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Optical output from DAC Magic?


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Firstly - I only found out what a DAC was yesterday so you can gauge my level of experience at this.

 

My previous set up was an Apple TV, connected via a QED performance audio cable to a Denon 1907 AV Receiver with 2 Kef iQ7's bi-wired with QED Silver Anniversary XT speaker cables.

 

Today I added a Cambridge Audio S90 subwoofer and a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic.

 

The guy in the shop recommended that I connect from the Apple TV to the DAC Magic with an optical cable, seems logical enough.

 

However, he then recommended that I also connect the DAC Magic to the AV Receiver with an optical cable for optimal sound?

 

I don't know much about this but there seems to be something illogical here, i.e. converting to analogue to subsequently output through a digital cable?

 

Surely it would be best going optical into the DAC Magic and analogue out of it?

 

But then I did ask myself, if it is the case that an optical output doesn't make sense once converted to analogue, why would an award winning DAC have one?

 

I would be much obliged if someone would clarify.

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

iMac>Apple TV (Hacked & upgraded to 1TB of storage)>optical to>Cambridge Audio DAC Magic>analogue to Denon AVR-1907>2x Kef iQ7\'s & Cambridge Audio S90 Subwoofer

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You need to connect the analogue out of the DACMagic to analogue in of your amp.

 

The optical out allows you to pass the audio though for processing DD / DTS done by the AVR. If you watch iTunes movies on the Apple TV you may want to do this.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...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 just went a got a QED analogue cable and used it to connect the DAC Magic to my Denon 1907 AV receiver.

 

Fantastic!

 

What a difference over the optical, perhaps not surprisingly.

 

iMac>Apple TV (Hacked & upgraded to 1TB of storage)>optical to>Cambridge Audio DAC Magic>analogue to Denon AVR-1907>2x Kef iQ7\'s & Cambridge Audio S90 Subwoofer

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If you had been using and optical connection to and from the DacMagic then you would be bypassing any of the conversion processing of the DacMagic (all of the digital to analog conversion would be taking place in your AVR). By using the analog output connection to your AVR the conversion is taking place in the DacMagic and I would think you are noticing a very positive difference.

 

From the DacMagic owners manual:

 

3 Digital Outputs

The digital outputs allow a digital recording device to be connected. These outputs loop or pass- through unprocessed digital audio from the selected digital input.

 

4 5 Digital Inputs 1 and 2 The DacMagic is fitted with two sets of digital inputs which enable the connection of source components.

 

Note: This unit only accepts two-channel LPCM digital audio (e.g. Dolby Digital 2.0). You cannot connect a Dolby Digital 5.1 or a DTS signal as they will not be recognised. If you wish to connect a DVD or similar device, please ensure that the sound output of your player is set to two-channel PCM.

 

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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Just an aside, if it has one, make sure you set your AVR in Bypass mode, labeled something like Pure Direct or 2 Channel Bypass or similar. That was as much as possible of your AVR's digital processing will be avoided.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...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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Cool

 

I found two 2 channel settings, Direct & Stereo, I had been using Stereo.

 

I assume Direct will be the Pure Direct you mentioned?

 

Currently experimenting with both of these settings.

 

Thanks again :-)

 

iMac>Apple TV (Hacked & upgraded to 1TB of storage)>optical to>Cambridge Audio DAC Magic>analogue to Denon AVR-1907>2x Kef iQ7\'s & Cambridge Audio S90 Subwoofer

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Yes, the Direct mode is what I was referring to. That should turn off most of the unneeded processing (video outputs, etc) allowing you to get the best from your amp.

 

Eloise

---

...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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