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1970dazzler's picture
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Rega DAC or Audiolab MDAC to replace Cambridge DAC magic

Hi, I have Roksan Kandy k2 amp and CD player, Mordaunt short MS 30i Classics (remember those). I listen to quite a bit of radio through my Freeview box and a  recently borrowed Cambridge Audio DAC magic really openend up the dynamics and soundstage.

I wonder if investing in RegaDAC or Audiolab MDAC would give me even more improvements. Do not tell me to go and audition, I live in the real world where most hifi shops, certainly local to me in Bucks, do not audition or stock such trivial items.

So I turn to the forum for anyones experinces on these two or three DACs. 

I used to have an Audiolab 8000A (in fact still own it) and like the clinical sound of that, but then again I hav ea Rega turntable with Ortofon 2M blue, which I love (it is running into Cambridge audio 651P phono stage as Kandy phono stage is hopeless).

Any observations welcome! :grin:

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RE: Rega DAC or Audiolab MDAC to replace Cambridge DAC magic

My preference is the Rega DAC having previously owned one and having compared it to the MDAC. Having said that both are good and it will depend on what sound you want to achieve. The Rega gives a rich sound with good bass, detail is good, but not as revealing as the MDAC. In the system I tried the 2 DACS, the MDAC was too analytical for my taste. Difficult to say in your system, the MDAC would suit the K2, but MS speakers from memory are quite revealing speakers and would probably better suit the Rega.

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RE: Rega DAC or Audiolab MDAC to replace Cambridge DAC magic

Not much south of £500 is not an insignificant amount of money for a fairly insignificant gain, if at all.

That money would be much more wisely invested in better speakers. What speakers to choose, is another matter, however your budget plus the funds released from selling your amp, would put you in the ballpark of some very good active speakers.  Wink

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RE: Rega DAC or Audiolab MDAC to replace Cambridge DAC magic

If you only want it for the radio then there might be a better way to improve the sound quality - internet radio is generally a higher bit rate than you get on Freeview and DAB so, for less money you could get something like this - http://www.audioaffair.co.uk/pioneer-n-50-digital-network-player?utm_source=google_shopping&gclid=COGvotGxo74CFcbKtAodyFkAJw which would connect to your amp directly, I'm sure it's got a more than adequate dac built in to it. It's also got FM radio.

Just a thought really because paying out £500 for a dac to get an improvement from a lowish quality source seems to me to be the wrong direction to go in. If you retitled the post and put it in the radio section you might get better advice/more suggestions.

 

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RE: Rega DAC or Audiolab MDAC to replace Cambridge DAC magic

1970dazzler wrote:

 Do not tell me to go and audition, I live in the real world where most hifi shops, certainly local to me in Bucks, do not audition or stock such trivial items. Any observations welcome! :grin:

 

Hi there. I know you didn't want Audition as a suggestion and I'm not sure where in Bucks you live or what you travel capabilities are but I'm pretty sure The Sound Gallery in Wycome would allow you to audition a Rega DAC agains your DACMagic They may even have both Freeview radio and Internet radio for you to use as source given one of the suggestions you've had. 

To me doing a straight comparrioson is always the best option if you can. Obviousely ring them first to see if they have or can get the DAC

http://www.soundgallery.co.uk/

 

Good luck

The Cable Madman (Glacialpath) :rockout:

 

 

Hi-Fi: Campridge audio D500 SE, DACMagic 1, C500, P500.. Monitor Audio BR1 speakers.

H-T: Pioneer; Kuro LX5090, BDP LX71, SC LX73. CA P500. SKY+HD. Rel Q50. Mordaunt Short Avant.

1970dazzler's picture
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RE: Rega DAC or Audiolab MDAC to replace Cambridge DAC magic

Thanks for all your useful comments. I spoke to sound gallery and they bluntly only want to sell not to audition (hence my orinal comment). In the end I tried one with the Roksan amp and K2 CD in Harrow, and the difference was truly amazing. Many of my CDs were sounding harsh and brittle, but the RegaDAC has tamed them to sound just like LPs with no perceptible loss of detail. So £500 well spent. As for interent radio, I don;t think the bit rates are any better than Freeview? I do know Freeview is better bit rate than DAB, that's for sure. once again thanks to all who responded, as useful debate..

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RE: Rega DAC or Audiolab MDAC to replace Cambridge DAC magic

good bit of kit the Rega DAC, when I use mine I always enjoy it!

 

Michell / Icon Audio / Kudos

 

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RE: Rega DAC or Audiolab MDAC to replace Cambridge DAC magic

I think better solution is Audiolab MDAC...I have heard both, Rega is great DAC but Audiolab sonds beter,specialy at low end...I had CA Dacmagic 100 for 1,5 years and I can say you will get much improvement with Audiolab, that was my choice until Naim Dac v1 came....there is no mistake- AUDIOLAB MDAC  :bounce:

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Beresford Bushmaster II. As

Beresford Bushmaster II. As good or better than the aforementioned and a fraction of the price.

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ReValveiT wrote:

ReValveiT wrote:

Beresford Bushmaster II. As good or better than the aforementioned and a fraction of the price.

Unless you also need USB, in which case you will need the Beresford Caiman MkII.  (Bushmaster II only has optical and coax.)

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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I say Musical fedility V90

I say Musical fedility V90 DAC. A must listen.

 OPPO 105EU, Arcam AVR450, Boston Acoustics M340. Dac: Musical fedility V90.

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I've just recently upgraded

I've just recently upgraded to the M Dac from a dacmagic (along with a project headbox) and the difference really is like night and day especially when I use headphones and my sonos ZP90. My Sennheiser 650's always sounded bright and undetailed until I changed and now they really sing. When played through my Cyrus 8 amp there is a lot more clarity and detail. Totally recommend the upgrade although I'm not sure about the differenec between the M-Dac and the Rega model  as i didn't test that.

 

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