Replace the old Dacmagic

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Dusteh, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. Dusteh

    Dusteh
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    Having upgraded my speakers and amps - all thats left is my old Cambridge Audio Dacmagic II and CA CD5 as the transport.

    The dacmagic always seemed to be regarded highly considering its bargain price, but that was a few years ago now. What kind of price-point am I looking at in todays CD players to blow away the performance of the dacmagic? Or will even budget CD players outperform it now?
     
  2. Cable Monkey

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    It very much depends on what you are looking for. Updating is not always the same as improving but I am sure you will find references to the Beresford DAC as a modern day equivalent of your Dacmagic in terms of its performance per pound rating. Lots of very happy customers out there. Giant killer? I am not so sure but has a lot of fans. You could do worse than stick with Cambridge Audio for a one piece solution, they have a model for any budget up to a grand and all of them seem to be worth the money at their price point. Those are blind suggestions though and subsequently not worth much really. Tell us what your other kit and what is your budget and you will probably get some more informed suggestions.:)
     
  3. Arfa

    Arfa
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    I used to own a Dacmagic 2 mkii and a Marantz CD4000 cd player. Yes the dac was very good, extremely well built and with balanced output, you rarely get this stuff for less than a grand. The CD4000 was really a rebranded Philips player, good transport, but very basic dac. Hence the Dacmagic made a good upgrade to it.

    I upgraded to a Rega Apollo, which gave a quite considerable improvement to the Dacmagic and CD4000. More detail, better timing and overall much more foot tappingly good. For ages I couldn't do much whilst a cd was on, it would just keep grabbing my attention as I heard new things on old favourites. That said, the Apollo doesn't have balanced outputs, the facia is plastic and neither does it contain three psu's like the Dacmagic.

    I had to let the Dacmagic go, to help cover the cost of the Apollo, shame as I used to use it for the computer and PS2 as well. Still I got £100 for it. Even so it is one of the few pieces of kit I miss from time to time. BTW open it up and double check what model you have. There's the 2, 2i and 2 mkii, all with the same casework and just labeled 'Dacmagic 2'. I was sold mine as a 2i, but on opening it I noticed it had the op-amps that only appear in the mkii - bonus!

    So you can get better quality than your Dacmagic, but be prepared to pay, especially if you want the balanced out.
     
  4. Dusteh

    Dusteh
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    Cheers guys.

    Balanced output isn't needed. I have a NAD silverline preamp (only has balanced out and no balanced in - very annoying) plugged into two NAD c272's - which are driving some Quad 21l's, a pair of 11l's and a BK xls200 sub. So I feel my current Cambridge Audio kit isn't up to the standard of the rest and is probably letting the overall sound down.

    Demoing kit isn't really an option - plus I'm more than happy to go for second hand off eBay. I'd prefer to fork out for a really good integrated CD player rather than a transport/DAC combo again.

    So... lets say a few hundred quid, what could eBay throw up for that?
     
  5. rozzar

    rozzar
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    i think you'd be impressed by something like a Nad C541 cd player- thats pretty good and you should find one for a ton

    Arcam Alpha 9 also impressed me.


    Incidentally...you're not using the 21s and 11s together in the same room are you?
     
  6. Dusteh

    Dusteh
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    Yep, the placement of the floorstanding 21l's is rather too wide apart in relation to the listening position, by adding 11l's set a bit closer together the left/right imaging clears up.

    Not only that but I've found that running 4 speakers for lower volume listening (trying not to **** the neighbours off) provides a more detailed sound than 2. Everything sounds fuller.
     
  7. Cable Monkey

    Cable Monkey
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    Lots but the main problem here is the minefield of buying on recommendation rather than the benefit of an audition. In these instances you can use certain legal requirements for distance/online selling to your advantage. I would suggest that you use Richer Sounds internet shop to pick up a Cambridge Audio Azur 740C. (I am assuming you are in the UK). If it does not suit (i.e. you don't like it) then you can send it back. To me it is safer than gambling on Ebay. Most new players should be up to full performance after 200 hours use. That is 8 days on continuous repeat. Spend a couple of days listening critically and if you are not happy send it back.
     
  8. Dusteh

    Dusteh
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    hmm interesting, so does everyone agree that the NAD c542 contains a better quality DAC than the dacmagic II?
     
  9. Cable Monkey

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    No!:)
    They are different but it is still down to wether you like the difference!;)
     

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