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Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

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Mickgw's picture
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Hi everyone, after a bit of advice, im thinking of upgrading from my Dac Magic to an M1 Dac or something similar. my setup is a Marantz MCR 603 powering B&W 685's, my music is stored on my Imac transported through my Dac via a USB Wireworld Ultraviolet cable, i then go fibre optic to my Marantz, sounds great but was wondering would an upgrade make a noticeable difference??

Thanks

Overdose's picture
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RE: Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

Noticeable 'difference'? Debatable.

Worth paying for said 'difference'? Entirely personal.

Modern DACs are mainly so good that any artifacts, such as jitter and distortion, are non issues. The differences heard between DACs are largely in presentation. If it's of any help, I could not detect much, if any difference between my DACs with my system.

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Mickgw's picture
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RE: Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

hmmm none the wiser really. it does sound great what ive got.

 

Thanks for the response, any other comments would be appreciated, it would be nice to know what the WHF team think.

Mickgw's picture
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RE: Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

hmmm none the wiser really. it does sound great what ive got.

 

Thanks for the response, any other comments would be appreciated, it would be nice to know what the WHF team think.

JAmes_M's picture
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RE: Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

Do you mean an Optical cable to the Marantz?

If so, you are actually bypassing the DAC magic's DAC's and using the Marantz's DAC. Therefore the DAC magic is not actually having any effect on the sound....

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Mickgw's picture
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RE: Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

i go from my imac with usb cable into the dac magic, then from the dac magic with fibre optic to aux on the Marantz, are you saying i should go phono from the dac magic? 

Mickgw's picture
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RE: Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

i go from my imac with usb cable into the dac magic, then from the dac magic with fibre optic to aux on the Marantz, are you saying i should go phono from the dac magic? 

plastic penguin's picture
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RE: Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

Mickgw wrote:
Hi everyone, after a bit of advice, im thinking of upgrading from my Dac Magic to an M1 Dac or something similar. my setup is a Marantz MCR 603 powering B&W 685's, my music is stored on my Imac transported through my Dac via a USB Wireworld Ultraviolet cable, i then go fibre optic to my Marantz, sounds great but was wondering would an upgrade make a noticeable difference?? Thanks

TBH, you'll need to dem a couple and compare really.

FWIW I had the DacMagic feeding the Arcam CD73T for a while, and on my system when compared with the CDP alone, had had better clarity and detail but sounded too mechanical for my tastes. Just to reiterate, that was with my current set-up (see sig below).

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JAmes_M's picture
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RE: Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

Mickgw wrote:

i go from my imac with usb cable into the dac magic, then from the dac magic with fibre optic to aux on the Marantz, are you saying i should go phono from the dac magic? 

 

Correct, if you go phono into into the AUX or CD input on the marantz then you will be using the DAC magic, rather than bypassing it.

See the note on p13 of the manual,

Clicky -----> http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/assets/documents/AP239051DacMagicUserManua...

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Mickgw's picture
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Right got it all set up

Right got it all set up properly, good knows why i didnt realise that school boy error.

Whats the crack with only getting 48.1 khz through usb, i'm not that clued up (can you tell) will 96khz make a difference???

atkins4725's picture
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RE: Right got it all set up

Think im correct in saying that the number u are refering to is the incoming sample rate. The DACmagic then internally upsamples it. 

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Overdose's picture
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RE: Right got it all set up

Open up the audio settings in your iMac utilities folder and set the output to whatever bit depth and sample rate that your files are, probably 44.1KHz and 16bit. This will ensure that the iMac doesn't resample the music files before being sent to the DAC and is termed 'bit perfect'. Also, I would turn off all iTunesprocessing, such as EQ.

iTunes will not switch sample rates on the fly and will need to be manually reset if you listen to any high res files, such as 24bit/96KHz.

Personally, I wouldn't get hung up on it all, just listen to the music.

As you have now listened to the DACs in both the Marantz and the DAC magic, you will be well placed to be able to determine if there are any differences, by switching between the two. This will give you some idea as to whether or not you need to spend more money on a DAC.

Edit: You could also try to detect differences between audio sample rate settings to see if the iTunes resampling is audible. If it isn't, then that's one less thing to worry about.

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SteveR750's picture
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RE: Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

Nope.

 

Difference is small/£££, plus the dacmagic is not as poor as you might think from the review: personally I think for musical enjoyment it leaves the M-DAC standing.

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JAmes_M's picture
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RE: Right got it all set up

Mickgw wrote:
Right got it all set up properly, good knows why i didnt realise that school boy error. Whats the crack with only getting 48.1 khz through usb, i'm not that clued up (can you tell) will 96khz make a difference???

We all do daft things ocassionally!

Big question is, have you noticed an improvement to the sound? 

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Mickgw's picture
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RE: Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

There is a noticeable difference, everything seem more alive shall we say, the optical through the Marantz is flat.  You can tell more on the lossless files

Mickgw's picture
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RE: Is it worth upgrading from my Dacmagic?

There is a noticeable difference, everything seem more alive shall we say, the optical through the Marantz is flat.  You can tell more on the lossless files