stored my music ripped in WAV. I propose using Mediamonkey on the laptop, perhaps Mediatunes on my iPhone as a remote.


Does this sound a reasonable solution for say AU$1000 or US$900 ?

Or, what else would you do ?


Thanks a lot.


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