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Cambridge DACMagic

Matt W

Novice Member
I tried moving it around, and have switched to an optical cable from dacmagic to amp and better analog cables also from dacmagic to amp, and the cut out problems seem to be better, still have that once in a while, mostly on the bypass, will test further to see if I can use a different cable from PC to DacMagic

Have another question regarding sample rates:

Just out of curiosity. I have ripped a piece of music (using iTunes) on mp3, using same bit rate but different sampling rates, on 8, 32, 44, 48

However, when I feed those signals to the DacMagic, the incoming sample rate indicator does not change at all, no matter whether it's 32 or 48, or even 96 (have some other hires music files)

I used both WM11 as well as iTunes and foobar 2000 to play and same result.

just wondering if I have missed anything....... pointers anyone??
EAC Foobar ASIO4ALL WASAPI Settings Pictorial - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio
 

vlach

Novice Member
Check the soundcard settings, sounds like your computer is re-sampling everything to a default sample rate somewhere.
I have the same problem, the DacMagic incoming bitrate never changes no matter what i feed it. I looked for the soundcard settings on my PC under "sounds and audio devices" and also under "advanced" and cannot for the life of me find any setting related to bitrate sampling. Can you please specify where i can change this setting on my PC, thank you!
 

matt303

Novice Member
On my work PC running vista (I use Macs at home) it's under Control Panel -> Sounds -> Speakers -> Advanced. Then there is a setting for sample rate and depth to use in shared mode. I guess these settings might be different depending on what sound hardware/drivers your PC has.
 

vlach

Novice Member
On my work PC running vista (I use Macs at home) it's under Control Panel -> Sounds -> Speakers -> Advanced. Then there is a setting for sample rate and depth to use in shared mode. I guess these settings might be different depending on what sound hardware/drivers your PC has.
Ok thanks, i found it. Unfortunately i am using Windows XP and the bitrate setting is a slide bar that lets you chose between good & best. So i guess "best" is limited 16 bits/44.1 Khz...
 

raymondc

Standard Member
Ok thanks, i found it. Unfortunately i am using Windows XP and the bitrate setting is a slide bar that lets you chose between good & best. So i guess "best" is limited 16 bits/44.1 Khz...
I found that same thing too. Then I went as far as going in to device manager, went to audio codec and disable / unmapped all the Soundmax Audi devices, and then use KS with Foobar2000....

still get the constant 48 indicator light on the DacMagic. I know the DacMagic works as if I send in signal from my CD player playing a regular CD, it will shows 44.1 instead....

:lease:
 

MeanDorris

Well-known Member
:hiya:

I am considering getting a Cambridge Audio DacMagic to use between the pc and my Pioneer SC-LX81 and maybe for CD playback from either the BD or DVD players.

On investigation, it turns out that the DacMagic and LX81 both appear to use the Wolfson WM8740 DAC's.

Also, from what I have read, the Pioneer's jitter rejection is also supposed to be good.

Has anyone else used a DacMagic with the LX81 and is there a noticeable improvement to be gained?

(I've posted a similar query on the LX81 thread, hopefully someone will be able to comment)
 

MilkyJoe

Novice Member
:hiya:

I am considering getting a Cambridge Audio DacMagic to use between the pc and my Pioneer SC-LX81 and maybe for CD playback from either the BD or DVD players.

On investigation, it turns out that the DacMagic and LX81 both appear to use the Wolfson WM8740 DAC's.

Also, from what I have read, the Pioneer's jitter rejection is also supposed to be good.

Has anyone else used a DacMagic with the LX81 and is there a noticeable improvement to be gained?

(I've posted a similar query on the LX81 thread, hopefully someone will be able to comment)
Don't bother!
 

jbloggs

Novice Member
This will not answer your question regarding the use of the LX81...

However, having owned a DACMagic I found it was overpriced (@ £230) and over-hyped; I compared it to a ZeroDAC (Upgrade version) at half it's price and held onto the ZeroDAC and sold the DACMagic.

I would suggest have a look at the Musical Fidelity V-DAC (which can be got for £129) or the the Audio-GD Compass (also see Here).
 

vlach

Novice Member
This will not answer your question regarding the use of the LX81...

However, having owned a DACMagic I found it was overpriced (@ £230) and over-hyped; I compared it to a ZeroDAC (Upgrade version) at half it's price and held onto the ZeroDAC and sold the DACMagic.

I would suggest have a look at the Musical Fidelity V-DAC (which can be got for £129) or the the Audio-GD Compass (also see Here).
Care to share the resuts of your comparison? Did the ZeroDac actually sound better?
 

jbloggs

Novice Member
Care to share the resuts of your comparison? Did the ZeroDac actually sound better?
If you have a look Here you will see what I posted at the time...

Enlarging on that, apart from more detail, everything sounded more natural, tighter and punchy with all types of music...
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Having read around and despite my reservations, XLR ~ RCA is being used by some dacmagic owners. Which is fine as it saves me from cable swapping. Do I need female or male XLR end? Thanks
 

chevvies

Novice Member
The stereo soundstage is the wrong way around when I play my SB3 through the DACMagic, left and right are reversed, anyone else have this problem?

All the leads are connected properly. :confused:
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Which amplifier are you using? Sounds like the speaker terminations are the wrong way around
 

chevvies

Novice Member
Which amplifier are you using? Sounds like the speaker terminations are the wrong way around
Thanks, Cyrus PreXVS, connections between the DAC and the amp are correct, double checked them.

All other inputs, CD, DVD, Digibox, TT are the right way round, :confused:
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Been playing around more with the unit and some thoughts

1. USB v Optical
I only have a cheap Ixos bronze series toslink but the main difference is that usb outputs at a slightly higher volume. Now I might be imagining this next thing as it is so minute if it is there but I could swear the digital is slightly brighter and airier. But if I am not imagining it then it is not by much so I am sticking with optical to free up a usb port on my iMac

2. Lossless v lossy
On my old Edirol UA-25 I could not tell the difference. On the DM, lossless files have a slightly more prominent lower end that is noticeable. More presence about it. Piano notes are a little crisper. Vocals and the treble end seems to be largely the same
But another thing is that my lossy files seem to output at a higher volume (that will be down to EAC+lame encoding then). I had to keep turning the volume dial when A/B'ing, but the lossless files do seem to be less congested with a wider soundstage and more airiness about it. I say seem as again I am not sure if I am imagining the difference on account of the higher volume of my lossy files giving me a false impression of the music sounding 'closer'

Annoyed at this, I have found that turning the bass dial on my stereo amp negates the bass difference. Not doing anything for the piano notes though. Not re-ripping just yet as I am procrastinating from doing that 3 years going now. Probably will when I can afford a top-end DAC and lose the urge to upgrade

3. The filters
I am sticking with Linear. Not sure about the other two. Seem to do strange things to the sound like exaggerating spectrums
 

Chazaxl

Active Member
I keep reading about this device and am confused.

This allows me to take digital out and convert to analog to power my stereo amp via the RCA inputs?

Why would I not just go from analog to analog or does it do something extra to the sound?

£200 for this versus £150 for a very good sound card?

Im currently on the hunt for a semi decent CD player for my source as my CDs at present are played through my PC or ripped into FLAC - can this device help to get better sound?
 

MilkyJoe

Novice Member
I keep reading about this device and am confused.

This allows me to take digital out and convert to analog to power my stereo amp via the RCA inputs?

Why would I not just go from analog to analog or does it do something extra to the sound?

£200 for this versus £150 for a very good sound card?

Im currently on the hunt for a semi decent CD player for my source as my CDs at present are played through my PC or ripped into FLAC - can this device help to get better sound?

Analogue to analogue? Unless your source is a cassette tape or vinyl disc there will the a digital-analogue converter (DAC) in the chain somewhere. Do you see now?

Depending on the device, this is oftern quite poor. A high quality external DAC takes over this duty, yielding much better analogue output.
 

Chazaxl

Active Member
Analogue to analogue? Unless your source is a cassette tape or vinyl disc there will the a digital-analogue converter (DAC) in the chain somewhere. Do you see now?

Depending on the device, this is oftern quite poor. A high quality external DAC takes over this duty, yielding much better analogue output.
Ok, so this device replaces my devices cheap and cheerful Digital to Analog converting?

Am I better off looking at this than for example an Asus STX Audiophile (sic?) soundcard?
 

MilkyJoe

Novice Member
Ok, so this device replaces my devices cheap and cheerful Digital to Analog converting?

Am I better off looking at this than for example an Asus STX Audiophile (sic?) soundcard?
If you want to use it with sources other than your PC, yes.

Analogue output from PCs is susceptible to electronic noise too (from the PC innards!)
 

camiri

Standard Member
I did not believe the Kool-Aid DAC hype and used the built in DAC in my HK-3490 receiver together with optical output from Apple Airport Express streaming both lossless (Apple lossless) ripped from my CDs and 256K AAC music bought from iTunes. In anticipation of getting a tube amplifier I bought the DACMagic today, since the HK would have this as it only purpose otherwise. So with no expectations I installed it in-between the AE and my HK today to check that it worked.

Well it proved me wrong, and the improvement is massive. It appears that the improvement, or at least the perception of the improvement, is even more significant with the AAC. The dynamic of the sound is significant improved, and am still confused if this is due to the upsampling (which I always believed was another hype, and if you wanted to put your money somewhere then go for the speakers), or if this is just better quality electronic components used and lower noise.
 

bishopsfinger

Active Member
Hi camiri

I agree it is a great sounding DAC and will sound even better with your new amp.

The supplied PSU and DAC do run rather hot so you may want to consider using a Maplins PSU.

High Current AC/AC Mains Power Supplies : AC/AC Power Supplies : Maplin

The 12v version has a higher 3 amps rating and would give more headroom and run a little cooler.

I use the 9v version which has a 3.2 amps rating and runs even cooler than the 12v version.

Background details Cambridge Dacmagic Power Supply - Equipment Reviews and Tests - All things HiFI and AV - HiFi WigWam - HiFi Forum

Enjoy your new DAC.
 

scrufftyguy

Active Member

bishopsfinger

Active Member
....or if the PSU is not the new version send off for a replacement http://www.avforums.com/forums/hi-f...77239-dacmagic-psu-replacement-programme.html as it's also supposed to run cooler too (and it's free!). :thumbsup:
Hi scrufftyguy

I agree, worth getting the replacement but I found both it and the DAC still run hot.

Using the Maplins 9v 3.2amp PSU both it and the DAC run very cool if that is important to you.

The link in my post is worth reading for those interested in the background as to why this is so.
 

camiri

Standard Member
I can understand why the power supply would run hot if it was under-dimensioned, however the DAC should should not heat-up for that reason.

Anyway I have had it on now for 5 hours streaming music to the TOSLink input, and both the DAC and the power supply are just luke warm, likely just 45 degC.

The power supply is rated to 1.5A, and bought and used in Norway, so it may be different from the UK power supply.

I finally stoved it a drawer since I do not need to change anything, and I will leave it on all the time. So its just a nice and good sounding appliance, but better out of the way with its intrusive blue lights.
 

scrufftyguy

Active Member
Hi scrufftyguy

I agree, worth getting the replacement but I found both it and the DAC still run hot.

Using the Maplins 9v 3.2amp PSU both it and the DAC run very cool if that is important to you.

The link in my post is worth reading for those interested in the background as to why this is so.
Personally (using the old PSU still) I have never had a problem with excessive heat as other forum members have stated, and I have read that some people find the new PSU seems to run cooler too. I have also read somewhere (maybe what-hifi forums?) that CA recommend not using a lower voltage PSU even though they run cooler! :)
 

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