Pink Triangle DACmagic as rare as a hen's teeth?

Auralsaga

Standard Member
Hi folks,

I managed to get hold of a Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 1 (Pink Triangle).

I have a few questions if any of you are kind enough to read this and give an answer.

I haven't hooked it up to my system yet. For these purposes i'm talking about my Audiolab 8000a amp, Rega Planet CD transport (Mk1) coupled with Monitor Audio MR6s. Got Van den Hul cables attached, decent power cables, interconnects and a mains isolator. All second-hand.

As there is zero information on the this model on the interweb I contacted Cambridge Audio directly...they had no information on it! Unlike contacting Tom Evans' company, re my Pioneer modified by the man himself and Tom, or perhaps someone in the company using his name replied next day with the info I wanted.

I don't think Mr. Evans worked on this DAC though?

It has Balanced outputs (DIN) (no cable supplied)​
Line output RCA (already have cables for CDPs other than the Rega)​
Digital output (XLR to RCA) cable supplied​
Aux input (XLR to RCA) cable supplied​
CD input (XLR to RCA) cable supplied​
DAT input (XLR)​

Questions;

I'm not sure if the DAC will make any discernible difference to the sound of the Audiolab 8000a, but figured it's usually better to have 'separates' where possible?​
I'm unsure how best to connect this to the Audiolab 8000a and Rega Planet (v1) for the best sound possible? Do I require the balanced cables?​
Also, and I feel like an idiot saying this but i've never used a DAC before, so don't know how to connect it! Can anyone help please?​
Yours,
A
 
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Timmy C

Distinguished Member
8000A doesn't have balanced inputs so that rules that out.

Digital cable from CD player to DAC, analogue RCA from DAC to amp. If you have some spare RCA cables you could also run RCA straight from CD player to amp and then you can easily switch between with and without DAC to see which your prefer.
 

Auralsaga

Standard Member
Timmy, thanks for your input and well appreciated. I thought I could buy an DIN to RCA and go with that, but was unsure if it was worth it or would delete the 'merit' of having DIN in the first place.

It's all testing just now. I've got a Pioneer PS-505 Tom Evans mod, Marantz 6000 se le and the Rega Planet, so trying to figure out what will sound best with my system. Also, still messing around with soundstage on the speakers...so all interconnected really.

Think i've got my speakers set up as good as I can do in my room without them being basically obstructions in the middle of the room, which is impractical.

Cheers,
A
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
You can buy XLR to RCA cables but you won't get the benefit of the balanced output without having balanced inputs at the other end. I was going to do the same recently, only the other way around, as my amp has balanced in but processor doesn't have balanced out. After looking into it I decided it probably wasn't worth it.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Balanced will make little difference over the short lengths usually found in home systems. Both connected devices must be fully balanced. Balanced cables are recommended (along with balanced systems) when there are long lengths of cable needed.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
That dac was the work of John Westlake, many, many years ago.

A very good one of its time, and, as far as I remember, eminently tweakable.

But its age and the fact of its limitation with bit rates (16/48) makes it a bit of an odd choice in the modern digital world.

It was however a mega bargain at the time and it does have HDCD and therefore the PM digital filter which is allegedly very clean and smooth sounding.
 

Auralsaga

Standard Member
Hi Paul, thanks for your response. I couldn't find any information on the Dac1 apart from some old hifi reviews (one especially on tweeking). I am starting to wonder if I made a mistake buying it, although it does sound great in that there is an added smoothness and more gain.

Most of my hifi gear is of the same era and I did read that the Dac1 is as good as some machines from say within the last 5 years. Issue was that I didn't know what dacs it had it when I bought it (now discovered that it has twin Philips dacs). I have my Yamaha AV Amp if I wish to stream, but this set-up is pretty much for cds only.

Think you could be right. I'm not entirely satisfied with the sound, so may shift it on.

What other dac would you or other members recommend? I'm looking to spend under £100 second-hand.

Cheers,
A
 

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